Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2012

kitchen wisdom

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”

― Agatha Christie

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

pristine and tasty

Putu kacang….packed with flavor and memories for me.

A galore of cookies and cakes. That is how Eid, or Hari Raya, as it is known in Malay, is celebrated in Singapore and Malaysia.

Each home welcomes guests with about eight or so varieties of these, to enjoy to one’s heart’s content. There are both modern and traditional cookies, or which I prefer to call heritage cookies. My preference runs to the latter, and one of my favorites is putu kacang.

This is a no-bake sweet, with green bean flour and sugar as the main ingredients. The ingredients are mixed, dampened with a little water, then packed tightly into wooden molds specially-designed for putu kacang.

Then the molds are turned over, tapped or knocked lightly so that the molded pieces will drop from the mold. They are then placed in a tray to be sun-dried or baked by a hot, tropical sun.

I used to help my grandmother make this cookie in my childhood home. The molds she owned had interesting designs, and my imagination was really taken by the ones shaped like a rooster. I couldn’t wait for them to dry so that I could savor the tiny roosters.

Sometimes, to make our anticipation easier, my grandmother would give us the task of keeping an eye on the cookies drying on a table in the backyard, just in case the family cat decided to let its curiosity get the better of it, and jump onto the table.

Today, as most residents in Singapore live in high-rise apartments, there is less home-made putu kacang available, and we buy them in Malaysia.

Making this cookie was one of the highlights of Hari Raya preparations in my kampung or childhood home. I just loved the whole process of making them, the contrast of the textures, and the fresh, creamy taste. And I still do – I guess some things never change.

 

Read Full Post »

going for gold

Gabby: she can fly. (Pic: AP/ Huffington Post)

Watching the Olympics women gymnastics team finals on Tuesday night, I, like many others who have expressed similar views, noticed that the NBC commentators hardly praised or said a good word about Gabby Douglas’ performance.

They kept harping on how she almost quit, and how “lucky” she was to have a sister who always persuaded her to continue.

There is an excellent post about this at this blog : “The first to do floor, Gabby’s performance received a score of 15.066. Solid. I literally waited on the commentators to find anything good to say about the routine. *Crickets* They said virtually nothing.” Read also the observations of other viewers.

I felt that the commentators’ efforts to marginalize or diminish her abilities were really biased and unprofessional.

But Gabby went on to win the women’s gymnastics all-around gold medal. Her determination to succeed and metal toughness are indeed inspiring. Congratulations!

Read Full Post »