What goes around comes around…

Sometime last week, I saw some nice sweet potatoes so I decided to cook sayur masak lemak (vegetables cooked in coconut milk). Other than a few of those, I also bought one small cabbage, some tau hu phok (fried bean curd), a packet of fish balls and bean curd sticks; I didn’t have much to choose from at that supermarket near my house. Anyway, once I got home, I pounded some shallots, garlic, chillies, kunyit (tumeric) and belacan, all mixed together, some udang kering (dried prawns) pre-soaked in hot water and the ends of serai (lemon grass). I also peeled the sweet potatoes and cut them into cubes, cut the cabbage into large pieces and  the tau hu phok into quarters and soaked the bean curd sticks. Then I was ready to roll…

I heated some oil in the wok and threw in the pounded ingredients…and when they’ve turned light brown, I put in the fish balls and tau hu phok and added water. Then I put in the sweet potatoes and bean curd sticks…and when it had started to boil, I added a can of santan (coconut milk). When it started to boil again, I added salt (according to taste; msg is optional as it will be very sweet already)…and then I threw in the cabbage, turned off the fire and covered the wok. The trapped heat would be sufficient to cook the vegetable without getting it all soft and soggy.

Kampung delicacies

You can see the sayur masak lemak at the top of the photo. Other things that I could have added include prawns, pucuk paku (wild fern), young corn, black fungus and so on, and when you add a bit of this and a bit of that, you end up with a big pot that could feed an army.  That was what happened in my case…so I gave some to my mum, some to my in-laws and some to my aunt in the Jackfruit Village (Kpg Nangka) who said it was very nice and coming from her, THAT would be a compliment!!!

And as they say, what goes around comes around…and she gave me some beef curry and one whole ikan terubok masin (salted fish). I fried a bit and kept the rest for future consumption; you can see it at the bottom left of the photo. Besides, she also gave me some buah kepayang (It was very nice but I don’t know what that is! Maybe gundot can help?) in sambal ikan bilis. That’s the dish in the bottom right corner. Then my in-laws gave me a big pot of braised five-spice pork with hard boiled eggs. Gosh! I had enough food to last a week!!!

And since we’re on the subject of food and cooking, I would like to share with everybody something about cooking kailan. In the past, I used to cut off the stalks and the stems and slice them if they’re too big…and I would cook this first to soften them before adding the leafy parts. I found out recently that instead of doing that you can slice the stems and stalks into long, thin strips and when soaked in water, they will curl up and form nice flowery shapes.  When you fry them, they will cook easily and yet retain the shape. I cooked some yesterday and here’s what it looked like…..

Fried kailan

Attractive and appealling or not? I fried it in a bit of oil with chopped garlic, a bit of belacan and red chillies and added some chicken stock granules. Nice!!! And today, I fried some cangkuk manis with egg…

Fried cangkuk manis

So what have all of you been cooking lately…..


Never again…

Photo from www.americanidol.com

@#$%&*+#%!!!!…OK, having got that out of my system, let’s talk! LOL!!! Well, I certainly will not say that never again will I watch the show considering that one gets to see such frustrating results year in, year out…and that is what reality shows are all about. After all, aren’t these the same people who voted Chris Daughtry out? And Eliot Yamin? I heard sometime ago that they thought Clay Aiken would win but they chose Rubben Studdard instead…and I will never forget that last year, they booted out Melinda Doolittle – my favourite over all the years and threw their support behind one broken-down record with repeating grooves and a baby elephant! Gosh! The baby elephant is a full-grown one now, if you caught her in the live telecast of the show this morning. And now that she’s “famous”, I would think she would have a fashion consultant but she came out wearing something like a maternity dress and the material looked like something people use for curtains or the backdrop for the stage in some Chinese restaurants!

Well, David Archuleta was cooked, nothing’s gonna change that now. But actually, all this while, I felt David Cook was the better candidate for the title.  Each week, he never failed to impress – good vocals, good songs…though it was beginning to get a bit boring. The Cow liked his “Billie Jean” or “Hello” but I loved his rendition of “The first time ever (I saw your face)”.  It’s a simple song that would sound monotonous and boring if handled badly, but he did a very impressive job.  Too bad he only sang one verse! But last night, he did not even come close! The clip at the end showed the part where he went completely flat on U2’s “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” (which incidentally is JFV’s most eligible bachelor, Kpg Nangka Boy’s theme song! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!).

I liked Archuleta when I heard him sing “Imagine” but it had been downhill all the way.  His “Sweet Caroline” was a mess…and how could he do that to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Think of me”? His rendition of Chris Brown’s “With you” was below par…but last night, I thought he redeemed himself…and should have won if it was all based on the performances in the finale alone.

For one thing, Cook’s a rocker…someone in the mainstream pop genre that most young people (girls) will favour. Women probably found his rugged, scruffy looks irresistably sexy, THAT I won’t know!!! LOL!!! On the other hand, mums would love to cuddle Archuleta with his cute baby looks and his sweet smile…and the songs that he sang well are not the type that the younger lot would be crazy about…the kind people like Grandma Kruzer (of TraxxFm Pat and Mag in the afternoon’s fame! ROTFLMAO!!!!) love.  That probably explains the 56%-44% difference in the votes counted…

Well, it’s over and done. Feel free to disagree and post your comments! Air your personal opinions. Many of you couldn’t wait and have already dropped in to gloat about it in the previous post!!! Good! Good! Keep them rolling in!!! In the meantime, I’ll just have to wait another year to get all heated up all over again! Some people never learn, do they? Hahahahahahahaha…..

P.S. Those of you who missed the 2-hour live telecast this morning can catch it tonight at 6 p.m. on Star World (The repeat may be on right now, 1300-1500 Malaysian time, but I’m not too sure.) It was worth watching with Disco Queen Donna Summers (I love “Last Dance”), Bryan Adams, ZZ Top…and ooooo….One Republic doing a duet with Archuleta on “Apologise” and Gladys Knight and the Pips (Are those celebrity-actors playing the Pips?) doing my all-time fave, “Midnight Train to Georgia”…and don’t tell me you don’t love George Michael’s song – Didn’t catch the title but it’s something that would be ideal for singers like Archuleta! So if u haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss it!!!!