Sunday, April 23, 2017

Violin practice

My handmade German violin
My teacher tells me my violin can sing. Which means the bad music is solely my responsibility. Here is my violin taking a break from making bad music. Rest time in between chromatic scales at a metronome speed of 100. Nothing faster cos my old fingers get into a tangle if its pushed to its limit. Just as well I haven't given up my day job. I'll be a pauper if I had to rely on music to earn my keep.

Things I've learnt since I took up the violin.
1. Its much harder than the piano.
2. Practice needs to be regular and under-practice ( is there such a word?)is unmask more easily in this instrument.
3. You mustn't press your fingers too hard because you will get some cramps. And also you can't lift and move as fast as you should.
4. Invest in a mute. The rubber ones don't last long. Mine has broken into two last week. Not from overuse.
5.The blasted metronome is a useful took to get better.

Restaurant Ban Lee

The chicken rice seller. ( Was early today)
After church this morning, we decided to head to Ban Lee, which is on the way back home. A slight detour and we arrived within 5 minutes from church. Sometimes the chicken rice seller is late to hang his chickens up, he would be in the kitchen sorting out his chickens. Lucky for us today,he was early so we didn't have to wait for him. The business is good, just count the number of chickens he has hanging at his stall. And he also has just as many in the kitchen at the back of the restaurant. If you come slightly later, there is usually a queue at his stall.
Chicken with some pork and cucumbers
I'm biased. I'm going to rate this chicken rice a 6/10. The chicken could have a bit more taste. It's soft enough but quite a bit of bones and the sauce lacks taste. Also, a thicker sauce would be good.
The rice ( carbs I know)
The rice looks good in this picture. It isn't as fragrant as I would like it. So I'm assuming there's less fat involved in the cooking process. Which is good for my diet, but less satisfying to eat as a meal. They don't serve ginger sauce with this. Neither do we have the thick dark black soya sauce.

The best chicken rice is from Raub, Pahang. The mother buys it for us when we're home and it tastes so nice you would want to eat every last bit of the rice up. That's a 10/10.

University Challenge

I absolutely absolutely adore watching University Challenge. Been hooked for slightly over a year now and I watch the older episodes on youtube. ( Thank you for uploading them ) Just yesterday I came across this Christmas episode starring Mary Archer. I thought she looked familiar. Turns out she's Dame Mary Archer, wife of Jeffrey Archer the famous book write.

Am embarrassed to say I never knew much about Lady Archer. She's famous in her own right. Here she is seen representing her alma mater Oxford where she studied chemistry. She is seen here with her team which she captains.  She has brains and a CV which will make most if not all envious.

She comes across as quietly intelligent and elegant. No mention of her marriage to Jeffrey Archer in her introduction on University Challenge. Which is nice, she is famous in her own right.

This was her brief introduction "Scientist Dame Mary Archer, 71, who specialises in solar energy has held academic posts at Oxford and Cambridge, was the head of an NHS trust, and is the chair of the science museum."

Proper Porridge

Minced pork porridge and dumpling ( Both Yum)
We had porridge for dinner. And one dumpling. Now this is the type of porridge I like. Can you see the consistency of it in this picture? Slightly more watery compared to the earlier porridge this morning. It has the obligatory minced pork bits. Yes in different sizes. Tick Tick Tick. They ran out of  yu char kueh  when we arrived but I wasn't upset. I like my porridge plain like this without much fuss.

The dumpling was also very nice. The rice itself has a slight saltiness and the entire experience leaves you satisfied. No further sauce needed. Unlike some other dumplings. ( Where you need to add kampung Koh chillie sauce.
The porridge stall
This porridge stall is actually a food truck which can be found at Batu 3, Jalan Ipoh. Near a tyre shop. It was previously along the main road and readily seen when you drive pass but due to major construction around the area, they have moved inwards. Better. Less dusty although the seating arrangement is less I believe. We arrived at the peak period and had a bit of a wait for a seat. Roughly 10 minutes although it felt longer. Worth the wait certainly.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Currently reading this.

Am interested in knowing whether anyone else has read this book.

Ful Lai Dim Sum (富涞饱饺点心茶楼)

A huge selection on a single tray
 Yay we found a dim sum place which serves fried dim sum, We have chosen recently to no longer go to Mee Bon, after served shoddily and gotten unwashed plates being palmed off as washed ones. And when pointed out, no apology just a quick change to more plates without so much as an acknowledgement that something wasn't right.

So here is our first visit to this Dim Sum place at Manjalara, Kepong. we arrived at 9:00pm a bit of a late start but at least I got a 3 km run done before this feast. I like the airy seating arrangement. And when we sat down, this gorgeous tray arrived and we were at lost which to choose.

When we eventually picked a few, yet another tray came along with a totally different array of dum sum and finally a third tray came within a space of 2 minutes. Spoilt for choice.
Chicken porridge
 I wanted porridge and this is it shown above. It was thick with chicken shreds which I don't like. I like my porridge  on the watery side with minced pork bits in different sizes. So Mee Bon wins in the porridge category.
Having our fried dim sum cut by a pair of scissors 

This was one of the fried dim sum we chose and out came the scissors to cut them into smaller potions. Nice:)
Chillie sauce and brown sauce as perfect condiments
And we had bitter gourd dim sum too. A little bit of veg to get the bowels moving. When we got home after this big meal, I had a lie down and was zonked for a good 3 hours before waking up looking for more food.

