Too Spicy to Handle

4 Aug

The Habanero plant in our garden may not be the Habanero that we initially thought. Hubby says what we have is the scotch bonnet peppers instead, which are slightly sweet in the overall taste. If you’re not a pepper expert, it’s hard to tell them apart because these peppers are cousins. The only difference being the Habanero is about an inch bigger.

The spiciness or heat level of all peppers is measured according to the Scoville Scale in Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and both these species are right up there on the chart. But there seem to be contradicting readings I see on the internet.

One site listed our scotch bonnet pepper at 445,000 SHU and the Habanero at 260,000 SHU only while another site says both are on the same level at 100,000–350,000 SHU. Well, it doesn’t matter which exact reading, our scotch bonnet certainly burns the tongue and even fingers if we are not cutting them carefully! Sometimes even the green ones are enough to numb the senses, what more eating the ripe red ones.

Scotch bonnet peppers are an excellent source of phytochemicals and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), iron, vitamin B, carotenoids, niacin, riboflavin, dietary fiber, flavonoids, and magnesium but I don’t eat them all the time. Too spicy to handle and too much to consume.

Puny green peppers towards the end, so plant #1 had to be cut down.

Hubby had to trim the first plant because it has grown too tall. At more than eight feet, it’s too taxing to produce plump healthy peppers. The puny harvest, evident in its loss in strength. Eventually, the plant was removed.

Plant #2 is out of control, growing tall and wide!

Now we get our supplies from the second and third plants. And the second plant has grown to become such a monstrous blob, it’s rather unsightly. It is now six feet tall, but its yield has been superb. We have had an abundance of scotch bonnet peppers and have been giving them away to friends because they’re too spicy for us to handle.

I Wanted Cookies

3 Aug

Last week, hubby and I were at our neighborhood grocery store to replenish our food when I suddenly felt I wanted cookies. We were standing in the baking aisle because hubby was looking at a new flour product. And the Betty Crocker cookie mix was staring at me.

I asked hubby if I should pick it up since Betty was calling out to me. I reasoned that he’s never baked cookies so far, and he was aghast that I considered Betty over him. I was vetoed on the purchase with him promising to bake a batch for me.

We then discovered why he’s never attempted to bake cookies all this while – the amount of sugar and butter needed was simply eye-popping! Subconsciously, we knew cookies require these two ingredients a fair bit, but never realized to what extend. Now we know.

The making of the giants. Too making to stack up

Although the 27 three and a half to four-inch cookies were very good, I think this will be the first and last time that we’re getting home-baked giant chocolate chip cookies.

A Proud Moment, Part 2

31 Jul

The completed DIY cafe now sits at the dining table and I find myself switching on the lights now and then to admire the handiwork. There’s a sense of satisfaction and joy when I do this.

Until now, I still find myself in awe of the tiny pieces that I had managed to put together. I’m glad M2 helped wherever she could since I don’t think I could have handled gluing the teeny-weeny props deftly on my own.

Plants that were so hard to make and glue up

The decor and overall ambiance of the compact cafe are very busy and packed with so many things. There’s always something to discover or a new angle to admire. When I look at the unfinished bungalow to compare especially the first floor, it looks very empty because things are so spread out. Well, I shouldn’t compare because both sets are different altogether.

Once the swimming pool is up and the lights are functioning, I am sure my DIY bungalow will be equally impressive too.

A Makeover

28 Jul
Chop… chop… and the grass below are no longer shaded!

The two trees in the front garden of the house were pruned a few days ago, together with all the other big trees along our road. Hubby had requested the contractor to do the honors as the trees were getting too tall for his reach.

And in order for them to get the job done, hubby had to remove several of his prized staghorn ferns as a precautionary measure, in case the pruned branches accidentally fell on the ferns and damaged them. Luckily no mishaps occurred.

The ugly gaping hole

But one fern has been permanently damaged by the darn woodpecker, some time back in February. The gaping hole is such a heartache to look at. We don’t think the woodpecker will return to it anymore as it’s rather damaged and unlivable, and most unlikely to provide any comfort. So hubby intends to nurture the fern to a more presentable shape before putting it back on the pruned tree.

A Proud Moment

27 Jul

It was a proud moment when the lights came on brightly. The DIY cafe project was finally completed over the weekend! Yay.

I must admit I procrastinated on the remaining three hanging plants, thus causing a delay to complete the cafe. I had to push myself. When I finally got going, things were moving.

