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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Thinking Of Holiday..But

Working hard the whole year round and it's time for a holiday. First thing that came to our mind was, where is the best destination and will the whole family agreed unanimously. The next most crucial question is, do we have enough funds or extra budget for a trip of, let say 5 nights. For an everyday people like us, who worked days and nights just to pay up the mounting bills, school expenses, cars maintenance and installment , house-hold expenses and lots and lots of other things, holiday is the last thing on our mind. But then, everybody needs a little time away. Away from it all. Thus, holidaying is the best therapy for our body and soul.

Now, how can we plan a trip for a family of six (that's us). We can't afford to go overseas like most of other people nowadays do. What we can do is, we picked a destination within the country that has the most interesting places to visit and do. Sarawak came to mind. By the way, we did this three years ago.
 Sophie and I put this into plan. We checked daily the low fare airline (Air Asia) and fixed the date where everyone is free from work. We agreed to go in December. First week of December. Now we have to purchase the tickets for all of us but we were always short on cash. So, what we did was, we surfed the airline website every now and then and watch the price religiously. One day we hit the jackpot. There were tickets available at Rm 22.00 per way (Langkawi ~ Penang). Great! We purchased it straight away without wanting to wait another moment. Total for this route (Langkawi ~Penang~ Langkawi) was RM 264.00. One task completed. Next, we need to book from Penang to Kuching and return.

In the mean time, we browsed through the website for a decent hotel room in Kuching. Finally we found something we liked. Somerset serviced apartment. It was about RM 280.00 per nite. All six of us can crash in, include breakfast for all. There were 2 huge bedrooms with a little kitchenette and 2 bathrooms. There was even a washing machine and dryer too!  What more can you ask?
Right, now a transportation to fetch us from airport to the hotel.  That was easy. We booked directly with the hotel. Done! The hotel had given us an ample time for payment so we had some time to raise the money for all the arrangements.

What I did was, I placed a few empty envelopes aside. One envelope was marked as hotel, the other envelope marked as flight tickets, the third envelop for food and car rental while the last one for shopping. Whenever I received any payments from my supplier, I paid all my creditors first. The balance will be placed
 in any one of the envelopes. Sara did her part too. She kept a little envelope and will take some money daily from my purse secretly.

We started planning in March. By May, we got lucky again. We saw tickets from Penang to Kuching at RM 98.00 (if I'm not mistaken) per way. But we don't have enough to buy for all. Ariff, my eldest son will buy his own tickets. Soffian had only a little savings so it seems I had to pay the difference. Then, we came up with this idea. I can only come up with three tickets first. So, at random, I placed a booking for Sara, Soffian and my husband. That left only Sophie, Ariff and me.
In August, we finally able to purchase all the tickets for the whole routes. Phew! That worked out quite well.
The girls were starting to get excited about it. It's not because the holiday itself but rather the whole family would be travelling together.
We still need to pay for accommodation, car rental and airport transfer. But at least, we had secure our seats with the airlines and at a very good price too.

I think by September, we finally came up with enough savings to pay up for our accommodation and transportation arrangements. Yeay.. we did it! We are ready for the holiday!
Now, we only need to have some extra cash for shopping purposes and sight seeings. Even entrance tickets at some of the interesting places had been stashed away in the little envelope. How smart can we be...

The day arrived. We took the flight from Langkawi to Penang and spent overnight there. The next day, we went to Penang airport and watched Sara, Pian and my husband left first as their flight was earlier than us. We, Sophie, Ariff & I followed suit after the few flight intervals.
Even though we had to plan one year ahead (because of the lack of funds), I believe we traveled in style or at least I think so.
When Sara, Pian and my hubby arrived at Kuching airport, they waited until our arrivals. Once we arrived, all of us when inside a luxury Toyota Alphard that was waiting for us to take us to the hotel.
The hotel wasn't a disappointment either. It was cosy and warmth.

The next day, our rented MPV arrived and we drove anywhere our hearts desired. No worries as everything was paid upfront. All we need to do was enjoy ourselves. Needless to say, the children brighten up the day and you all must have guessed it, yep, they did the bed jumping and rolling like a five year old did. I don't know what's with them and the hotel beds. Maybe the fluffiness of the beds and pillows that attracted them to do that. And to think that they can even have children of their own at that age. Pian even did a Calvin Klein boxer shorts model for us to admire. Yikes!

Some days we cooked in the apartment. There was one evening, we went out to a famous nite baazar called Pasar Satok and guess what I bought. Fresh tiger prawns. I told them lets cook tonight and everybody agreed wholeheartedly. We got back at the apartment at about 6.30pm and I started cooking our dinner, sweet and sour prawns, fried pompret and some mixed vegetables. They ate like they've never seen food for months. Maybe it's the change of environment and it almost felt like home.  

