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.
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.
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.
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.
A young man  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.
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.
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.