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I Missed My Friends

11 Jul

Sometimes an injury not only takes the person out of action, it makes a person out of sight, out of mind too. I have not been to my golf club for ages because of the tennis elbow. And because of this, I missed all my golf buddies. Boo hoo hoo…

The friendship and friends are far more important than the game I realized. I miss the company, the laughter, the silly banters, and love. Throw in the food and drinks, I miss all this. Boo hoo hoo…

Over the weekend, the club held its Annual Championship and for the first time, I did not participate. I don’t think I could survive the two-day tournament. The spirit may be willing but the body, the arm specifically, would not be able to withstand the outing. It would be a painful nightmare and a big setback to healing.

But I went to the club to support all my golfing buddies because I missed them. It was indeed good to catch up with everyone who played in the tournament. And after the two days of intense golf, the defending champion prevailed to retain her title and I am glad I was there to celebrate with her and the rest of my golf buddies.

The 12-year old Glenlivet whiskey (and 12-year old Singleton plus an 18-year old – which I forgot what label) were thoroughly enjoyed on that humid Sunday afternoon after the morning excitement subsided. And it felt good to see most of my friends after so long. Ahh… the company, the laughter, the silly banters, the love and drinks…

Maybe I should reconsider playing again just to be with friends. After all, it’s the friendship that matters, not the game.

Blame It On the Rain

27 Jun

The weekend getaway was good despite the late start. We played a round of golf and sadly, my tennis elbow suffered a setback. But I didn’t care. We had a good time because the golf course wasn’t crowded. When rain came down unexpectedly with five holes to go, we didn’t care. 

We felt at ease and no hurry in the world. So we patiently waited it out. And when the downpour dwindled to a slight drizzle, we continued the remaining holes because there was no siren. By the end of the round, both of us were drenched. Blame it on the rain.

During the stay with hubby’s parents, it was all about eating and sleeping. This is all we do whenever we visit. My bathroom scale hates me every time after such trips.

By Monday, it was time to leave and we started our journey late, at 1.45pm. The initial stretch was not too bad. The paddy fields are always a sight to appreciate as we zoomed along the highway. The rich bright green creates a sense of peace.

Traffic wasn’t as heavy as we feared, however things took a turn for the worse when the rain came down. And it rained all the way home, complete with thunder and lightning. What a light show it was! Horrendous conditions to drive if you asked me. We arrived home after almost eight hours on the road. Blame it on the rain. 

But rain or holiday-makers traffic aside, we got home safely and it was indeed a good getaway.

Moms Do Not Mince Words

8 May

Just when you think life is good with all these gastronomic adventures, long weekends for painting and living a sedentary lifestyle due to a sports injury, reality kicks in.

A few days ago, Mom commented casually that my behind is looking, err… wider than usual. While she did not specifically said that I was fat, she merely said that part of the anatomy was looking wider than normal, it was enough. Ouch and cringe.

Normally when such a comment is made by hubby, wrath will incur followed by a lengthy silent treatment. But one just cannot do the same with mothers who do not mince words. Reality kicks in.

Guess I better do something about this ‘wider than usual’ situation if I cannot play golf yet to burn all those calories gained.

Destination: Taiping, Part 2

25 Apr

Sleep wasn’t the most comfortable but I guess it wasn’t critical when thoughts of what we can eat made up for it. Honestly, it was the pillow and somehow, my little travel pillow didn’t help this time. Sigh…

The day started off early with a trip to the Casual Market for breakfast. Located in the middle of the town, this food court had plenty to offer. A friend highly recommended Stall 64 for the Curry Laksa but it was closed! Oh… disappointment kicked in.

But fret not, there were plenty of other choices and we had our fill. And the day was still young, so we headed back to Taiping Lake Gardens as the skies were clear and perfect to admire the trees.

It was indeed very pretty, all the trees leaning towards the water. The reflection and the surrounding was so peaceful and calming. We sat by the lake just to breathe in the fresh air and absorbed some Vitamin D (the sun).

