Sunday, January 9, 2011

Belated Dongzhi Festival

Being a huge fan of Indian food, I only managed to get a first taste of it on the forth day I was back in Malaysia. My initial plan to have the banana-leaf rice at Nirvana Maju in Bangsar while we were in KL was cancelled, due to time constraint. I die die wanted to have at least a simple Indian meal while I'm back, which I finally had for our breakfast in Taiping. It was at a corner-lot Indian restaurant located next to Taiping General Hospital, behind my high school.

The last time I came back, one piece of roti canai was 80 cents. Now it's RM 1 for a piece. The next time I come back again, it's gonna turned RM 1.20. I guess we should start learning how to make roti canai from now on already haha!


Roti kosong with my favourite daal. Cannot take too much curry because my spicy tolerance has shot down dramatically!


Masala vadai (left) and Ullundhu vadai (right). It's my first time eating the doughnut version of vadai and it was not bad!


Tosai with our drinks - milk coffee and iced Neslo (Nescafe plus Milo).

Our plan of the day was to go up Maxwell Hill, the first hill station on mainland Peninsular. Located 1,250 meters above the sea level, it holds the record as the wettest place in Malaysia. Maxwell Hill might not be as popular as Cameron Highlands or Fraser Hill. In fact, it is one of the least developed hill resort in the country. Perhaps that is a blessing in disguise because the place has remained pretty much untouched as years ago and there has not been too much development. This makes Maxwell Hill the most well-preserved hill resort in Malaysia.

Luck however, wasn't on our side. We were told by the guy at the ticket counter that tickets for the day have been sold out. It was only about nine in the morning at that time. Since we cannot buy advanced ticket for the next day earlier, we decided to come again another day.


We changed our plan and went to have a short stroll at Taiping Lake Garden. Now you know why it's known as the most beautiful garden in Malaysia.


Just look at the crystal clear reflection on the lake.


Paku langsuyar, a type of fern that grows on the over-hundred years old rain tree.


The red Chinese bridge that cuts through the lake.


The signboard says that we cannot "berkelakuan sumbang" (act indecently) at the Lake Garden.


This is not counted as aksi sumbang, isn't it?


Stopped at the casual market to get some coconut water.


A perfect time to have such drink on a hot day!


Came back home and lunch is already prepared. Big feast again haha!

I went to pick up my paternal grandma on our way back home. She has been telling my Mom to let her know when I'm back because she wanna see me. So, I always try my best to pay her a visit at least once every time I am back in Taiping. She was watering her cili plants when we reached and I made her follow us back although she hesitated at first. Besides, she has nothing much to do at home anyway.

Lemme reveal a secret here - this grandma will give me an ang pao everytime I am back and go to visit her. This time was no exception as well. Even Michelle got hers too haha!

Almost a week had passed since the Dongzhi Festival (Winter Solstice Festival) was celebrated. However, it has been years since I last tasted a bowl of tang yuan. Furthermore, my grandma was already at our house, so we decided to make some tang yuan to eat. See, told you already I ate non-stop when I'm back to Malaysia haha!


Grandma using the mortar (batu lesung) to produce fresh pandan juice.


Mixing the dough made from glutinous rice flour.


Old fingers working on the dough.


I made the plastic basket into a helmet haha!


Actually I wanted to pluck some flowers for the tang yuan at my Mom's garden.


Since we were already out there, went to check out her jackfruit tree too. There were three jackfruits on the tree, but too bad they were still unripe =\


They call this flower bunga telang in Malay. In English, it's called clitoris because the petal looks like that thing haha!


The dark blue clitorial juice ready to be used.


Mom prefers to use natural colouring when she makes tang yuan.


The blue dough is almost there.


It actually looks a little bit purplish when it's done.


Green pandan dough.


The white plain dough. Pure and clean.


So, the three of us started to roll the dough into tiny balls.

Clitoria and balls; damn, don't you feel that this tang yuan thing sounds to erotic? Or perhaps it's me who made it sound so wrong haha! There was another funny incident when I started to roll the balls. While grandma was in the kitchen, I tried to be cheeky and took some dough and play with them as if they were play-dough. I used them to made some funny shapes of two spheres and a cylindrical stick. Thick and long haha! You know what I was making, don't you? 

My grandma then walked to the living hall and saw that. She said to me straight away, "Kah Yee-ar lu choe hamik ar?!" haha!


While we rolled the balls, I asked grandma the significance of the festival and stuff like that.


Apparently, you put twelve balls into the bowl when it is a common year, and thirteen balls on leap years when you are offering it to the God.


There are also bigger balls called the "mother balls" but even my grandma doesn't know its meaning.


We made three kinds of colours this time.


