RMCO Day 23 ~ Thursday, 2 July 2020

In less than two weeks, Sherilyn and Cass will be returning to classroom learning! While I am glad that they can be back in school and not be cooped up at home and get hooked to their gadgets all day, I am a little sad that our long holidays will soon be over 😌  This kind of holiday happens once (or maybe twice) in our lifetime and it’s the only time in our lives that we get to be together lollygagging around the home 24/7 for four months.

Despite the anxiety over a bunch of uncertainties facing us, grinding gears with family members, the stress of having to cook 3 meals a day and cleaning up like crazy the entire day with a house full of occupants throughout the four months of house quarantine, in hindside, I’ve enjoyed the quarantine at home with my girls.  We get to sleep in everyday, have no where to rush to, my Grab mom duties were put on hold and the girls have no exam stress. PT3 and UPSR exams were scratched out  and SPM postponed to next January and that’s the biggest joy for us 😆

Things are slowly and surely getting back to normal.  I wouldn’t say that this year sucks as everyone has been grounded; the grounding has pushed a total reset button in all of us, which is a good thing, as most of us took many things for granted pre-Covid19. The past 4 months have been a time of reflection for many of us.   The only downside of the pandemic and months of partial lockdown for us is that it has sucked out a chunk of hubby’s savings just to keep his business going without laying off his staff and the household running uninterrupted.  It’s like a game of Snakes and Ladders and this year we landed on the snake’s head and have to slide down to the bottom of the snake and work our way up again. If you’ve played this board game before, you’ll know that everyone has to land on the snake’s head at least once and get thrown to the bottom again.  And like the game, we will somehow reach the top again, in a matter of time 💪

Our dinner: Japanese curry (the girls’ all-time favorite dish), ‘Yeh Heong Fah’ / Fragrant Telosma omelette (my favorite) and leftover radish+ mushroom+ carrot + pork bone soup from yesterday.



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RMCO Day 15 & 16 (Wed & Thursday, 24 & 25 June 2020)

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Cass’ best friend, A and her mom visited us today!  A’s mom brought a huge bag of Enid Blyton books for Cass as A knows that Cass loves everything Enid Blyton from the Famous Five series to the enchanted tales series.  We had lunch together at our condo’s in-house Japanese restaurant for the 2 girls to catch up on the 3 months that they missed out with each other in school.  Cass is enamored of A and they are  upset that they’re going to have very little time to spend with each other before they go separate ways to different high schools next year.  This is their last year in primary school and they have to miss all the important and exciting events  in school because of the pandemic — sports day, concert, canteen day, jogathon, trips, parties, UPSR and the culmination of their 6 years in primary school — their graduation ceremony.  As the MoE announced yesterday that the year end school holidays will be shortened by two weeks, a graduation for the Year 6 students may still be possible in December with strict SOPs in place.

When we came back from lunch and stepped into the house, the aroma of fried chicken from the kitchen wafted in the air. Someone was deep frying chicken, something that both the mil and I will never do!  And the chicken tenders were coated in flour – double the calories and fat!  I freaked out but Alycia and Cass were all excited and couldn’t wait to dig into the forbidden food!

Not exactly chicken Karaage but a cross between it and oriental style soy sauce honey garlic fried chicken. And the girls loved it to bits.  Food that’s usually forbidden always tastes extra yummeh eh?

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Today is the 100th day of MCO that our country is in and let’s all pray that our country never has to relive the MCO days again when the RMCO ends on 31 August 2020.

In the morning I brought Sherilyn to the clinic for the doctor to check out a corn on her right big toe that has turned inflamed.  A corn is a tiny, discrete callous that can be very tender if it’s on a weight-bearing part of the foot.  The corn developed on the bottom part of her big toe as a result of over-friction — from over-twirling on that toe during dance practice for several competitions, during taekwondo, kickboxing and Muay Thai classes when she had to train bare-footed and during running practice for an inter-school competition. This dancer of ours has been having rather frequent injuries to her legs caused by dancing, running and accidents. Early last year I took her for an x-ray when she fell during dance practice, injured her spine and had a swell on the spine.  When she was 11 and 12 years old respectively, she fell from the stairs when she didn’t listen to my warning to her not to run down the stairs.  She missed a step and landed on her ankle.  The exact same accident happened around the same time, two years in a row and I thought that she was really jinxed.

