Saturday, February 16, 2013


I've not made popiah for years. Too much work involved. This had been a favourite in the Lim family and I'm glad I learnt how to cook it. It's different from how Ing cooks it where she dumps everything in and it's done.

Today while in the market, I saw popiah skin. Decided I have to make it since it's still holiday and CNY and I'm not in a stressed mode yet. So picked up all the ingredients needed.
 Three turnips, peeled and ready to be sliced.
 While I was slicing the turnips, KC helped me to fry the omeletes which are later cut to strips.
 This is the time consuming part. Slicing the turnip to thin slices. The thinner the better. Nelda helped me...that cut the time by half.
 Chicken slices used to fry together with the turnip. I seasoned it with some pepper, sesame oil and soya sauce.

One picture missing...shallots. First of all, I fried the shallots in my vision pot. I discovered vision pot is great for frying shallots or garlic till crispy as the heat is even. Place the shallots into the oil before it gets hot. It takes a while to brown....once it browns, lower the heat and remove the shallots. It is evenly browned, real crispy and fragrant. Leave the oil for frying all the other stuff.
 Cucumber...sliced thinly also.
Chinese sausage...sliced. This is the first thing I fried in the wok without oil as it is very oily and the wok would be oily after frying it. Be careful not to let it burnt as it is sweet so burns easily.
 Yellow taukua....sliced thinly also. I fried this after the sausage. The oily wok was good enough to fry this till fragrant. So not oily.
 A whole kilo of shrimps. Fried with the oil used for frying the shrimps and add some pepper and salt to it.
 French beans...also sliced thinly. Stir fry and add some salt.
Lastly....the turnip. This is the most important ingredient. Do it well and the popiah will be great. Fried the chicken slices and pour the turnip in the wok. It's a lot...KC had to help me stir and turn it around the wok. Add salt, pepper and black soya sauce. I just covered it and left it to simmer till soft. The softer the better. I kept adding water as it tends to dry up. Took quite a while before the texture was soft enough. I kept the fire going even while we were eating the the turnip in the wok will continue to be hot and continue to soften.
KC is the expert in folding popiah. So this is how it is done. Skin at the bottom. Lettuce. Put some sauce onto the lettuce. 
(Forgot to mention how I cooked the sweet sauce. Bought a bottle from the market. Fried some chopped garlic, put in a bit of sambal which Ing cooked for me and then half bottle of the sweet sauce. Add a small spoon of sugar....fantastic sauce.)
Put the turnip, taukua, cucumber .... oh yes bean sprouts/taugeh (blanched in hot water), chinese sausage, egg, prawns and onions. Roll it up!!! I started work at 10am and food was only ready at 1pm. That was lunch and dinner ... really healthy. Three popiah and a bowl of soup ...the tummy is overfull!
You need skill to roll it as neat as this. I can't do it. Only KC can. When we retire, we are going to open up a stall outside our gate....I will prepare all the stuff and he will roll the popiah. Then I will collect the money!!!

Maybe I can put some tables out and add Penang laksa to the menu!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

tradition lives on

It's the first day of the lunar year and I have to keep up the traditions. For once I am skipping church so that I can cook longevity noodle for the family. This has been done by mil for the past years and now I am continuing her legacy.
 The pot of soup boiling.....sea cucumber, abalone, rib, chicken, mushrooms, oyster, scallop with peppercorn.
 Stir-fried cabbage....
...and leek. Not sure why but these two vegetables is a must every first day of the lunar year. I just do what mil had been doing all along.
The final product....the soup with all its goodness plus vegetables with the longevity noodle. The noodle comes specially from Kajang....Hin Hua meesua and these Lim people are so particular about their mee sua. I have to make sure I've enough stock to feed them.

As mil is not around to supply me with the mee sua, I've to tumpang David when he gets the supply for his family. All the way from Kajang. Great breakfast.

And.....a very special greeting to my beloved man of 19's his birthday today.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

cny eve 2013

It's a different sort of cny eve without mil. We went to the cemetary this morning. The tombstone is ready. 
After placing flowers at her tomb, we visited fil, KPing and the Lim grandparents' tombs. We also stopped at some old tombs belonging to fallen British soldiers during the emergency. Kids found it fascinating. Will bring them to visit the Jewish cemetary in Penang one day. It is even older....from the days of Francis Light.

I cooked goh hoon/sticky noodles for lunch. My turn to do this as mil is no longer around to cook it. The noodles that stick the family together. KH joined us for lunch.

 I am not that great a cook. Cooking up a meal consisting of sharks fin, fish maw, etc is impossible for me. So we went to Min Kok for dinner. We were seated at table 135 and we have to finish by 7 to allow the next group of diners to come in. Looks like eating out on eve is becoming popular. I think women of my generation are no longer like my mil's generation.

Above is picture of yee sang. Good. Better than the one we bought from Fei Zhai.
 Another dish...vegetables and mushrooms with meatballs.

Rice...8 dishes altogether..
yee sang
sharksfin soup
Costs us RM388.
Was good and filling.

After dinner, Ah Yean, Jet and KH congregated in my house for a game of cards. Good to see them play and hear them laugh. It's been so quiet and melancholic for me the whole day.

Friday, February 8, 2013

little thief

I was 'robbed' twice in school this week and I didn't even realise it till a student alerted me.

On Monday I was giving out workbooks to students who have paid. The balance of the books were left on the table as I walked around the class teaching.

Today, I gave out plastic files to students who have paid. I kept away the files that were not given out on the table and walked around again to teach.

At the end of the class, a student asked if I gave A her file. I said no as A has not paid for it yet. It seems A had a file. When I checked, the file was in her bag and she said it wasn't hers. Apparently she took the file from the teacher's table (she is seated in front of the teacher's table) and put it into her bag. On Monday, she took a workbook from my table and put it into her bag too.

Had the student not alerted me, I wouldn't even know that these items were missing.

It was after much pressure that A confessed her deed. What makes me sad is the fact that she doesn't see it as theft. It's like her right to take it. She said it was on her table, so she took it!!! She made it sound like there is nothing wrong to taking what she did not pay for but as it is within her reach, and she needs it; she might as well take it!

Even after threats to call her parents and expel her from school, she still had a poker face. This girl (she is small in size) is only twelve years old. She has a real sweet face and can talk. I would not have thought she could do such a thing. I was totally deceived.

Here is another example of our young generation going downhill in their values. What is happening to our society today and how can we help them?