BBQ Addicts’ Rumah Hope outing!

Rumah Hope in Petaling Jaya My friends at BBQ Addicts (who make the BEST BBQ food items ever so check out their FB page) decided to host a BBQ lunch for the kids at Rumah Hope in Petaling Jaya.

The order was: Lydia read some of our blogs raving about BBQ Addicts’ superior BBQ items. She wanted to organise a lunch for the kids and wrote to them asking for quotations. Grill Sergeant Lance decided to sponsor the BBQ and roped in his friends, asking us if we’d like to spend a Sunday at Rumah Hope with the kids. Yes sir of course sir.

I must have asked if they needed anything for the BBQ or home. Someone told me that because of the ‘back to school’ period, the kids needed stationery. Somewhere down the line, I thought of preparing stationery goody bags for the kids.

Off I went to my usual stationery supplier. I told him about what I wanted to do, then picked out items that I thought that the kids may need in school. I’d asked Lance to find out the number of kids below and over 12 years old as they will have different needs.

To cut the story short, my stationery supplier (who would like be unnamed) and I came up with a goody bag for both groups, each costing RM40. He gave me good discounts for the items for which I’m most appreciative!

I rallied family and friends to help in sponsoring the stationery bags. By the end of the day, I had sufficient pledges of donations. Much overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity, thank you! By the time I was ready to collect the items, I had extra money so I got add-ons such as Manila cardboards, art drawing blocks, geometry set, etc. These would be given to the home administrators to dispense as and when they deem fit.

Rumah Hope stationery bag for Under 12 Rumah Hope stationery bag for Over 12
Awesome goody bags for Under 12 and Over 12

Off we went to Rumah Hope! It seems to be a good home, quite well-equipped. The home admins and most of the older kids were at church selling coupons for their upcoming Open Day so there were only a handful of young kids around when we got there. As someone quipped, it’s easy for kids to mingle; just run around with them and chase chase chase.

Time to get the BBQ started! Lance had a new BBQ equipment and it was a challenge to get the fire going. Heheh, didn’t prepare for that leh!! Horng went to get dry branches and twigs which worked. As you can see in the photo, Mrs Cheang and Kim helped by channelling inner qi towards the fireyahhh…

Rumah Hope outing - preparing the BBQ

Rumah Hope outing - 01

Yeap, I had my cousins bring Ryan the Nephew along. The kids were mostly interested in computer games anyway, so iPhones and similar gadgets with games in them were huge hits.

Rumah Hope outing - 02

We had lots of awesome food! BBQ Addicts’ wonderfully marinated chicken wings, satay, Juicy Lucy, mushrooms and cheese, bacon-wrapped asparagus, premium sausages… other volunteers prepared different types of food so there were salad, sandwiches, mashed potato, jelly etc.

Rumah Hope outing - 03

Saw lots of running and chasing, UNO and assorted computer games being played, Haze drawing cartoons for the kids… a huge hit, that!

Rumah Hope outing - Haze at work Rumah Hope outing - Haze drawing anime

There was an arts & craft session headed by Melissa. You’re given a piece of paper, some black ink and straw, then you have to blow the ink to make a pattern which hopefully turns out to look like tree branches. Then you stick little pieces of pink paper to make the blossoms. There was gold dust too… saw a lot of creativity in process.

Rumah Hope outing - 04

Rumah Hope outing - 05

See the completed works!

Rumah Hope outing - completed art n craft from the kids

Time to give out angpows and the goody bags!

Rumah Hope outing - 06

… and a group photo!

Rumah Hope outing - group photo

Thanks everyone. It was a wonderful Sunday, I had a great time. And thank you, my stationery goody bag sponsors. Couldn’t have done it without you, thank you!!

BBQ Addicts has the best BBQ food items ever! Check out their FB page, and a latest feature on them on Goreng.my

Rumah Hope, established in 1994 is a sanctuary for abused, neglected and under-privileged children between the ages of 5-17. The Home relies solely on public funding to maintain itself. For information on the home and activities, check out their website.

Launch of Patrick Teoh’s new book, Teohlogy!

Last Saturday was the launch of Patrick’s book Teohlogy at Popular Books in Ikano. I went with Joyce Panda, saw Jason Mumbles, Douglas Lim, Mama Min then later Mike + LL.

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - assorted
Just half the crowd at the launch!

