Archive for January, 2011

How To Make Nian Gao

January 28, 2011

Glutinous rice flour at only RM2.60 per half kg, measuring the caramelized sugar, add flour to blender, pour into moulds (you can see bubbles here, it’s because I poured too fast! Kan Cheong!)

Nian Gao or sticky rice is used as offering to the gods. For my family, being the superstitious Hokkiens (I take great pride being a Hokkien!), we offer the nian gao to the Gods of Heaven (Jade Emperor), Goddess of Mercy, God of the Earth, Kitchen God and ancestors. That means, we will need 5 nian gaos. A quick check in the supermarket, a cup-cake sized nian gao goes for as much as RM1.90. Don’t even think of getting a bigger nian gao! It costs about Rm13 just for one nian gao as big as a rice bowl!

So this year, being frugal, we decided to make our own!

My mom said, when she was just a girl, the people who made nian gao would forbid anyone from entering the kitchen. They didn’t speak and could only think of pure thoughts, otherwise, the nian gao would not turn out to be good.

Last night, as I was helping mom to make nian gao, the blender suddenly stopped working. We had a petty squabble and started to curse the blender which was newly bought. I was so furious that I wanted to call the person who sold me this lousy blender till my sis turned over the blender and saw the safety switch! Apparently, the blender was over heated because of the thick caramelized sugar. Lucky it didn’t get overheated and just die on us! We laughed our heads off and continued making.

I’ve search all over the internet for the easiest methods but then, a friend gave me a recipe made it all much easier! But then, since she prefers her food to be less sweet (she’s a health freak), we modified the recipe to suit our taste!

First, these are the ingredients that you need.

A packet of glutinous rice flour – 500g
500g of sugar
500ml of water

Yield: Five (3 inches diameter) nian gaos/ two 10 inches fishes and one 3-inches diameter round container. You can get the fish mould at any bakery shop, I supposed. It’s made of plastic and could withstand steaming!

Steps

1. Heat the wok and melt the sugar in slow fire.
2. When you see the melted, caramelized sugar started to sizzle, pour in water bit by bit and mix properly. (Do not add water before the sugar are caramelized fully because the sugar would harden and turned white instead like “ping tong”)
3. Set aside to cool it down.
4. Prepare the mould for the batter by greasing it with vegetable oil.
5. Add banana leaf for added fragrance. If you are solely making as offering, perhaps you can skip this step lah.
6. When the caramelized sugar is cooled, pour into blender, stir a little of the caramelized sugar while it’s in the blender to see if it’s not too “tight” to move. Then, add on ¼ of the 500g of glutinous rice flour.
7. Press the blender to blend. Slowly add bit by bit of flour till all 500g were evenly blended. Some people use cake batter beater. Why do we do this slowly? It’s to prevent the blender from overheating! You may add some water if you find the batter is too thick! Chances of blender overheat is high due to the sticky caramelized sugar. Another alternate is to use the electric mixer /hand blender for cakes. The more water you add, the softer the nian gao would be. *Do not use blender continuously for too long as it would tend to overheat due to the caramelized. Just press it for 15 seconds, off, then press another 10-15 seconds.
8. At the mean time, set the wok to steam the cakes. While waiting, grease the mould with cooking oil/olive oil.

Place to wok to steam.. and voila, your nian gao is ready!

9. Pour the batter into greased moulds. It’s better for you to pour it slowly into mold to avoid unsightly bubbles!
10. Steam the cakes for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how dark you want the nian gao to turn out to be. The longer you steam, the darker it would become!
11. Leave it to cool down or perhaps store in the fridge once it’s cooled down for it to harden.

Voila! You have home made sticky cakes! And it doesn’t cost much!

I see if I can try to come up with “fatt gou” recipe in my next blog post! All for Chinese new year celebration!

Update 20th January 2012: I’ve added a few steps because of trial and error the second time I did the nian gao. My blender was overheated again! That is, to grease the mould and ensure the caramelized sugar is not too thick because the blender will be spoilt!

Update 28th January 2013: You can yield about five 3 inches nian gaos or two 10 inches fishes and one 3 inches nian gao. If you use smaller mould, then you will get more.

