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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Gallimaufry#9

Just a bunch of random photos and thoughts from my corner of the world.


Ais Kacang
Ais Kacang aka Air Batu Campur (ABC)    a Malaysian dessert literally translated from Malay as "bean ice". The icy dessert is made of shaved ice with a serving of red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, roasted peanuts and cubes of agar-agar as common ingredients. A final topping of evaporated milk, condensed milk or coconut milk is drizzled over the mountain of ice along with your choice of red rose syrup or sarsi syrup or both!  Yumm! So wickedly delish and refreshing on a hot day! Traditionally, a hand-cranked contraption (top left corner) was used to shave the ice. These days, the ice shavers are motorised.

A mural of a typical kampong (village) scene of villagers enjoying their ice kacang.
Back in those days, the ice kacang vendor pedaled his tricycle cart and roved in villages and suburbs.

The mural above brings back so many happy memories of my childhood when an ice kacang treat after a game of Hopscotch was the highlight of our life. The ice kacang man would park his cart at the playground in our neck of the woods and his presence attracted all the kids in the neighbourhood like a magnet!
Growing up, when we weren't in school, we spent half the time outside, playing games like Jump-Rope, Tag, Simon Says, Blindman's Buff, etc. under our hot Malaysian sun. Haha, sometimes we would lose track of time and when we weren't home by dinner time, some angry mom would come looking for her kids, waving her rotan (cane)! And we would all scatter home like scared rabbits!
Yep, my sisters and I did get the occasional good ol' fashioned ass-whooping!


Messages of gratitude to our frontliners.

These photos were taken at my vaccination center.

Skywatch from my balcony

From our condo's community vegetable patch
I never knew that eggplant flowers were so pretty!

Leaf cutter ants
Dinner   Thai sweet and sour fish
Recipe   https://friedchillies.com/what-to-cook/asian/thai-style-sweet-sour-fish/

Ever seen a snail on top of a papaya tree?!

A random thought ...

ABBA is back!

Can you believe it has been 40 years since? 

It's like they never left.

I cried tears of joy.

What a gift in these troubling times!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Mooncakes

The Mid-Autumn festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival in Malaysia, is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month to mark the end of the harvest season.
The festival is celebrated with a big feast where friends and families gather to enjoy mooncakes and kids play with colourful lanterns. The moon, a symbol of wholeness, unity and harmony in Chinese traditions, is the brightest and fullest on that day.

There are a few legends associated with this festival but my favourite folklore is the one told by my grandma when we were kids.
According to the story, there was an uprising in China against the Mongolian rulers during the 14th century. As mass gatherings were banned, planning a rebellion was impossible. Secret messages were then hidden inside mooncakes giving the exact date and time of the revolt against the Mongolians. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty. To celebrate their victory, eating mooncakes has become an important part of the festival.

I was also told another version of this folktale. Cryptic messages were incorporated onto the surfaces of the designs of the mooncakes (which came in packages of four), as a simple puzzle or mosaic. To decipher the message, each of the four mooncakes was cut into four parts. The resulting 16 pieces were reassembled to reveal the message. To destroy the evidence, the mooncakes were eaten immediately.

You can read more about the festival here and here.

Then there is the Legend of the Moon Goddess and her rabbit here.

My Corner of the World

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Gallimaufry#8

Just a bunch of random photos from my corner of the world.

Skywatch from my balcony


 Favourite Malaysian tea-time snacks
Bottom left — sesame bomb      Bottom right  cucur udang (prawn fritter)


 Fritters made of battered prawns and chives served with a sweet chili sauce

Curry Puffs

Hidden rubies

Mother Nature's gems that go unnoticed

Yellow vinca

Thai jasmine

Pomegranate


My Corner of the World

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Misplaced Flowers

Some people say a weed is just a misplaced flower.

If you just care to look closely and learn more about these unloved plants, you might appreciate their beauty and virtues.

Inconspicuous and easily overlooked ...

Woody borreria


smaller than a pea ...

Untamed ...
Billy goat weed

Coat buttons



Weeds are flowers too,

once you get to know,

them.

A.A. Milne

My Corner of the World

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Gallimaufry#7

Just a bunch of random photos from my corner of the world.

Crepe Myrtle

Dumplings for dinner
Legend has it that if you don’t eat dumplings during Dongzhi/Winter Solstice (traditional festival in China) your ears will freeze and fall off!

 Sky watch from my balcony


Food truck 


Cendol  dessert comprising shaved ice, worm-like green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, red beans and palm sugar syrup.

I can still recall the look on Cousin Victor's face when we told him the green jelly strands in the Cendol that he was enjoying happily were worms! We were kids then and Cousin Victor from Australia was visiting Malaysia for the first time.  His face turned as green as the jelly "worms"!!



more food trucks ...


Mangosteen season!

A loud whir and the smell of freshly cut grass ...
Strapped with an engine on his back and donning a large hat and protective gear to shield him from flying debris and our scorching Malaysian sun, the grass cutter is seen here from my balcony trimming brush and square foot upon square foot of grass on our condo grounds.
Sometimes, he gets a little help from a friend.

My Corner of the World