Tuesday, 30 September 2008


“Oh, a dainty plant is the ivy green, that creepeth o'er ruins old! Of right choice food are his meals I ween, in his cell so lone and cold. . . . . Creeping where no life is seen, a rare old plant is the ivy green” ~ Charles Dickens [The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (Chapter. VI)]


This recipe can be adapted to include almost any seafood you have at hand. Add Mussels, Cockles, Scallops or any fish you fancy, just remember not to overcook them as they’ll continue cooking in the residual heat of the soup.

This is one of my laksa versions. I’ll post a different version in the coming months when I make this dish again. Here’s how I made SEAFOOD LAKSA.

Ingredients: serves 6

⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups Laksa Paste (ingredients below)
¼ cup dried shrimp – soaked in water, drained and finely ground in a mortar and pestle
1 litre chicken stock
500 ml coconut milk
2 stems lemongrass - cut into 7cm lengths
A good pinch salt
200 g calamari/squid - cleaned and honeycombed
18 medium green prawns - peeled and de-veined
200 g Ling fish fillet - cut into bite-size pieces
3 seafood highlighter – cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
1 fish cake – sliced thinly
1 kg Hokkien noodles
250 g rice vermicelli – soaked to softened (optional)
12 deep fried tofu puffs - cut half at an angle
2 cups bean sprouts
1 lime - juiced
2 tablespoon fish sauce
½ bunch Vietnamese mint - to serve (optional)
½ bunch coriander - to serve
Lime wedges - to serve

Laksa Paste:
2 tablespoon coriander seeds, roasted and ground
4 teaspoons cumin seeds, roasted and ground
15 medium-sized dried red chillies, ground
3 brown onions, roughly chopped
4 cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
6 cloves garlic
8 candlenuts
4 long red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric


Laksa Paste: combine all ingredients in a food processor to form a paste.

Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the Laksa Paste for 5-10 minutes, until the oil floats to the top. Add dried shrimp and stir through. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, lemongrass and salt. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile, blanch noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes, until soft. Divide drained noodles, fish cake, tofu puffs and bean sprouts between 6 deep serving bowls.

During the last few minutes of the gravy making process, add in the fish pieces to the gravy, then the prawns and, after 1 minute, the squid and seafood highlighter. Remove from heat as soon as the fish turns white. Taste, and add lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Ladle soup into the serving bowls, whilst distributing the seafood evenly.

NB: I added the coriander and Vietnamese mint to the soup with the fish sauce to enhance the flavour of the laksa.

Sunday, 28 September 2008


I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden ~ Ruth Stout

PS: Another beautiful spring day in Canberra.


I always get a bit ‘apprehensive’ when I have to make pastry because I am afraid that my pastry might not hold. Are you the same? Well don’t be with this recipe. The first time I tried this, it came out perfect so if I can do it, anyone can. And Mr G did not help me at all - and he is the pastry king….pathetic isn’t it when your husband can make better pastry that you! *sob sob*. So if you are interested in making quiche, this recipe won’t disappoint.

For those of you who don’t eat pork, I am sure you can substitute the bacon with chicken – just dice and fry the chicken in 2 tsp of oil. I believe that should be sufficient. Here’s the recipe.


135 g plain flour
100 g grated cheddar cheese
125 g butter

250 g streaky bacon – chopped
200 g mushrooms – sliced thinly
15 g butter
3 eggs
250 ml milk or single cream
125 ml sour cream
15 ml lemon juice
2 to 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1.2 tsp mustard powder
1.2 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp chopped fresh or ½ tsp dried mixed herbs


Mix all ingredients to a soft pastry in a food processor. Press into a 23 cm quiche dish and set aside.

Fry bacon, without any oil, until crisp. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add in the butter and sauté mushrooms until the mushrooms have absorbed the butter. Add in the bacon, mix well and spoon the mixture onto the quiche base. Spread evenly.

In a large jug, beat the eggs, milk/single cream, sour cream and lemon juice until well combined. Add in the parmesan, salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Pour into the quiche dish and bake in a preheated 160°C oven for 45 mins.

