Stop and stare…

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

yaari's photo@www.flickr.com

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

Walt K's phto@www.flickr.com

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

law_kevin's photo@www.flickr.com

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

jack4pic's photo@www.flickr.com

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

the opera mafia's photo@www.flickr.com

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

KKl's photo@www.flickr.com

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

Leisure by W. H. Davies

 

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Tears in Heaven…

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Lawrence OP's photo@www.flickr.com
Psalm 23(Click link here)

Someone dear to me has just passed away around 4.00 a.m. this morning. My heart goes out to the immediate family and all who share this same affection. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, may he rest in peace. Amen.

Gimme more…

All my life, I had never eaten sweet potato leaves…until my friends, a young couple, moved from a rural town to Sibu and they planted that in their backyard.  The first time they gave me some, I did not know how to cook them, so I had to ask around and somebody told me that I could just cook them like kangkong.

Last Friday, I saw some for sale at a grocery shop in my area at RM1 a bundle, and I bought one to fry for dinner. It was easy, quite hassle-free, in fact. I just chopped some garlic and cut some chillies, fried that in oil together with a bit of belacan and in went the leaves, adding a bit of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock to them just before serving them on a plate. This was the dish I had for RM1.00, not inclusive of the bit of ingredients that I had used…

Fried sweet potato leaves

On one occasion, my friends gave me one plastic bag full of the leaves…and I left them in the kitchen sink, planning to cook  them later. Then an ex-colleague came to my house to help me repair some leaking pipes and when he saw the leaves, he asked me where I had got them from. He said that they had high medicinal value and were not “cold” like kangkong which would be bad for people suffering from arthritis or rheumatism and the like. In the end, since he was praising them to the skies, I asked him whether he wanted them…and he did! He took away the whole bag full!!! Sulk! Sulk! LOL!!! 

Well, I’ve googled and found some interesting information on those sweet potato leaves, so I would like to share it with everybody…

From http://ifitandhealthy.com:
According to a new research from the University of Arkansas, sweet potato leaves are chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants. In total, they contain 15 different compounds that could help prevent heart disease, diabetes, infection and some types of cancer.

From a comment on
http://marcsala.blogspot.com

According to LSU professors in Food Science and Horticulture, sweet potato leaves are high in lutein, protective against age-related macular degeneration.

From http://www.tandurust.com
The leaves of sweet potato are…anti-diabetic. They are helpful in lowering blood sugar.

Gee! That ex-colleague of mine obviously knew his greens. The sweet potato leaves actually taste very nice, nicer than kangkong and now that I know they are so beneficial, gimme more…anytime!

Well, just to wrap up the post, that day, we had this plate of steamed white pomfret (ikan bawal putih) to go with the sweet potato leaves.

Steamed white pomfret

I certainly eat simple food and live a simple life, don’t I? LOL!!!

Come Saturday morning…

Well, it’s Saturday morning and the weekend’s here…and most of you are probably getting up too late for breakfast and too early for lunch.  So what about some brunch then? Any idea what you think you would like have? Are you going to drive around (burning liquid gold) in search of some nice things to eat?

Now, if you’re in Sibu and you’re quite sick of the usual kampua and Foochow fried mee, you should give this one a try. Perhaps you would like to go for some Tom yam mihun for a change. I have featured that some time ago, so you can click on the link to have a look if you had missed it then or have forgotten what it looks like.

Anyway, first things first. This is the name of the coffee shop…

The coffee shop

and this is the stall…

The food stall

Where is it, you say? It’s at the Delta Commercial Centre area where the now-not-so-new Delta Mall is located, on the far end next to Sweet Smelling Bakery, facing Gambir Road. So Goolooloo’s shop is pretty close by and Zouk’s, Clare’s and Housefly’s homes as well. Other than the aforementioned Tom yam mihun, you can have porridge and maybe Sarawak laksa as well, if I’m not mistaken or you can have this…

Pork kway teow soup

It is actually clear soup with minced pork balls, green veg, black fungus and an egg plus other bits and pieces…and you can have noodles, mihun or kway teow in it. Actually, there’s also pig liver and other innards but I’m staying away from those temporarily. Just in case you’re wondering, that costs RM4.00 too…and it is nice though usually I would prefer something stronger and spicier like the Tom yam mihun that I had before.