Our lunch today was glutinous rice dumpling / zhong as today is Dragon Boat Festival.  The zhongs were gifted to us by hubby’s aunt and are deliciously replete with ingredients.

Today we ate the last two Gula Melaka Nian Gao (glutinous rice cake) that my mum made for Chinese New Year this year.  With this, we will have to wait for another  half a year for her to make these sweet delight again. Mum makes really good Nian Gao that’s full of aroma from the palm sugar with soft and chewy texture. She makes it with her Philips pressure cooker.

This is my spunky, sociable and social media savvy 74-year old mum who enjoys baking and cooking. She makes almost all her food from scratch. In this photo taken last week, she’s prepping the dough to make ‘yau char kwai’ (Chinese Crullers / Oil-Fried Devils).   If only she lived near us, we could exchange homecooked food and visit each other more often 👩‍❤️‍👩

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RMCO Day 10 ~ Friday, 19 June 2020

After 4 days straight of eating delectable rich curried food from hubby’s shop this week, I had to run an extra mile today, in the glorious 10-ish a.m. sun.  It feels absolutely satisfying to be drenched in sweat with rosy cheeks after a 40-minute jog 🏃‍♀️.

I had a light mid-morning breakfast of sugar-free yoghurt and added swirls of sugar-free crunchy peanut butter and homemade caramel, made by our baker daughter.   Today’s breakfast is light and easy as we’re going to be digging into Nasi Kerabu from hubby’s shop for lunch, which is just an hour away!

 

Today our baking queen rolled out tangy and zesty lemon curd tarts.  She split the baking into several days and started prepping the tart dough first earlier this week. Next day she baked the tart shells. And the following day she prepped the chocolate cream for the chocolate tarts.  Yesterday she made the lemon curd and today she filled the tart shells with it. All these were done in between online classes and house chores (her duty this week is washing dirty dishes) with the OCD mother screaming at her to wipe away crumbs, flour, sugar and cream droppings on counter tops and floor before the ants feast on them and make her ballistic 🙃

Lemon curd that tastes like a hundred bucks! This jar comes from the juice and zest of 4 lemons. I eat it straight from the jar, like ice-cream, yumms!

When life gives you lemons, go make lemon curd and lemonade. Sherilyn made me a glass of super sour lemonade sans any sweetener or honey, which helped to melt away the beef rendang and Nasi Kerabu from hubby’s shop 😆

Sherilyn also cooked Japchae today and that’s for her breakfast tomorrow as she won’t have the time to cook anything tomorrow — she’s attending a Fighting Course for PT3 students conducted by teachers at her tuition center.  I’d paid over RM500 for this 3-month revision program just before the Coronavirus pandemic. No one could have guessed that a month later, the Ministry announced that all government exams for this year will be scraped off due to the pandemic and partial lockdown, except for SPM, which will be postponed to the first quarter of next year. Since we’ve paid, the course will still proceed as planned.  I think it’s still very beneficial that she attends this course (to be conducted online until the MCO is lifted) so that she gets to learn everything that she missed out in school throughout the MCO.

In the evening, Alycia toddled out of her room and sprang a surprise on all of us when she cooked! The girl who hates to be in the kitchen and hates greasy hands actually cooked a new recipe which she’s just watched on You Tube and couldn’t wait to try it out!  It’s some kind of Korean tofu noodles pancake, using a little Japchae that her sister cooked, and added soft organic tofu, eggs and flour.  Very impressively addictive, I must say, and it’s pretty healthy too as she used very little oil and didn’t add any salt to the batter 😁



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RMCO Day 6 ~ Monday, 15 June 2020

Today I’m feeling a wee bit under the weather – throat is starting to act up and nose feels unusual, the kind that you know a cold or flu is about to attack. I know that if I don’t nip the virus or bacteria at the bud from proliferating, I could end up with a full blown nasty flu and throat infection.   I still went for my usual 10 a.m. morning run to soak up the healing sun rays and popped Esberitox, drank honey with propolis tincture, sprayed throat with propolis spray, gulped down a few packets of Izumio and gargled my throat with a concoction of sea salt water with Melaleuca essential oil, Clove essential oil and Peppermint essential oil several times a day. I used the same concoction to clean my inner nose with a cotton bud.  I think this routine seems to help.  I better go to bed early tonight as sleep is just as important for healing.