Saturday, 27 September 2008


Edouard Manet ~ The Railroad (1872-73)

I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage ~ Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu


Ihave always wanted to read this book but have been put off by the sheer size of it. ‘A Suitable Boy’, at 1474 pages and 591,552 words, is one of the longest novels ever published in a single volume in the English language. It is written by VIKRAM SETH and was published in 1994. A Suitable Boy is set in post-independence India and the remnants of life under the British rule. The British glory is still very much evident in the book.

The novel follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months as a mother, Mrs Rupa Mehra (whose sole aim is to take care of her family) searches for “a suitable boy” to marry her youngest daughter Lata.

Lata is of marriageable age and is an independent and rebellious (to a point) girl who is already in “love” with a Muslim boy much to the horror of her mother. Although Mrs Mehra seems open minded about the caste of her future son-in-law (within some boundaries, of course), she is horrified that her daughter might marry a Muslim boy and bring shame to the family. However Lata is determined to write her own fate and will not be influenced by her mother or her snobbish brother Arun. Her story evolves around the choices she has to make between her three suitors, Kabir (her Muslim college mate), Amit (her sister-in-law’s poet brother) and Haresh (an ambitious and hard working ‘executive’ in a shoe factory).

The book is not only about Mrs Mehra’s quest – it also examines the journey of Mrs Mehra’s other children and in-laws and those people that happen to cross her path in their life’s journeys. It also examines the political atmosphere in India, leading to her first post-Independence election of 1952. It touches on inter racial marriages, courtesans, inter sectarian animosity, land reforms, caste system, feudal system, status issues, politics in the education systems and family issues. Even diction gets quite a mention!

The book is set in the fictional town of Brahmpur, with travels along real Indian towns such as Calcutta, Delhi, Kanpur (Cawnpore as Haresh would pronounce it – you will understand why I highlighted this fact when and if you read the book) and other Indian cities.

I really, really enjoyed this novel and Mr G ‘enjoyed’ me reading this book because whilst I was engrossed in it, I did not annoy him with additional work around the house. He said he enjoyed the peace and quiet the book afforded him! :(

My only grievance is the length of the book and the lack of hours I had to read it. It frustrated me that I had to put the book down to cook, work and sleep. But this book is worth the read and to support this, it has been on the ‘Angus and Robertson Top 100’ books since the late 90’s. It is now entrenched as one of my favourite books. To those of you who are up to the challenge, you won’t be disappointed. Happy reading!

Friday, 26 September 2008


Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas ~ Shoseki


Iknow I am going to sound really silly in this posting and most of you will be thinking it is no big deal but I am pretty proud of myself for my efforts here as this is the first time I have ever piped frosting/icing in my life! I have always found the idea daunting as I thought I would muck up a perfectly good cake or cupcake. I know it is only a simple pattern and I could have finessed the cupcake a bit more but hey, it is after all my first effort. Now that I have the confidence, you bet I am going to be using my icing press a lot more often!

Enough of the ‘self patting’ exercise; the texture of this cupcake is so light and fluffy that I am seriously considering making a large cake and sandwiching it with either cream or raspberry jam. Yes it is that good. I have to confess that I ate one without the frosting as it was that good. I seriously recommend you make double the batter – they lasted only a day in my house! Here's the recipe.

Ingredients – makes 12 medium cup cakes

150g softened butter
150g castor sugar
175g self raising flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 175°C (fan forced). Line a 12 capacity medium muffin tray with paper cups. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Break in eggs one at a time whilst still beating the mixture. Add in the vanilla. Mix for 10 secs and then sift the flour into the mixture. Beat for 1 min.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cups. Bake for 18 to 20 mins, or until skewer when inserted, comes out clean. FYI: I turned the mixture around at the 12 min mark to allow for even browning.

Allow to cool completely on wire racks before icing with BUTTER CREAM FROSTING .


This is the frosting I used on my VANILLA CUPCAKES. It is rich but not ‘sickening’ like some frosting. I used milk (the original recipe called for 2 tsp hot water) because I read somewhere that it makes the frosting more ‘white’. Very racist remark, tsk! tsk! But those were the words that were used! Anyway, the milk does make the frosting look ‘frostier’, if I may say so.

