Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ngaku chips

I bought about 3.5kg of ngakus (arrowroot head) today to have something to munch on.

I expected it to be such a tedious job - the cleaning, washing, drying, peeling, washing again, drying again, slicing, frying, etc... I started the cleaning just before I cook dinner around 6pm, and by the time the whole process is done, it was already 12:30am!! And that is only half of the ngakus I bought.

Because of the rush to clean up after dinner, slicing and all, I actually sliced off a teeny weeny bit of my thumb nail. With blood oozing out non-stop, hubby came to the rescue to help me dry those ngakus, while I search high and low for my missing handiplast and munch on some ngakus. *yummy*

For those who have the time and are keen to try, here's my recipe :

1) Clean and wash the ngakus and let it air dry.
2) Peel off the skin, wash and let it air dry again to remove traces of water.
    (One of my cousin leaves the skin intact for a 'crispier edge' while an
     aunty suggested putting it in the fridge to dry faster)
3) Slice thinly.
      (be careful not to slice your nail or fingers in the process. Would be good
      to leave the long 'tip' on the ngakus to make slicing easier)
4) Heat up oil. Add salt in oil. Fry till golden brown and drip the oil away.
      (it will be absorbed into the chips and you won't have traces of salt on
        your fingers).
     Control the fire so that it won't be too big (might overburn) or too small
       (might leave traces of oil on the chips).
5) Cool it and tah dah!!! Feast on it or pack in into air tight containers.

ngaku chips and raw ngakus

Monday, January 10, 2011


People always say that chinese school students' maths is the best! I always thought that it was based on lots o f memorising of certain formulas.

I have to testify that Brendan's maths amazes me!

Sometime in December last year, we took the kids to a sushi place and halfway eating, Brendan told us how much we've eaten in RM (ringgit currency) based on all the different colour plates that we ate. The coloured plates show difference prices for each colour and the prices are not rounded up, with prices like RM4.90, RM5.90, RM6.90 and something like that.

Hubby and I stared at each other in disbelief and we too started calculating but at a rather slow pace. We didn't expect that to come from Brendan who was only in standard one last year! I only remember doing basic calculations when I was in standard one the last time.

We tested Brendan before by asking him questions like "how old would he, mei-mei and mummy be if Poh-Poh turns 70 years old" or "how old would his baby cousin and kong-kong be if his favourite Uncle K.Leong is 40 years old", etc..  He answered everything correctly, and that was last year. He showed me his formula but I just don't seem to understand his way of calculating cos it just doesn't seem to gel with my formula! But the answers are always correct!

I'm impressed!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

fresh nutmeg juice

I love the fresh nutmeg juice in Penang. The locals call it 'lao hao'. I manage to pluck a few nutmeg during my recent trip there and boil them. I don't know how they prepare it, so I just simply boil them in a slow cooker, cool it later and add honey and 'assam' into it. Mmmm... I love it! In fact, I love the dried sugar coated nutmeg rind and the pickled nutmeg too, but find that the pickled one makes me cough if I eat too much of it.

However, my sis told me that the nutmeg juice is actually quite good for cough. Oh! I miss my 'lao hao peng'.

Here's what freshly plucked nutmegs look like. They taste quite bitter if eaten raw. The little red fruit there is actually a little promegrate freshly plucked from my tiny little garden and  it taste quite ok and not sour at all :-)

Freshly plucked nutmeg and a little promegrate from my little garden.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

School reopens

School reopens 2 days back ago without any hiccups on our end. But I dread to think about the school books that Brendan has to carry everyday. I do wonder whether it's really compulsary to bring all the BM and Chinese text book, workbook, activity book, writing book, grammar book and exercise books every single day. I'm quite surprised that there's only about one hour of English per week. How to speak proper 'engrish' like that?

I've just bought a 'chiro-bag' which is meant to protect a child's back due to heavy luggage. Apparently, I was told by my friend who manufactured the bag that the chiropractor recommends that a school bag should not be more than 10% of a child's age! That would mean that Brendan have to take his Bakprotek bag and another smaller bag to school everyday.

Eryn on the other hand is happy to be back in school and everything seems quite ok for her. However, after her 3 Barbie shows a day throughout the school holiday, she still haven't really gotten over her Barbie fever yet.

Brendan seems quite excited to go to school after the long holiday. He says that the teacher started teaching on the second day and he even brough back homework on the second day itself. I see some other schools have yet to distribute books and some have yet to settle down, but here, my son, is already doing his writing and colouring on the second day itself.

Oh well, I can only pray that he copes well in school this year and most importantly, to enjoy school and be happy!

Brendan's books for today and Brendan doing his homework last night.


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