Wednesday, June 23, 2010

. . . overseeing the future from my balcony . . .

assalamualaikum

the coldness in the soft breeze of the silent night is not as cold as the floor of the balcony that is slowly seeping thru my boxers. actually it is kind of a first for me to really sit on it after a few months of moving in. this is also the first of all these nights since the beginning of the world cup 2010 that is particularly quiet. usually some asswipe(s) would be blowing off their car horns or the insanely annoying vuvuzuelas all the way from one end of the city thru to the other end. seriously, i hope someone shoves it up their ears while blowing it so it could destroy their stupidly useless brain cells.

a moonless night yet the streetlights are sufficiently enough to light the surroundings. i see the crossroads from my balcony. i guess thats how my life is. always on the crossroads. each road has its own way. either way can take you to a similar destination if you wanted it to be. sometimes you just have to go the long way or the short way. doesn't really matter. it only matters when you want it to matter or to reach it. always a different face to encounter each day. each with their own private things. do they notice me? i don't know and i don't care.

okay probably some of them right now do really notice me as a weird asian in boxers sitting in the cold night at his own balcony. well its my balcony so i could just sit here stark naked if i wanted to. and before you pass any judgement, i remind you that its is cold so things are not as they seem to be. yes i know its a sad way to spend the start of my birthday but hey, i'm quite happy with it. its not that bad. i know its gonna be hell in the office/class. birthdays are celebrated immaturely. don't get me wrong. its supposed to be that way. its just funny that you're treated as a lil wee kid coming into age, and when you're 27, you know its not right yet you friggin enjoy it! haha!

so where do i go from today? well i'm still at the crossroads. there are already much improvement done but the still much to improve at the same time. have i achieved much? yes and no. i can't give a definite answer myself. all i know that i am trying. some might not see it. i don't mind. have i done the right things? or has it gone wrong? i don't know. can i work more on the rights and repent for the wrongs? i don't know. i can never stop trying.

i don't know all the answers. i can tell you what i know but you won't know what i don't know hence you'll only know what i know.

ok i think staying up so late has managed to really boggle up my mind in many ways. come to think of it, my mind has always been that way. hmmm...

wassalam

Saturday, June 19, 2010

. . . chicken rice . . .

assalamualaikum

even the name itself when written or said, makes the water in my mouth to ripple in the form of Niagra Falls up to the Tsunami itself (this also happens when Scarlett Johanssen is present too)... i've been dreading and wishing that once day i could muster up myself to create this wonderful dish that i can never forget... and it finally came true today.

cooking it is fairly easy. its just using a whole chicken that scares me. well, the fact that i used to be able to finish one whole chicken before doesn't really help when i am this old already. my stomach has never been the same although my sense of yearning on local foods back in Brunei never ceased. after a few weeks of maintaining my food intakes, i saw today was the best time to make this dream project a reality.

simple ingredients;
one whole chicken, 3kg is more than enough for yourself plus one.
ginger, i chose one which was as big as my palm.
scallions, 2 pieces is ok, chopped into 1 inch pieces.
salt to taste
(you will also need sesame seed oil and soy sauce (light is better) for the finishing touches.)

for the boiling process, you may add carrots, chilli, celery, small amounts of fennel (not too much or else the anise-y flavor of the fennel might overtake the ginger)... i also added 3 cloves of garlic.

frankly, even without the additional ingredients, it is already more than enough to make the chicken taste to what i can remember how it tastes back home. the only reason why i added it is because i wanted to use the water (which will be combined together to boil the chicken) as stock for future purposes... e.g. soups, sauces etc.

clean the chicken thoroughly, cut off excess fat if necessary, dont' you dare take the skin off! thats important for taste as well. some chickens are clean enough but some still have that yellowy thin layer which you can get rid off by rubbing salt on it. similar to doing a facial cleansing, and it opens up the pores of the chicken skin so the essence from the ginger, scallions etc will penetrate the meat making it much much mucho grande better. wash off the salt after that.


