Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordful/ Wordless Wednesday - Statue of Fisher Girl

This statue has been one of the interesting spots I had visited in Zhuhai last year. Zhuhai literally means Pearl of the Sea. The Statue of fisher girl has become the landmark in Zhuhai, located at the scenic Xianglu Bay. She holds a pearl high in the air with both hands in an elegant pose, admiring its bright luster that also symbolizes the brightness of Zhuhai.

According to legend, this statue depicts a beautiful fairy maiden who fell in love with a young fisherman. He believed some fabricated rumors and asked the girl for the bracelet she wore as proof of her love. Although she knew she would die if the bracelet were removed from her body, she still took it off and presented it to prove her deep love for him. The girl died eventually and the fisherman was bitterly remorseful, crying all day and night. An Immortal named Jiuzhou Elder was moved by their love and helped the young man resuscitate the girl. They offered this huge precious pearl to their benefactor during their marriage ceremony as a token of their appreciation for his kindness.

First Commenter

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mooncake Festival

As the mooncake festival approaches, the mooncake frenzy is gaining momentum again. The delightful Mooncake Festival falls on every 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and this year, it falls on Oct 3rd. Incase you're not aware, mooncake is a Chinese pastry traditionally eaten during the Mooncake Festival.

I happened to pass by one of the popular bakeries in the city while on my way to work this morning. With many fanciful mooncakes available, eventually I succumbed to temptations and couldn't resist buying myself a box. The mooncakes used to cost much less, but now they are incredibly expensive. My kids have been craving for these sweet treats for weeks and not wanting to dissapoint them, I purchased a box to satisfy their sweet cravings. After all, it's only once a year you get to savour this sweet delicacies.

Just looking at these sinfully delicious mooncakes is enough to add extra inches to my waistline. And with age catching up, I only consumed moderate amounts of these sweet delights as they're notoriously high in sugar and fat.

Lotus paste flavour

Each year big commercial mooncake makers would introduce a wide array of flavours, including dragon fruit, mango, green tea, durian, honeydew, water chestnut, soya bean, chocolate and some names that I've never even heard of. Despite the endless choices available, nothing beats the traditional lotus paste flavour which usually hits the best-selling list yearly. It happens to be one of my hubby's favourite of all time too.

Most traditional mooncakes have an inscription on top consisting of the Chinese characters to symbolize "longevity" or "harmony".

This is pandan lotus. The aroma of pandan is there but it was way too sweet for my liking.

Golden Jade Light with 1 yolk
Some mooncakes may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its center to symbolize the full moon. I prefer mooncakes with yolks which are undeniably tastier than the plain ones.

Pearly Jade Mooncake
My kids loved the pearly jade flavour. It looks pretty and it has a strong pandan flavour too. Unfortunately, the excessive sugar somewhat spoiled its flavour.

This is Moonlight shadow and it's a wonderful combination of chocolate and cheese filling. The result is delicious, delectable and surprisingly, not too sweet. It is so yummy that after having one piece, my kids find it hard to stop! I love this flavour too, so this was an excellent find. The mooncakes certainly go well with my favourite green tea of course.

Mooncakes usually come in tastefully designed boxes as these sweet treats make perfect gifts during the Mooncake festival season.

Have you savoured this year's mooncake and what's your favourite flavour?

First Commenter - Foong

Saturday, September 26, 2009

PhotoHunt - Twisted

This week's photohunt theme is twisted.

This twisted tree lives near my house. It creates a mess of the front yards, with all the dropped twisted twigs. But they are so interesting to look at and I'm a huge lover of twisted lines like this. Each branch is uniquely twisted. Since the leaves fell off, its lovely silhouette has amazed me everytime I passed by. The twisted treetops are just about to grow into a full circle of greenery again, so today I captured a picture before the green leaves start to appear.

This tree trunk is one of those in which it grows in a very intriguing twisted manner along the path walk in the nature park. The twisted lines will grow to the ground and then root there creating twisted roots to this huge tree.

This is another old and twisted looking tree trunk which has been growing for years near my home. I thought this was a very odd, yet interesting looking twisted trunk with twisting and curving branches. They seem to twist and curl as they mature.

First Commenter - Ayie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Delicious Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is undoubtedly one of the favourite staple food among locals and tourists alike. It used to be a popular breakfast dish but these days, it is now available almost round-the-clock.