We had a great time there and a great memories too. It has been quite some time since we traveled together. We're planning next to visit one of the Asian countries next. Most probably The Philippines or Vietnam.

So people, plan your holiday, don't worry too much about the money. Save it any way you can or just do like we did. It sounded silly but it worked. We truly need to get away from everything to revive ourselves mentally and physically.

Until next time, have a great day and be happy!

1st.May '13

Sunday, 21 April 2013


Hari ni jom kita buat snack untuk makan petang. Patties kacang kuda. Yang ni senang jugak nak buat dia dan rasa nya pun lebih kurang macam masalodeh.

Kita perlukan :

1 1/2 cawan kacang kuda
(rendam terlebih dulu kemudian rebus sehingga empuk, selepas tu dikisar jangan terlalu halus)

1 cawan serbuk roti
(kita buat sendiri. Potong kerak roti dan kisarkan. Senang saja. Mcm gambar diatas)
separuh drp bahan-bahan utk buat patties

1/2 sudu besar serbuk cili (terpulang kepada kita sendiri, kalau nak pedas lebihkan)
1/2 sudu serbuk jintan manis
1/2 sudu serbuk ketumbar
1 biji bwg besar (yang dicincang),
Sedikit daun ketumbar
1 biji telur
1 cawan yogurt (hari tu tak ada yogurt biasa, mak cik rose pakai yogurt perisa buah)
2 sudu besar rempah daging
sikit garam

(Bahan-bahan nya nampak macam banyak sangat tapi benda ni semua, selalunya ada di dapur kita jadi tak payah susah-susah nak cari)

Okay, sekarang gaulkan kcg kuda,serbuk roti, serbuk cili, jintan manis, serbuk ketumbar, bwg besar dan yogurt. Pecahkan telur dan sekarang masukkan dan gaul sekali bersama dengan daun ketumbar yang di cincang tadi. Jgn lupa garam secukup rasa.

Guna tangan dan uli bulat dan leperkan.
Pasang api yang sederhana, masukkan sikit minyak masak dan sekarang bolehlah di goreng di dalam minyak yang sikit tadi. Biarkan sehingga agak garing, alihkan dan bolehlah diangkat.

Yang nampak macam jem tu lah chutney. Ia agak manis2 pedas.

Gambar oleh Ahmad Ariff
Resipi ni mak cik Rose dapat dari client kita dari India. Dia kata makan ni dengan sebarang chutney, macam mango chutney ke atau apple chutney ke. Chutney ni macam acar la dalam fahaman kita.Tapi kita ni selalunya susah sikit nak biasakan diri dengan selera orang lain. Tapi tak pa, mak cik Rose cuba jugak buat chutney ni, mana tau ada orang teringin nak try buat. Resipi chutney ni mak cik Rose cari di internet dan dah diolahkan supaya lebih senang nak buat.

Tengok dah siap pun. Makanan ni boleh di golongkan dalam golongan health food. Jadi utk sesapa yg nak jaga pemakanan dan cepat kenyang, eloklah cuba snack ni.

Jom tengok bahan-bahannya  untuk 1 cawan kecil chutney:

1 biji mangga masak
1 cawan gula putih dan 2 sudu gula perang
sedikit halia yang dirincik halus
1 biji bwg (di rincik)
1 ulas bwg putih di rincik halus
3 sudu besar cuka
3/4 cawan air
1 sudu teh serbuk cili (serbuk kasar)
sikit buah pelaga
sikit kulit kayu manis
sikit serbuk jintan manis

Cara nak buatnya :

Masak air dan gula dulu sehingga gula hancur. Masukkan bwg putih dan halia.
Sekarang masukkan pula buah pelaga, k.kayu manis, serbuk cili dan serbuk jintan manis
Kemudian dimasukkan mangga yang dipotong kiub seperti gambar diatas dan juga cuka.
Kalau selalu dan biarkan sehingga betul betul pekat. Buah mangga itu akan hancur dengan sendirinya.

Kalau buat dalam kuantiti yang lebih banyak, masa yang diambil utk masak dalam 2 jam tapi sebab mak cik Rose buat sikit nak tunjuk caranya saja, masa yang diambil tak lama sangat dalam 45 min.
Chutney ni boleh disimpan lama kalau disejukkan dan boleh dimakan bersama dengan ayam panggang atau daging. Buat cicahan ataupun dengan patties seperti resipi diatas.

