Feb 27, 2014

8 I Plant The Cili Padi

As my my interest in cooking grows, I guess it's no surprise that I've started planting herbs and vegetables again.

  Surely This Calls For Flag Planting

Years ago, spring onions were a regular feature on the kitchen window sill. I had also planted the pak-choi in a small corner out at the balcony.

Then, office work consumed my life. The aspect of "stopping to smell the roses" was lost. I remember the flurry of activities, I remember feeling accomplished. But deep down, I have always asked myself if there was more to life than four walls and a fat paycheck.  If I could control my want of clothes and more clothes, jewelery and fine dinners, my lifestyle would have been more balanced. This was my past.

I am catching up on the quieter moments in life now.... and it is magical. Oops, I've gone off topic!

Coriander, parsley and cili padi (bird's eye chili). These seeds were planted several days ago.

Can you see it? The cili padi (bird's eye chili) seed has landed!

Two days in, I saw a shoot from the pot where I had gently buried the cili padi seeds.

That is fast!

A Close-Up

Hours after, more shoots sprouted out of the ground.

Five already!

Considering how quick and easy it was to get the cili padi going, I know that we're going to be the best of friends. I may just flood my garden with chili plants one day and pamper them with the best fertiliser like a proud parent would.

It's ridiculous that I stalk my plant pot every couple of hours ~ no sign of coriander or parsley to date!

Feb 21, 2014

6 The Big Bad Wolf Fireball Book Sale 2014

Hurry! The sale ends in another two days - 23rd February, to be exact.

The BBW Fireball Book Sale holds its own

I enjoyed myself tremendously. You could say that the bargains were to die for. It's a smaller version of the BBW year-end sale that many look forward to, but the discounts on top of the already cheap books made it an equally amazing event.

It's not too crowded in the morning!

The BBW team provided us with boxes as a convenient way to carry our books around. I left this at the storage counter when it became too heavy ...but proceeded to gleefully walk back to the counter several times to add more books into it.

I gave my friend the are-you-out-of-your-mind !  look when she asked if I was going to sort out what I wanted to bring home in the end. How ridiculous, I thought then. I was taking everything! So much for self-control. 

Then, I struggled. Lugging three bags of books, mostly hardcover, was an arm-straining affair that made me stop a couple of times to rest before I reached my car. It qualified for a pretty good gym workout for me. 

I am unremorseful about my stash ~ nine of it costing RM5 each and the rest at slightly more.

My BBW Fireball Book Sale stash
Don't ask me why it's all cookbooks because I cannot fathom it myself. I used to love science fiction and fantasy books. I used to grab all of Stephen King's masterpieces. I was also a Mills & Boon fan but these days, my interest in reading various genres has been sorely reduced to one - cookery.

It looks like my weekend will be spent on book wrapping and drooling over stunning food photos. Hungry days ahead.

Feb 17, 2014

6 Ipoh : Kek Look Tong Cave Temple

A family getaway ~ On the third day of Chinese New Year, we traveled to Ipoh for a bit of sightseeing. Ipoh is famous for its cave temples.

A pleasant drive out of town led us to Kek Look Tong, a temple renowned for its award winning landscaped gardens that is surrounded by limestone hills. I was drawn to the place by stories that speak of its lovely scenery. That was the reason we picked this cave temple out of the many to stop by..that, and also the comforting knowledge that there were no steep steps to climb up or tight crevices to shimmy through. I rate this place as grandma friendly.

Kek Look Tong Cave Temple

The stairway leading to the main entrance is lined with interesting sculptures and mini figurines.

The stairway up is not steeply challenging

Some of the sculptures in Kek Look Tong

The rock formation inside the cave was like a scene out of the "Lord of the Rings' movie - "You shall not pass!". This would never pass for an ideal place for batman. There were no bats to be seen.

Not a bat cave!
Large bronze Buddhist deities are placed around the cave. I almost forgot that this was a house of prayer. I was jolted to be more polite with my thoughts and photographing when I realised there were people kneeling solemnly in prayer with their heads bowed down.

Bronze deities at Kek Look Tong

The exit to the garden is at the other end of the cave. It isn't far. I would describe Kek Look Tong as a short tunnel with high ceilings.

The award-winning garden of Kek Look Tong

Feeding the monkeys is prohibited for safety reasons.  

Monkeys in Kek Look Tong

Our adventure ended just before nightfall. A picture of the carpark before I end this post.

Ample parking lots in Kek Look Tong

Opens at 7am, closes at 6pm...and they are sharp about it!

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