After glueing the plants, I checked the circuit of the wiring again to ensure all lights were functioning. A quick tab to identify each wire and a proper grouping of all the wires, I beamed just as brightly as the lights the moment I switched on the battery pack.

The items in the cafe are so detailed. I could go on marveling and photographing them, and at the same moment, be totally impressed with my ability to complete this DIY project. All that patience and aggravation were worth it.

Top floor
Ground floor

So now that this set is done, I will attempt to complete the 3-story bungalow which has been unattended and collecting dust. It will be done, I can do it!

Pesky Intruders Again

24 Jul

Last weekend when we were away, we had some pesky four-legged intruders. They were making themselves at home in the wet kitchen area. How did we know? Put it this way, they left evidence here and there: droppings or should I say, poop. Ugh.

So we had to trap them, otherwise, they’d get too daring and cause a lot of problems. On the first night, however, an unlikely intruder was nabbed! A squirrel. Eeesh… Not the culprit we were hoping for, and hubby lets it go.

Then for two nights in a row, the trap that was set up was successful in trapping a young rat each night. Let’s hope this puts an end to unwanted pesky intruders.

The Unstable iPad

21 Jul

My iPad Mini has been acting up again. These days I use it mostly for the game Homescapes and it has not been stable. Sometimes when I try to play a level after launching the app, it’d just quit the game.

So much so, I have to resort to doing a hard reset, which is just about several times at each attempt to play. And every time after I do this, it does not help the situation.

The worse part of my Homescapes woes is that the game is not synced with the iPhone XR! The levels on the phone are not updated to the more advanced levels on the iPad Mini, I don’t know why… sigh.

First Road Trip Post-MCO, Part 2

20 Jul

The weekend’s post-MCO road trip was nice. The drive up North was pleasant and didn’t take too long. As always, going away is about food. Our first stop was in Ipoh for lunch; we had Chicken Rice and bean sprouts.

The must-eat choice when in Ipoh

After lunch, it was smooth sailing all the way and we arrived by mid-afternoon. The folks are fine and doing good. But weather-wise, it rained a lot so we couldn’t go out. Anyway, with social distancing still in practice, we didn’t want to and was contented just to laze at home.

Before we knew it, it was dinner time! We decided to have Thai food at the restaurant that we visited the last time and discovered the restaurant has changed its name! Despite the change, the food quality was still good.

Previously it was called Khun de Thai

Saturday was our customary golf day. We make it a point, every trip to play at Darulaman Golf Club, which is a short drive away. And I am pleased that this round, I played so much better than all previous games.

After the game, we got boba teas!

The weekend quickly passed with another sumptuous dinner on Saturday night with the parents and an Aunty before we left on Sunday morning. On the way home, we opted for noodles instead of the usual crab porridge at Nibong Tebal and I must say, they were good choices.

The dinner spread for six
Lunch at Nibong Tebal

The journey home was peppered with rain now and then, but not too heavy until it made the drive tiring. It was a good weekend away.

First Road Trip Post-MCO

17 Jul

We are going on a road trip! Yay. After staying put for four months during this pandemic, it is okay to travel across the state borders now. So hubby has decided it’s time to visit his parents. Moreover, M2 has been back for so long now, it will be good for her to see the grandparents.

We are taking the drive leisurely without any hurry. And no road trip is complete without a stop or two to savor delicious food along the way! We left home at 9.30 this morning and will most likely do lunch somewhere along the way. Hopefully, the traffic won’t be a crawl and we should arrive by mid-afternoon.

And as always, we will be playing a round of golf. Looking forward to the short break away.

Diversion, Part 2

14 Jul

The DIY cafe diversion has been very encouraging within a short time. Even the wiring for the lights is much easier. Learning from this experience, one should choose a DIY project with more paper than fabric if one does not wish to be aggravated and end up with more glue on the fingers than the parts.

The wiring cleverly taped to a crossbeam before painting

I have to say again the difference between the three DIY pieces is the choice of material. The two houses had more fabrics to deal with whereas the cafe had mostly paper. For me, the paper-based teeny weeny pieces are must easier to deal with over fabric. Then again, this is a matter of preference as some may think otherwise.

A few more potted plants and it’s complete

Nonetheless, I am now at the tail-end of finishing up the set. The structure and furnishings has been completed and what’s left are just several plants still to put together and it can be proudly displayed. I can’t wait.

Like the top floor, a few potted plants to decorate