boil water (half full, half empty) in a big pot that can fit the whole chicken and as soon as it seems to bubble up, add some salt... a teaspoon should do (you can add extra ginger, scallions and the additional ingredients in as well). while waiting for it to boil, stuff the ginger (peel off the skin of course) as well as the chopped scallions into the cavity of the chicken. rub some salt over and sprinkle some in the cavity too. don't worry too much about it being salty because the chicken will be cleaned again when its fully cooked.


once the water boils, put the heat to medium-low and plunge the whole chicken till the water covers it all up. if part of it isn't submerged, don't worry, you can turn it over later. i cooked it for at least 30-45 mins and due to the fact my chicken wasnt fully submerged, i turn it over by poking the handle of my spatula or anything long and hard (oh you did not think that... you did, did ya??? pervert!) poke it into the cavity and slowly lifting it up and turning it over. i did that just once in the whole process of boiling the chicken.


just a few minutes before time is up, prep a big bowl a fill it with cold water, add ice to make it much more colder (d-uh). again, using the handle of your spatula, lift the chicken, drain the excess stock from the cavity, and plunge it immediately to the cold water to stop it from cooking further as well as to tighten the skin. leave for another few minutes.


the broth or soup or stock or whatever it is, you can use it in several ways. i choose to store it by putting it into a bottle or plastic zip pocket and freeze it to be used in another time. if i'm not mistaken, it can still be stored (hygienically) up to 2 or 3 months. you can use it as a side soup dish together with the chicken rice. oh yeah, you can also mix it with chili peppers to make a dip for the chicken you just made, i'll explain that later. you can also use it to make the rice. instead of using water to cook rice, use the stock. add a bit or margarine or butter as well to increase the texture and smell as well as taste.

after that, you can use your imagination. chop it up... slice it up... carve it... or just simply rip it apart. do what you fancy. i cut the chicken in half, carefully not tearing the skin too much. i kept the other half (i intend to roast or grill it the next day) and put it in the fridge.


place it nicely on a plate, drizzle a bit of sesame seed oil... a good amount of soy sauce... u can shove under it a few slices of cucumber if you have any (i forgot about the veges)... and as you know it, you've made yourself and your tummy really happy!

the chili sauce, blitz using a blender some chicken broth, chili peppers, salt, sugar and garlic... i didn't measure the amount as i relied mostly on my tongue. you should do it too... don't mess up your mind with measurements unless you're doing pastry (which i will do in the next cooking session).

my quote of the day:
you will never make any good if you don't try to do it.

wassalam

Friday, June 18, 2010

. . . AWRIGHHTTT!!! . . .

assalamualaikum


i've always been a mediocre fan of Naruto. cant say exactly though whether Sasuke or Naruto is better. its the same like those Twilight fans with their ¨team Edward¨ and ¨team Jacob¨thing (yes, as embarassingly mellow and mushy as it seems, i watch Twilight too... nothing to be ashamed of i guess when one like watching movies).

moving on...

before i ventured on dowloading and watching Naruto, but i slowly realized that reading the manga was way off better since they move much more further along. you kind of have to wait for the producers to make it into anime. last i checked, Naruto manga was already on chapter 100+ while the anime was still in the 70+ chapters. so might as well do the reading rather than wait for the anime. i do follow some other mangas although not really that much as Naruto. i'm still itching on his re-match with Sasuke again.

to the creator of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, i thank you and appreciate the wonderful mind wonderland that you have given to me and the to the rest of Naruto fans. Gamabatte!

wassalam

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

. . . what's new? part II . . .

assalamualaikum

ok since i feel a bit more interested on blogging today, i'll just spill out what i've been meaning to say. perhaps it is easier to do it according to what i can remember (i hope)...

updates on the apartment and life in it...
not really an easy task of starting from scratch. not that i have the ability to purchase everything in one go, its just that i don't want to get unnecessary stuff at unnecessary times for unnecessary waste of space as well as energy. oh i forgot, unnecessary waste of mon-neh! so i promised myself to go slow on it since i'm not in a rush and i ain't bitching too much nowadays after i got the necessary items.