Then we headed to Kuala Sepetang to visit the Charcoal Factory. It was very enlightening to learn how charcoal are made. After that visit, we went across the road and explored the mangrove forest to pass time so that we can have lunch at Lemon Tree Restaurant nearby (in Matang) for the recommended seafood porridge. Like last night’s dinner, the porridge was very good, and cheap!

Sated to the brim (burp), it was time to leave Matang and Taiping now filled with memories of cheap eats and wonderful discoveries. The drive back was pleasant enough and we decided to detour to Ipoh for coffee! After all, this was a gastronomic journey, why not cap it with some good coffee.

Now you see why the need for stretchy pants?

Closed! Not our luck this time.


But we had all these other options!

  

Feels like entering a long tunnel. Branches are so unique!




  
  

Mr Chuah has quite an impressive charcoal factory!


Mangrove wood are stripped of the bark, sun-dried first and then into the kiln they go


The backyard for all the wood supplies to reach the clusters of factories at this place

  

This kiln has been sealed to further smoke the 1,500 pieces of mangrove wood inside. 


This fella was getting some hot charcoal to actually bake some potatoes!

  

This kiln has yet to be sealed. Smoke coming out is actually the moisture from the wood. Foreground rubber wood are used for burning to smoke the mangrove wood


  

Laden with crab, prawns, fish, scallops and fishballs, best seafood porridge we had!


Iced coffee, iced milk coffee and toast before we head home!

Destination: Taiping

24 Apr

You know you’re courting fatness when you go on a foodie road trip and stretchy pants are intentionally packed along. All those food that will be eaten will surely go to the waist and the stretchy pants will accommodate this indulgence!

Well, with the tennis elbow limiting my exercise, an outstation trip this time is not a golf outing so a food outing is the next best thing. It’s an unexpected public holiday today and we made the most of long three-day weekend with Mom and M2 for the short getaway.

The destination: Taiping this time instead of Penang or Ipoh, our usual go-to places. The little town has a lot of cheap and delicious eats worthy to rival the two other famed destinations.

The drive on Saturday morning wasn’t too bad without the holiday-makers although there were some stretches that were slow and congested. When we finally arrived at Taiping, we looked for a place to eat for it was way past the usual lunchtime.

The Char Kueh Teow we had was good, at a ridiculously cheap price that you simply cannot find in KL – Four Ringgit. Even the Chicken Rice was Four Ringgit, and both had sizeable portions, not less at this price. Food prices in KL has soared so much recently and to find something good at this price was just amazing.

The rain was a spoiler especially when we wanted to see the famed trees at Taiping Lake Gardens. And came down even harder when we made our way to Matang for dinner but we took things in stride. No rush, no hurry, no stress, just go with the flow of the situation.

Our dinner was so so cheap. I seriously think if we ate the same things back in KL, it would cost twice the amount! The portions were big and the taste… Oh so good.

Towards the end of the evening, the sporadic rainfall prevented us from coming out of the car. So we just drove around the town, which had a similar feel to Ipoh. Hubby and I agreed that the town is worthy of a revisit plus a golf game thrown in at Taiping Golf Resort.

We called it an early night as the next day, we had a more comprehensive food trail to do and sights to take in.

   
 
  
   

A fallen raintree that was equally appealing

  

Dinner was so good

 

Butterbeer

10 Apr

At the height of the Harry Potter years, M2 like every other fan, was Harry Potter crazed. She would read and re-read the books and knew lines by heart. It was rather heart-warming to see her (and M1 as well) do so much reading.

But thank goodness the craze was limited to just the books and not any collectibles although there were some Lego sets purchased. And both girls have a magic wand each, gifted from a friend who went to the Harry Potter theme park. I remember one day, many years ago, M2 came to me with a butterbeer recipe and asked if we could make it.