The publisher, Ezra of ZI Publications went on stage to say a few words, e.g. that he’d always liked Patrick’s work and he’d wanted to publish Teohlogy a good 3 years ago but maybe Patrick never checked his e-mail…

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Publisher Ezra
Ezra of ZI Publications

Jason Tan, ex-editor of the now-defunct Off The Edge magazine (where Teohlogy ran as a column for 5 years) talked about how he got to know Patrick, and how the latter ended up writing for him.

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Jason Tan
Jason Tan

Then it was Patrick’s turn on stage, yeay! He talked about how the Teohlogy column, name and book came to be. And that everyone’s first response to the book was, “got free or not?” So Malaysian!

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Patrick Teoh
Patrick Teoh at the launch of Teohlogy

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Patrick on stage
Training to be a politician on stage ar? Can pass wor…

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - official launch
Official launch of TEOHLOGY

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - lining up for book signing
Fans lining up to get their copy of TEOHLOGY signed

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - book signing
Book signing!

We hung around for a while, long enough for Mama Min to give us a very delicious cup cake!

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Suanie, LL, Michael

Patrick’s TEOHLOGY is available at major bookstores, retails for RM38. Go get it, it’s worth every sen :)

Teohlogy: the word according to Patrick Teoh

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy Patrick Teoh: 63, actor, husband, father, grandfather and generally misunderstood person is also now an author.

Okay lah, technically he is a ‘compiler’ as his new book TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh is a compilation of his works from the now-defunct Off The Edge (OTE) magazine.

12 months x 5 years = a lot of publishing-worthy material.

I met with Patrick recently and he kindly gave me a complimentary copy for review.

“You got write anything new for the book or not?” I asked.
“Got, the front introduction and the end conclusion lah.”

Off The Edge was a monthly print magazine from the same group as The Edge business weekly. Its focus was on culture, lifestyle and politics – stuff not usually covered by The Edge. Ran for 5 years, had some of the most insightful and funniest articles and commentaries I ever read (including riveting Q&A with the dreamy looking Kam Raslan).

All good things come to an end and OTE ceased publication in mid 2010. BFM interviewed its ex-editor Jason Tan and writer Azmi Sharom, click here to listen to/download the podcast.

Patrick’s column in OTE was his views and opinions on the affairs of all things Malaysia. People, politics, culture, behaviour, news, attitude… all also kena. I didn’t manage to follow all his pieces in OTE so I’m glad to have this compiled works.

But to be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming to read everything at one go. Or even more than a few pieces at one time, because it reminds you how things haven’t really changed since 5 years ago. Very depressing one.

Also it made me recall specific news/ incidents or our VIP foot-in-mouth situations, things that we were so angry and upset about so many years ago. Then now all silent and no follow up because… Malaysians including myself mudah lupa. Shy.

If you see the front part where they state the publishers’ details, book ISBN etc, you’ll see that this book is categorised under ‘RHETORIC’. Kind of ironic, bitter sweet, I’d say.

But it’s a good thing also. Once we settle into the ‘haiyah this is Malaysia, like that one lah. So long we ourselves survive, who cares about others or what’s happening…” then we’re no better than the those we often rail against.

So grab a copy of TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh, and find out about male bovine faeces that he cannot stand. I think it retails for less than RM40, available in major book stores.

Or why not go to the book launch tomorrow and meet the man himself? Have your copy signed, take photos etc. I’ll be there!! (err.. if it makes any difference….)

Date/ Time: 22 January, Saturday. 2pm till 3.30pm
Location: Popular Books, Ikano Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara

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I’m giving away a copy of TEOHLOGY: the word according to Patrick Teoh to one of my blog readers. Not my signed copy, but I will buy a brand new copy lah! Just leave a comment here telling me what you think of Patrick Teoh, or how much you love or don’t love him, or why you deserve a free copy of his book etc.

I’ll choose the best answer by Sunday 12pm and if possible, have your copy signed by the man himself. Comment away!

The day Suanie grilled booooootiful pork steaks

No no, not 2012 so not the end of the world… yet. Just that this whole cooking business is amazingly therapeutic that it makes me feel like a natural woman. That which can be a dangerous thing but is an entirely different subject altogether.

Nonsense aside, I’ve always envied those who are able to offhandedly remark that because they got home late, they wanted a simple dinner. So they took out a couple of steaks from the freezer, rub them with salt and pepper and what-not, then dump them into the oven to grill before om nom nom nom. Oh, toss a simple crunchy salad on the side too.