Agak-agak susah dak nak buat? Tak susah mana pun. Nampak macam susah tapi sebenarnya tak. Mesti cuba.

Salam hormat,
22nd.Oct '13

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Chocolate chips Peanut Butter

Salam pagi Ahad semua,

Mohon maaf Mak Cik Rose dah lama tak update post untuk masakan ni. Agak sibuk sikit kebelakangan ni.
Apa pun hari ni jom kita buat cookies yang amat senang dan sedap di makan. Anak-anak atau sesapa pun suka makan cookies ni.

Bahan-bahan yang kita perlukan pun tak banyak. Sila tengok:

250gm gula icing
250gm mentega kacang (peanut butter)
220gm minyak jagung
chocolate chips (ikut hati nak masukan sebanyak mana)
500gm tepung kek ( dalam separuh plastik tepung yg selalu kita beli tu)

Tu saja bahan bahan dia. Senang dak?
Mak Cik Rose tak payah tunjuk step by step nak buat cookies ni sebab semua bahan tadi dicampur dan di adun sekali harung (bahasa kampung).

Bila dah elok adunan nya, kita guna tangan untuk membentuk cookies ni. Ikut hati masing-masing nak buat macam mana.
Nak bagi cantik, taburkan sikit keatas cookies tadi cokelat chips dalam 2 ~ 3 butir. Dah pun ready nak di bakar.

Pasang oven 170 degree dan biarkan panas sekejap. Selepas tu bolehlah dibakar cookies kita dalam jangkamasa lebih kurang 15 ~ 20min.

Cubalah. Kalau sedap boleh puji mak cik Rose, kalau tak salahkan anak mak cik Rose, Ariff sebab resipi ni dari dia. Dia commis chef dalam pastry kitchen.

Selamat mencuba..
Gambar di ambil oleh anak mak cik Rose, Ariff

Picture taken by my son, Ariff

 Ini lah hasilnya. Senang kan.

21hb.April '13

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Little Side Income

Hello all,

Sitting at home watching some movies with my feet up while sipping tea at four thirty in the afternoon can be called blissful. But try doing it consistently, you'll be bored. Period. Three years ago, while I was working full time and was free of cancer, I longed to be able to do just that. Be at home and do nothing. Today, my wish was granted. I am mostly at home. I do my office work from home. Like I said earlier, it's blissful but at the same time, I started to miss having meeting people and gossiping with my office colleagues.

Missing out the fun of going out together for lunch and as an islander, we had this bonus by being idle. No rushing, traffic is most of the time easy and we can even picnic at any one of the beaches we feel like going on that day. Yeap, you read it right! We picnicked during lunch hour. Well, we may stretch that one hour to a little bit longer than usual. That's the beauty of being an islander.

So, back to me being bored. I am the kind of person who doesn't like to sit still doing nothing at most times. That what leads me to create a blog and write things that I feel I can reach out to everyone. But writing too needs ideas. Lots of interesting ideas and I sometimes are at a loss for compelling ideas. That's why I sometimes, write nothing for almost two weeks and my cooking post was left idle and unattended for almost the same length of period too.

Today, I am feeling laid back and relaxed. Oh I was busy in the morning but after lunch I am usually free. Want to know why I am busy in the morning? Remember I said I am bored doing nothing? Okay, I know, I know, I keep repeating the "bored" word every paragraph or so! Here goes, I am doing a little business from home. I cook a meal  for lunch and then placed it at a street vendor nearby my home. The street vendor  would price my lunch pack slightly higher as a commission for her services. It's a win-win situation. I don't have to waste my time selling and I don't need to rent a shop/stall to do my selling. All I need to do was cook. And the best of all is, my lunch pack were all gone by lunch time. How's that for a little entrepreneur me? Wondering what's inside the lunch pack? It's Malaysian favourite, Tomato Rice. It doesn't take much of my time. I only need to prepare some tomato-based gravy, the rice itself and a piece of chicken. Voila! It's ready. It's filling and totally affordable.
Though it sounded easy it is still relatively tiring. Now, I would call out anyone who's at home and available. My husband would help with the packing and sending. Ariff (my eldest son) would help to deep fry the chickens if he worked in the afternoon shift. And so does Soffian, if and when he's available BUT with a little wage.

