Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Passing the Culinary Test

I owe it to the Malaysian Society for encouraging me to research and try out new recipes. Otherwise I'd be sticking to what I know. Nerve-wrecking as it is during the cooking process and the final judgement, it can be quite satisfying to see people having second helpings.

Disclaimer: This post contains photos of food. Typically Asian/Malaysian, so bear with me.

Passing the Culinary Test by rachlyf

Passing the Culinary Test, a photo by rachlyf on Flickr.
Above is the Nasi Briyani (or Briyani Rice in English) I made for that night. I didn't make it from scratch (I got a Biryani Rice Mix). Two pots of rice for my first try. Part of it is based on the agak-agak (Malay word for 'estimation') instinct and hence I probably have to fish it out from my memory the next time I try it out.

Check out the rest of our delights.

Roti Canai
Chicken Curry

Kuih Bakar
Our food for the Mamak night event have been approved and deemed delicious. I think we did a great job!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Bright Shiny Slate and Plate

When you celebrate New Years (and have a sleepover) with a group of good cooks, you know you're in for  a few days of gastronomic pleasure. I concurred that on the fleeting seconds hovering between the new year and the old, full from a large dinner and ready for dessert.

Charlene and Diba were the chefs for our New Years Eve celebration, with two roasted Empire Chickens, roasted parsnips and carrots, potatoes, gravy and lasagne. 

Charlene's Empire Chicken
Don't they look delicious?
Diba's lasagne
Later on, we had chocolate puds, made from a recipe that I found. The centre of the puds are molten and gooey, although the recipe could do well with some tweaking. Because it had to be hot out of the oven, it was a group effort to get our sugar fix.


After playing a round of an amusing board game and greeting in the New Year by watching the fireworks of London flicker on the screen, we moved on to the cheesecake baked by yours truly. I was pleasantly surprised that it got great response. That made my day!

Over the next few days, the other cooks took charge, and we pretty much had a considerably relaxed time lazing about at home. Good day to start the new year since that's when your state of mind returns to point zero.

Afiq's Tuna and Potato
While at this point I cannot be sure that the new year would definitely turn out significantly better than the last, I suppose little moments of bliss and a full, satisfied stomach helps get us through these troubling times.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Annoyance of the New Bus Routes

Source of photo can be found here.
There is a new bus route in Bowthorpe. The usual buses have been replaced by a supposedly faster one which bypasses the hospital and other stops. Unfortunately that includes the one near ours.

According to the bus company, they have conducted a survey to gain the bus travelling statistics in the area as well as talked to people. They claim the bus helps students get into the university faster. Who, I wonder, have they been talking to? I don't know but they sure are not students who are representative of UEA.

No buses means more walking. We could take a bus to get closer but it won't be driving into the university.

All the while we have been relying on the bus services to get in; that was the reason we moved there in the first place. While I do appreciate a walk now and then, I have not made the universal "beginning-of-the-year" resolution of maintaining a walking regime. Especially not in this chilly weather. Especially when I have an annual bus pass.

bus (1)
Source of photo can be found here
The timetables are rough on students wanting to go into the university. The fact that it only runs during term time makes the it less attractive.

My stress-o-meter has been relatively high lately. I wonder why.

This decision is still under review, they said, although I doubt they would do anything about it too soon. Until then I shall bite my lip and brace the cold. Spring will be a beautiful welcome at this point.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Edinburgh, the fringe city


Edinburgh, the fringe city

By Rachael Lum

Rachael Lum bravely investigates Edinburgh’s literary past following its ghostly streets and its famous authors’ old haunts to discover both the light and the dark side of Scotland’s cultural capital.
Full article can be found here

Published in Concrete, UEA's Independent Student Newspaper.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bye Bye

I am breaking tradition this year. Normally, I create a montage of memories that I have gathered over the year and compile them into a written reminder of what I've been through. I have had to take a break from blogging for a bit to get my head around things that cannot be controlled.

Yes, if there's one thing I learnt this year, it's that sometimes things just happen. No matter what you do to control or avoid it, they just happen.

My family has had a rough year in Malaysia. If they can be so strong after the distress of four misfortunes and three operations, I will do the same here.

One year in a song. Such a touching video.


Here's to my two grandmas, aunt and a five-year-old relative. May you rest in peace.

And may you, my readers, always remind your family and friends just how much they mean to you, even if it is through a kind gesture, a hug, a smile, a phone call, a message, a letter or a postcard.