Sunday, April 19, 2015

Throwback Entry ~ Canteen & Childhood Food

The way my better half and I give pocket money to our kids, we don't give it on daily basis. We give them monthly allowance which they use to buy daily food at the canteen, buy their phone prepaid top up or other stuff they want. We will still cover their education and other needs like books, stationery and kawasan2 sewaktu denganya. Should they need more than what they receive, they need to present a case to us and work for it. We are trying to teach them to live within their means so they can be better prepared for real life.

So, last night during dinner, we asked them about canteen food, whether they experience price increase. We read somewhere some canteen operators increased the price of their food and gave GST as the reason. Wanted to see if their school is affected. Alhamdulilah, the school still maintain the same price. Both of them then shared what food is good to eat and what are just big No No!

It reminded me of the childhood and canteen I consumed when I was in school. Unfortunately, on canteen food, my memory is failing me, somehow I don't remember much memory on primary school. I went to SRK Kelana Jaya and all I remembered was the hawker outside the school that sell junk food aka jajan. I don't remember about the canteen food at all.

However, for secondary school, I went to SM Seaport before I entered MRSM. I told my kids I was fortunate as the canteen did serve descent food at affordable price. They had like food court concept. I love the Mee Kari there. Next to it was the Yong Tau Foo stall. I usually buy Mee Kari and then go to Yong Tau Foo stall and buy 1 or 2 dumplings. I will request for the dumplings to be added directly to the Mee Kari. I usually eat a lot at the canteen since highly likely I don't get to eat lunch at home. Both of my parents were working so if I wish to eat, I have to cook myself. Hence makan kenyang2 then balik rumah :).

Many may say MRSM food is bad. However, as far as I can recall, it was not too bad. I remember I love the Friday menu the most, Ayam Bumia with special rice, I think that's the name. Of course, Friday is ice cream day so makin best! I also love Soto Pasar Gesel. It is still the best soto I have ever eaten. I think many of my MRSM mate can vouch to that.

I then went to college in MSM Trolak and what I remembered the most was Kuey Teow Hailam with chicken. There's this couple who sold goreng2 food and I remembered how I enjoyed their Kuey Teow Hailam. They also sell Nasi Ayam so I requested for the chicken from Nasi Ayam to be added on top of the Kuey Teow Hailam. Yes, people, I love to mix and match my food. Somehow, I was not bored of this food and I ate it almost everyday unless I am broke.

Of course, I have childhood food I miss till this day. I was brought up in Kelana Jaya and back then they were lots of food which I enjoyed. Everytime after kelas agama, I will buy goreng pisang from this Pak Cik whom all of us call him Pak Cik Goreng Pisang (duh!!). He also sell Cucur Udang and whenever I ordered the goreng pisang, I would ask the Pak Cik to add the sambal for Cucur Udang. Here I am, mix and match my food again.

If you are from Kelana Jaya, you should be familiar with Goreng Pisang garam (the only goreng pisang I know that sprinkle salt before handing it over to customer), Nasi Lemak Mak Cik Muka Masam selling next to 7-11. Though this Mak Cik is not so mesra alam (hence the nickname), she always give generous portion of everything like sotong, ayam and of course rice!. With the price we paid, the portion is super huge!. This Mak Cik only opened her stall from 6pm onwards.

I also love Nasi Lemak Mak Cik Garang, near the SS6 PKNS Apartment. She only opened for breakfast. She operated her stall with her husband and daughter. Though she has them helping her, she don't really allow them to help her. She always wants to do things herself. And very the garang one! Her sambal was so awesome. And I love her sambal sotong as well.

There are also pasar malam food which I really miss. Mee Soto at Wak Soto stall which has the best sambal cili api ever, this sambal guarantees you to sweat like you are under the hot sun. I also remember vadey and idli which we call gerai anak dara. If you consume this while it's hot, it's one of the best food experience you'll ever get.

And how can I not include the Aunty Gemuk Kuey Teow, Lau Wan Kuey Teow, Lontong at Restoran Jaya among others. There was also Nasi Ayam bawah pokok near what used to be the building of Jerry's tuition center. Also Rojak in front of Giant lama.

My mouth water just by blogging this entry. I better stop now before this crave becomes unbearable. Haih!

So my ex-schoolmates, college mates and Kelana Jaya people, do you remember the food I listed above. I bet you do!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekend Wonders ~ How To Make Burger Patties

Maternity leave is a good time to catch up on many things. Catching up with cleaning, putting our home in order, all the TV series I may have missed, blogging and of course what I love doing the most, cooking!

For those who don't know what to cook this weekend, try to make your own burger patties. It was my first time trying to cook it. I referred to few recipes and decided to improvised to suit my own tastes, and the kids also....