 That's my packed lunch. What do you think of it? This new little business work two ways. I got to fill up my free time and I make money without too much hard labour. I have always interested in business. Years ago when my office was in Pantai Cenang ( about 20 minutes from where I live now), both my husband and I, we would quickly go home after office hours, changed into casual attire and get ready to rush for our rice noodle stall. My live-in Indonesian helper will prepare everything for us. We shoved everything inside the MPV and hurried to our stall. We will only sell one particular noodle, the rice noodle (in our language it's called Koay Teow). I will do the frying while my husband the packing. The business was good but we had to stop as the owner wanted to sell his land for a hotel building.

Another time, when my office was situated at the Aseania Resort, I have a few friends who asked me if I can teach their children some English. I said I can help to teach them speak but not writing (since I am not a qualified teacher). They agreed. So I rented a little room at one of my friend's beach motel and taught their children English. The children loved it as I taught them the fun way not the way they learn it at school. After about a year I had to stop as I can't cope with two jobs at hand.

Those were the days when both my husband and I had to work harder than hard to bring up four children. He was a hotel (front office executive) at that time and I was a reservation manager at a Japanese travel agency (that was before I started on my own). We can still live well without having the second job but we just loved the challenge and the fun of doing business. That way, the children were well cared for. They had the best childhood any children could ask for. We were not ashamed with whatever little business we did. We did the right thing and we were happy with it.

Nowadays both of us are a little worn out and tire easily, so we take things easy. The children has grown. We only need to work for a few more years for the two girls (Sophie & Sara) to finish their studies and then both of us can sit back and relax. Then, maybe I could save some money and travel to Turkey, my favourite country to visit.

So friends, I will stop for now and will write again once I find some other new and interesting topics to write.
Have a great day!

17th.April '13

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Get Annoyed Sometimes ?

Hello all,

The weather in  Langkawi at this very moment could have reached 37degree C (97.6F). This blistering heat may continue until mid April. I saw some dark cloud  in the last two days. Pray hard it will bring us some rain soon. Langkawi at its hottest from January until April. In this heat, if nothing is in urgency, nobody can drag me to go out there and suffer the heat.

By 9.30 in the evening, my eyelids became heavy. By ten, I'll be deep in my slumber.I blame it on the weather. Believe it or not, we tend to get annoyed or cranky easily. I only had to be in the kitchen for half an hour before started to sweat profusely. I don't feel like talking to anyone when I am in this mode. The children know me very well. They would usually leave me alone for a while.

Actually, I am not the kind of person that loses my head easily. I am cool, calm and collected ( description of myself. Sounds great, don't you think?)Well, actually am not that perfect but the sentence sounds catchy though.
 I don't get mad easily. One can see my temper flares rapidly if I think I was being patronised or someone was rude to me. Every day we meet different type of people and make new acquaintances and every now and then we met some people who thinks highly of themselves and think that the world revolves around them only.    

Today, I wish to share some of the hurtful remarks thrown my way while dealing with some clients or faced some frustrating moments.
There's this woman who had paid us for her staff familiarization trip to this island and had wanted us to arrange ferry tickets at an earlier time. I had already told her staff that at that moment there was no tickets earlier than what had been booked. I didn't promise anything only to say we may have some chances since they're only coming in two months time.
One week prior to their arrival, she called to check with me about the arrangement. Confidently I laid out  the itinerary for her. When she heard that ferry departs at 17:00hrs, she stopped me in the midst of my sentence. What time did you say? I repeat it again. She raised her voice and said she was told ferry confirmed at 11:30 in the morning. I defended myself by saying I didn't say the time was confirmed at that time, I only said there might be some chances and I already told her staff about this.
 I don't know how this girl(her staff) relayed the message to that woman. Before I can say anything else, she exploded and shouted at the top of her voice. She screamed "You are so stupid. I don't know how you can work in this line. You wanted money, I gave you money. If you want more money, tell me but don't lie to people.If you think you are not capable of handling this thing, don't do it. Don't swindle money from people when you can't deliver the services. You idiot, have you no brain!"
The moment she called me no brain (she said it in Malay language.."tak ada otak") I felt like she had put a blow on my face. Being me, I am not the type who would recoil and apologize if it's not my mistake. Ever heard the slogan " Guest is always right"? Well, they're not always right. I don't mind losing a guest who didn't have manners and didn't know how to respect other human beings. I asked for her bank account so that I could refund her money right away. She slammed down the phone. The next day her staff called me apologetically and asked me to carry on with the arrangement. I did what I had to do but I do it without my heart in it.
There's another incident I remembered to this day. The children were still small then. Sophie was about four. Since I got a complimentary room at this resort on the other island, we (my husband & I) decided to take the children to this beautiful resort. We were in this  boat and it hasn't started moving yet. The water was brilliant. One can see little fishes swimming in a group. Sophie who was standing on my lap was fascinated at the sight of the fish. "Mama, fish fish!"  Then she tiptoed on my lap and did a little spitting into the sea. Those little fishes swam frantically towards her spit. She found it amusing and was jumping up and down with joy on my lap.   At the back of my seat, sat a Malay girl with a white guy. At the sound of his accent, my bet was he is an Australian. Suddenly I heard her said to her boyfriend, " Malaysian, they're so disgusting. The little girl is spitting and her mother is letting her be. They don't have manners." My blood rose uncontrolled. I turned my head slightly so that she can see my side profile and said quietly, "They are children, they know nothing. It was just a silly game for her, and what? You're not Malaysian?" I then turned my head back looking ahead. I can hear her said "Oops!" and whispered something to that boyfriend of hers. She may have thought that I don't speak or understand another language. I waited until we reached the pier before I told my husband about it. Knowing him, he could have said something abusive towards this woman.

