Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ayam Rempah Mami Penang (Spicy Mami Penang Chicken)

It has been yonkers since I wrote. I have been feeling the itch to write and share again..but my days of pouring out my sob story is over. I have moved on from that stage which I never thought I would, and now resort to writing in my pink book _ which I am sure my kids have peeked into, hence they would know that this old woman do have her crushes...though they misinterpret some and say i am an absolute cougar growwwlll. Anyways, enough of that, I intend to 'immortalise' my recipe, which I too often misplace and I figure, why not share those recipes that has helped me through those days when I have too little to scrape through, and hence created one dish meals for my 'crew'. I can't say it is 100% mine- now that is plagiarism, I learnt this from a dear friend of mine, Noorazizah Burhan who is a wonderful mom, a sharp business woman and a great friend.

1/2 chicken - cut into parts

 Marinate ingredients
4 cloves of garlic - pounded
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
I tablespoon tumeric powder
 Just mix it all up and slather the above onto your chicken pieces

 Saute Ingredients
1/2 Onion - I prefer the purplish range
2 cloves garlic - crushed and minced
1/2 tomato - sliced, not too thinly
2 red chillies, cut slanting into 3
2 green chillies, cut slanting into 3
1 pandan leaf knotted,
a few curry leaves, the more the merrier
 Other ingredients:
 1 1/2 tablespoon fish curry powder
a dash of sweet soy sauce - i prefer cap kipas udang yumm

 Deep fry the marinated chicken until golden brown in a wok, preferably, and remove. Remove some of the frying oil, leaving only approximately a cup or so. Reheat and saute the saute ingredients until fragrant and the onions are somewhat transparent Sprinkle the curry powder in the hot oil and mix thoroughly - the joy is in the cling clanging of the spatula and the wok :) put in your dash of soy sauce, perhaps about 2 tablespoons. Mix well and throw in the chicken. Mix mix mix. Turn off fire and serve with hot white rice!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's The Angle, Silly...

I love the peace and quiet on a Saturday dawn, only the whistling of the birds and the consistent gurgle of my neighbour's man made water fountain. Everything else is simply....still.
This ringing stillness has the uncanny effect of making my mind stop thinking almost altogether..about what should i do next...what should the tagline for the commercial I am proposing be...STOP and just BE..

The big tree outside our fence stood still to the anthem of silence that prevail like a light curtain about to be broken by the sharp shards of the morning equatorial sun. Not even the tiniest movement of its leaves least not until I looked a little closer. Then I saw it..the tiny flutter of the leaves..just the ones. at the end of the branch closest to me..and that rustling whisper of the tree breathing.

Perhaps today is a good day to start journaling again..this time without obligation.
Maybe this time I can pose the questions I daren't in the past; for fear of peeking eyes and judgmental minds who is ever ready to punish people for being true to themselves.

I have hesitated to write because I feared that writing negative thoughts and feelings would manifest. But I can't whitewash my life, without purging out the blacks and greys..and without answering the big nagging question: WHY AM I ALWAYS STRUGGLING?
Why is there always not enough?

There..I dared write it
..wait a minute...
Why is my life like this pen? (I journaled with fountain pen on just seems more romantic..I would use a quill if it isn't so cumbersome..) Whenever I journal, I needed the ink to flow out smoothly, so that my train of thought would not be broken and can be poured out on my journal as it struggles out of me; most times faster than my hand can write..but sometimes, the ink just refused to flow, and I had to keep struggling, putting the strokes again and again.. I checked the barrel, and found that the ink was full..Yet it didn't flow as I wanted it to..why..

If I want to write I have to keep trying, so I placed my strokes again and again..then I thought, wait a minute. There were times when I shifted the pen to a certain angle, the ink flowed better. There were times, because of the way I held my pen, and the angle wasn't the most conducive for the ink to flow, it thus just didn't flow so well, or didn't flow at all. And because of this hitch, I missed some of the ideas that were struggling to be immortalised on my journal.

Then I realised, perhaps, it's the angle. Certain stroke needs a certain angle..brilliant! Yes, that's it!!

Then it occured to me..Isn't that how life is too?..arranging ourselves for the different strokes with different angles..Perhaps that is what it means by being relentless like water, flowing around objects, taking a different angle based on different objects that are placed before us. Relent, surrender, submit and flow.

The barrel is full..the Universe is abundant..
It is just the different angle required for the different is the angle you take on life, on problems and issues that determines the outcomes. It is the thoughts we have in our heads that materialise into our physical reality..