BTW, if anyone has a tried and tested frosting or icing recipe that uses condensed milk, can you please let me know? Would love to try it.


150g butter – softened
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 tsp hot milk


Beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add in the salt, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Ice cake or cupcakes as desired.

NB: I had trouble finding a good icing/cookie press in Canberra. If you are looking for one, I bought my press at 'Sauvage Urban' (Brand Depot, Fyshwick) on sale, for $49.95. You can find cloth icing cones at 'Your Habitat' in Civic.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen ~ Harry S Truman


Both Mr G and I love the Malaysian style sambal. We get the ‘jitters’ if we don’t have it at least a couple of times a month. To this day, after 17 years of marriage Mr G still intrigues me – his passion for hot spicy food, that even me, a true born Malaysian, still cannot take the ‘heat’ like he can. Sometimes he will make a curry that ‘hot’ that even I can’t eat it! I keep telling him that he must have been a ‘chilli farmer’ in his ‘past life’……

In the recipe below, I used prawns and quail eggs. You can use normal eggs , which I sometimes do. What I do with normal eggs is hard boil them, and then I drop them in sufficient hot oil to ‘blister’ the outsides of the eggs. When they turn golden brown, lift and drain on paper towels and use as per the recipe below.

This is one way I make Quail Eggs and Sambal Prawn

Ingredients – serves 4 to 6

30 large Green Prawns
2 large handfuls of long dried chillies* – de-seeded and soaked in hot water
8 large shallots*
Half a head of garlic*
½ thumb size galangal*
1 stalk lemon grass – white bit only and chopped*
Small piece of belacan*
1 tbsp tamarind pulp – mixed with ½ cup water and juice extracted
½ to 1 can of coconut milk – depends how hot you want your sambal to be
½ a lime juice
2 tbsp veg oil
1 onion – sliced thickly


Grind together * ingredients, using the minimum of water. Heat oil in a wok and fry ingredients until oil seeps through and the water has evaporated. Next add in the tamarind juice. Cook for 2 to 3 mins. Season with salt.

Add in the coconut milk and stir well. Cook for a minute and then add in the prawns. Cook until the prawns are done (around 3 mins).

Add in the eggs and onions, stir for 30 secs. Turn off the heat and add in the lime juice. Lift and serve with dishes such as NASI LEMAK and KANG KONG BELACAN.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Iwould like to take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends and visitors to my blog….. ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri’, ‘Eid al Fitr Mubarak’ and ‘Best wishes for Shawwal al Mukarram’.

Please accept my humble greeting card as a token of my well wishes. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my personal greetings to:

Sis Ummi
Ms Suhana
Ms Jun
Ms Zarina
Mr Adnan
Ms Shafidah
Bro Rozzan
Ms Zuraida
Ms Farina
Kitchen Flavours
Salam Dua Benua
Periuk Belanga

Love, VG

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste ~ Laiko Bahrs


A really nice and easy cake to make and the dates in it makes it so tasty. Have it hot from the oven with some butter – slightly fattening but oh so nice!

225g dates
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml boiling water
½ cup sugar
75g butter or margarine
1 egg
225g self raising flour - sifted
75g walnuts - chopped (save some to decorate the top of the cake if you like)
Handful of sultanas – optional

Heat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin.

Roughly chop the dates and add the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Allow to stand until the mixture is cool and the dates are soft.

Cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and creamy then add the egg and beat for 1 minute.

Stir in flour and nuts. Blend well and lastly add in the date mixture.

Put into the tin and you may top it with some walnuts and sultanas if you like. I did not put any this time. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.

Note: If using sultanas, they should be brown and caramelised.

Monday, 22 September 2008


Where there is no imagination, there is no horror ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


The Maid is a 2005 Singaporean horror film telling of a maid recently arriving from the Philippines. She has to acclimate herself to the customs of the Taoist Ghost Month, during which she struggles with supernatural forces. The maid is employed by a Teochew opera family, a family with many secrets, who give her a place to stay in their dilapidated shophouse. (Source: WIKIPEDIA)

Her employers, the middle age and gentle Mr and Mrs Teo care for her well and their mentally-handicapped son Ah Soon also takes to Rosa. However unbeknown to her, she had unwittingly broken many rules on the first few days of the Ghost/Seventh Month. That’s when things begin to happen. She sees horrific images and senses that another maid who lives across her home is constantly watching her and runs when Rosa tries to get close.

