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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Gallimaufry#10

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

Bauhinia Kockiana

Daytime moon

Lunch   Pad Nam Prik Pao Talay
The name is a bit of  a mouthful but this Thai stir-fry is really amazing. 
 
Koi pond in our condo  one of my favourite spots


Economy rice
Economy rice, as the name implies, is a cheap and fast meal option outside of home. Economy rice stalls typically consist of a case/table containing anywhere from 10-15 troughs of cooked food, including meat, vegetables, eggs and tofu dishes.


Here's how it works ...
You fill up a plate with white rice. Then you proceed to pile on as much or as little dishes as you want.  Next, you show the vendor your selections and they calculate the cost based on the number of dishes you have taken. 

The dishes are simple and affordable

That's how Malaysian students sustain themselves through college.

Two desert rose variants


Toll booths

My Corner of the World

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Of Hairy Fruits and Stinky Beans...

Rambutan



The literal translation of rambutan from Malay is “hairy,” and as you can see, the fruit is covered in “hair.”

Langsat and rambutan


Langsat and stinky beans

A video about stink beans aka petai by Mark Wiens


Langsat and longan
It is easy to confuse longan with langsat.

Longan

Longan literally translates as "dragon's eye" in Cantonese. Also known as 'mata kucing' which means "cat's eye" in Malay, the fruit is native to South East Asia. The longan is so named because the fruit, when shelled, resembles an eyeball (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard, and of an enamel-like, lacquered black. The fruit is edible, extremely sweet, juicy and succulent. It is also considered the poorer cousin of the lychee.

My Corner of the World

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!
My Corner of the World

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