Yes, that's it!!Life is truly abundant..but nothing will flow to us if we take a negative it IS the ANGLE

And by my rules, there are only 2 angles, really; LOVE or FEAR.
Better still, if fountain pen doesn't work so well, why don't I make a complete REVAMP, and write with a Roller ball instead..which figuratively is what I am doing right now..

Yet again, a Guru has come before me, in the simple act of journaling, in the humble ole fountain pen and paper.
In any case..I know for sure I am operating from the safe cradle of a Benevolent Universe.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lessons at 46

The eve of my birthday was another humid night with heavy clouds in the sky. The cresent moon however managed to squeeze its way through to smile a slanting cynical grin at me. "Well, you managed to dodge death for yet another year, woman. Cherish every moment of your life, for it is indeed a gift. But what have you got to leave behind if you have to go today.."

My wonderful children treated me to Molten Chocolate Cake at Uncle Chili's, something I did not expect at all. As Umair drove me and I conversed with my closest comrade the moon, I saw the glittering twin towers in the distance and shed a tear or two for the immense blessing of being placed on this spot on earth, the wonderful view, the gift of life, the joy of seeing my children grow into responsible adults, the wonderful sister and her family who have been my rock, the untrue friends I have shed through my challenges and the true ones who have stuck with me like super glue. What more can anyone ask.

Forty Six is another milestone I set for myself. I await its coming with apprehension, unlike the anticipation I felt upon approaching 18 or 21 or even 40.

Having said that, there are many lessons that I have learnt, particularly in the last 10 years or so. To mark my milestone, please allow me to share some of them with you.

1 What happens to you now, happened first in the past between your two ears
What and who you are now is what you thought about yourself. Therefore, be careful with what you think. If you think life will treat you well, then it will. Similarly if you think life will give you crap, and so it shall be.
Life Is...and then you tell your story

2. Every hardship and disappointment never really is that
It is merely a prelude to great gifts and blessings. You just need to change that perception you have between your two ears. Change your thoughts and your life will careful, it may turn to the worse, depending on what thought you entertain in your heads. When my home was foreclosed and I couldn't get any help from anywhere, even to obtain the papers to sell off the house, I thought my world was going to come to an end. I had no where to go, and it wasn't just me I had to worry about, I had 7 others, 2 of them still not even of schooling age. But it was merely a prelude for me to start a brand new life. Leaving everything behind to start everything afresh. I would not have the courage to do so if that didn't happen. My littlest son have some memory of the old house..but this neighbourhood is definitely more condusive for my boys to grow in. Less sniggering, no neighbours who stop their children from playing with mine. Sometimes God just have to shove change down our throats.

3. We can plan so much, but in the end, we can only surrender and take the next step NOW.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn't here yet, we only have the NOW. The next moment is the NOW in the next moment. The NOw is the only time where we can act, and that we truly have. We may drop dead in the next minute, and all the plans for the next year, the next day, the next minute even the next second will left undone. So cherish the NOW. The actions we take NOW create a ripple that can last forever, so tell the people you love, you love them now. Ask for forgiveness NOW. Act NOW. Save your money, but make sure you do not deprive yourself of what you can enjoy NOW.
When stuck in a rut..just take the next best step NOW, that is all we can do. Surrender the rest to the Almighty, and think well of Him.

4. God doesn't mind if we express our anger to Him, because He loves transparency and despises hypocrisy
This may be controversial, but this has been one of the most important belief that has helped me through the roughest patch. I used to just accept all the 'hardships' I felt He threw at me. Fearing the sin of blasphemy, I kept everything in, accepting and accepting.. while having to remain stoic in front of the children and the people at large (conditioning from my upbringing), until one day, I couldn't take it anymore. Not having a partner or anyone I can express my anger towards, and having only God to express my feelings, I closed my bedroom door and just exploded. I told HIm that He practices favouritism and lamented and yelled asking Him why He chose me to dump all the crappy stuff on. Why me?, I screamed. YOu are Powerful and Great and You control everything..Why do you love to Hurt me? Can't you find someone better?..What have I done so wrong, I would ask. Why do You allow them to keep hurting me and you let them live their lives in peace and happiness. And they walk this earth with so much pride, stomping on poor ants like me? Afterwards I was consumed with immense guilt and fear. Surely I will be punished..a terrible disaster will surely fall on my head, or my children's..such a vindictive God they portrayed Him to be. Surprisingly,after the explosion I felt a sense of serenity and peace beyond explanation engulfing me. I sincerely felt His love..inspite of my terrible misbehaviour that I was driven to tears. No words can really describe my feelings, but I can synthesise it as Him telling me, I am Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent. I KNow even if you didn't tell Me. I love Honesty and deplore Hypocrisy..I AM Love You can talk to Me..I am near..I listen. I felt His Magnanimity and when I say In the Name of God the Most Gracious the most Merciful I say it with a completely different sense of understanding. Such is the God I believe in and He is the God of all, regardless of what name He is referred to.