Incidentally, if you love the barbecued char siew and pork ribs, the homemade Chinese sausages or roast pork belly, chicken or duck…and you think the best is at that stall opposite the Public Bank Tunku Osman branch in the town centre, they have a stall here too. Actually, the brother runs this one…and he definitely is more friendly and pleasant than that @#$%&*+%$ one in the town, and the workers are nice and efficient too. I usually tapau home because it is not served with chicken rice, but with plain rice instead.

There are other stalls as well – one selling kampua and other things and the one at the back serves Foochow fried mee and so on…but I do not know if they are any good as I have not tried them before. Maybe you can go and sample and let me know…???

Physical…

Those of you who are going/went through the Literature Component in English Language in school would know Roald Dahl’s “The Sound Machine” and as a matter of fact, his short story, “The Landlady”, is in the present cycle if you are studying English Literature or what is today known as Literature in English for the SPM Examination. Otherwise, you may know him from the movies, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda” which are based on his works as well.

I was first introduced to something written by Roald Dahl when I saw his book, “Revolting Rhymes” (1984:Picture Puffin, England). The Poh Huai Bin of sixthseal.com, who was in primary school then, had borrowed the book (And hey! Wasn’t he too young to be reading things like that? Hahahahahaha!!! Some people start very young, don’t they, Huai Bin? Wink! Wink!) from the library in his tuition centre and flipping to it, I found his poems – all parodies of fairy tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Little Pigs” absolutely hilarious…so I photocopied it. Years later, I bought the original at Times in Kuching for RM12.35. It is a very thin book with big fonts, lots of illustrations and about 50 pages only.

When I was in England in 1994, I got hold of the follow-up or sequel (1990: Penguin Books, England), “Rhyme Stew” – that rhymes with Rhymes Two, you see! – with more parodies including “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and the illustration on the cover has a warning: Unsuitable for small people! I don’t think they were that serious about it though! Well, that cost me around RM17 in our currency at the time, but at the current exchange rate, it would probably cost around RM35!!!

Just for a sampling of what we may find inside these two books of poems by Roald Dahl, I would like to share with you one of the shorter ones entitled: “Physical Training”.

Physical Olivia Newton John

Our gym-instructress, Miss McPhee,
When gym was over, said to me,
“Stay on, Bill Smith, I’ll teach you things.
I’ll make you better on the rings,
And after that, let’s reinforce
Your work upon the vaulting horse.”
I stayed behind. She shut the door.
She’d never been so kind before.
She said, “So you can get it right
I’ll have to hold you very tight.”
She held me here, she held me there,
By gum, she held me everywhere.
She kindly taught me, after that,
To wrestle with her on the mat.
Oh gosh, the things she taught me,
Our gym-instructress, Miss McPhee!

LOL!!! I certainly hope all of you enjoyed that! Do have a nice weekend, everybody!

Olivia Newton John’s PHYSICAL photo
from
: http://alteredanthems.blogspot.com/2007/11/olivia-newton-john-physical-2-new.html
P.S.: This looks like an interesting blog to visit, especially those of you who love “CLASSIC” 80’S & 90’S ANTHEMS”.

Reason to believe…

I have a curry leaf plant growing in a pot outside the house, a scrawny miserable-looking curry leaf plant…

Curry leaf plant

…and yet, looking at it, it seems that there are a lot of lessons that we can derive from it.

It has been around for a number of years now, through rain and shine. I am not into gardening at all, so it has always been neglected…terribly. It will depend on the rain for water, so during long, dry spells, it may shed its leaves and look as if it would wither away and die. But when the rain comes, it will sprout fresh, green leaves and live on. Our lives are like that – there are good times and bad times. When times are hard and things are not what we would like them to be, we must never give up hope that we can survive. Instead, we should do whatever we can in order that we may sail through our difficulties until things get better.

I have a curry leaf plant growing in a pot outside the house, a scrawny miserable-looking curry leaf plant…

Curry leaves

…and yet, it is always there when I need some curry leaves for my cooking. I have a bigger more-luxuriant plant growing in a corner at the far end of the garden, but it is not so convenient to go and get the leaves, especially on rainy days. So it is with all of us, as insignificant individuals – nameless and faceless in our society but we should not regard ourselves as useless for we can contribute in some small ways to the well-being of others. A simple hello, a sincere smile or “thank you” can go a long way to brighten up the lives of those that we meet…especially after a long and taxing day at work. Whatever work or profession we may be involved in, we may feel that we are just another brick in the wall…but when that brick is removed, the wall may just collapse eventually.

