Friday, September 15, 2006

Thai Feast at Chin Yin's

Even though Malaysians have always been pampered with the luxury of around-the-clock eateries--hawker centers, restaurants and mamak stalls; more and more people prefer dining in, cooking wholesome meals and entertaining guests with gourmet dinners at home.

My girlfriends and myself are no exception to that. Unlike Sex and the City icon, Carrie Bradshaw, who claimed to use her oven only for storage, we decided to take the roles that most ladies dread and be Martha Stewarts in our kitchens. Simply put, we are frequently having dinners and get-together in one another's home, and most importantly everyone will make a dish or two according to the theme of the dinner.

Chin Yin was very excited to announce the theme of our first dinner--Thai. With twenty odd emails circulating in the past few weeks, everyone confirmed the dishes prepared and we finally met at Chin Yin's with our wholesome versions of Thai famous dishes--Thai salad, pineapple fried rice, chicken meatball with peanut sauce, tom yam soup and green curry.

Everyone was indulging in the meal while exchanging notes on ways to improve culinary skills. We also caught up with one another in our work, life, politics and relationships. The late-comer had to, well... wash dishes and doggie-bag all the leftover home. On that evening, Sheila had the "honor" to accomplish both tasks.

So ladies, let's get our cutleries and cooking utensils ready for yet another
of fun, food and friends!!!

Participants of the Thai feast (left to right): Sheila, Chin Yin, myself, Sim and Hong Jun, aka the photographer!!!

Cheers to the host and hostess du "soir": Hong Jun and Chin Yin

Smiley Sim is flooded with compliments for her version of wholesome tom yam soup!

Finger licking delicious chicken meatballs with peanut sauce (not in the picture), a gourmet creation of Chin Yin.

Refreshing appetizer: Hong Jun's version of ever-famous Long Po Thai salad
My contribution to the dinner: Thai green curry,
c'est bon!
Sim's tom yam soup!!! Rated thumbs-up by all!!!
Yet another surprise by Chin Yin, pineapple fried rice. 10/10 for presentation and taste!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Community Service at Emmanuel Praise Children's Home

One fine Saturday afternoon, a bunch of CIMP students and myself performed a Samaritan act at an orphanage home--Emmanuel Praise Children's Home. We helped this newly established organization with their utter needs--cleaning up the kitchen and storeroom. Located near Old Town, Petaling Jaya, the place is home to the 15 orphanages and abused children from different parts of Malaysia.

The 11 of us met at SYUC front foyer, to my surprise, for the first time, the students (well, at least most of them) were punctual for the appointment, except the brothers (ahem... you know who) were about 10 minutes late. They did have the excuse to be inpunctual though, they were driving in Malaysia for the very first time!!!!!! Bravo to them both!!!

I must say that the team was very strong, hardworking and diversified. There were five Malaysians, two Indonesians, two Eritreans, one Iranian and one Yemenese. We were so united despite cultural and language barriers.

Before heading to the orphanage, we stopped by Seksyen11 for "makan" . Fueling ourselves with delicious Indian banana leaf briyani rice at the Grand City, everyone learnt a little bit about the Indian culture: eating with hands, folding the banana leaf inwards means the meal is good and that "nandri" means thank you. It was probably one of the BEST briyani rice that I have had in a long time.

We reached the destination right on time and without further a do, everybody stepped up to his/her role in cleaning up the kitchen and storeroom. The girls voluntarily worked in the kitchen while the boys exercised their muscles in the storeroom. After hours of cleaning, scrubbing, mopping, and rearranging and tallying inventories, we took a short break. The manager of the orphanage home, Mr. Michael Christopher, was very thoughtful. He bought us some cold drink to quench our thirsts!

By the time all the tasks had been accomplished, everyone deserved a pat on his/her shoulder because the storeroom seemed to have gone through a complete make-over with all the inventories properly arranged and kitchen was spick and span that it almost looked brand new.

The only regret was that the orphans were all asleep by the time we had done our work and that we did not get to meet and play with them. However, it was a very good experience for the students and myself. Whether or not we got to meet and mingle with the orphans was secondary because to serve the community, even in the tiniest measure, is already the biggest reward. Once again, I must congratulate the team on their job well done!

Banana leaf briyani rice!!!

Yo-yo Wei and Kuroush

Nisita, Linda and Yean May

Thamer, Munir and Khalid

Fanny and Tommy

The boys were in charge of rearranging the inventories in the storeroom

Munir: Let me show you the bicepts I have been working on!

Tommy: Nothing is too heavy for me. I can lift it all by myself.

Ms. Woi, this is called team work!

Yo-yo Wei: Careful, don't spill the oil!

Khalid: Haha, I never knew working in the storeroom can be so fun!

Linda: First of all, remove the stuffs from the shelves

Nisita and Yean May: Ms. Woi, don't we look domesticated in the kitchen???

Yean May, Fanny, Nisita: Scrub, scrub, scrub, let us scrub! Whaaaaaaaaaa!!!! There is a wiggly worm!!!

Linda: Hehe, I am using a baby t-shirt to wipe the shelf, isn't it cute?

Check it out! The kitchen is spick and span now!
Five hundred and thirty-two packets, five hundred... errrr... how many are there again??? Grrrr... let's count again... one, two, three....

Voila! The storeroom with a brand new make-over look.

We are the team!

Homemade rocky road chocolate fudge to reward the ever hardworking team members!!!