5. You are not just the protagonist in this story you are living, you are also the co-writer.
You are given choices, to choose the role you want to play and the path you wish to take each time you come to a crossroad. Each path has its own outcomes. YOu can only move forward.
For example; you live a miserable life, where you are abused emotionally. You have a choice to stay or get out. If you stay, your basic financial and physical needs is taken care of. If you leave you will have to start from scratch, at an advanced age with children in tow, not one or two but many. YOu know that on the one hand, to keep your sanity and to remain dignified you need to get out, but getting out may also backfire, in you losing your dignity because you will be plagued with the status of a divorcee and will be sliding down the social hierarchy. But again this is where your perception comes into play. If you do decide to get out, you can perceive it as a disaster where you will be a downtrodden single mother, can choose to perceive it as an adventure. A fun rollercoaster ride, a mystery thriller on a journey to a better place, if you get there. If you don't you shall enjoy the ride, laughing at yourself, or you can choose to cry and lament on every bump along the way. Enjoy the ride this in turn will instill values of strength and integrity in the children who see you seize the reins from the oppressor, defying the social norm to do what you believe is right.

6. Make sure you have a cheerleader
The rollercoaster ride, the mystery thriller you have decided to write may have its twists and turns that will overwhelm you. There will be points where you will want to give up and just throw in the towel. YOur cheerleader will be the one to set your vision and perceptions straight again. Turn the negatives into positives and sometime punch the naysayers in the nose. Your cheerleader will grab you by the neck if need be, and shove you back into the ring with words of wisdom and cheer you on. I find that in my sister. How blessed I am. I wouldn't have made it this far without her help.

But the most important lesson I have learned is
7. At the core of everyone, is pure goodness
No matter how badly people treat you or how evil they may seem on the outset..every single one of us are good at the core. We came into this world like a clean sheet of paper. It is the conditioning we receive from our surrounding that turn us into what we are. Like Don Miguel Ruiz stated in his philosophy The Four Agreements - Do not take anything personally. Who are we to judge others anyway. None of us are perfect. And it is said that you attract like people to you, so if you face people who have hurt you in any way, the first thing you need to check is yourself. The people placed before you is a reflection of you. What a wonderful way to live and to stop judging others. This belief has helped me retract all those nasty curses I uttered, particularly while driving. On good days..I can even stop myself from cursing.

That is what I have to offer on my 46th birthday, Mr Moon, if I have to go today, I have something to leave behind after all, at least to my children (if they even bother to read).

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Another New Year

May this year be a blessed one for everyone, friends and 'foe' if I have any. Looking back at 2010, I realise that physically I have not gone far, but I would like to believe that my journey has been a very spiritual one..going deeper and deeper into myself. On that journey I have met many gurus, and they don't come in the form of human beings alone, but in many other form, namely animals, trees, the breeze, the clouds and even the weather, just to name a few. . That made me ponder on why I started this blog in the first leave a legacy. Memories, thoughts, lessons I can leave behind. I rethought my audience and I realigned my goals in life. I reassessed things that I want to share with the public, because the truth is, I am a very private person.
So, to start off the year, if there is anything I want to say to myself again and again...if there is one thing that I need to drill into this thick brainwashed skull of mine is
and I remind myself again: THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.
And if this is going to help anybody out there other than myself and my children...remember always..that THOUGHTs BECOME THINGS.

So if you need to think..think LOVING thoughts..or be like Eckhart Tolle - DON'T THINK AT ALL...and feel the bliss of it all..


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Is it a crime to drive an old car?