Rosa soon corners the girl and finds out that Rosa had a predecessor, Ester, who disappeared mysteriously one day. Now the story takes an interesting turn. To find out what happened to Ester and her connection with Rosa and the Teos, I urge you to watch ‘The Maid’.

The film broke the box office record in Singapore for the horror genre, making S$700,000 on its opening weekend.

It won the European Fantastic Film Festival Federation (EFFFF) Asian Film Award at the 10th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan). The EFFFF Asian Film Award is a prize awarded to the best Asian film of the year by the federation, of which PiFan is a supporting member.

It stars Alessandra de Rossi, Hong Huifang, Benny Soh, Guan Zhenwei and Chen Shucheng, a veteran actor-compere. (Source: WIKIPEDIA)

FYI: The Maid is screening at 12.50 am 23 September 2008 on SBS.

Sunday, 21 September 2008


Criticising another's garden doesn't keep the weeds out of your own ~ Author Unknown


Mr G made this slice (thank you love) and he got the recipe from the ‘Sunbeam’ brand sultana packet. It is so yummy and it lasted only one day as the kids (and guiltily, I) had been ‘hijacking’ it. I definitely have to make twice the recipe the next time I, or rather Mr G, makes it! I'd recommend this as a festive fare.

1 cup sultanas
100g butter – softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa – sifted

¼ cup cocoa – sifted
1 cup icing sugar – sifted
1 tbsp butter – melted
2 tbsp hot water

Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined.

Add sifted flour, cocoa and sultanas. Put into a greased and lined lamington tin and bake at 180°C for 20-25 mins or until cooked when tested.

Icing – mix all ingredients well. Ice the slice when it is cool, then cut into pieces.

Saturday, 20 September 2008


"How luscious lies the pea within the pod" - Emily Dickinson


A nutritious and easy ‘one pot meal’, especially when you just can’t be bothered cooking a few dishes for the day’s main meal. It has nearly all your daily vegetables and meat needs. You can change the meat to suit your choice or religious requirements.

2 tbsp veg oil
750g pork – sliced thinly
1 red onion – sliced
3 cloves garlic – minced
3 cm ginger – sliced thinly into matchstick size
2 to 3 red bird’s eye chillies – sliced
Large handful of peas
2 large carrots – sliced thinly
½ a small head of cauliflower or broccoli – cut into florets
1 red capsicum – sliced thinly
Large handful bean sprouts
½ tin of straw mushrooms (optional)
3 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp Thai soy sauce

Heat oil in wok and fry the garlic, onions, ginger and pork until the pork is cooked and slightly brown (4 to 5 mins).

Add all the veg (except bean sprouts), cook for 2 mins and then add in the black bean and soy sauce. Cook for another 2 mins or until vegetables are cooked. Just before lifting, add in the bean sprouts, stir well and serve with rice.

Friday, 19 September 2008


Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~ Robin Williams

PS: Another gorgeous spring day in Canberra. One of my plum trees is in full bloom now. Aren't the pink flowers beautiful?


This is one of Mr G and my favourite. If you can find hand made noodles, it makes the dish so much nicer. Also, don’t skimp on your XO sauce. This is one instance where the dearer the XO sauce, the tastier the meal.