I have a curry leaf plant growing in a pot outside the house, a scrawny miserable-looking curry leaf plant. It may fall “sick” sometimes and I would see red spots on the leaves…and on occasions such as these, I would not use them for my cooking. After a while, the leaves would drop and I thought to myself, “This is it! The plant has finally called it a day!” But I have been wrong not just once but several times in fact for the plant has never failed to sprout new leaves and live on. In our lives, we may fall sick too but if we are positive enough to fight on, with unfailing hope and determination, we may overcome whatever ailment that plague us.

I have a curry leaf plant growing in a pot outside the house, a scrawny miserable-looking curry leaf plant…

Weeds

It has to depend on whatever nutrition from the little bit of soil in the pot but unfortunately, even that has to be shared with all the weeds that surround it. No doubt it is a dog-eat-dog world out there but we need to remain strong and steadfast whilst cherishing whetever little blessings we may find along the way. Only then can we remain…standing tall.

I have a curry leaf plant growing in a pot outside the house, a scrawny miserable-looking curry leaf plant, and scrawny and miserable-looking though it may be, I have a reason to believe that there are reasons for it to be there all these years…just as I have a reason to believe that there are reasons for us to be here. “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world…Strive to be happy.
(DESIDERATA)

Accidentally in love…

I am free on Tuesdays…but that means I will have to cook dinner. Anyway, before I get to that, I had to go to the bank yesterday – the one in Upper Lanang Road. It used to be in Rejang Park and was not that inconvenient as it was near my house…but sometime ago, they closed down that branch and moved to the other end of the town. Well, I’m not going to deliberate on that but while I was in the area yesterday, I spotted a stall in one of the coffee shops selling kolo mee

Sibu kolo mee

Somebody should tell them that just because they dump in some minced meat, fish balls and veg, it does not become kolo mee. It still tasted like kampua mee but with the extras. Just like the pseudo-authentic kampua mee I had in Auckland (at NZ$8 per plate!)! It was nice but it just was not the same. I feel that they should just leave it to the people concerned. If you want to eat kolo mee, go to Kuching…and if it’s kampua mee that they want, then they can come to Sibu!

Now to get back to what I was going to talk about, I had to cook dinner yesterday so I must decide what I would like to eat. I did not want to cook ladies’ fingers as I would need to use sambal kering (dried prawns) and I think I should stay away from that for a while…

Fried ladies' fingers

Besides, Bongkersz cooked that recently and he might call me a copycat…but to be frank, if you take a look at his post, it did not look at all that appetising! ROTFLMAO!!! Anyway, I did not have to cook the main dish as we still had some leftover ikan tapah masak kunyit (Tapah fish cooked with tumeric) that my missus cooked a couple of days ago…so I had to tolerate my craving for some lemon chicken for a bit…

Lemon chicken

In the end, I settled for pumpkin instead. I had cooked half of it last week, sayur rebus style…so I still had half of it in the fridge.

Normally, I would cook it with udang kering (dried prawns), the same way that I would cook ladies’ fingers, but it looked like I had to do without that. I pounded two shallots, four cloves of garlic and three chillies, and fried that in a bit of oil, adding one stalk of serai (lemon grass) to that a while later. I also put in one teaspoon of sugar, to caramelise it, as Kylie Kwong would say…and then in went the cut pumpkin. After mixing the pumpkin with the ingredients thoroughly, I added water and left it to simmer until the pumpkin was cooked. Finally, I added a teaspoon of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock, threw in a few curry leaves for additional fragance and continued to simmer it till the gravy thickened.

Fried pumpkin

So this was the end result. It certainly looked mouth-watering and when I tried it, it was really very very nice! I loved it!!! Somehow, it reminded me of the chilli crabs I had in Singapore in the early 70s at places in Changi or Bedok. Ummm…have I accidentally stumbled upon the recipe they used at the time? Well, I simply must try it out one of these days…but that will have to wait till I am absolutely sure I will not end up with another gout attack…! LOL!!!