Sep 19, 2013

10 Happy Mooncake Day!

Pig-shaped Doll Cookie
Today, we celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The full moon is upon us (does not give you license to howl...really!). I can't seem to spot it though. I've walked to my balcony a couple of times only to see nothing more than a starless sky. The pearl has been hidden by the clouds. May wind blow a path through for me to see.

In Malaysia, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also widely known as Mooncake Day or the Lantern Festival. We celebrate the occasion by giving mooncakes to friends and family. Back in my hometown, it is celebrated with a small reunion dinner of sorts and kids are given battery-operated lanterns to play with. Sometimes we join the lantern procession which is held in town.

Here, it's just me and my other half. We make do by gazing under the stars and sharing a piece of mooncake.

This is what we just ate ~ Scarlet Snow. A beautiful mooncake creation by Casahana. I think it was a brilliant move to put mochi in the center. I love the combination. If I ever, ever, EVER make my own mooncakes, I'm going to add mochi into mine too!

Scarlet Snow ~ Rose Petals on top

Ingredients include green bean, lotus seed and honey

Pomegranate Omochi (red jelly-ish center)
Besides mooncakes, we also had hand made 'doll cookies' earlier in the week. I don't know the significance of these but aren't they cute? It's cheap too, costs just RM3+ with the typical mung bean and red bean paste filling.

Ox - Doll Cookie
Well, that's the end of my post. I'm heading out see if I can catch a glimpse of the moon. Happy Mooncake Day, everyone!

Sep 13, 2013

3 Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, Kuala Lumpur - Here I am again!

This is my 4th visit and I'm already planning a 5th. I wonder if anyone else visits the centre as often as I do...I mean other than tour guides and people who work there.

I do my part for domestic tourism....hah...not really. It all began from a need to break out of shopping boredom. When friends and family visit little ol' me in Kuala Lumpur, the first thing we do is head for the malls. After a couple of trips doing the same old, same old, we (ok, maybe just me) started to wonder if there was anything else to do in this big city of ours. That motivated me to google out a list of interesting nearby places to visit. It was how I discovered the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre.

Royal Selangor Visitor Centre

The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is now in my must-visit list. My houseguests don't know this. When they arrive, I blast them with a series of "Have you been here? Have you been there?" and very slowly, I slip in a suggestion to visit the centre. In between, I attempt to make shopping sound as unexciting as possible - "Yeah, that old mall. What you get here, you can get back home. Don't think a sale is on."  No, I don't see anything evil about it. I'm just......trying to help people out of their shopping addiction. Hmmph!

Back to the centre. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a guide who will register your particulars and provide you with visitor stickers. The tour is absolutely free.

Tag! I'm it! I'm a tourist.
A guide is assigned to you based on your language preference. The tour is never rushed. You're free to ask as many questions as you wish and take as many photos as you like.

The tour starts off with a little history. Royal Selangor was founded in 1885...and then they lead us to a mini museum where there are old pieces of pewter on display and various work tools of a past era.

A replica of Petronas Twin Towers (left) made out of 7,062 pewter tankards. Factory is empty because it's a Sunday.
You'll be intrigued with the Hall of Frames and the Chamber of Chimes. I especially like the Petronas Twin Towers and the Hand Prints on several walls. The tower took days to assemble, consisting more than seven thousand tankards. The pewter hand prints are in recognition of Royal Selangor's skilled craftsmen who have been with the company for more than five years. How lovely to leave your mark in a company...literally.

The Touchmark (chinese characters), Giant weighing scale, The science of pewter. All here.
I've worked here more than five years..kidding. I have been here almost five times.
The guide serves us a soda to give us a feel how cool and refreshing it is to drink from a pewter cup. We then proceed to the factory where we are shown a live demonstration on how pewter pieces are constructed - from melting, moulding to designing.

I enjoy the factory part of the tour. There are rows of skilled craftsmen busy constructing trophies, souvenir pieces and artsy pewter glasses.

After the factory, we are led past the School of Hard Knocks. For RM60, you get a 30-minute hands on class on using traditional tools to create your own pewter dish. I've tried it once. Came home with a certificate, an apron and the pewter I had knocked into a bowl. I was so proud of my masterpiece. Perhaps I'll sign up for The Foundry next, an hour-long class to produce my own accessory with my own design, using pewter making methods of today. Join me?

Finally, we reach the retail centre. There are special pieces of pewter sold here that cannot be purchased elsewhere. Check these out first. Then drool over pieces like those from the Lord of the Rings collection.

Stunning peacock art piece.

For the price of beauty.
After all that, you must be feeling hungry. There's a cafe next door. Tea comes in a gorgeous pewter pot.

Just outside the building is the largest tankard in the world. Don't leave without taking a photo with this. It's in the Guinness Book of Records!

The world's largest pewter tankard (A Guinness Book of Records achievement)
If you came here by cab, don't worry about arranging for a pick-up after. Your guide will call one for you once you're ready to leave.

Note: Craftsmen are off Sundays. The factory will be empty. Preferably, plan your visit on work days for a fuller experience.


Sep 7, 2013

8 Is it a marshmallow?

What IS this?

It's the rainy weather and brrr, chilly.

This is my basil plant. I water it every two days although the stems have browned and it's on the verge of dying. There's still some green leaves at the top. Optimistic much?

I noticed this white stump the other day but dismissed it as peeled paint that had furled together.  How nice, I thought, assuming the wind was responsible for this beautiful random creation.

I was watering my plants just now and, lo and behold, a fluffy white mushroom! By golly, it looked so enticing that I started imagining marshmallows. I doubt this can be eaten.

Anyway, I've decided to leave it as is because I think it adds character to my mini garden. To fluffy mushroom, I say, "Welcome" .

Getting some ant love

Why you grow here?!

Sep 5, 2013

8 Fraser's Hill - Flower Power

If I could rename Fraser's Hill, it would be called the "Land of beautiful flowers". I don't grow flowers in my apartment because I've never been successful at it.

Greens, I have..mostly the money plant. I've given it so much of my attention that it's grown out of my little pot and crawled up to the ceiling. The leaves have flourished bigger than my palm. It's also all over the place *grin sheepishly*

I am no match for the gardeners who tend the flowers at Fraser's Hill....sigh..

Worse, the only flower I can name below is the Hibiscus. That's because it's our National flower. Aahh..but is it important that I know it all. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet?


I think this is called the "Bottlebrush" plant ..


Elephants & Mangoes Copyright © 2005 - 2017 |- Template created by O Pregador Aldenir Ara├║jo - |- Powered by Blogger Templates