FYI, XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce. It was developed in the 1980s in Hong Kong for Cantonese cuisine. The sauce is made of roughly chopped dried seafood, such as scallop, dried fish and shrimp that has been cooked with chilli, onion, garlic and oil. Once a prestigious concoction confined to gourmet seafood restaurants, XO sauce can now be found as a pre-made product on grocery stores shelves, produced by Asian food companies like LEE KUM KEE. (Source: WIKIPEDIA)

500g fresh hand made noodles or egg noodles
2-3 cloves - garlic minced
200g assorted seafood – prawns, squid, firm fish pieces etc - marinated in 1 tbsp of light soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
2-3 tbsp Lee Kum Kee XO sauce
1-2 handfuls of bean sprouts - optional
3 spring onion – cut into 3 cm lengths2 tbsp veg oil

If using egg noodles, wash the noodles in water several times to get rid of excess oil. Then, if using either noodles, quickly blanch the noodles in boiling water. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Heat oil, sauté garlic and seafood until nearly cooked. Add egg noodles, followed by XO sauce and soy sauce, stir-fry until the noodles are heated through. Add bean sprouts if using. Moisten with some chicken stock or water if required. You may need to adjust the sauces according to your taste. Stir through spring onions and serve whilst hot.

NB: I like eating this with 'dried chilli flakes in oil'. The ‘Hub Asian Supermarket’ in Canberra (Tuggeranong and Gungahlin) sells jars made by the owner and instead of vegetable oil, it is made with olive oil. Delicious.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view - H. Fred Ale


Okay, as promised, I am posting my gardening tips again and today I will continue with another easy indoor plant to grow which is the Scindapsus Aureus or the Devil’s Ivy aka Pothos.

It is a common houseplant and is easy to grow from cuttings. I normally just cut pieces near the tip of the plant, allowing some aerial roots and sticking it into water until it takes root. It does very well in low light levels. You can let this plant go for a week or so without water and be careful about overwatering. Avoid growing the plant in full sun.

The Scindapsus is a trailing or climbing plant and does well trained on a moss pole. I however like to cascade it by placing it on top of a cupboard or ledge, or in a macramé pot hanger. Its leaves are leathery and heart shaped. The leaves are often variegated. However, in the literature, it says that the more variegated the leaves, the harder the plant is to care for. I have not found this to be an issue.

Quick reference guide:
 Temperature: Prefers warmer temperatures of between 15°C and 30°c. Lower leaves will turn yellow or produce rust like spots if temperatures fall below 10°c to 12°c.

 Light : Does best in medium to bright indirect sunlight or light.

 Water: Should be watered well and allowed to dry out on top in the warmer brighter environments. Reduce water substantially in lower light conditions. Over watering causes root rot and leaf drop.

 Humidity: Tolerates high humidity and enjoys misting in the high light areas.

 Pests: Is relatively free of pests if maintained in a healthy condition. Is prone to attack by mealy bug, thrips and mites when under environmental maintenance stress.

 Feeding: A liquid feed every month or so during warmer months.

 Tip: If your plant is getting too leggy pinch out the tips and propagate extra plants with the pinched out foliage.

 History: Originally from the Solomon Islands it has been a main stay as an interior foliage plant, because of its tolerance for adverse indoor growing conditions. Devil’s Ivy belongs to the aroid (Araceae) family, which contains more than 100 genera including a number of popular foliaged plant genera such as Aglaonema, Anthurium, Diffenbachia, Monsteria and Philodendron.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


William Merritt Chase - Still Life with Vegetables

Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


If you like muffins and cake, you will love friands. The texture is quite heavy because you are using almond meal and it is quite rich. Lovely with a cup of coffee and tea for afternoon tea or served with a coulis for dessert. Here’s the recipe.

½ cup (75g) plain flour
1½ cups (240g) icing sugar, sifted
1 cup (125g) almond meal
6 egg whites, beaten lightly
150g melted butter, cooled
150g fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Lightly grease 12 friand moulds.

Sift the flour and icing sugar into large mixing bowl. Stir in almond meal, egg whites and melted butter.

Divide mixture among prepared pans (approx ¼ cup mixture into each one). Top each one with 4-5 raspberries.

Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown (when a skewer is inserted into the centre, it should come out clean).


Sorry …. I know I have been a bit slack with my DVD reviews (and gardening tips) so in the next coming weeks I will try to post my opinion on some of the movies I have watched in the last month or two. Hopefully I remember what they were.

Anyway, last week (I can still remember this, thank god) I watched a Malaysian production titled ‘THE RED KEBAYA’(FYI, a kebaya is a short blouse worn with a long skirt or sarong, by Malay women). It has been nearly 15 years since I have watched a new Malaysian movie (my mum bought me some P Ramlee movies last year) and I was very surprised to see it on sale at JB Hifi. Mind you, I paid $28.95 for the DVD so I was hoping that it would be good and I was not TOTALLY disappointed.