Update 7th February 2013: Suffered misfortune trying to make nian gaos yesterday. Not sure if it’s due to wrong measurement or because I was over confident. So yesterday, 6 fishes ended up in the dustbin. I find, you must have the ingredients in proportion – 500g sugar and 500g flour, otherwise… gone… Attempting second time this year to make nian gaos now.. keeping fingers crossed!

Check out my latest fish shaped nian gou!

PS. I think instead of using blenders – which I think most people would find that the sticky nian gao could fry their blenders! I gather you can try using spatula to mix the mixture instead.

Awesome Things

January 24, 2011

1. You are on your way to do heavy grocery shopping and you get a parking spot right in front of the exit door of the hypermarket!
2. The things you wanted to buy are on sale on the day when you go shopping.
3. Going to get the laundry done but someone beat you to it.
4. It’s Sunday night and you found your working blouse is neatly ironed, hung in your closet. Thanks, mom!
5. When you are down to your last sen and you accidentally found some cash stash away in your study desk drawer.
6. When you are broke and a friend said, he or she owes you money and decides to pay you back.
7. A friend got you a very nice vintage winter jacket for a steal at the flea market.
8. A friend bought you a book published in 1956, probably the oldest book to be found in your book shelves.
9. A friend whom you haven’t spoken to many years, drop by your house with a pot of apple honey when she read your status on facebook that you are having a pro-longed cough.
10. Being able to make a friend laugh when he/she is down.
11. Kissing my little niece, right after she got out from a bath.
12. Totally forgotten about a commission arrears and receiving a one lump sum of money!
13. Getting invitation to join friends for a reunion/ meal, showing that they are still thinking of you.
14. Get a phone call from an old friend and bitched about a common friend. Haha!
15. Not having to go to work the next day because somebody won a football match.
16. Accidentally farted in a public place but no one took notice. Phew!
17. Taking awesome pictures while sitting on a moving bus, walking in a hurry, accidentally clicking the shutter!
18. When the CD that got stuck in the CD ROM in your lap top, pop out by itself.
19. Receiving a card via snail mail, all the way from UK.
20. Getting free movie passes and bringing along friends.
21. Someone send you a song that you have been looking for so long.
22. Having friends paying for your lunch because you are such an awesome person! Haha!
23. When your boss gets your joke (I blame it on age gap!).
24. The children did all their homework without being told.
25. Having the tv entirely to yourself and getting to watch what you want.
26. People letting you to pay first because their grocery list is longer than yours!
27. Having people to drive you to work everyday.
28. Having somebody to offer you a cookie when you are feeling so hungry that you could eat a horse!
29. Getting inspiration of what to blog next and ideas flow like clear river.
30. Getting at least one comment in each blog post – at least I know somebody is reading it!

So, what’s on your list? :)

Inspired by Neil Pasricha’s 1,000 Awesome Things.

Lucky!

January 19, 2011

Over the weekend, I drove to Puchong to meet up with some friends. As I was approaching the restaurant that we were supposed to meet, I was glad to see that, there were plenty of parking spaces. I would have opted to park on the main road as it was nearer to the restaurant but decided against it. So I turned into the lane adjacent to the restaurant instead and parked there.

I walked towards the restaurant and sat down, read the menu and started to sms my friends that I am there waiting for them. I was somehow feeling restless, like something is not right.

Suddenly, I heard a loud bang behind me and less than 2 seconds later, another bang on my side! I jumped up from my seat and looked behind me. I saw a Getz making a sudden screeching halt, with white smokes coming out from its rear. A lady was inside the car and she was in shock. The car alarm on a Persona on the parking lot on the main road went off like crazy.

A Waja didn’t stop at the junction and rammed into the Getz and the Getz went out of control and banged into the Persona parked in front of the restaurant. At that point of time, I was telling myself – “Thank GOD! I didn’t park there!”

I quickly called my friends and told them to be careful and not to park on the main road.

A short while later, there were many people standing there. The lady was still in shock but she was really angry and I saw her pointing at the guy who drove the Waja. This is a commercial area with people walking about, for goodness’ sake. There is no point speeding down the road like you are on some highway. Luckily no one was injured. I just feel sorry for the guy with the Persona. He was about to leave with his three other colleagues, and the accident happened. I guess he’s lucky that he wasn’t standing near his car, otherwise, he would be the most unfortunate victim!

It’s So Cool… NOT!

January 13, 2011

Happy sekejap!