There are many versions available but I prefer the basic ones which involves rice cooked in coconut milk, served with crispy, deep fried anchovies, fried peanuts, a wedge of hard-boiled egg, cucumber slices and of course, the tasty sambal.

Perhaps one of the best that has come my way would be the outlet at Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. It's a simple meal, but the chef’s skilful cooking methods truly enhanced the flavours to create a sinfully delicious dish. With the fragrant aromatic of screwpine leaves and the right blend of spices, every spoonful was a delight. Believe me, my kids could have platefuls of this tantalizing dish. Good nasi lemak is hard to come by these days and I believe it does not solely lie in the ingredients but in the cooking tips and tricks as well.

Hungry now? I am. Enjoy your breakfast this morning.

First Commenter - Reanaclaire

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Hibiscus Rosa Sinesis

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, also known as Chinese Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia. I've been growing a few varieties of hibiscus at the moment and they're actively growing and blooming in my garden.

First commenter - Wenn

Friday, September 18, 2009

PhotoHunt - Upside-Down

This week's PhotoHunt theme involves upside-down.

The shots were taken from a moving coach on the way from Germany to Switzerland. As the coach was constantly moving, most of the pictures captured were apparently blurry and out of focus. However, these images are some of my best shots and I think this seems like an appropriate choice to share for this week's photohunt.

As can be seen in the pictures, the water is perfectly still and the upside- down visions look almost as the real thing. I could actually rotate this picture upside- down and no one would even noticed the difference. The smoothness of the crystal clear water really helped to accentuate the actual view!

The last two shots show the upside- down reflections of blue sky and snow-capped mountains. The upside -down subjects are clearly visible too and combined perfectly with the actual scenery.

First Commenter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ramadan Bazaar @ Butterworth, Penang

As the month of Ramadan enter its third week, many have started preparing for Hari Raya by shopping at the bazaars. I've always look forward to Ramadan as this is the only time when traditional Malay delicacies and sweet delights are sold in abundance.

Multiple stalls are operated nationwide at the side of the busy main road selling anything under one roof.

There are over 100 stalls here selling not only tasty delights but also traditional outfits such as songket, songkok, baju Melayu, shoes, scarfs and accessories

Many food stalls were set up as early as 4.00pm and the place is usually congested at 5p.m. after office hours. Just about anything is sold here, from fried and honey-barbequed chicken to chicken rice of various types, fried and soupy noodles, the provincial nasi dagang, satay, murtabak, otak-otak and various kuih as well as colourful drinks.

Everything looked so interesting and some temptations were just impossible to resist. With its pungent aroma, my knees got all wobbly and I couldn't resist buying some of my favourite delights at the bazaar.

The colourful spread of kuih looks enticing.

Many delightful arrays of homemade kuih were sold which are seldom seen on normal days. Kuih stalls are usually the first thing people make a beeline for and normally the first to finish.

For rice dish, the famous ones include Nasi Ayam Berempah, Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Minyak, Nasi Campur and Nasi Dagang.

a wide variety of scrumptious looking curries and sambal

These Murtabak, crepes stuffed with egg, chicken/beef/mutton and onions is another lip smacking affair in the bazaar.

The taste of the otak-otak is completely out of this world and I usually buy them in bulk. It is a fish based food made by mixing fish paste, usually mackerel with a mixture of hot spices including chillies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemon grass and coconut milk. The mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf, grilled over a charcoal fire.

variety of exotic drinks to quench your thirst

I've been frantically eating lots of these yummy delicacies over the past few weeks. I wonder what my cholesterol level reads today.

First Commenter - Mariuca
Meow Diaries

Friday, September 11, 2009

PhotoHunt - Electric

During a working trip to San Diego a few years ago, my hubby was fortunate to have an opportunity to visit the exhibition of electric vehicles. Several electric cars and plug- in hybrids ranging from vintage to modern classic sports cars were on display, drawing big crowds of car lovers. Being a car enthusiast, my hubby just couldn't stop admiring those gorgeous electric cars and taking pictures of them.

I believe most of us might not know much about electric cars so, I surfed the net for some information. The article at this page describes the following:

Electric and hybrid cars both use technology that is designed to decrease the use of gasoline fuel for powering car engines. Electric cars are totally electric, meaning that they must be plugged in and charged, and that the range of the car is only as far as the charge. Hybrid use a mixture of gas and electric power to create a gas efficient partially electric car with a less limited range.

First Commenter