i guess my main target is to stay alive and happy... both has been covered after purchasing the fridge, stove, freezer, washing machine and a tv set (^_^) i'm pretty much happy with that. the washing machine works wonders for me. i love the smell of fresh washed clothes. i recently bought the freezer and by Allah's name, it saved my culinary life. i can store more meat and fish products which will probably (fingers crossed) will last me more than two months if i maintain my 'trying-to-averagely-lower-food-consumption'.

with the small extra amount of money as well, i bought a plant bucket and several useful herbs that i really love to use in my daily cooking. at least i have a small green life in my kitchen. i bought a few of them which were readily grown from the market and some were packed seeds so you can grow them yourselves. and i am happy to say that almost all of the seeds that i've planted have grown into cute baby leaves... even the chili seeds that mum sent to me a year ago! hehehe... well i do admit not all of them are healthily growing. the ones that i've planted are doing ok, the ones that were pre-bought looks like they are struggling for life. my dill has totally died, my mint and thyme as well as the rosemary are surviving, i can't tell whether my parsley is well or not (the leaves are kinda crumpled) and lastly my coriander looks like its becoming a celery! hahaha... yes i don't have a green thumb but hey, no harm done in trying.




most of the menus i make nowadays are italian based. aka very simple cooking. ok ok ok... aka very lazy BUT delicious cooking (this usually includes pasta). hehehehe... i am very amused by the fact that they are easy and fun to make. i have yet to try roasting and pastry making... the last 2 weekends i tried my hands on basic frying (i know its a normal thing among cooks but i have never tried cooking in large batches) and fat removal from beef by boiling. i understand now on sealing the flavors inside the meats or fish, hence making me want to try and experiment more on how to impress my own palette. in my own words, i am trying to tweak up my experiments on my culinary skills.

i managed to get recent pictures of my loving family as well as my beautiful mama bear, gonna put them up soon on my walls. so far, pictures are the only things that i can hold to and makes me feel so close to them :') i love you all...

viewing pleasures...
yes it does sound rather kinky but i assure you its not... maybe... ahem! moving on... lately after the Supernatural series, i delve into other tv shows. Caprica, How I Met Your Mother, Justified, Glee, FlashForward, Fringe... lots to mention. that doesn't include movies yet, we'll get to that later. but recently i managed to finish off Lost. as i said to mama bear, the more i see Lost, the more lost i get. it took me quite a while to understand it. the ending was severely bittersweet altho there were some other questions in mind but mostly i am satisfied with it. it was rather long compared to the other series i watched. i felt like each episode lasted for like more than 2 hrs. my interest now is on Fringe as it has a common impact on me when X-Files was my top priority. the only reason that i watched Lost was because it has ended and that i can download it in one go as well as to prevent me from getting over excited on waiting for the next episode to come. trust me, i really hate suspenses and hanging story lines... i want to get the bottom of it as soon as i can take my next breath.


i hope there will be some more interesting shows. i'm pretty much sad with Supernatural's ending and i am surely hoping there will be more!

i only managed to catch Prince of Persia, this year at the movies. i wanted to go and see Iron Man 2 but there was a movie streaming site that obviously saved my life (well, in this case my wallet) both are good. nothing much could be expected. even Nightmare on Elm Street was so-so.

ASEAN Sports...
scrabble was not entirely what i expected but i did give it my best. its still one of my favorite games after pool.

to my surprise we didi very well in Darts and managed to get a Gold medal! wohooo! big ups goes to the team, Amb Erih-Fauzi-Gerome for doing so well in the game. yes i was in it too. the last time i remember playing it was when i was like below 10 yrs old and that was just for filling in my time. i am definitely going for it again next year!


i backed out from pool this year to give an opportunity to my colleague since he didnt get to play last year altho he didnt manage to go thru the 2nd round. no worries Gerome! as long as we have fun, that matters the most. congrats to Amb Erih for attaining the Silver medal. there wasn't as many competitors this year compared to the last. to my two female officers, Mali and Tina, congrats for getting Silver and Gold respectively (yes, i absolutely had no doubt that those medals were to fall in your hands without even trying that much) hehehe...


...

i guess that covers most of it. i haven't done any traveling but insyallah when theres time (and money) i will post up something...

wassalam