Sherilyn cooked meat balls spaghetti bolognese for lunch with the leftover burger patty meat that she prepped last week.  By the time she finished cooking, it was already 3 p.m.  Cass ate so much that she was too bloated for dinner. She’s going to have a 17-hour Intermittent Fasting  if she breaks her fast at 9 a.m. for breakfast tomorrow! 😆

Our dinner tonight: steamed cod fish, ‘Tai Yi Ma Kar Lui’ (braised hairy gourd with pork, dried shrimps and glass noodles) and braised sliced pork shoulder with tomatoes and Bombay onions.

Below: throwback dinner from one of the weekdays last week: healthy rainbow fried rice, stir fried organic baby spinach, sweet and sour fried Mackerel and sweet corn fritters.



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RMCO Day 2 ~ Thursday, 11 June 2020

After churning out a whole load of brioche buns two days ago, our baking queen finally had the opportunity to roll out her version of Killer Gourmet Burgers (KGB) today.  Being the fastidious and critical chef / baker / dancer that she is, she made sure that the KGB lives up to its moniker.  Almost every piece of ingredient in the KGB is curated, baked and cooked by her –  from the meat patties to the pickled onions, grilled zucchini, grilled sweet potato and potato sticks, caramelized onions and brioche buns. The homemade pickled onions that she made this morning gave the burger the moreishness and refreshing tang. She soaked the onions in apple cider vinegar, Gula Melaka syrup, rosemary and a few other aromatic herbs.  The result is a droolicious assembled KGB that tastes like a hundred bucks!

I can’t believe that this KGB is produced by a 15-year old girl whom I once suspected had ADHD as she was just so hyperactive, mischievous and lacked focus in her studies that I just didn’t know what to do with her!  Thank God all those negative traits were just a passing phase. I thought she was a no-goner when she was 11-12 years old but surprisingly when she went to high school, she had a 360 degrees turn, even with her studies.  I am amazed!  So I still have hope in Cass, who’s going through the same terrible phase as what her 2-che went through when she was 12 years old  🙏🏼

Love at first bite!

Sherilyn’s homemade Brioche buns. Now that they’re sliced into half, they don’t resemble ‘heong pneang’ that much  😆

Homemade pickled onions – this morning she woke up early to start prepping these.  She soaked the onions in apple cider vinegar, Gula Melaka syrup, rosemary and a few other aromatic herbs.

Homemade minced pork patties with melted Mozzarella.

Grilled sweet potato and potato sticks.

Ingredients for assembling the KGB.

A KGB piled so high with ingredients that it’s so hard to bite onto it! We replaced lettuce with fresh basil leaves.

Thanks for dishing out the gourmet burgers Sherilyn! We appreciate your effort very much, though I scream and cuss a lot at the mess you create each time you play masak-masak at the kitchen 😘



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MCO Day 84 ~ Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Today our baking queen baked her very first loaf of hand-kneaded bread, which is Brioche loaf bread and Brioche buns!  According to her, the bread is not 100% perfect as the texture is not super fluffy and pillowy but her sisters and I think that it’s pretty good — super soft, buttery and rich (she used 6 eggs and an entire block of butter for all these). In fact she even marked her Brioche as ‘FAILED’!  That’s how much a perfectionist and critical she is, just like her dad.

Brioche burger buns… but we think they look like ‘Heong Peang’ 😆  Nonetheless. taste and texture are commendable.

Lunch today is Sundubu jigae (Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew) again as there’s still one last portion of homemade Gochujang in the fridge which Sherilyn made some two weeks ago. She also made a side of Oi Muchim (spicy Korean marinated cucumber).  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Sundubu jigae which tastes so much better than the ones at Korean restaurants as ours is less salty (and doesn’t give me a bad aftermath of unquenchable thirst) and most of the ingredients are organic.

Dinner tonight is Nasi Hujan Panas from hubby’s kitchen.

Today marks the last day of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and tomorrow begins the next phase ~ Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). Our country is slowly but surely on the way to recovery! 🙏



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MCO Day 80 ~ 5 June 2020 (Friday)

This morning’s jog was cut short when it started to drizzle.  Oh how I dislike wet mornings!  I continued running for a short while in the drizzle until it got heavier.  Getting a minimum of 30 minutes run each day is as important as getting my daily supplements. My daily workout is akin to popping a daily happy vitamin 😊.  When I got back from my morning jog today, brekkie was served!  Our in-house chef has prepped a luxurious gourmet breakfast for me and she later prepped something light and healthy for lunch 💝

Breakfast menu:
* Tartine rye toast with smoked salmon and poached egg with homemade Hollandaise sauce and dill;
* Banana walnut bread baked with organic almond flour, organic multi-purpose flour and organic coconut sugar, thus the dark color.