The beverage was of course served in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and back then, she thought it would be awesome if she could drink what Harry and friends drank. I still have the recipe, dating back to 2012 in my iPhone. I think we tried making it only once but don’t recall the outcome.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, at our local grocery store, lo and behold we saw a bottle of butterbeer! Of course we had to purchase it to try. And I must say it was quite refreshing but once the coldness ebbed away, the sweet side of the beverage became too much. Well, if we never tried, we would never have known.

I just wonder will this lead to a renewed interest in reading the books all over again? Only time can tell.

  

Temptation is Strong

17 Mar

It’s a good thing that the gum ball machine is not directly in my line of view because I would want to dispense chocolate at every opportunity. Suddenly knowing and having a good supply of chocolate is very tempting.

So strong the temptation that I put out my container of coins right next to the gum ball machine to make life easy whenever I crave some M&Ms. Let’s see how long before all the chocolate is gone.

Look What I Did!

16 Mar

Stress can sometimes be decision makers. Last week was very stressful with a short bandwidth to work on some design work for an upcoming event. And things culminated to this week and finally the stress session was over.

I wanted chocolate last week but didn’t even have time to open the two bags of M&Ms that I have. Frankly I hid them away from myself. So this week after the work wrapped, I decided to reward myself by filling up my gum ball machine to enjoy my chocolate.

Initially, I opened the Crispy bag and filled the yellow dispenser and was happily dispensing M&Ms to treat myself. No discipline! 

Then I opened the Peanut bag, throwing out all concerns of dust and what nots, and filled the gum ball machine but it wasn’t enough. So I moved all the Crispy M&Ms over to it. And it’s looking really good and enticing.

Seriously I won’t be accessing it freely because I would need coins unlike the yellow dispenser. Controlled eating I’d say. While it’s nice to have easy access to chocolate, it’s not good to be constantly eating it.

Then again maybe I need more chocolate because the yellow dispenser looks so sad and empty. Hmm…

   

Looks like two is not enough!

 

The Big Debate

9 Mar

Now that I’ve concluded it wasn’t the chocolate’s fault and I have two bags of M&Ms, I am caught in between on a decision.

I actually have an M&M chocolate dispenser (a Christmas gift) in contention with my gum ball machine to be of service to store my chocolate supply. While it’s of purely sentimental reasons that I want to use the gum ball machine, the thing is so old, it may not be hygienic. On the outside, it’s rather dusty even after cleaning, what more the inside of its solid base? I dare not think beyond the dust…

But if I use the new and clean M&M dispenser, the thing is so plastic-ky and unauthentic, there is no joy in eating. Also, unlike the real gum ball machine, the thing doesn’t require coins to dispense, it’s no fun. Sigh…

It’s a silly debate seriously but a debate nonetheless.

  
 

It’s Not the Chocolate

24 Feb

Somehow marbles in a gum ball machine does not sound quite right. So I didn’t go ahead with the idea. I was mulling why I gained weight over the past three months. Yes there was the eating and drinking during the holidays and festivities which I don’t deny but I don’t think it was excessive. Maybe just richer and more hearty than my usual intake plus the lack of exercise played a part.

Then it dawned on me that the main culprit for the unwanted weight gain was the snacking on Chinese New Year titbits in between meals. Yes in between meals. Hah! I should know better that this is indeed bad but I couldn’t help myself.

Resistance has been futile towards the fried seaweed, pineapple tarts, peanut cookies and love letters! Oh… those love letters… so good. These once-a-year yummies are a must-eat during Chinese New Year whereas chocolates are not necessary must-eats but mood dependent. So laden with sugar those titbits, don’t expect to not gain weight.

Thank goodness the festivities are over and the cookies are almost gone, I should get back to shape in no time.

And to comfort myself that it’s not the chocolate’s fault, I bought not one but two bags of M&M’s because I know I will not eat them at the pace like I do with love letters. Thoughts of filling up my gum ball machine crossed my mind. Hmm…