Like, wtf? If I’m going home late, my simple dinner would be food as fast as they would come, i.e. takeaway 1300-13-1300. Who the hell got no time then go home and grill steaks for dinner? GRILL.STEAKS?! I think they were just saying that to confuse me and make me doubt my female-ness. I don’t know how that works so figure it out yourselves (but make sure it involves something about the world revolving around me).

Until one day, out of the total blue, I decided to do it. Yes, grill meat. It all happened as I was getting bacon at the non-halal section of Jaya Grocer when I spotted some booooootiful pork steak. So tenderly gorgeous, I couldn’t help but to pick up a couple of those and pay for them at the cashier before you could say, “what the heck am I gonna do with them??”

Suanie grills pork steak - ingredients

Lantak sajalah. Made do with what I had at home, except for the Worcestershire sauce which I bought. Obviously, because no one is going to give me a new bottle of Worcestershire sauce. I’d probably never use it again, or use about 5 inches of it before its expiry date so it was a good thing that I got the smaller bottle.

Oh look, I rubbed my booooootiful pork steaks with salt, black pepper, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Probably a tad too much oregano there but I was herb-happy.

Ooooo it smelled great too. Poked the meat a bit to let the seasoning seep in, then left it aside for about 20 mins.

Suanie grills pork steak - marinade

Since my oven is one of those microwave+grill combi thing, it didn’t have enough space for a proper grilling tray. Or whatever the heck you all call it lah, I’m not good with kitchenware. So I made do with aluminum foil ‘cos I am brilliant like that.

Suanie grills pork steak - into the mini oven

Tekan ‘Grill’. Cook each side for 10 mins. Mine doesn’t have those power/temperature control thingy so I have no idea what kind of heat it was cooking in. Hot enough lah ‘cos my booooootiful pork steaks were cooked booooootifully.

How to know if your pork’s properly cooked? Stick a knife in it and make sure that the insides are white, not pink. For a variety of health reasons, pork has to be cooked well, none of those rare/ medium shite.

Suanie grills pork steak - doneness check

Oooooo look at that! Aren’t my pork steaks pretty? Juicy too! *beams*

I served my pork steaks with a thick slice of German ham pan-fried in bacon grease, world-changing potato salad and not-so-fail failed bacon-wrapped asparagus.

Suanie grills pork steak - with German ham, bacon asparagus, potato salad

Kiss my apron and call me Julia Child! :D

Attempt #2 at Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

About 4 years ago, I bravely stepped into the kitchen (an uncharted territory for me) to make bacon-wrapped asparagus. The result? In layman’s term, it sucked. I threw away the asparagus, ate the bacon in gloomy silence then documented my failure.

I think 4 years is just about enough for me to get over myself and the spectacular culinary disaster, don’t you? So I tried it again. I got the necessary ingredients, which in this case are streaky bacon and asparagus. No really, all you need is streaky bacon and asparagus. Serious, don’t bluff one.

But this time, I got (slightly) smarter. I blanched the asparagus FIRST, AHA!!!
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Then I got too pleased with my smartness that I left it in the boiling water for way too long.
So the asparagus came out a bit dead. You know, limp.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus - raw ingredients

Whatever lah, what’s done is done. Wrap the bacon around bundles of the asparagus lah.
At this point, I belatedly realise that perhaps I should have halved each bacon slice.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus - in the frying pan

Dump them into the frying pan. This was like watching history repeat itself.

I’d forgotten to buy picks too (to hold the bacon and asparagus together). So I just used tongs to carefully turn each bundle around. I guess after a while, some of the bacon fat sticks to the asparagus so they don’t come out all bleargh.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus - outcome

Ta-dahhh! The Not-So-Fail Failed Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus. The asparagus was overcooked (though edible this time!), the bacon was too thick and too much, and I really should have gotten picks to hold them together.

Never mind, attempt #3 in the year 2014 will be better! Just you wait and see :)

Suanie teaches you how to make a basic potato salad with bacon bits

That’s right. There are many basic potato salads in the world but this one is mine. Search for a recipe and Google provides a thousand, if not infinity.

Why this keenness for potato salad? What makes potato salad so gastronomically satisfying that I would be bothered enough to make it?

If you’ve not heard of the saying “Conquer a basic potato salad, conquer the world”, that’s because I just made it up. Now that I have made a basic potato salad, you just sit back and wait for me to take over the planet. All my made-up-on-the-spot sayings would be your bible, Mao Zedong’s little red book would be a mere buku 555.

