Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Coco The Fighter!

Something is lurking in the drain.

It is our friend (not) the intruder aka monitor lizard.  Well, it was sauntering outside minding its own business but I had to throw a few stones at it. Mistake. It decided to run into my garden and so a fight ensued between Coco and lizard.

It was a bit too feisty for Coco and she must have sustained a few nips on her face. I tried spraying it with my garden hose but that too was a mistake. It seemed to enjoy the cool shower and stayed put for more.  Luckily my basket shooting was a perfect 10. There! 2 extra bricks to make sure you stay inside until I think of something.

No...I don't want dinner. I will just stay here and stare keep watch.

Why didn't you help Coco???

I don't like lizards, Mom.

I am ashamed of myself.
I left Coco to die at the claws of lizard.
Can I eat now?

(Regrettably, the lizard escaped from the basket the next morning. We are now back to square one....living in fear of another intrusion.)

A Natural Food Dye

So happy my butterfly pea or blue pea vine is flowering everyday.
It is named clitoria ternatea and you can tell why by looking at the shape of the flower.  I prefer to address it in our local language "bunga telang".

I boil the flowers to extract the color and the liquid can be used to color plain rice or glutinous rice. Perhaps it may have some health benefits but I just like the color. For me the sight of blue rice conjures mouth watering images of curry. Not to mention various sweet treats made with glutinous rice.

This is a less common blue pea flower.
It has double petals and hence produces more color.

Smile for me, pretty lady....♡

Monday, 22 August 2016

Moon Cakes

The Moon Festival is the second grandest after the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year.  This year it falls on September 15th which corresponds to the 15th day of the eighth month of the chinese calendar. The moon will be roundest and brightest that night.

I am practising on my moon cakes.  I love these two toned ones. They look like jade ornaments. I put one salted duck yolk inside and wrapped it with red bean paste. Then I wrapped that with some "snow skin" dough and used a special mold to get these beautiful shape and design.  So pretty and yummy.

There are many stories and legends surrounding the origin of the Moon Festival. From figures living in the moon to secret messages in the cake.  Today they are given as gifts to one another and eaten with loved ones (or thoughts of them) while viewing the beauty of the moon. Preferably with a cup of tea :)

Friday, 19 August 2016


My version of sashiko.

My first completed piece. I am not very ambitious. Always start very small :)

My own design.  Just for fun.

Makes a great coaster for my drinking water :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Intruder! Coco To The Rescue!

Found a monitor lizard inside my house 3 days ago. Hanging precariously on my curtain. Not too big but enough to freak me out. For two days and two nights we lived under one roof. No fun going to sleep thinking about the creature crawling everywhere and maybe licking my face with its forked tongue *shudder*. Thank God Coco chased it out eventually!  Poor baby isn't well. Giving her lots of tender loving care and praying for her recovery.

♡♡♡ My heroine ♡♡♡

Pulut Inti (Glutinous Rice With Sweet Coconut Topping)

Decided to make some snacks today.  I have always wanted to make pulut inti.  Steamed glutinous rice enriched with coconut milk and screwpine leaf.  And topped with grated coconut that has been sweetened with palm sugar.  All wrapped in a piece of banana leaf.  To me everything tastes better on a piece of banana leaf.  This is my first attempt.

The moment of truth.  Well, nothing can be perfect the first time. The rice was too soft and the filling too loose and not sweet enough. Not tooooo bad for a first try. When I have tweaked the recipe I will share it here.

I shared some with my neighbor and she gave me fruits from her garden. Fair exchange. Barter trading lolll....it is great to have a neighbor with a huge garden of fruit trees!

This is one of her many dogs. Super adventurous. She burrows holes in her fence and squeezes her way into my garden through any small gap she can find. She climbs over four feet high fences. She dunks herself in muddy ditches and roams far and wide. She makes me go round and round my house with a stick. She is not named Naughty for nothing. Stop trespassing, ok?  Go home.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Will The Real Dill Please Stand Up?

I just bought the real dill.  I hope.

A friend sold this weed pictured below (eupatorium capillifolium) to me about two years ago and told me it was dill. Dill is not a common herb here and most people I know don't know what it is nor how to use it. That includes me of course.  It is rather unfortunate that I have used what could be dog fennel in my cooking.  Perhaps it is the sterile cultivar elegant feather.  It is apparently good for warding off mosquitoes and ticks and fleas. Great. I will surround my house with them.