Lunch menu: grilled broccoli, carrots and onions drizzled with Hollandaise sauce and steamed sweet potatoes.

Banana walnut bread was baked two days ago. Today Sherilyn heated up a slice in the oven for my brekkie.

My guilt-free snack of grilled vegetables ~ I can eat grilled vegetables everyday and never get bored of it.  Everyday can be a different combo – from zucchini to pumpkin, beets, sweet potato sticks or wedges, sweet corns, etc.  The variety of vegetables used, herbs and spices used to flavor the vegetables are just endless.

The girls also prepped something for our in-house guards –  potato chips and tortilla with yummy tuna mayo dip, decorated with dill and seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

Boxed juice and yummy snacks for our friendly hardworking guards. They are also happy beneficiaries of boxed food from hubby’s shop whenever there is surplus food.

 


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MCO Day 77 & 78 (Tuesday, 2 June & Wed, 3 June 2020)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

With over 2 months of being stuck at home and devoid of a daily part-time helper, all the cleaning and washing finally took a toll on my hands.  My stiff shoulders got stiffer and the crick in my neck got ‘cricker’.  I’m currently suffering from pain on my right hand (the hand that I use the most) and have difficulty turning this hand. The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that attacked my hand shortly after Alycia was born was also on my right hand.  My right hand has been grossly over utilized!  Yesterday I fished out my Salonpas patches and stuck them on my neck and right hand. I also massaged my neck and hand with Wintergreen essential oil. Both the Salonpas and Wintergreen essential oil provided a little pain relief but complete healing is going to take forever as long as Maria our beloved part-time helper doesn’t come back to provide me with the real pain relief! 😫

I miss having my portable massage chair to give me daily massages on my shoulders and back.  When I went to Mid Valley Megamall last Sunday, I was shocked when the staff at Osim informed me that my faulty massage chair is still stuck in their shop – their reason was it’s still Hari Raya. But from the staff’s ‘guilt-stricken’ expression when she found out that my massage chair was still at their shop, I knew they’d forgotten to send it to the head office. 😥  With such cheesy quality despite the 5-star price, this will be my second and last purchase from Osim.  The sales staff even had the cheek to cajole me to buy their second-generation portable massage chair, that’s more expensive at a whopping RM1,800!  No way Jose, not even if it’s at a 50% discount🤔

Our baking queen made Chawanmushi for lunch today and this time, it’s umami-packed with a consistency that’s similar to those from Japanese restaurants.  She added dashi and a little Chinese rice wine since we don’t have sake at home.

Hubs gave us a surprise when he came back early with tapau Ba Kut Teh for dinner.  His catering event ended early and he came back early to rest as he woke up at 5:30 this morning to start work at the kitchen with his team.

Dinner of fried rice (with eggs, turmeric, kafir lime leaves and curry leaves), blanched broccoli, cauliflowers and celery, stir-fried lean pork with big onions and leftover sambal from hubby’s shop and Ba Kut Teh.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Hubs tapau Yong Tau Fu, Sarawak curry noodles and char koay teow for brunch from O&S Restaurant @ Paramount Garden, PJ after his physiotherapy session at the hospital today.

Today I started my morning jog a tad late at 10:30 a.m. and the sun was already out in full force grilling me like a piece of meat when I jogged at the jogging trek of our condo. Somehow, the morning sun does not give me a migraine, only the afternoon sun does. In fact, it gives me a high of serotonin, which makes me very happy and calm! No matter how busy I am, I try not to miss out on my morning jog – this is very important in helping me detox not only my body through sweat, but also a detox of my mind from negative and unhappy thoughts.  The only downside is I now spot a bronze tan on my limbs and face. When the girls return to school (which no one knows when, yet), I think I won’t look like a Chinese anymore 👩🏾 😜

Hubs brought back Nasi Briyani from his kitchen in the late afternoon. Since there was warm yummy food on the dining table,  I had my lunner at 3:30 p.m. so that I could have a longer Intermittent Fast today.  We used to have dinner at 4 p.m. pre-Covid19 as the girls would be back from school around this time; when they’re back from school, they always appear like famished feral dogs. So I always ensure that dinner is ready by 3:30 p.m. and I eat my dinner with them at this hour!

