Wednesday 28 July 2010

Colombo Oh Colombo!

Alhamdulillah, I consider myself very lucky! While I am not earning the pay that many would hope to earn, I earn the fringe benefits that come along with this employment....every onece in a while I get to travel! And this time it was the Axiata Group Legal Advisers' Meeting, that was hosted by our counterpart Dialog Telekom in Colombo. I will not bore you with the details about the conference, enough to say that the Dialog community is so hospitable, warm, and I wouldn't if they came to KL, we could provide the same to them. And, the knowledge gain from the conference were immense and would be put to good use in my current KPI!

But most of all, I would not have imagined that Colombo had so much to offer.....this place is a food paradise...yes, it was spicy and curry...y, but the food was lovely and different. Yes, I love curry and have them at home every week, but having them here daily did not overdose me at all. I only had to pacify my stomach due to the gas from the beans and grains that I took....otherwise, I would have slurped all the kuah!

And, the seafood, my ......they are prepared in various styles! One will not tire having them at all!

Here are some offering that I managed to capture in the last two days, my schedule was very packed, and we only got to go around the city last nite! Enjoy.....
Transit in Singapore....
My companion....some wisdom material!
Some seafood dinner after we tucked our bags on the night we arrived.

Breakfast Day 1...Aloo paratha, sambar (akin to our dhal which had brinjal and kacang munggai), and tofu curry! 
Lunach Day 1, Rice cooked with onion and ghee, Fish Curry, Cauliflower in Spices, Brinjal and Tomato cooked in Sri Lankan spices and black pepper (woooo....pedas pedas!) and Mango Chutney (bought a bottle to bring home!) 
Banana Parfait...banana sauteed in butter, butterscotch sauce and cream......if not for the sugar and calories...hmmmmm....
Sago pudding, Date Pudding, Coconut and Semolina Pudding and Fruit Compote. 
A cultural show during the company dinner at Mount Lavinia Hotel!
A medley of Seafood prepared in various ways for main course.
Breakfast Day 2 ....Red String Hoppers (macam Putu Mayam), Plain Paratha, Cennai Dhal, Toamto and Onion Curry, and Sambar.
My own Fruit Compote! Prunes, Pineapple, Papaya, Rambutan in Berry Yoghurt!
This was all that i had for lunch on Day 2.....Grilled Brinjal Soup!

After the close of the Conference, at around 6 pm we embarked on the hunt for fabrics....ahhhhh....there were so many to choose and purchase at a fraction of the price back in KL! And these were saree would be cotton and voiles!
I have a weakness for paisley desing and this colours! Bought these in a few colours for people who are dear to me!
Extended shopping hour just for us!
The "climb" search of the material, he he!

After that, we headed back to the hotel for some yummy seafood....Sri Lankan Crab Curry...that is a must and apprently the hotel is the place for one!
Prawn cooked in garlic and black pepper.
Ze Crab in Ze Sri Lankan was green as we didn't think we could handle the fiery hot red curry....and this one was dabomb!!!
Vegetable Curry...pedas tapi sangat sedap!
Nutcracker...the tool in aid for our quest with the Crab!
The trip and all....if only hubby is here....I went back to my room last night to find this on my pillow and a box containing two's little pleasures!

Monday 26 July 2010

Friendship and My First Cupcake Class

Afer much pestering and promises and postponements, I had agreed to hold a Cupcake 101 class for these lovely ladies! It was supposed to be held much earlier, but so many events had taken fact I think so many things happened the last six months! Good or bad, happiness or life is enriched!

And with these has never been better!
I met these girls through the course of my working in my present employment....Aini "Finance" was my colleague who took care of Corporate Financing, Siti was Aini's colleague, Aini "Tax"took care of the tax and duties portion, Razlyn was a vendor, Maria, Razlyn's childhood friend! And, through the path of of working life, we came across each other and remain good friends! Both Ainis had retired and are full time moms now!

Since my maid had not arrived to lend assistance, we decided to hold the class at Aini "Finance's" house. And, the was more of a get together and to encourage each other who had not attempted any baking or cooking , to do just that! But, I must say, after this session, it will be profiteroles and pie classes! And, this is also the beginning of my many many other classes!
We shared four recipes and I showed how to do some basic cake decorations....and some of the results were these! Think what was interesting were not the results and who had the nicest decorations....but it was the fun, laughter and stronger bond that we had with each other! That is something that no money can buy!
From left, Aini "Tax", Maria, Razlyn, Aini "Finance" and Siti....I must admit I want an "island" like this in my kitchen...makes me baking and cooking more and more!

I will sign off for now, I am writing from my hotel room in Colombo...some time difference is making me wide awake, even though I slept at 1 this morning! Thank God for this trip, thus allowing me some quiet time for myself and allowing me to spare some time with you fellow bloggers!  

Monday 19 July 2010

Dalilah Dalam Kenangan.....

