Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Must be missing mum's beehoon soup. The seafood beehoon soup from Dian Xiao Er was simply yummylicious. Equivalent to the singapore prawn noodle except this rich broth has a wiff of chinese wine. Most satisfying on a cool day like today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


With secretary, there was never a need to do any filing and clearing of paperworks. Monthly utility bills, financial statements of all sorts, newsletters from clubs and societies. Invoices and receipts of purchases, he kept them all. A programme analyst by profession, programmes he ever wrote for billing systems around asia, he kept.
A passionate DIY man, all electrical equipments redundant or obsolete, beyond repair, he kept, odds and ends together with huge collection of tools. Hoping to one day dissect and maybe salvage parts for other uses. All For the last 20 odd years.

With heavy heart and reluctance, spent the last 3 days spring cleaning.
First, The wardrobe. Clothes that was his favourite, so worn and washed, clothes, forgotten, neatly pressed, and clothes yet to wear, still tagged. Sorted kept a few, the rest, to the recycle containers.
Then, his study table and cabinets. Stacks of papers systematically glance through and torn up.

Next trip back, the storeroom. All things stored away, to keep him busy tinkering in his retirement years.

Monday, September 17, 2012


SMS received by youngest at 6.45am: "Excited to go to sch - for the first time"
Today, the whole secondary school is going to Universal Studio Sentosa. Celebration for winning the School Excellance Award. Conferred by the MOE.
Aghast when excited youngest text me upon hearing the news one week ago. At SD68 4 levels of 400+ students & the staff, admin and all helpers,  it's quite a generous reward. Not forgetting one week from the year end exam. I can hear the screaming and laughters already.
Thank you Ms Pamela Yoong. I'm sure the girls will remember this for a long time to come. The day they spent screaming with their friends on the battlestar galactica

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Glimpse of the Past

I look forward to this book . Featured in the papers today. His book is on the shortlist for the renowned Man Booker Prize. Of late more and more local authors are coming into the scene. Have read books from Bernice Chauly, Peggy Tan Pek Tao and now hoping to get hold of this book by author Tan Twan Eng. Recently, have been searching for local writers, writing on days of yester years in then Malaya. Days when life was harder but enriching and far more appreciative to simple things in life.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Home cooked

Up at the crack of dawn, prepares breakfast, hurries children into the waiting school bus. The day's meal is next on her schedule. A nutrious pot of soup in the slow cooker timed to be ready for lunch. Marinate and prepares the ingredients for dinner. A quick shower and she's off to work. She is my neighbour in Penang.

That was yester year when fast food and food centres were not readily available everywhere.
Working mums had to plan everything. Upon reaching home, turn on the stove, get the marinated meat out of the fridge, cook. Dinner is ready in less than an hour with 3 dishes and a pipping hot soup. Simple and easy fare of stir fry, steam or oven grill.
Now, most would pick up dinner on the way home. Colleague of mine(DIL) have been buying dinner for the past 35 days. Counting the days when her mum in law(MIL) will be home from a long vacation. MIL has been cooking dinners for the family for the last 20 years. A perfect arrangement. DIL takes care of the rest. It's a chore now, to think of, not what to cook, but what to eat.
She has never held a spatula and have no intention to start anytime soon. She is not alone, many now considers the kitchen a redundant space. I beg to differ. I like to take charge what goes into my tummy. Somehow, food prepared in the kitchen has a homely feeling.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Battle of the HeongPeah

Once awhile on the way home, dad would stop infront of a row of shops along Beach Street to buy a roll or two of heong peah. Sweet lotus paste for mum while dad, the saltish bean paste filling. Just a hint of fried shallots in the saltish variety gives it that piquant taste.
Remembered looking into the shop from outside the car. Nothing showing to give hint of the product except for the name. Just a high top wooden counter with a serious looking man presiding over it. As production of the biscuits were limited, it was a disspointment most of the time.  Reason being to maintain freshness. Then in the early 80s through word of mouth, we heard of another, just as good heong peah shop. Rumour has it that the baker was a former employee of the shop at Beach street. Indeed it was good.  Making sure there's enough to meet the daily unpredictable demand. The rest is history.
Today Ghee hiang has stopped producing the traditionally paper rolled type. Him Heang is still keeping this tradition alive.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


After seeing a post by vagus I realised, that yes, I missed my chee cheong fun. Steaming rolled rice crepe with a drizzle of savoury sauce. Not just any sauce but the sauce with femented prawn paste. A drizzle of sesame oil followed by sprinkling of more sesame and fried shallots and it's ready.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

ChickenRice sans chicken

Attended a farewell ceremony yesterday. A father of 7. Single-handedly managed the family when wife went suddenly 34 years ago. An odd job man. Any job to keep the family going. With eldest girl, then 18 taking charge of cooking and cleaning. The rest of 5 boys and a girl had to lookout for one another. Youngest being only 10 recalled how one late night mum was sent to the hospital and never came back. A weak heart.
He recalled the times when after school the boys would look for coins under drain covers near bus stops. Thus affording a packet of snack from the windfall. Times when he had enough to buy chicken rice sans chicken. The fragrance, flavoured rice with a drizzle of dark sauce and chilli was just as scrumptious. Aunties and uncles helped out whenever possible. Sewing clothes and inviting them over during festivals.
Today all of them have done well with families of their own. A parting words given by the pastor reminded them about being a family. Maintaining the close family relationship. More so now. The father would have wanted it. Just what the father had done all these while.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


At the begining of youngest's sec 2 school term, the girls were allowed to choose their own seating in class. Naturally many sat with friends. However, when the mid year exam results came out, the form teacher was not pleased and thought there should be a reshuffle in the seating arrangement. Meaning separating noisy groups. Putting inattentive infront or putting a student in between two friends.  Mr L, the form teacher only teaches them one subject. Meaning he sees the girls only 3 times a week in class.
The girls were not at all happy with this and came up with a solution after a class discussion. When Mr L walks out of the class after each lesson, they will go back to their original seating position. This entails swift running around  with bags and all, before the next subject teacher comes in. Surprisingly  everyone went along with this. Even the class rep and assistant did not squel.
This arrangment went on for the next 2 months. The girls would hold their breathe and wonder each time Mr L walks pass the class or comes to the class looking for someone. If he had noticed, he probably thought he was mistaken. Soon girls from other classes came to know about this. All good things must come to an end. Mr L walks into class one morning looking very serious. Dissapointed, he lectured and ranted. Finally he let the girls keep to the old seating arrangement but insisted that they be serious with their studies.
Had a good laugh when youngest told me and I thought the class had such strong bonding to unite to this cause. All 40 of them.  I'm sure the Mr L had to agree on this. No need class outing or class party. I'm not sure how Mr L found out. Probably was informed by someone. Will ask  him one day.