I was sorting out mails at home and I found a very rare CNY card addressed to me. I was delighted. Who sends CNY card nowadays anyway? This sender has been sending me new year card every year since she started doing her insurance business. Hats off to her for “keeping in touch” for so many years. Since she’s a successful insurance group sales manager now, I guess she would be having an office clerk to help her with the mailing. Well, this is not what I want to talk about today.

As I opened the card to look at the prosperous words inside, a leaftlet fell out. I looked at it and saw – special features, buy back option. Since the sender is doing insurance, I guess it’s okay. Perhaps, she wants to show me some good investment or savings scheme. I am a strong supporter of insurance, since I pay no less than RM1,000 per month for coverage.

Can use the 1Malaysia logo meh?

I looked further and saw the words, Smart Early Payout Critical Care. Hhmph.. perhaps this savings scheme came with critical illness protection. Okay fair enough.

Ballonbahasa baku?

Then I saw the word, “Ballon”. What the fuck is a “Ballon”? Oh I see. She meant angioplasty. Well, I am not totally an ignorant bitch. I know what angioplasty is. If you want to educate some ignorant people, ok, fine, you can call it balloon but, for God’s sake, please spell correctly lah. Wait a minute.. maybe the sender visited France and suddenly loved everything French. Balloon is spelt ballon in French. Ok, fine, fair enough.

TPD means Total Permanent Disability, for those who don’t know

Death and TPD.. ok.. fine. I am an open minded person. Everybody will die some day, some how.

I didn’t feel any gagging in my throat till I flipped the flyer.

OH MY F*CKING GAWD!


For your info, I added the yellow stars on the picture. It came uncensored.

Do you seriously, SERIOUSLY think it’s a great idea to put pictures of cancerous breasts together with a CNY card? With all due respect, I am highly receptive of the concept of insurance. But I don’t think you should rub it in with horrifying pictures to get your point across! On any normal day, I am fine if you show me cancerous breasts, gangrenous foot due to diabetes, etc but COME ON! YOU INSERT the leaflet in a Chinese new year card? PLEASE LAH. HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE!

Seriously, I was thinking of contacting her for some financial planning matters but I guess the leaflet really turned me off! I am taking my business elsewhere! I guess I am going to throw her CNY card in the bin from next year onwards!

Professionalism

January 12, 2011

I wonder why some people are totally unprofessional and yet, here they are, still appearing in office every day.

For instance, the moronic colleague who refused to do what’s told, even by her own boss is never being warned for insubordination. Instead, other colleagues have to do her work! Where is justice? So, whenever her boss ask me to do HER things – I would stare back at him and said, you have a secretary – USE HER! Seriously, I don’t give a shit if you cannot even manage your own staff. Perhaps you shouldn’t even be a boss if you can’t even control that bitch of yours! Haha! Imagine, my boss calling me – his bitch. LOL! That would really sound awkward.

Then, there’s another colleague who has been working here for ages and yet, if you ask her anything, she would say, “I don’t know”. Actually, what she meant was, “I don’t give a flying fuck!”. She said, if you know something, that’s the end for you – you would be bombarded with work which is not even within your job description. I have to agree and also disagree. For me, I think if I could help, within my means, I would assist. If I really don’t know, I would try to direct them to ask for information from the right person. After all, we would be needing favors from our fellow colleagues in future. I was right. Most of the time, when I get things done much easier, she would be perplexed. She has to keep reminding people, or even beg people, sometimes to no avail to get her things she wants. Then, she has the cheek to complain – why I always get things done so quickly but not her. I guess, the motto – do unto others what you wish others to do unto you rings true here. You help others, others will help you back. As simple as that!

Yesterday, I was calling a colleague’s extension but, she wasn’t around. So the moronic colleague who sat next to her picked up her phone. Upon hearing her voice, I hung up the phone. Hahaha! I know it’s rude.. but then, she deserves it! I don’t want to waste my time talking to a moron. It surprises me that she actually does something in the office, other than selling Avon products and phone cards!

There’s another colleague who can never understand a simple instruction. We have ISO format to follow to submit reports. Yet, he would come up with fancy reports to suit his taste. It varies from month to month. I think it’s a waste for him to work here. He should have gone to some advertising company for his creativity! I pray and hope that, the audit would go to his office and issue him a Non Compliance Report!

End of rant


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