Time to boil the balls until they float on the water, which indicates they are cooked.


Instead of using normal sugar, we opted to made a fusion version by using gula Melaka for the sweet dessert soup.


Here is the result.


I know this is damn random, but I finally got my muruku, which Mom kept for me.


Grandma damn sporty when posing for photo haha!


Went out to the biggest shopping mall in Taiping - Taiping Sentral. It's nothing compared to bigger shopping malls in KL and Penang but at least their Christmas decoration is better than Sunway Pyramid haha!


Went to A&W for some light snack since I have never eaten at A&W. What to do; Taiping used to be a small kampung.


Waffle topped with ice cream and strawberry sauce. Recommended!


As if my legs are not hairy enough, Michelle used a pen to draw artificial hairs for me =.=


She has been complaining that I fart a lot, hence this scribbles on my knee haha!

I also don't know why; I farted damn a lot when I was back to Malaysia lol! 


DT said...

Walaueh...the last part of the post damn geli leh... beh tahan...

Ur grandma must be longing to put her hand on ur tall shoulders long time di, ... so cute.

Ken said...

Blue tang yuen!
Really snatch my attention. How it taste like?

Btw, the 2nd last pic is gross. =S

calvin said...

@ dt:
haha, was it the writings which sound too geli, or the hairy photo? =P

yup, i guess so. it's so heart-warming to see her sweet smile every time i go to visit her :)

calvin said...

@ ken:
yup, if you can find that flower, you might wanna give it a try next time. i'm thinking to experiment with orange and yellow colour using sweet potato too. as for red, maybe i can use bunga raya haha!

the flower doesn't have any taste or smell. so, it tasted like normal plain tang yuan ;)

too hairy, hence looked gross, eh? xD

Ken said...

Yeah, gonna suggest that to my aunt. Btw, we tried sweet potato (orange & purple colour), and pumpkin (orange). The sweet potato one tastes so good!

If pink? Use strawberry? Haha...

Not to say too hairy, since mine also 'dua kali lima'. Haha... Just that u macro-shooted it too much, till... =X

calvin said...

@ ken:
sweet potatoes and pumpkin for orange colour? nice idea, since i am a huge fan of those two =D

actually that hair photo was taken by michelle, not me xD

DT said...

at first i tot i was reading a nice food posting... then u had to end it with macro shot of ur hairy leg which was not entirely pleasant idea when ur mind is aligned to food... and to top it up was ur shot of the lovey-dovey message to mg which was accompanied by the idea of u doing ur "prrruuuutt" prruuuttt" stuff....

pheww...!!! dude, my mind just can't cope with the contrasting 180 degree change from nice & pleasant ... to eeww!!! & gross!!!

calvin said...

@ dt:
that is why you have to expect the unexpected all the time, especially when you read my blog haha!

those scribblings were actually done by her, not me. so, if you wanna lodge a complain, go find her lol! =P

Kae Vin said...

lol geli post. got balls and clitoris and hairs and donno what stick =.=

sakura said...

u really do eat a lot in M'sia, don't u? haha.. enjoy life = good food *yea, thumbs up*

Is Taiping Lake Gardens really that beautiful? I didn't know there is such a nice place here =.= must go there one day. is it far to go from PJ r?

anne said...

hey, next time comes back tpg don't ffk me again :P, u r dat sakura rite, mei perng's fren?

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
the title sounds so pure and clean, but after finished reading the entry, i find most people complain that it is a geli entry haha!

it was totally unintended, to be honest xD

calvin said...

@ sakura:
yup! our daily activities was mostly eat, eat and more eating lol! that is why i gained more than five kilos in just ten days! crazy, isn't it?

i guess you just have to come and see it for yourself. i may sound biased if i say that the taiping lake garden is the most beautiful garden in the country.

the lake garden is located outside taiping town, so you just need to take the changkat jering exit if you are travelling from the south and it's about thirty-minute drive from the tol exit :)

calvin said...

@ anne:
did i ever ffk you? xD

wow, it seems that this world's really small. you guys know each other, eh? =P

DT said...

well haf to give u the credit... u r funny... :)

sakura said...

yup, i'm perng's friend.
u're sue anne,rite? her lab mate.

calvin:we had dinner b4 once ^^
haha, really tiny world out there..

wow, u really eat like u've not eaten in years eh?lol.. now i wanna go taiping lake gardens :p one day, maybe..

calvin said...

@ dt:
hehe, i take that as a compliment xD

calvin said...

@ sakura:
wow, never expected that my blog would reunited you two =D

that's the fact. i have not come back for more than one year. that is why we ate like non-stop lol! let me kno if you do drop by taiping. i can give you a tour around the town if i am around ;)