Oct 18, 2011

3 Papaya Fest - Baked Fish and an Ice-Blended Smoothie

"Whoaa..that's one big papaya!"

The papaya, eaten over many days

Two days went by. The papaya sits on my kitchen table, untouched by human hands (eeww..I saw a baby cockroach making itself at home on the skin of the papaya). I am glad this fruit does not have the traits of the annoying orange. I would have been driven to chop it to pieces immediately and gulp it all down. It bodes ill for my expanding waistline. I am, of course, talking nonsense.

I was only moved to do something about the papaya when it started to rot (you lazy bum!). Waste not, mom would have advised if she were here.

So I baked it (Just knew I couldn't stay away from an oven dish....the convenience).

That's right, just plonk it into the oven

Orange you bright?
The rough guide.

Ingredients:

- 1/4 papaya (chopped into medium pieces)
- 2 slices of fish
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- Salt and pepper

Todo:

1) Rub salt, pepper and garlic onto fish. Leave aside for 10 minutes, while you preheat the oven.
2) Blend papaya pieces with a pinch of salt and pepper. Leave sauce aside for later use.
3) Line baking tray with foil. Glaze with oil.

4) Place fish on top and bake for about 10 minutes in preheated oven at 170c.
5) Remove from oven and quickly pour blended papaya sauce over the fish. Bake again for another 10 minutes or so. Not too long, so that it doesn't dry out.


Tastewise, slightly sweet salty, garlicky..yums (When has it ever not been "yums").

I had plenty of the fruit leftover. So I ice-blended it ..papaya, ice cubes and a lil bit of honey (if you like).

Ice cool smoothie

Oct 12, 2011

0 The Attractions - Felda Residence Hot Springs, Sungkai

I heart this place. See?












Err...and all that's in it .. ?



Hot water fountains? Sssssmokin'!

Man-made

I wouldn't test the waters if I were you

Mmm..where does this bridge lead to?

An escape route

There are warning signs along the way.

It's a river of natural HOT water and there are spots
where it bubbles..danger, danger

Stay safe, stay on the bridge
Stop here for a natural sauna experience

Off the bridge!

Picnic tables!
Tap water in the great outdoors

Tree planting is encouraged

Mmm.. I'm hungry. Boiled eggs, anyone?


Haaa?! No more eggs!!

Whose eggs are these? May I have it, pretty please?

There are other stalls (they don't open so early)
Laksa and...mmm..I didn't really notice

I'm going for a dip now. Tata!

The hot water pool

Gotta ease myself into this one. Woo..it's hot!

The cold water pool. Fun.
I'm hot, then I'm cold.

Oct 10, 2011

0 The room at Felda Residence Hot Springs, Sungkai

We arrive, finally. The one and a half hour drive was peppered with awesome songs from the radio, particularly this one, which became sort of our holiday anthem. The laid-back tune conveyed our mood for the duration perfectly.


The small tarred road leading into Felda Residence is well maintained, unlike those in the city which are pothole ridden and uneven. I sometimes close my mind to things around me and imagine I'm driving through gravel roads in the great green outdoors surrounded by big trees in the freshest shades of colour. Of course, what really lies before me are mundane grey structures.

The check in process was smooth. A down-to-earth front counter staff attended to us and she wasn't stingy with information. All was well. The weather, the drive, the people - it was though this trip had the blessings from up above. 

The room I booked was located on the second floor. I climbed the stairs in positive anticipation and I swear there was an added bounce in my steps. Bah! It's probably just the new shoes I'm wearing.

When I walked through the door, it was more than I expected. Spacious, reasonably priced at RM220 per night including breakfast.

We carried little, just light luggage and some leftover char siew pao (steamed pork buns) which we had 'tapao-ed' (takeaway) all the way from back home.

I wished we had brought some instant noodles along though. When dinner time was due, we were left gasping in horror, "Haaa?!!! Semua tutup?!!". Yes, the food stalls close early and it was too dark to drive out anywhere. BbrRrr.. we were stuck in the middle of a palm oil plantation, in seclusion from the urban society we were used to. It was a ghost story waiting to happen.

So, we had our meal in the hotel restaurant, gulping in mediocre fare at unattractive prices. 


Nice facade
A carving of our National Flower, the Bunga Raya

Stairway to the rooms

Surroundings

The spacious Deluxe room

TV corner

Balcony + window


The bath


Oct 6, 2011

0 Journey to the center..(oh, stop it) Felda Residence Hot Springs, Sungkai, Perak

A short trip out of town with a couple of close friends. Just one and a half hours drive out of Kuala Lumpur landed me amongst rows of the lesser appreciated palm oil trees and flat lands of fresh green grass.

The gloomy weather did not reflect my positive spirits. I was as calm as the windless sky and contented in my company. I had been so buried in Aunt Em's post-surgery recuperation that I had not realised how tense I had become. A sense of peace overwhelmed me as a smile escaped my lips inadvertently. Aaah..this has got to be what life is about - serenity ...in heart and in mind.

We turned into the Sungkai toll exit. It was an easy drive into Felda Residence Hot Springs. There were plenty of signboards to guide us.

Green, green grass of home
Rows of palm trees

We stopped to snap a photo of this lorry laden with palm oil fruit

They welcome us

Here we are - where we check in!

The other side of the check in office, also our room view

To be continued..

Oct 5, 2011

0 A Cousin's Birthday

We celebrated my cousin's Birthday twice - once when her mom flew down from Sabah and later again with our aunt who had just been discharged from the hospital.

It's not that we're cheapskates. We've learned a valuable lesson from all the years of celebrating Birthdays, that is, "Don't buy a big cake". There's usually no stomach space left after a heavy celebratory meal and oh dear, can we eat!

My cousin made a wish and blew the flames out of the large candle that stood unsteadily on the soft mooncake, which her mom bought for her. Technically, it IS still a cake..

Happy Birthday, J! That's one huge candle!


A couple of weeks later, cousin was called over to celebrate her special day once again, how lucky for her. This time, it was Aunt Em who sponsored the cake and meal. It was her way of thanking my cousin for being there for her when she was hospitalised.

I was sent to run the errand since Aunt Em was still weak from the operation. I made my way to the bakery in Jusco, Midvalley to get the cake. I knew they sold in smaller sizes and at reasonable prices.

When I saw this cute cake, my mind was made up instantly. Forget I did to ask for the flavour, to survey the rest. This RM20 cutie was boxed and ribboned. Home I went with a grin on my face.

"Sooooo prettyyyYy! What cake is this?" asked Aunt Em excitedly, when I proudly displayed the purchase.

"Huh..?" Was my lame reply.

Perfect for a sweet girl, not for the sweet-toothed - it is NOT sweet

Generous creamy frosting. We got 6 decent-sized slices out of this cake.

 

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