Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Blues

This is the least favorite time of year for me.The weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. The leaves are turning brown and all over falling and we have not even experienced the first frost yet. However we have been very fortunate these few past Saturdays when we have enjoyed really good weather for our weekly round of golf. We enjoyed the sun these past Saturdays.Although it was like 12-15c, the sun really made a big difference and with no stiff breeze I went out with just my golf shirt.
We are in the midst of the baseball playoffs.October baseball is really exciting. The Blue Jays did not make it to the post season again but it was a year of over achievement for the team. We have a very talented group of 4 starting pitchers and they will continue to improvr to take us to the playoffs in the coming years.The field players have had an excellent year leading the major leagues in home runs.In fact one of our players led all of baseball in total home runs.I am to say the least, very excited about the team in the coming years.
The only saving grace for this time of year with winter approaching is that it is nearing the time when we make our annual trip back to KL.My golf game is in good shape and I look forward to having those games with my friends.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Enjoying Summer

We are really enjoying the great summer weather these past few months.A little warmer and more humid that normal perhaps but what the heck we are Malaysians and this is nothing compared to the atrociously hut and humid weather in Malaysia and besides it is better than a foot of snow in January.We have been playing golf these past few months.My game has improved and therefore enjoying the game even more. In past years at this time of the season I will be lamenting how fast the summer has progressed and soon it will be over and winter will arrive etc, etc.However these past few years we have been going back to KL at he end of December for 3-4 weeks and therefore I am actually looking forward to the passage of the season.
Last Saturday we had 11 friends over for dinner. I made Yong Tow Foo and this really was enjoyed by everyone.None of my Malaysian/Singaporean friends make this dish well and therefore when I do make it my friends really have a good meal.On top of this I also made beef brisket/tendon curry with wonton noodles and this was also enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beef Ribs with Noodles


Made Korean style beef ribs, Kalbi JJim for dinner last night.It is an excellent way of cooking beef ribs with soya sauce, sesame seed oil, garlic and brown sugar.For lunch I used the leftover gravy with some wonton noodles, added some vegetables and had a plate of restaurant standard noodles.This is the reason thatI,much to the chagrin of my wife,am often reluctant to eat out as I can whip a decent dish at any time. The beef ribs were inexpensive at $1.39/lb.I bought 4 lbs for about $5 and had the butcher cut them up to more or less bite size pieces.The vegetables were mustard greens (gai choy in Cantonese)going for 48 cents a lb. 3 of us had that for dinner and all the leftovers I had for lunch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

20 years in Toronto

Today is the 20th anniversary of our arrival in Canada.How time flies!I still remember the day we left.Family and friends were at the old Subang Airport to see us off.Shortly after the plane took off I fell asleep and woke up not long after feeling an enormous sense of trepidaton.Justifiably so.The first few years was tough for me in particular as I could not get a job. My wife got a job after a few months and the children as expected assimilated like duck to water.Not that I was unemployed. I worked as a commision sales rep for a magazine but a proper job eluded me for a few years.We managed to bring up our children well and they thrived under the Canadian environment.The children were cognizant that we were going through this process of living in a new country.My daugther wrote in a school essay (she was 14 or 15 at that time)referencing Hilary Clinton's book that "it takes a village" to bring up a child and she was growing up without the benefit of her "village" Somehow we managed well.Fast forward 20 years.Our two children are successful professionals.My wife has a good job and I am running my own business,stress free.We are healthy and enjoying life to its fullest. We are a very close knit family and our children ,although they are very successfull professionally,they are first and foremost 2 very decent persons and for this my wife and I can give ourselves a pat on our backs!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Durian Feast!

We were back for a visit to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to be exact in January for 3 weeks for our annual visit.This time we had our fill of the best durians money can buy.Although this time of the year is not the peak season, the quality of the durians were very good. Mostly a variety called " Musang".We also had "Cokok" and some very good D24s.They were bought from a stall in SS2 and this vendor really came through with very good stuff. In the old days I like my durians in their shells but this time I had them "tapaued" in takeaway boxes, so much more convenient.
Last year at the same time we did not see a single durian in our first 2 weeks back and only enjoyed some in the third week.This year we really made up for it.
The last three months have been very busy for me. Starting in December when we had the pre Christmas/end of year social functions with our circle of (mostly Malaysian/Singaporean) friends.It was one dinner/lunch after another every weekend culminating in our Christmas Eve dinner when we had 30+ people over. I cooked a whole bunch of food including chicken rice with white chicken, teowchew braised duck with pork, pig stomach eggs, etc, mamak fish curry, lamb curry, roast turkey with mashed potatoes. My wife made chicken pot pie and quiche.It was a feast enjoyed by everyone.
During this period leading up to Christmas, I was also very busy with my little printing business, running all over to fulfill orders especially during the last week before business when I had to shop for food for the party and buying Christmas presents. I was very glad when Christmas eve arrived. We also celebrated my daughter's birthday which falls on Christmas day. So we had a cake for her on Christmas Eve and celebrated when 12.00 arrived.Our guests also enjoyed a karaoke session in the basement.
On Christmas day we chilled out, had a nice birthday lunch with our daughter.In the evening we went over to our son's house where he and his girlfriend cooked a delicious roast lamb dinner. We opened our presents after dinner. Our children bought a netbook computer for us which is very useful when traveling. On boxing day we started packing for our trip and left for Shanghai on the night of December 27.
We stayed for 4 nights in Shanghai( actually 3 in Shanghai and one in Wuxi).We usually make a stopover in China on the way back to Malaysia every year.It is a very convenient way for us to visit China. This time our daughter came with us and we really spent some quality time with her during our 3 1/2 weeks vacation. Although she still lives with us we hardly see her as she works long hours at her job and spends a lot of time with her boyfriend

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter is here

The first snowfall of the winter arrived this morning.The significance of this is that we in Toronto had no snow in November for the first time in 160 years.We managed to play golf until the end of November.My final game was on November 21.The season was therefore extended by some 3 weeks.My next game will be in Kuala Lumpur on January 5 when I will be back for my annual visit.
Winter has not officially arrived until the winter solstice on December 21.However in Toronto, winter arrives early and leaves late.However this year, with El Nino the temperatures have been warmer.Last year at this time the temperature was already -10c.When I refer to "warmer" it is totally relative.I remember when we first came to Canada, I was watching the weather report and the presenter announced that after a few weeks of below freezing temperatures the weekend's temperature will be a "balmy zero".I knew there and then that I was in a very cold place.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

We are well into Fall and with this comes Thanksgiving which was on October 12th. As Malaysians we are not really not into this festival but as they say When in Rome....We also had some family visitors from Singapore and therefore had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at home. I roasted a turkey in my convection microwave oven which I have been doing for the past 19 years.
It is so easy that I really have a stress free Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least where cooking the turkey is concerned. I also roasted a prime rib of beef. My daugther made delicious mash potatoes ( with Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes).
With the cold weather fast approaching, we are squeezing in as much golf as possible. On the days we played it was not as cold, between 5-15 c. The trick is to dress in layers. Firstly it is a better way to keep warm, as opposed to wearing one thick layer. Secondly when the temperature starts creeping up as the day progresses, it is easy to peel off layer by layer. Last Saturday when we starting playing at 9.45 ( there was a 1.5 hr frost delay), it was about 6 c but crept up to about 12 c by 1 pm and therefore I had to peel off all the layers until I was only in my golf shirt.

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