Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Kampong; Kuantan...

Last week I went back to Kuantan and stayed there for three night at my home away from home, the Vistana Hotel. While there I relived my childhood memories, as well visit places like Sungei Lembing, In Sungei lembing was the largest load Tin Mine in the world during the colonial era. There is a museum there now, housed in the once bungalow of the top British administrator of that place. the local call the Tuan Besar. The next day went to Pekan and visit the newly refurbished museum there, the Sultan Abu Bakar Museum. It houses priceless artifact of an era gone by. I like the way the museum is managed and may visit it again in the near future. As usual I went to the Teluk Cempedak beach, a beach that I called my own. I grew up here and always never far away from the beach and the sea. Thus, it has become part of me; I love the salty smell of the sea air as well the sound of the sea bashing the shore endlessly all days and nights. It kept the golden sandy beach clean just like before. In my teens, it was a place we kids would go camping on weekends, learn to swim as well respect the sea. I have always love the sea and the environment around it. That is why even at this age of late seventies I kept going back there. At time, early in the morning to watch the sunrise or in the evening to enjoy the fresh air or just walk along the beach. I have decided to go back to my Kampong Kuantan more often now. In a way to enjoy the remaining part of my life at the place where I was born and bred. So, folk’s life is like that; old age brings back memories of the past and I loved it. 

Have a nice day.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Neighborhood...

I always take a walk in the afternoon around the neighborhood just to keep me fit. It just a walk and at time I would stop at a friend's house and chat on the roadside or in the house. After a while I would continue my walk. Then would sit a while on the bench at the park nearby before going home. One day while taking a walk around the neighborhood I met a friend Ramlee who always ride a bike. He stops by me on the roadside and we chat. He told me that he just heard that Cikgu Razak of Jalan 2 had passed away. I was shock since the last time I met him was at the Friday Prayer, he looks cheerful. Then he says another of our friend Taib of Jalan 4 is in hospital and another a Dato who at one time head a bank has totally lost his memory. The last time I met the Dato was at a Supermarket nearby. He looks sick with his dear wife holding his hand. He could not really remember me. I wished him well. Some time later at KLCC I met a friend Lokman whose wife died a year ago.  Over coffee at La Cucur there we chat on life. He says that he is now lonely and that with the demise of his wife he no longer have anyone to quarrel. We laugh! I agreed with him fully. Well folks at this age what I related here is a common happening with folks like me living in our golden years. So, folks do enjoy life, for life is like that. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Copper Pots....

These are the a copper pots that I inherited from my father. He had numbers of it in various sizes for cooking at the restaurant or at Kenduri. At that time, it was difficult to get such pots in Malaya so he got his friends from Kerala to bring a few and this is the smallest in size. When the restaurant was closed my younger brother, who managed the restaurant after the demised of our father took it to his house and kept it in his store. I went to have a look and it was all blacked with soothes after many years of uses for cooking. I told my brother to let me have two of the smallest and he agreed.  I then took it to my house in Kuala Lumpur. Both were used for decoration. When the kids got their own house, I decided to give both to them, sort of passing down of an inheritance that is priceless. Once belong to their grandfather. A part of our family history. 

Have a nice day.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Smell of Spices...

Spices is part of our cooking culture. Never a day we are without it in our cooking, it always there in the kitchen. A Malay kitchen is never complete without the various spices in its larder. Always ready to be used in the cooking especially the creation of a good Curry. I  love the smell of spices thus I also use it to give a spicy smell to my dinning area or the other part of the house. Above is a concoction of spices that I had put in a container to enhances the environment of my Serambi or Patio.  It does provides an aroma of its own to  my little space on the front of the house. Loved it. 

Have a nice day.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Kepal a Traditional Malay cake...

I am not sure whether you folks out there know about the delicious simple traditional kueh that is made of leftover rice. We call it Kepal but maybe others may have another name for it. Anyhow it the period before the coming of the refrigerator where it difficult to keep leftover rice overnight. It would go stale or Basi in Malay. Nothing could be done about leftover rice that is left overnight except to feed the chicken in the early morning. Since steamed rice cannot be kept overnight and carry forward like we do now by putting it in the fridge and reheat it the next day, folks during that period came out with an ingenious way of turning the leftover rice into cake before it goes stale. When I was growing up at my father’s restaurant in Kuantan before we had the fridge, the restaurant at time has left over rice, so with ingenuity they found a way to turn the leftover rice into other food that could consumed later. They turn the leftover rice into Kepal. At individual home housewife do that too and enjoy it at teatime. What folks at that time did was to dry in the Sun the leftover rice that is yet to go stale. It may take hours or days before the leftover rice is completely dried. It is then fry lightly; then shred coconut and palm sugar are added. The mixture is then pound into rough pulps using lesong. It is then mold by hands and turned into a small kueh that we call Kepal. Ready to eat.  Voila! you got there a delicious kueh made of leftover rice. Nowadays I no longer see such cakes since folks no longer need to turn it into Kepal. Leftover rice can now be kept fresh for a long time in the fridge. Now I do miss the Kepal. Anyone out there who still makes this Kepal, would love to have some. My two cents.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Moon last night.