Alfatihah to my very dear friend, one I have only just known when I started blogging, but one who has impacted me deeply with her reminders and pesanan...she was the other set of ears for me to pour my worries, my grief about my arwah sil, life...and not long after my sil passed on ie 31.5.2010, today 19.7.2010  two days before her birthday, Dalilah went to her creator....the best place for her, said her husband, abg Saiful. No one could bear to see her suffer anymore...She was there when I needed someone most to hear my heart out, I was having my set of challenges, and needed someone to talk to on how to handle my arwah sil who was also fighting cancer......

This picture (thank you Yatt) which we took when we last saw her on or about the 15.6.2010 ie about two weeks prior to Dalilah leaving to perform her Umrah. It was a very quick meeting at her house, we chatted, we ate cakes prepared by Kay and we hugged and ask forgiveness from each other...Dalilah's pesan that will always be in my mind is to always seek forgiveness from people. In fact the text message that we got from her husband yesterday and just now was for us to forgive her.....

We sort of felt that we were not going to see each other anymore after her Umrah, and that was exactly what she uttered before we bade goodbye that petang....but, just now  I saw her lying on the hospital bed, she looked like she was just sleeping, and very calm. She was waiting for that moment, I knew because the past few months she only slept 1/3 of the night, the rest will be filled with zikir and solats...

I couldn't see her at her final resting place, so I kissed her goodbye, read Yaassin and saw her off on the kereta mayat at HKL just now. Good bye Dalilah, may Allah place you amongst the righteous, I will deeply miss you.....

Please see to read more about Dalilah aka Raden Galoh....

Friday 16 July 2010

Snapshots of Kuching!

Cucuk Benderam, served at the Branch
Nasi Campur for lunch...Ikan Tenggiri cooked in loads daun kunnit sliced and ayam fried with loads of serai and fresh cillis, and of course pucuk paku goreng...sedaap!
The hunt for Kek Lapis Sarawak...look at this variesties to taste, I setteled for "Lumut" which is the Kek Lapis version of "green" Red Velvet Cake. Apparently in it are Nestum, yumms! And, Cheese Oreo and Cheese Walnut! 
And guess what? They used Golden Churn Butter....sucker!
The Kek Lapis are home industries in a kampung that opposite Sungai Sarawak, accessable by boat or road....the city from the Kek Lapis kampung!
Then, we adjouned to Pasar Satok....I lurve lurve this it was the hunt for Terubuk Masin! and see, what I also found at the pasar!
Ikan Terubuk Masin, I didn't get any as I still hadn't cooked the dried fish and sotong and all that I got from KK and I still hev one Terubuk Masin in the freezer!
Some buah that you should blacnh in hot water and eat it on its own or with sambal belacan.
Pucuk Paku!
Cabe' Gronong, pedas and apparently nicer than the ordinary red chillies....I bought them!
Buah Mengkudu or Noni!
Bettle Nut or Pinang....I have not seen this for a long time already!
Life is very casual in Kuching, and especially in this wet market....a Mak Andam doing up a face of the owner of a vegetable was light entertainment for me....
And she malu! The people there are very very kind and warm...and they kep asking me to try this and that vegetable! I ended up buying Terung Assam and Batange Keladi, all prepared and ready to be cooked Assama Rebus!
After Satok, we looked for Mee must not leave Kuching without eating this delicious noodle!
The noodle is tossed with this oil, soya sauce and chilli paste...the preparation is similar to that of Mee Sedap Goreng!
Mee Kolok with its Soup accompaniment....I can never get enough of this! And I had a cup of black Nescafe and later another glass of Teh O Ais.....burp!
Then, we strolled along the city and found this souvenir shop...nice!
And what's Kuching without having a bowl of Laksa Sarawak! It's akin to Laksa Johor or Mee Kari but has this peculiar taste of black pepper and spices. Finished a bowl of this for dinner at Rajah Brooke Cafe.
I'm not a fan of Teh Tarik, but this one has the right combo of everything.....
Rajah Brooke Cafe!
Meal on the plane....Satay Ayam with Nasi Goreng and Sambal Kacang...I slurped the Sambal Kacang....never tasted such nice Sambal Kacang that is not home cooked! 
Yup, Kuching's Best Beats....would be her food, food and food...and the people are super nice and pretty and fluffed up (gebu) like Kek Lapis!

I had a short trip to Kuching to do a training to the guys there, and my....I have to make another trip, soon. The place is full of wonders and treasures and the colonial remains are heavily felt there! Enjoy the pictures, while I prepare the last update on KK and coming next would be Colombo....another meeting that requires me to join...can't wait, can't wait!

Monday 12 July 2010

Breathtaking Kinabalu Park!

View from where you will climb to the top on Mt Kinabalu!

Aesthetic Tree Monopole...I spotted this, this where telecommunications antennas are placed!

Luwagu Restaurant, managed by Sutera Harbour Hotels and Resort, this was where we had our lunch.

I am not an adventurous person who loves to stroll the trails in a forest, but this can never get enough of it! During this trip, with six children tagging along, I only managed to stroll along the Botanical Gardens, where you find many different species of orchids...the weather there was cooling with the smell of fresh herbals...the weather reminds me of Aberystwyth in summer!

Next up will be Kota Kinabalu and Pulau Manukan!

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