I was at times are an overly sensitive person. I cried easily and I got hurt by some snide remarks easily too. There was this time when I was undergoing my chemotherapy treatment. You guys know how much I hated having to go through this process. The needle pricking, the blood spurting when the needle wasn't poked correctly into the vein. The long hours and the list goes on. So, one day I had to undergo this chemo treatment. Had to be done on mainland because the hospital on the island doesn't have the required skill and facility. So, Sara and I had to wake up at 5.30 in the wee hours of the morning, took our shower and left the house to catch the first boat to mainland at 0700am. We should be there by 0900 but we got there at 0915am. I straight away registered my name at the counter and rushed to collect my blood result and ran to another building so that I won't be late for my treatment and got reproved by the doctors. By the time I reached the 2nd floor, it was 09:30am. I gave my name to the nurse's station and later was shown to a room/ward. They should be starting soon as I had to be given seven bottles of whatever water there is to be given, and this treatment should be completed before six pm as my last boat to the island was at 19:00hrs.
And so we waited, nobody came. By 10:30am, a nurse approached and asked if any doctors had came to see me. I said no. She disappeared. I waited again. By now, it was already 11:15am. Still nobody came. I called out a passing nurse and asked. She said waiting for doctor. It was nearly 11:40am before a doctor finally came and started the drip. Per bottle will take about two hours to finish the whole liquid. Can you guess what time will the treatment be completed if its were to take 2 hours each and seven bottles to finish? Right, about 12:00 midnight or 01:00in the morning. I finished my first bottle at about 1.30pm. Again nobody came to check or to continue the second bottle. By now, I am anything but smiling. I called out one male nurse and asked which doctor was in charge on that day. He told me the name, one Dr Saw. I said I needed to speak to him. He gave me the number. I called the good doctor and told him I need to speak to him. He arrived shortly. "Is there anything I can do for you ma'am?" He asked me gently. The moment he asked me that question, I burst into tears and it flows like there's no tomorrow. You know how its like when someone shows a little compassion towards us at a time like that. The words just came out my mouth with something like this: " You know doc, I know you people are busy but I was here since this morning. I rushed out from home from an island so that I could keep the appointment. I am terminally ill. I got cancer in case you forgot (of which I can see a little smile at the corner of his mouth)." He mumbled an I am sorry but I refused to stop. I continued, " You know. It's nearly 2 o'clock now and so far only one bottle completed and I have six more bottles left. Do you think we can finish by six?" He shook his head left and right. "So, how am I going home today? Where am I gonna stay? I have nobody here. Maybe none of you couldn't be bothered with me because I am not any one's mother here. I am just another patient. But I am a mother to my children. And they love me very much and they want me by their sides. Maybe I don't mean anything to you people but please have pity on me. Actually I am so afraid of chemo and I hate coming here but I did it for my children."
The doctor held my hands and said softly that he's sorry I had to go through this but he'll do the best he can.      
He went on to say, I won't lie to you but looked like you're gonna miss the last boat and promised to personally monitor me on that day and promised to send me to whichever hotel I am staying that nite.
Guess what time I completed my chemo? Right, at about 12;45am! Since it was a small town, there wasn't any public transportation available at that hour. Lucky thing, my son had a friend over there. I didn't call the doctor since it would be awkward to have to ride with him after my outburst.

So, there! I blurted all out and behaved like a lost child. And to think at fifty someone is mature enough to enter a grandmother's era.

That shows that no matter who we are or how old we are or how strong we think we are, we will always need some love from others. Don't deny it and don't push it away when someone offers to love you  and care for you unconditionally. Life is too short to harbor ill feelings towards others.

Pen off for now and have a great day you all!

Lots of love,
4th.April '13