We also had 5-Elements Miracle Soup today. This meat-less soup is believed to have the ability to fight cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments.  I love this soup and don’t mind having it everyday as it’s meat-free and naturally aromatic and sweet. It’s composed of the following roots:

  • Daikon Radish Leaves (Green element)
  • Daikon Radish (White element)
  • Carrots (Red color element)
  • Burdock Root (Yellow element)
  • Shittake Mushroom (Black element)



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MCO Day 70 ~ 26 May 2020 (Tuesday)

Sherilyn got up very early this morning. She wouldn’t get up early if she doesn’t have an activity… or have something up her sleeve. Since it’s the school holidays now and online classes by school teachers are suspended during the holidays, I knew she’s up to something in the kitchen because for the past few days, she kept saying that she wanted to cook Pho!

Today our baking queen has been very productive in the kitchen.  She whipped up Wanpaku Sando for breakfast and Pork Pho for lunch, that’s enough to last us till dinner.

Meet the newest style of healthy sandwich from Japan that looks absolutely enticing, tastes incredible and totally Insta-worty – Wanpaku Sandwich or Wanpaku Sando. Stuffed with colorful cooked and raw vegetables and layering ingredients, these solid Japanese sandwiches present endless possibilities!

This time Sherilyn stuffed the sandos with egg rolls, boiled sausages, cheese, tomatoes and crisp Ice Plant. You can slather the bread with butter, mayo, tomato ketchup and whatever your mouth desires.

She prepped the Sando while the pot of bone marrow broth was boiling on the stove and the ginger + onions + garlic were toasting in the oven.   After she was done with the Sando, she toasted a heap of herbs and spices – bay leaves, cinnamon bark, cardamom, star anise, cloves, black pepper corn… and the aroma from the toasted herbs, spices and roots roasting in the oven is SO therapeutic. Even if you are in a bad mood, the aroma from all these healthy spices and herbs can instantly give your mood a boost.

A healthy pot of immunity-boosting ingredients slow-boiled with pork bone marrow for over 5 hours, seasoned with fish sauce.

While the bone broth was boiling, she quickly made Char Siew. It’s her first try at it and I must say that it’s pretty good, albeit the next time, she can reduce the soy sauce for a healthier low-sodium version.

The pork belly (not marinated) was seared before braising with sauces.

Tender meat that falls off the bone – every pore, fiber and muscle in every mouthful resonates with the aromatic flavors from the myriad of herbs and spices, a result of an almost 6-hour slow simmering.

Laborious work but the end result is such a hearty temptation.

Sherilyn spent over 6 hours in the kitchen to whip up 3 meals for the entire family 👏🏻💕 .  Of our 3 girls, she’s the only one who likes cooking and baking. She baked her first cake when she was almost 9 years old, baked her first pie the following year, broke a dozen of plates and bowls and cut her fingers umpteen times to reach where she is now.

We had Pho again for dinner and a side of delish chicken rendang from hubby’s shop.

This is Catermate’s menu for bento box delivery. Kindly Whatsapp Alan at 019-266 4297 to order. Thank you for your support 💓



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MCO Day 68 ~ 24 May 2020 (Sunday)

When I came back from my morning jog at 10 a.m., breakfast was almost ready.  Our baking queen was whipping up some pancakes in the kitchen!

She made button pancakes and regular size pancakes in 3 flavors – original, matcha and chocolate.

Cute as a button – these super cute button pancakes are so easy to pop into the mouth. Perfect for toddlers and adults don’t mind some too 🤤

Sherilyn poured the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and squirted the batter onto the frying pan.

Perfect match – pancakes and caramel sauce, which Sherilyn made last week.

 

Today hubs deserves plenty of Brownie points!  After my computer got struck by lightning yesterday evening, hubs brought it to the computer shop at Low Yat Plaza today to have it fixed. Despite today being the first day of Hari Raya, the computer shop is still open.  Times are bad and business owners can’t afford to rest even on public holidays.

When hubs got back, a surprise awaited me!  I got more than what I’d asked for. Not only was my computer fixed, he got me a brand new set of computer, complete with a new mouse, keyboard and speakers!   As we don’t have enough computers at home for online classes, Cass gets to inherit my old desktop computer.  Alycia and Sherilyn who don’t have a webcam for their desktop PCs got new ones too.  I guess there’s peace at home now. Everyone has their own desktop PC and hubs can use his laptop in peace 🤟


Hubs helped to set up my new desktop PC before going to his shop to supervise his chef. There’s going to be lots of beef rendang and lemang for the coming week for customers who’ve placed order for this special dish for Hari Raya. His Indonesian chef cooks one of the best beef rendang.