I always prefer beef than chicken so for this one, I am sharing beef burger patties recipe. Beef is much simpler, chicken if not cooked well, it can get a bit dry and not so delicious. Please also note when I cook, I don't really use specific measurement, more like a secukup rasa kind of thing

Ingredients (To make 4 burgers)

500gm Beef, please choose the part when it combines the meat and the fat so the patties can be moist and juicy
3 Garlic
3 Shallots 
1 egg
Black Pepper
Paprika Powder
Anise (Jintan Manis) 
Worcestershire sauce
Soya Sauce

Step 1 

Mince the beef. Please avoid using blender as it may get too watery. Use the food mincer instead. If you don't have that (cause we don't) use the part that usually is used to blend the nuts. Sorry, I don't know what that part is called. When you buy blender, it will come with 2 main blending container, I used the small one

Step 2

Blend the garlic and shallots. Then mix that with black pepper, paprika powder, coriander and anise 

Step 3

Mix ingredients all including the beef and items in step 2. Make sure you mix in well with your fingers so all the spices are well segregated

Step 4

Mould the beef to burger shape. 

Step 5

You can choose to cook it either using pan or oven. We were hungry so I decided to pan fry it.

Step 6

Garnish it with buns, onions, salad, cucumber and tomatoes. Add cheese if you want to

Tada! The burger is now ready to be served. Do give it a try and share with me the outcome ya! 

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

See The World, Open Our Mind, Go Travel!

I love traveling. Every chance I have, I will try to fit traveling in my life itinerary though I do wish I can travel more. Many thoughts the moment you have kids, your traveling will be limited. I beg to differ to certain extend. Yes, of course financial level is key, however if we plan and do our budgeting well, it is still doable.

I still remember the first time I took my then 3 small children on an airplane. We have been planning that trip to Kuching for more than 6 months. We also took time to save money for the trip. Given our budget was not that large, we settled for 3 star hotel and took Air Asia. It was an eye opening trip for us.

Some of our traveling experience....

1. The Kuching trip. Back then, Air Asia has no seat booking facilities and we were not aware of that until we saw everyone running to the plane when announcement was made. Not knowing why people run, my better half just grabbed Ilham and run while I was walking super fast with my 2 girls. Apparently, everybody was running to book seats. If we don't do that, we may not get to sit together. I remembered my better half managed to book seats though he looked like he was about to faint due to the sprinting :). Traveling with 3 small children was not easy, however we managed to make the holiday enjoyable. From there we learned to improve the way we plan our holidays

2. Next, we had our first "abroad" holiday. Not that far, to Singapore. Still abroadlah kan. It was also the first time kids had their passport done and stamped. We decided to take the bus cause we can't afford to fly. It was quite taxing on us, kids were not that big that time. We had to all go down for immigration check together with our bags and then boarded the bus again after all that was done. We, however, enjoyed our time in Singapore. We went to Universal Studio, Night Safari and get to experience the Christmas Parade at Orchard Road. Halal food was a challenge but because we did our research and planned well, we stayed in the hotel near to halal food joint and MRT so that saved us a lot of time and money (and less stress!)

3. We then become more adventurous and of course has more money. We went to Australia, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast. We also learned that shopping for holiday packages are best done at MATTA Fair. We got really good deal and it was indeed an enjoyable holiday for us. Kids love all the theme parks and I enjoyed the beach. Again, because of good planning again, food was not an issue. We already know where to get ours.

4. Since the kids got bigger, my better half know it's the right time for us to go for holiday, just the two of us. We make it a point to go somewhere every year. We started with Bandung, then Ho Chi Minh, Singapore and in 2012, we did our Europe tour to 9 Western Europe countries. That was indeed an amazing experience. And last year, we went to London. We love London and we think we will make it a point to go there when we can.

5. So far, apart from Singapore and Australia, we have also taken the kids to Bali, Hong Kong, Krabi, UK and Paris. We also had 2 bigger group holidays where we took both of our parents to Medan and Ho Chi Minh.

6. Actually come to think of it, I started to take them traveling when they were really babies. Due to work commitment, I have to travel across the country to meet clients. Baby was still breastfeeding so everytime I travel, I take all my 3 kids with me. So they have been to all states in Malaysia by the time they were 5!

7. I have also been to few parts of US due to again, work commitment. Can't say I enjoy it though, not just because the traveling was due to work, also the stereotyping I faced by some of the people there just because I wear tudung. One waitress even asked a friend of mine while we were having dinner if I can speak English (pfffttt!!!). Every time I need to take domestic flight, I will be subjected to "random" checks by security. I guess I am not that random anymore. If I even want to go to US again for holiday, I will definitely consider San Fransisco and New York. I did not enjoy California including LA, Chicago, Boston and Wisconsin.

Why do we love traveling and encourage kids to travel?

1. It will teach them to respect other cultures. We are not the only one living in this world and with respect world will be a better place. I can see significant difference when we start to take our kids traveling. They tend to be more patient and able to accept different ways of doing things by people from different backgroud

2. They also become less choosy. When you travel especially abroad, you just have to settled with what you can afford. Current exchange rate is a challenge when we go to countries exchange rates are higher than ours. However, if we plan well, it is still manageable.

Now, traveling is much easier. Flights are more affordable, there's lots of hotel bookings portal which can compare prices before we decide where to stay, reviews we can read so we can plan well and also facilities like AirBnB so you can choose to live in a house or apartment which allow you to cook and clean. You will then save more money.

I always feel the best part about holiday is the planning part. Maybe I should consider that as a career. I can get paid to plan for people's holiday without having to go with them. I can book their hotels, prepare their itinerary and up to the point listing down place of interests and where to go....Hmmm....Sounds like a good proposition....

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