Speaking of publishing and infamous people, my friend Patrick Teoh is launching his book, Teohlogy this January 22nd at Popular Bookstore, Ikano Power Centre. 2pm onwards, he’ll sign everything except for hideous body parts, go buy a copy and meet and greet him!

So, back to my basic potato salad. There are many ways and methods to begin making your own potato salad. I’m sure that somewhere out there, someone rode on an ostrich, miraculously survived and went home to make a potato salad. I could also go on linking Archimedes’ Eureka with potato salad but you may find that too hard to swallow. That is why you must exercise patience and give your potatoes adequate time to boil.

Enough. I shall boil bore you no longer. So here it is, my journey to making a basic potato salad which began with 3 telephone calls:

Call #1: My sister to ask her how to make a potato salad. She did not answer.
Call #2: My mother to ask to speak to my sister who was with her. “Boil potatoes, get some sour cream, chives… etc etc”
Call #3: My mother to ask her if chives and daun bawang were the same thing. In case you are wondering, no.

Basic potato salad with bacon bits

1. Buy potatoes! Otherwise the whole potato salad thing might not come to fruition, just saying. I bought a few medium sized Australian chat potatoes and at the end the process, found that 4 of them would be enough for 3 side servings.

Wash your potatoes. Put them in a pot with water. Turn on the fireyahhh. Boil for about 20 minutes. Stick in a fork to see if it’s done. For potato salad, you want it with a bit of bite and not too mushy. Remove from hot water and pot. Wash over with water because… I don’t know why but there must be a logic to it.

When it cools a little, peel off the skin and cut the potatoes into small pieces.

2. Fry bacon! I use bacon bits because a) Jaya Grocer ran out of streaky bacon; and b) bacon bits are a heck lot cheaper and does the same job. Nowadays I leave the bacon in the pan longer than usual, as to get a crispy effect.

After you have deemed your bacon fried and crispy, transfer to a plate with kitchen towel to soak up the grease. Then leave it alone because if you try to mess with it now, you’d burn your fingers. I speak from experience that it is very painful.

When the bacon has cooled down a bit, chop it into tiny pieces. I use scissors and cut them individually because I am a control freak like that.

3. Seasoning! Add salt, black pepper, butter (which I forgot but doesn’t matter) and sour cream. The sour cream was probably the most expensive ingredient because it’s not something that I conveniently stock at home, you see. I used only a few dollops but it was so worth it. No matter, I will find other use for it.

Oh, and add some chopped onions too. Mix well.

4. Final touches! Add the precious bacon bits and chopped scallions. I use scallions (daun bawang) because 1) Jaya Grocer didn’t have chives; b) it’s 4 times cheaper than chives; and c) it does the same friggin’ job.

Mix well, add more sour cream if you so desire, serve.

Next how-to: world domination. La la la la la…

Young Master Chicken? WTF is “Young Master Chicken”??

At a night market or pasar malam as we Malaysians know it, I saw a stall selling the most peculiarly named Young Master Chicken. Any meager signage on display or elaboration on the product was in Chinese, a language that I unfortunately cannot read.

Young Master Chicken at a night market
Photo nicked from a Facebook page

The birds were small. At first glance, I thought it was a quail aka burung puyuh.
Seemed too big to be quail though. Must be some sort of chicken breed then.
They were all headless and deep-fried.

I bought one to try it out. Chicken only what, what could be so bad about chicken?
Obviously I’d conveniently forgotten about ‘field chicken‘.
Which is a cruel joke, really.
You shouldn’t call something as something else just because it tastes like something else.
Meanies.

Young Master Chicken on display
Photo nicked from a Facebook page

I got home, unwrapped all the food bought to serve for dinner.
I got to the ‘Young Master Chicken’ and something came over me.
Maybe it was the size, could it be a baby??
Maybe it was the chicken, I mean, a real chicken or fake one??

In truth, it was the unidentified long bit attached to the chicken.
The beginning or end part, I do not know.
So it could have been a tail or a thin neck.
Deep-fried along with the rest of the tiny ‘chicken’ body.

Either way, it freaked me out and I binned it.
So if anyone could tell me exactly what ‘Young Master Chicken’ is,
I’d appreciate it ‘cos I just threw RM5.50 into the bin.