Stay tuned for Catermate’s Menu for the coming week!



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MCO Day 64 ~ 21 May 2020 (Thursday)

When  hubs told me to get ready as he was on his way from his shop to our condo to pick me up to collect my baby from the car repair workshop, I was ecstatic! I have not seen my car for almost a month after it was struck with a ‘car stroke’ that rendered it partially paralyzed. The electrical system had to be replaced and a new car battery was replaced as well.  The ‘hospital bill’ dented hubby’s wallet. Had he chosen an original part, the damage would have cost over RM5k!   The bill is now half of this amount.

I excitedly took out my red denim mini skirt and a crop singlet ready for a spin out of our neighborhood but the red skirt slid down my waist!  These days, having a valid excuse to get out of the house gives me a dose of endorphine rush. I was never this excited before Covid19. In fact I always yearned to stay home and not having to drive anywhere.  I used to make up to 10 trips out of the house daily for school and tuition runs and errands.

I couldn’t believe my eyes that the red skirt slid doesn’t fit my waist anymore.  I had a quick measurement of my waist and lo and behold – it’s now 66 cm, down 4 cm from 70 cm!   This is how much I’ve lost ever since I practised Intermittent Fasting and intensified my daily workout. The current MCO and CMCO devoid of a daily part-time helper provided me with more calorie-burning boost. All the chores that Maria used to do are now done by yours truly.

Mind you, I had brought the red skirt to the tailor to have the waist tightened last year and yet I can’t wear it snugly now.  I bought this skirt 3 years ago, before my fibroid removal surgery.

When I was back, a late lunch awaited me. Sherilyn had cooked a pot of Korean style noodles with the Gochujang sauce that she made from scratch last week. She pan fried some slices of pork belly and homemade dumplings to go with the noodles.


Ingredients used in the noodles soup: homemade Gochujang paste, homemade anchovies powder, organic dehydrated Wakame, organic radish, eggs, big onions, spring onions, glass noodles and pan-fried thinly sliced pork belly.  I gave it a 5/5 rating. The taste is almost 100% similar to the real deal!



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MCO Day 64 & 65 ~ Wednesday & Thursday (20 & 21 May 2020)

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The sunrise at 7 a.m. today was rather spectacular – the sky was not sure whether to cry buckets or smile sunnily.  It was dark and ominous yet amidst the stormy blue colored sky, the sun peeked out fleetingly from the horizon. The colors projected on the sky were too beautiful not to be snapped for keepsake.  Minutes after I’d snapped the photo, the sun was out of vision and it tipped down for a couple of hours.

After the rain stopped, I went jogging at the jogging treks of our condo, then walked to the mini mart to get some stuff.  My car that’s been stuck at the car repair shop for almost a month is finally ready for collection. I’m just waiting for hubs to squeeze out an hour of his time to bring me to the repair shop to collect my baby back.

We had brunch of dried olives and char siew fried rice and sweet potato tong sui boiled in ginger, pandan and brown sugar water.

Mil baked a big batch of Biscotti too.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Hubs walked to our favorite kopitiam to get us breakfast.  It’s heart-warming to see our favorite hawker stalls reopening again after being closed for almost two months.   After breakfast, I went for brisk walking at the jogging treks and then walked to the mini mart again to get some stuff.  As my post Carpal Tunnel Syndrome hands can’t carry heavy weights, I have to split my groceries shopping by foot into a daily affair.  Now that the Authorities have warned parents not to bring small children to the shopping mall, I guess I have to toe the line and not bring Sherilyn or Alycia with me to help me carry stuff. Though they are not classified as small children, it’s best not to court trouble as I don’t have the time to deal with shit and don’t want to part with a few thousand Ringgit in fine.

Today hubs finally took the time to bring me to collect my car from the car repair shop. How I miss my baby! I gave the interior a good wipe with antibacterial wipes before driving it again.  Now I don’t have to lug heavy groceries back by foot under the sizzling hot sun anymore, yay!!