A policeman stopped me for no particular reason..seatbelts-check. Looked at road tax check. Asked me to open my boot, there were beach toys in a bag, a table cloth and some court shoes just in case i need to run into a meeting (Can't go in my Mary Janes). He asked me who were the people in my car, I said both are my daughters..and I said please sir my daughter has 5 mins to catch her bus to college. He said better late than early. He was still looking for faults. My car is an old Wira with a penang plate number..he said are you from Penang, I said yes, but I live here, this car is my Dad's. He was still looking for something...then he asked for my IC..and he took it to his patrol car. I got out of my car and showed him her bus ticket. She had 2 mins left. Then he said, ok, you go, she is late....I was thinking, WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Running Fetish fulfilled - Putrajaya Night Run 2010

I have been running for the past 3 or 4 months. I just figured I have been sitting too much doing my translation and writing, that I was beginning to feel unhealthy. So I started looking for a sport I could pick up. It has to have the following criteria:
1= there's no obligation to do it - no specific schedule and such
2= must be something I love
3= something I can do anytime on a whim..because I am that sort of a person
4= will not be expensive

My head was running through a list..and as always..I followed my instinct. A few options came up, but one day, as I was walking by the Nike store in KLCC, I decided to walk in and my eyes fell on these beautiful pair of running shoes..from The Lunar Glide series..I tried it on and it fit like Cinderella's glass slippers..hmm or more like a pair of gloves, it was so comfortable. It was expensive by my standards, so I told myself if I buy this than I'd better make sure that I don't let it go to waste. I figured that I could run in my attire of t-shirt and three quarter pants, so I decided to start right away, I put those darlings on, walked myself right out of KLCC and headed straight to the park. That was how my fetish for running began. At first I could only walk..and just the 1.3km circuit was a task to complete..slowly I began to not jog, it was more like shuffling my feet pretending to run..and I managed with difficulty up to 200m. Slowly but surely, my running distance increased..and now I run an average of 5km per day. I love running or well maybe it is called jogging, it makes me feel healthy and I am so grateful for the ability to do so. After my experience of being paralysed which you can read here, I realise what a gift it is. Now, if I don't get to run in the evenings or body will just make sure I take her for a run around the block at 10 or 11pm.

Finally, urged by friends, I decided to participate in a proper run..just for the heck of it..the PUtrajaya NIght Marathon. I decided to participated in the 7.7km category..i hardly ever exceeded 5km except for once when I hit 10kms, I think I must have been high on something then haha..lurve or some silly notion I had, which dissipated as quickly as it came. But I thought, how much more difficult can it get. So I did it just 9pm..and I completed within 50 minutes or so

Mariam and Huzaifah came with me and they were supposed to take my picture when I reached the finish line, but I guess they didn't expect me to finish that fast haha so they didn't see me finish. I had so much was such an elation to be overtaking men, who were dashing ahead of me at the beginning of the race...all in all, the running was what made it so wonderful. I was telling my body, during the last km or step at a time, one step at a time..slow down if you are tired..just one step at a time..and we will enjoy some delicious ice cream step at a time baby...that was my mantra..and when the finish line was in sight, my wonderful body just gained momentum and sped forward and I love my are the most beautiful ...heavy or whatever people call it are MY bODY..MY "TEMPLE" and I LOVE YOU

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daily Musings

Clouds are beginning to form in the sky. Crumpled cotton wool scattered against creamy azure. In large patches they gather into floating Islands anchored by fluffy mountains with a shady base. Ever since I was 4 or 5 I used to wonder what it would feel like to sit on its edge and dangle my feet down. Is it windy or will I only be stroked by the breeze. Is the breeze cool or warm..what would life be like up there.
What does it feel like to caress the white tuffs..and how does it feel to be caressed by it.

The Cloud Island glided gently. It was on the left side of the tree and now it is nestled behind the leaves..

"You are me"..I said to it.."And I am you."

"I use to KNOW I am beginning to remember..we are ONE?"

"Where are you going my Cloud Island? To see the world? What is your Mission? What is your Purpose?"

"What do you call that occassion when you evolve into rain and have to submit to gravity?" Do you call it DEATH like we call that occasion when we are returned to earth..or do you call it BIRTH or REBIRTH?"

"As you move along the vast blue sky, I see you leave tuffs of white cotton behind..which will eventually dissapear and you pick up new ones along the way..
just like my cells dieing and forming new ones..just like my skin shedding and forming new ones
just like friends and family and acquaintances..they come and go...


The leaves on the tree in front of me if giggling and whispered to me in their familiar rustling voices.."What about us?..Don't forget us..we are nearer"

"We are You too..why do you think you can hear us..because it is YOU talking"

I looked up at them and we giggled together in bliss. I love these quiet moments I spend with ME.

And the birds sang their Solfeggio tones..and the world and life continue to flow like the brook merrily gurgling along its way...ONLY THIS TIME

More Slowly

More Purposefully

More Peacefully