Sarah, Duchess of York

Linda Cierach seen adjusting the train with the help of the bride's father Ronald Ferguson
The next royalty on the scene was Sarah Ferguson, as she was known before marrying Prince Andrew. Sarah was fun and lively and labelled as a breath of fresh air when she came onto the scene. Prince Andrew and her appeared to get along famously. You can watch a youtube video of them just before their marriage in an interview and they looked like such fun.

Sarah grew up with the royals. She and Andrew were playmates at polo matches. Her father, Ronald Ferguson was Prince Charles polo manager. She apparently got along famously with the Queen. And Diana into some famous antics like dressing like policewomen and gate-crashing a party or the time they poked their brollies onto the bums of some folks at Ascot.

She chose Lindka Cierach to design her wedding gown. This looked more structured than Diana's it had a boned panelling giving a neater figure to Sarah. Sarah also reportedly lost 26 pounds before the wedding. Her train wasn't as long and it had nice beading with the initials A and S intertwined which was a nice touch. She also entered the church with flowers covering her tiara and exited minus the flowers, signifying her entrance as a commoner and exiting as royalty. This tiara unlike Diana's was not a family heirloom. It was new and bought from Garrards from the Queen as a gift.

Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first royalty I was exposed to as a child. She shot to fame when she got engaged and for her shapely legs shown (in silhouette of course) in a series of pictures taken at the then kindergarten she was working in, Young England.

Married at 19 years old. No wonder we were all mesmerised by Diana, she was at her peak of beauty and it certainly helped that she was very photogenic and came across as shy and innocent. I bought many books on Diana. This was before the time of internet being readily available and no gorgeous titbits of gossips like those in the Royaldish forum. We relied on magazines. New Idea was my go-to for information. Her tour of Australia shortly after she got William was a copy I read and reread many times, even bringing the magazine to school. Her dresses were striking and she had lovely hats some with plumes of feathers and some with striking shapes tilted at the back of her head all in gorgeous matching colours.

Here is an earlier shot of Diana with her original hairstyle which was copied widely by many.
The iconic wedding dress
Every girl's fairy tale princess. Large puffy sleeves, a big veil, a tiara ( she wore her Spencer tiara) and a very long train which looked amazing from the aerial view inside the cathedral. Designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, husband and wife team ( who have since split-up) relatively unknown at that time, they were given the herculean task of designing the wedding dress of the wife of the future king of England. No pressure of course.I think they did a great job. This shot was taken after the wedding, so at closer range we see the intricate design. This was missed when she exited the carriage, it was a grand scene marred slightly by the creases from the carriage ride. Those bridesmaids ( Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Indian Hicks ) had to work hard at getting the train out, arranging it and making sure the creases weren't obvious.

Tsujiri at Solaris

The extensive menu
We went to Cold Storage at Solaris and as the car turned to the left towards the parking area, we saw this bustling corner shop with nice decor and quite a number of people looking happy. And so after the buying of the original item which we wanted we walked across to explore.
An example of what you can have. Many more choices
 Tsujiri is tea-based desert shop. A wide selection but as I was in the mood for savoury having not had dinner at 9pm, I opted small. It was lady's night i.e. buy one cone ice cream and get the second for free. A good idea and we chose that.
Green tea ice-cream
This was mine, I licked it into this shape. The green tea is slightly bitter and took getting used to. A bit of a shock to the system when you lick and taste bitterness rather than sweetness. I'm going to try the ice-shavings the next visit.
No. 2, Jalan Solaris 5, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thursday, April 20, 2017

dinner 芙蓉蛋

Egg Foo Yong
I love egg done this way. It's an omelette which has onions, chillies vegetables and if you're lucky some ham with it and it goes with a bowl of white rice. Teamed with piping hot soup this is a good meal to make me happy. This was dinner on Monday evening at a local restaurant called Restaurant Teck Wah at Taman Batu, which is off Jalan Kuching. It's a corner shop and parking is usually hard to find nearby but this week something odd happened, there were no cars about and we parked just beside the place.

I guess the people may now choose to eat at home rather than out because its cheaper. We decided to sit in the non-air-con side of the place. The evening was a little bit cooler than expected because it had just finished raining 30 minutes before. We had the ceiling fan so it was quite nice.

Rawa Thosai

The plan was to have rawa thosai for dinner. And nothing else. I ended up eating glutinous rice a good hour after this for supper.  Better luck dieting tomorrow:)

A fleeting view of Kajang

Taken at the traffic lights.
I believe this was my third visit to Kajang. The first was for a Hari Raya open house many years ago. The second was to attend a maternal mortality meeting at the local Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah and the third was this Tuesday. I've seen three different bits of Kajang now. And what strikes me is the amount of activity there. Construction plastic boards in the middle of the main road heralding progress ( hopefully) to come. Heavy traffic even at 9:00am on a Tuesday morning.(Traffic just like KL) And the amount of shops and the diverse things they sell, tells me Kajang is bustling with activity.