Last Sunday, hubs and I dined in at Canton-I @ Gardens Mall after shopping for groceries at Jaya Grocer (for home and shop). It was our first time having brunch together during the MCO and CMCO.   When I looked at the wefie that hubs snapped, I noticed a stark difference in skin color on my chest. Can you see the two colors in stark contrast?  At a brief look, Cass commented that the white patches are shadows but on a closer scrutiny, they’re actually my original skin color. My daily jogs under the 10 a.m. sun has given me a nice tan, though I am not a fan of tanned skin.  The heck with having fair skin! As long as soaking up 40 minutes of sun gives me a boost in my mood and immunity, I’m fine with being a ‘hitam manis’ aka black beauty  ☀️ 😍

A study in Canada revealed that women who had the most sun exposure as teenagers and young adults reduced their chance of developing breast cancer later in life by almost 70 percent.  So I think getting a soak of 30-40 minutes of sun before 11 a.m. several times a week is A-OK. Just don’t sunbathe in the grilling afternoon sun though – I’ll get a migraine if I did that.



 

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MCO Day 58 ~ 14 May 2020 (Thursday)

After my usual MCO-style morning workout of stairs-climbing (5th floor > 18th floor > Ground floor), I jogged for another 30 minutes in the 10-ish a.m. sun.  I find that jogging under the morning sun gives me a lot of energy and elevates my mood (not to mention the sunshine vitamin / Vitamin D), besides giving me a dose of a much needed serotonin. Usually, I will use the stairs to walk back to my unit on the 5th floor.  Today after stairs-climbing and jogging, I walked in the sizzling sun to the  nearby shops to buy red dates and kuih from my favorite stall. The kuih seller has recently re-opened her stall. I was so happy to see her and her kuihs, my ultimate kryptonite!

When I got home, I quickly gobbled down the fattening kuihs which I missed so much.  Sherilyn also prepped a droolicious Wanpaku sandwich (or Sando).  Stuffed with colorful vegetables, eggs, meat and layering ingredients, these solid Japanese sandwiches are pleasing not only to one’s eyes but appetite!

Sherilyn used whatever that she could find in the kitchen — eggs, onions and carrots.  She made two types off eggs – mashed eggs with mayo, scallions and sesame seeds and ramen eggs.

The onions were caramelized and carrots sauteed.  Bread is organic and homemade by mil.

This Sando recipe is a real keeper. It’s a cinch to prep, it’s healthy and the ingredients for layering are endless. The only snag is that you have to eat it immediately, otherwise the bread will turn soggy.

I hit 6,670 steps from my morning workout and another 2k steps at home doing chores. OK la, I can still hit over 8k steps during the MCO!💪🏻

 

Lunch was yet another super mouth-watering, lip-smacking Indonesian delight cooked by hubby’s Indon chef today. Selling at RM23 a set, the bento box consists of Nasi Minyak with Ayam Percik and peanut sauce, prawns + petai (stinky beans) Sambal, Vegetables Dalchar and Acar.  The fried shallots are housemade and are delightfully crunchy, sweet and aromatic.

Dinner: leftover Acar, Ayam Percik and prawn sambal, blanched celery and braised potato chicken.

My fridge is now empty and I have walk to the supermarket again tomorrow! Hubs has been busy at his shop and my poor car is still stuck in the car repair shop for the second week now as the mechanic is unable to find an OEM electrical system for my car. It now looks like hubs has to buy an original part and that is going to burn a BIG BIG BIG hole in his wallet as it can cost up to RM4.5k 😭🥵

To place your order on Catermate’s Halal bento boxes, kindly Whatsapp Alan at 019-266 4297. Thanks ❤️



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MCO Day 57 ~ 13 May 2020 (Wednesday)

Today is payment day to the girls’ tuition centers and transporters, all done via online banking since last month. Though there is still no formal directive from the Government on bus fare to school transporters throughout the MCO, there was however an opinion by a Minister in the newspapers recently that parents do not have to be obligated to pay the fare throughout the MCO and CMCO.

Last month, Alycia and Cass’ transporters sent a Whatsapp message to me requesting for a half month fare to be credited into their bank accounts.  Initially I was a tad reluctant to pay as I have not been using their services since 18 March and I had paid them a full fare for March.

But if I, as well as the rest of the parents don’t pay at least a half month fare to these transporters, where are they going to find the money to feed their families and pay bills? As the half month fare is only RM125 and RM100 respectively, I agreed to pay the transporters every month, throughout the MCO.  I’ll just treat it as a good deed.  None of us are prepared for this totally unexpected pandemic. Never in my most frightful nightmare would I have dreamed that I would have to go through World War 3.  I hope that the half month fare will sweeten the transporters’ days a little because life is tough and bitter for most of us during this difficult time. Some people lost everything during this war — the businesses that they worked so hard to build just collapsed overnight without any warning.