I love to capture the Moon whenever it appears up in the sky above my house. I am learning to do a better photography and the only way is to experiment with my camera. Now I am using a Mirror-less Camera, the Canon M10. Above is an image of the Moon taken yesterday March 9, 2017 at 7.30pm. Enjoy it folks as much as I had enjoyed photographing it. 

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Happy Birthday Nenek...

Today is my wife Asmah's Birthday. 

It her 77th.  Happy Birthday dear. 

A bouquet of Roses for her.  

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Malay Traditional Medicine...

A young man [42] the son of my late friend Hj. Omar woke up one morning and found the left side of his body paralyzed. He apparently had a stroke. He could not move at all. Went to the hospital and got treatment. He could hardly move around and had to use a walking stick if he need to move at all. One day while attending the Friday prayer at the local mosque a friend who saw him in that sad condition advise him to seek traditional healing from a man. He got the address and went to seek treatment.  With great difficulty, he was help by his relative into the house of the Dukun and sat down on a chair. The Dukun after enquiringly as to why he came for treatment, start to massage a few parts of his body on the affected side. After the massaging is done the Dukun ask him to stand up. He says he could not do that since he got the stroke. The Dukun insisted and eventually to his surprise he could stand. Then he was asked to walk without the walking-stick. Again, he hesitates but the Dukun insist that he walk. To his surprise again this time he could walk without assistance for the first time since he got the stroke. He told me he cried and hug the Dukun. This was related to me by that young man last week when I by chance met him. He now could walk and drive his car. Well folks it looks like there are still people of wisdom out there who practice the traditional ways of healing the sick like the old days of my childhood in the forties and fifties. 

 For thousands of years before colonialism our people survived because of the wisdom of our healers like the Dukun, Bomoh and Pawang. Every known sickness is cured or healed by them. It was a practice that I saw myself when I was growing up on the east coast. It was effective indeed. Then came the so called Ostat who starts to tell folks not to believe and practice the traditional ways of curing and healing the sick. In no times the numbers of healer start to diminish and we lost a great tradition of curing and healing the sick. Anyway, some of the wise man kept the practice alive and passed it down the line and today there are some numbers of them practicing it all over the country. 

Here and here are some posting about traditional healing that I had posted in my blog. Do take the time to read it. 

Have a nice day.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pinto Coffee + @ Janda Baik....

Coffee at Janda Baik! whoever thought of that! In the middle of the Jungle. Well it sound enchanting indeed. For those who love a little adventure Janda Baik which is just thirty minutes away from Kuala Lumpur; it so near and yet so far. Jump into your car and get there folks. The highway passes through one of the oldest forest in the world; a tropical jungle that have been there since times. Lush and lush of greens and at Janda Baik you can get closer to those magnificent trees; touch and smell it.  The flora and fauna is fascinating as well. It worth a day trip there to sample the uniqueness of the rain forest. A night-stay would be lovelier where you can enjoy the cool morning air of the forest and of course get to watch the morning birds that comes around to feeds. Seeping hot coffee and having breakfast at the hotel coffee house would be a little of heaven.

After attending a wedding at Bentong on Sunday 29 of last month we decided to go and have coffee in Janda Baik. It was our daughter Lin's idea. So, since Janda Baik is along the road on our way back to KL we decided to go there and have coffee in the jungle. It was late afternoon of that beautiful Sunday. I drove the Honda and with Lin guiding we eventually found the place. The road leading to the place was not paved but laid with concrete slabs all the way up the hills where the main building is. Thus, the road blended well with it surrounding. I like it. At first I was rather worried whether I could drive the Honda up the hill but try it anyway. Lin suggested that we stop halfway, park the car and walk up another 100 meter up to the main building. I did just that, just follow her idea and walk up. As we approach the main building I saw other cars park just outside; that mean we could have driven all the way up. Anyway, that short walk was a good exercise for folks like us.

Anyway, we walk up to the building and saw many people are already there even at this hour, just after 5pm.We found a table and ask for the menu; then relax a while looking at the ambiance. The architecture of the building was simple. They had construct an open space supported by tall wooden column as well a few made of concrete thus giving it a rustic look. The furniture was of wood too, I notice that the table were of recycled wooden roller container where cable was rolled. They had placed the wooden roller container on its side; the top they have put plank to give it a smooth surface and serve as a table for four.  Real tree trunks that had been saw neatly and turned into comfortable chairs can be seen in the restaurant. I like that instance I saw it; it my kind of furniture for such a restaurant in the middle of the jungle. 

The surrounding has been preserved with greens including a large open space of green field, kept perhaps for camping or games. We ordered Coffee, Rice combo and Keropok Lekor with the dip; how I wished we had the traditional Malay Cekodok. But I later found the owner prefer to served Western cakes than traditional fritters like Goreng Pisang or Cekodok. Anyway, the Coffee was good and I did enjoy it; it worth coming for the Coffee alone to this in the middle of the jungle cafe.  

As we sat to enjoy our coffee I saw more and more people began to arrive and soon almost all the tables were occupied. Amazing indeed that folks would venture this far to have some sort of an excitement in the Malaysian Jungle. That good Coffee does make the trip worthwhile.

Have a nice day.