Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A poser for the future

I'm asking myself this question today:-

"Do I want to live in an Islamic country where Islamic laws is the supreme law of the country? How will this affect the future of my kids?"

I think both my husband and I need to give this some serious thought.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Queenly fruity delights

J is all smiles when her "kung-kung" appeared with a bagful of mangosteens which are in season now.

The old man started to reminisce about how it used to be so cheap when kampung folks would sell them by the basket at RM10 by the roadside. There can be upto 500 fruits in that one big rattan basket alone!

And a few years ago, he could still buy them at RM12 for 100 of them in a plastic bag.

Today, he paid RM2.50 for a bunch of 10 fruits and managed to get a Ringgit off for buying 4 bunches! Whoever says local fruits are cheap? Not when you consider that someone might be paid 10 mangosteens for an hour's work of tapping rubber in a mosquito-infested plantation!

Judging from how expensive these fruits are getting, the mangosteens can literally live up to their "queenly" tag!

Anyway, I noticed 2 weeks ago that the local night markets were flooded with mangosteens from Thailand. It seems like a pity to me that these days, when you buy local fruits, it is most likely not "local" at all.

Which is why I always make a point to ask the fruit vendor where the fruits come from. I think it is important that we support our local growers so that our agriculture industry can survive and thrive.

It would be very sad if nobody wants to plant local fruits commercially because it just isn't profitable enough to compete against the cheaper imports, wouldn't it?

So, J and her little brother had a happy afternoon today, eating mangosteens grown by local folks in Jelebu.

And I made the same mistake I did last year - I was too slow to remind them not to wipe their purple-stained hands onto their shirts. Oh well! :-)


From the Wikipedia:-

Before ripening, the mangosteen shell is fibrous and firm, but becomes soft and easy to pry open when the fruit ripens. To open a mangosteen, the shell is usually broken apart by scoring it with a knife; one holds the fruit in both hands, prying gently with the thumbs until the rind cracks. It is then easy to pull the halves apart along the crack and remove the fruit, taking care with the purple, inky exocarp juice containing pigments that are an avid dye on skin and fabric.

From me:-

The locals don't use a knife to open the fruit. What we normally do is to hold onto the stem of the fruit and pull the top off. Using both thumbs and fingers to hold the fruit upright, we "pinch" it until the rind cracks and then pull the halves apart to reveal the white fleshy fruit.

And yes, you really must be careful with the juice from the rind because it is almost impossible to get the stain off fabrics.

And do you also know that you can tell how many sections the fruit contains inside by just looking at the bottom of the rind?

Try it!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Buttered toasts

It's been quite a while since I last made toasted garlic bread for my family.

My father-in-law particularly enjoyed them and the last time he ate so much, I felt somehow responsible when he had a sore throat soon after.

I decided to make a batch of buttered toasts with sugar for the kids to bring to school. They're getting rather tired of their usual bread with *cheese/kaya/peanut butter/margarine* fare.

I bought a stick of french bread, sliced it thinly, slather it with olive oil margarine before sprinkling some sugar over them. If you want to make garlic toasts, just chop some garlic finely and mix it into butter/margarine before spreading onto the bread. It's nicer still if you have some dried mix herbs (the kind you use for your spaghetti) to sprinkle on top.

Put them in the oven at 160 deg.C and they should brown to a nice crisp in about 20-25 mins.

As an aside, I think dried toasts minus the butter & sugar make a good breakfast choice for my current diet goal to lose a couple of kilos ahead of the coming August school holidays.

Especially with a fresh brew of black coffee. I heard caffeine helps with the weight loss as well in revving up the metabolism. Hmm ... how convenient! :-)


I'm thinking of taking a break from blogging, so if there are no updates for a while, well - I'm doing something else.

In the meantime, hope you guys continue to have a nice day everyday!


Monday, July 02, 2007

A chocoholic's dilemma

I made a tough decision to stay away from chocolates because once I get started on them, I find it very very hard to stop myself. And since I fear I now *how sad* qualify as a member of the "slow metabolism" club of which Helen is also a member, I have started to look at one of my all-time favourite comfort foods with trepidation.

And no sooner had I made that decision, a recent visitor to the house brought along a box of scrumptious DOVE chocolates from Choc' Stop. *Sigh*

I did the next best thing in such trying circumstances.

The labels said 100gm of these heavenly chocolates equals 533 kcal. I took out the weighing scale and counted 10 pieces per 100gm.

It's much easier to be rational about the whole thing, isn't it? I figured I can easily work off the 106.6 calories I gained from not denying myself the pleasures of having 2 melt-in-the-mouth delicious chocolates.

The only tough part was in picking which flavour to have.

I settled for the above, today.

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