Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Disheartening News

Today I took leave from work to have a quiet time being Daddy's death anniversay exactly 20 years. Went to morning mass as usual in my parish and met up with couple of friends for breakfast. During our breakfast conversation, learnt that Sally our friend who's an active member in our church doing the flowers arrangements for the altars and also with St Vincent De Paul Society helping the less fortunae, was admitted in hospital suffering from anemia. Friends who met her in church last weekend mentioned that her face was so pale, as white as paper. In the afternoon, while having lunch I received an sms requesting prayers for Sally that she has been diagnosed with LEUKEMIA! At that moment, I was speechless and kept asking God why must it be Sally, one who is so humble and down to earth. Life is so unpredictable, we never know what's in store for us! Like Sally, she has everything that God has blessed with, a comfortable life, a wonderful family with husband and children. I believe Sally is a strong woman with unwavering faith and I only have to pray for Sally that God will do what's best for her.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Return To The Gym

Of late I could feel my body weight has been increasing. I guess it must have been the nightly favourite wan tan mee that hubby dear has been buying for me to enjoy. The result: a fatter and gigantic me and I could feel all my clothes getting tighter every day! Surprisingly when I got home from work this evening, a certain force made me changed into my workout attire. Clad in my sports long pants and tee shirt, I put on my cross trainer shoes and headed towards the gym downstairs. Having been absent from the gym for a long period of time, I slowly climbed onto the elliptical trainer and selected the "Weight Loss" programme on the machine. Due to my knees problems, the elliptical motion minimizes impact to my joints and lower back while exercising the muscles of my lower body -the key to effective aerobic exercise. The first few strides on the pedals were torturing and I started panting. I kept telling myself to endure for the next 30 minutes. Tiring but gradually, I got the momentum and was enjoying myself striding to and fro on the elliptical trainer listening to my favourite raido station Class 95 playing most of favourite songs. When I finally completed the whole 30 minutes of the "Weight Loss" programme with perspirations trinkling down my face, I smiled to myself and felt a sense of achievement. I do hope I can continue to be faithfully going to the gym every day to shed those unwanted fats away! Hmmmmmm. but I doubt with festive seasons like Christmas, The New Year and Chinese New Year just round the conner and all the great feastings, there goes my exercise regime down the drain again! Sigh...... the greedy me!

Ayam Buah Keluak

Last night my girlfriend Hazel popped by my place and she bought fried Hokkien prawn noodles and BBQ chicken wings. The two of us enjoyed our dinner and chatted about her new lifestyle without a maid, especially she being a career woman having to hang up the laundry every night while her wonderful children helped out with the household chores. In the midst of our conversation, Hazel surprised me that she loves to eat Ayam Buah Keluak and especially cooked by her mother in law who is a pure Teochew with no Peranakan heritage. I was very astounded by the way she described about how her mother in law prepared the Buah Keluak, having to scrub and then soaked the nut shell for about three days.. and we both laughed over the smelly water. The Buah Keluak paste to be dugged out and mixed together with minced prawns and meat and then stuffed back into the nut shell and to cook with chunky chicken meat. My mum will always cook this dish during Chinese New Year and I love digging the black paste out from the nut shell and licking it... hmmmm. finger licking good! Amboi Sedap Sekali!

Recipe for Ayam Buah Keluak (extracted from Asianonline :

4 Chicken Thighs

10 pieces Buah Keluak
300 g Shrimp Meat
2 tablespoons Tamarind paste, mix with 1 liter water

Salt and sugar to taste

300 g Shallots
100 g Garlic
3 Candlenuts
2 cm Tumeric
2 slices Galangal
6 stalks Lemon grass (white part)
1 teaspoon Dried shrimp paste(belachan)
20 Dried chillies, soak in hot water and drain

Method :
Cut the chicken into pieces.
Clean the buah keluak and remove kernels with a sharp knife.
Blend kernels with shrimp meat.
Add salt and sugar to taste.
Stuff this filling into the buah keluak shell.
Heat half cup oil in a wok.
Stir fry the blended ingredients until fragrant.
Add chicken and stir fry well.
Add buah keluak, assam paste juice, salt and sugar.
Bring to a boil.
Turn to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Paradox Of Life

This was read during our Sunday Mass in church by my Parish Priest for our reflection. How very true indeed, we all have taken so many things around us for granted! Worth the reading and reflecting on the following:-
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but lesssense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems,more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods, and slow digestion, big men and smallcharacter, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one nightstands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stock room.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for some day that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.