The movie is a Malaysian period drama set in the 1950s and is directed by Oliver Knott and produced by Andre Berly and Ramli Hassan. In summary, the story begins with Latiff (Ramli Hassan, who is also the producer) a famous but lonely photographer who was orphaned as a child. He decides to photograph abandoned houses around Malaysia as his latest project and on his journey, he is haunted by images and sounds that that he cannot comprehend. He comes to the island of Penang and ‘sees’ a red kebaya in an antique shop window. As he enters the shop to inquire about the dress, he has a sense of ‘déjà vu’ when he meets the shop owner and is told that there is no red dress in the window. Latiff is then mesmerised by a photograph he finds in the shop and goes to visit the house, which is now derelict on the foothill of Penang Hill (on the island of Penang).

Latiff finds himself transported to the past and witnesses a shocking event that occurred there. Through his experience, Latiff comes to understand the significance of the Red Kebaya and the tragic circumstances that led to him being orphaned.

In the flashback, Latiff is transported to the era during the British colonisation of Malaya, about 50 years ago. He sees an Englishman who is trapped in a controlled and stifling marriage with his xenophobic wife. When the wife, Davinia (Samantha Schubert), briefly leaves Malaya for England, John Reynolds (Bob Mercer), becomes involved with a beautiful joget dancer, named Azizah (Vanidah Imran) - until a tragedy occurs.

I would not say that it was an excellent movie but it has a great storyline and would have been a great movie if it was executed properly. In my opinion, Ramli Latiff was a bit stiff in his role, maybe because of the language – he tried too hard to articulate his speech; in other words, to speak the queen’s English. Vanidah played her part pretty well but I believe that her role should have been made slightly more coy when she meets Mr Reynolds (Bob Mercer) for the second time.

Bob Mercer got better in his acting as his role progressed but I think it was part of the role he played. However, Samantha Schubert stole the limelight as the detestable Davinia Reynolds, portraying a woman who obviously did not like the ‘colonies’ and found the locals to be beneath her. She played the part of a woman scorned to perfection. My main grievance was with regards to the role of Patrick Teoh, the antique shop owner. I believe the director should have introduced his role better in the movie. I could not connect to the significance of his presence in the movie.

Having said this, would I watch this movie again? For sure. And I would recommend you do too if you enjoy period films. The movie will give you a sense of nostalgia.

Monday, 15 September 2008


Friend: a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection and loyalty - Collins English Dictionary

Friend: one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family love - The Consice Oxford Dictionary

Friend: somebody who trusts and is fond of another - Encarta Dictionary

Friend: Mate - Australian slang for friend and never taken lightly!


Thank you to my dear ‘cyber’ friend Suhana for her THANK YOU note. I pray that your woes are over and remember, you have plenty of friends to share your joys and sorrow. As John Lennon once said, “I get by with a little help from my friends” and I am sure that your friends and I, whether in body or in spirit, will be with you in trying times.

Once again, thank you for your note.

Sunday, 14 September 2008


The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it - Theodore Roosevelt

PS: Thank you JP. Not only a great boss, but my mentor and a good friend. I will miss not working with you.


Ihad my wonderful soon-to-be-ex boss, his lovely wife and their two adorable girls over for dinner last night. Mr G made the ORANGE AND POPPY SEED CAKE (click on the link for the recipe) for dessert and I made an ORANGE SAUCE to go with the cake. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from but it is really nice and if I may say so, a hit with last night’s dessert.

Here is how I made it.

1 cup freshly squeezed oranges (about 3 large oranges) – strained
¼ cup sugar
¼ orange liqueur – I used Cointreau™

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and whilst stirring constantly, reduce the ingredients to a syrup like consistency.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour over desserts such as ORANGE AND POPPY SEED CAKE, ice cream or pancakes.

PS: You could omit the orange liqueur and add 1 to 2 drops of orange essence instead and up the sugar by a tablespoon.