Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cleaning up my Garden

My hubby just stopped work in May so I have an extra pair of hands to help me with the heavy flower pots that I have been meaning to give away. Was no problem actually coz my neighbours are all keen gardeners and was ever willing to relieve me of whatever potted plants that I got tired of. This is the advantage of living in a housing estate with friendly and helpful neighbours. In no time, the little patch of garden that I have, was cleared out and now I have so much more space to put a table and two chairs.

Few years ago I was very ambitious and had water gardens and decorated it with all kinds of garden ornaments but now that I am not that "kuat" anymore, I think water gardens are out of the zone coz it needs constant cleaning, moreover I also want the little bit more space for my hubby and I to have coffee out in the garden in the morning..........doesn't that sound fun? Wonder how many coffee mornings we will have before we give up on that.

We have pruned the cherry tree that gives us the shade but it got to be a little unruly and a little infested with fungus so we cut off most the infested branches and pruned back the leaves and now it looks neat and shapely. Two rather big pots of Anthuriums and a few money plants are all I kept and now the garden looks fresh and lively once more.

It always goes this way.......I enjoy the space after all the potted plants have been given away and agree the garden looks much better with less plants but before long I will be heading to garden centres and the buying starts again and very soon the garden gets overcrowded once more and all my neighbours will get to enjoy my generosity once again. lol ! What to do, this is a weakness I have !!! But in the meantime, I get to enjoy the space and will have coffee mornings in the garden. You are all welcomed so do come when my garden is still not overcrowded with newly aquired potted plants !!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Poem of my Lovely Old Home ............ 7 Douglas Road, Ipoh

Did I tell you that I write poems, or rather used to write poems. Have had no inspiration lately as I have been caught up with too many things like jewelry making and other children's craft projects. Anyway, thought that I will share a poem of my old home where I grew up with my 16 siblings.

7 Douglas Road
(The home where I grew up)

7 Douglas Road, what memories it brings
Of Papa and Mama and seventeen siblings
It was once a boisterous home filled with glee
Where all who visited would always feel free

It was a rambling place that we called home
With rambutans to pluck and bananas in combs
Ducks, chickens, cats and dogs were considered family
Everyone was welcomed to this wonderful fraternity

There were cannas, honolulus and magnolias too
Radiating a kaleidoscope of colours and hue
In a garden so lovingly tended, rich flora thrives
Thanks to my mom, who’s up before each sunrise

The Mango tree and the Durian tree
And the Bauhinia tree, so loved by my sister and me
Grows side by side, though in each own’s domain
The majesty of these old trees, unshaken by rain

The much-loved Neem tree with it’s bitter leaves
Has medicinal value so the elders believe
The gigantic “assam” tree near the toilet grows
Notorious for its supernatural powers and resident ghosts

The banana trees provided us with food
From the fruit to the trunk, to their tuber roots
The Guava tree, a favourite of mine
With its sturdy branches for us to climb

The coconuts were a source of income
When the pickers work in the burning sun
A time we siblings dread the most
Plenty to do, tempers flare, which makes it worse

The house itself was a horse stable once
But nobody will guess if we don’t announce
As a cosy little nest my mom had made
To bring up her brood and she’s done great

My dad passed on in our little homestead
Memories of him we’ll always spread
To our own young ones we’ll lovingly pass
So the stories of our childhood will forever last

The great big house we love is now torn down
And mom and dad are not around
Always shall we think back with nostalgia
Our humble abode will remain so dear.

An easy recipe for Kim to try.........corned beef curry

I was chatting with my niece, who is also my god-daughter, on MSN last nite. She left for studies and is now somewhere near London. Now she has to look after herself including taking turns to cook for herself and her housemates. Well I know that my sis- in -law took care of everything when Kim was staying at home so I was worried about her meals now that she is away from mom and home.

So Kim, these are some easy recipes that I hope you will be able to try out so you can both save on eating out, and also have nutritious home-cooked fare.

Corned Beef Curry

Ingredients :-

A can of Corned beef
One or two potatoes, cut into little cubes
One onion........ diced
Curry leaf..........if available
About 1/2 cup Coconut milk........... alternatively yoghurt or milk
2 or 3 pips Garlic ........... sliced
about 1 cm ginger .........julienne (cut into little strips)
1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder

Method :

Add oil to wok and fry potatoes till cooked. Remove from oil and into the same oil add onions, ginger, garlic and curry leaf. fry till aromatic, then add in the curry powder and coconut milk and a little more water and let it simmer for a few minutes before adding in the corned beef. Cook till the liquid has reduced slightly, add salt to taste.

Goes well with rice and any fried green veggy or very good with any kind of bread, capatis or tortillas or even baguettes too.

Note : If using santan (coconut milk) powder, mix with water first before adding to the wok. If using yoghurt, add water to the aromatics then lastly add yoghurt just before dishing out.