For lunch, our baking queen cooked mushroom pasta using fresh Portobello, dried Porcini, onions, ground black pepper and a few tablespoons of champagne.  The outcome was superb! The splash of champagne added an extra edge of flavour. Restaurant secret!   And the flavorful Porcini, which is the Porsche of mushrooms imparted so much mushroom flavor to the pasta.

Future celebrity chef in the making but this girl says she will never choose cooking and baking her choice of study in uni or core area of specialization in future. Her passion is in dancing and she’s bursting with creativity.

She whipped up this impressive matcha oat bowl for herself for breakfast. Lately, Sherilyn and I are experimenting with food photography and I’m considering buying a special lighting gadget for photography. And heck, I really need a better  phone with high end camera feature!  Huawei, I’m waiting to get you again!

Hubs brought back his shop’s signature dish of Nasi Briyani for dinner today.  His chef’s Nasi Briyani is one of the best I’ve tasted and never fails to impress anyone.  Everything about this dish is sensational, from the fluffy aromatic spiced Basmati rice to the California raisins, toasted cashews, Ayam Masak Merah, Indonesian pickled salad (acar), mutton rendang (not in picture) and vegetable Dalcha.

Catermate’s Ayam Masak Merah is a hearty temptation.  It is a casserole of chicken drumsticks in dried chilies sambal.  The chicken drumsticks are first fried to a golden brown then slowly braised in a spicy dried chillies and tomato sauce.

Super refreshing fresh vegetables Acar Jelatah.

As I was savoring this vegetable Dalchar for dinner, I thought to myself that if I turn vegan or flexitarian, I could eat this everyday and never get sick of it.  Plus it’s healthy and bursting with flavors.

Blanched celery.

Today hubs’ phone was flooded with compliments on his Nasi Briyani  ❤️ It’s hard work to ensure that food that’s churned out from his kitchen is tasty and even harder to send the food boxes out as soon as they are packed so that they reach his customers while the food is still warm and on time.   And hubs has to literally split himself in the kitchen and in his office (few shop lots away) so that he’s around to do the QC check on every pack of food that goes out. It’s a lot of hard work to do food delivery with limited reliable staff but the comments he gets from his customers make it all worth his sweat and stress.

This is Catermate’s menu for week 11 – 15 May 2020.  To order, kindly send a Whatsapp message to Alan at 019-266 4297.  Thank you for your support  💝



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MCO Day 53 ~ 9 May 2020 (Saturday)

My day didn’t start off too smoothly today.  I’m utterly disappointed with someone but I shall not talk about the specifics here. The person may be reading this post or someone known to this person may be reading it and this post may get to this particular person somehow.  The internet can be agathokakological – it can save and make lives easier and also destroy them.  This issue is going to bother me for some time and there’s still no solution to it. Only time and divine intervention can resolve this issue. 😓

After a hiatus of almost two months since the MCO started, Sherilyn’s gym has finally started its first taekwondo class via Zoom today, for a short half an hour. Hopefully lessons can be more regular now to keep this girl occupied with something productive. I’ve paid for her grading fees before the MCO started and it looks like the grading may be conducted via Zoom.   Besides taekwondo, her Muay Thai and Kickboxing classes will be cancelled indefinitely until a vaccine for Covid-19 prevention is available in the market, I think, as close contact sports are still prohibited. Even if it’s allowed, I’m not sure if I would risk Sherilyn going to the gym and dance studio.

She pushed her bed to a corner of the bedroom and attended her taekwondo lesson in the room.

The girls made dumplings with their grandma in the afternoon. A good activity to keep them away from their gadgets for a couple of hours. But the aftermath is very messy with powdery floor, table and kitchen tops.  The girls helped to clean up and I had a few more rounds of wiping to do. 🥴

Filling of minced meat, julienned cabbage and carrots, sesame seed oil and soy sauce.  Sherilyn made a batch of vegan filling composed of shiitake mushrooms and onions.

Dinner: braised organic bitter melon with chicken, stir-fried organic sweet potato leaves and 12345 pork ribs.

The moment that Sherilyn has been waiting for finally arrived at 8pm today.  The announcement for the winners of the Star of AISS Talent Award was made and she’s the second runner up! The prize consists of RM500 in cash and a RM6k scholarship to study at Aspiration International School!

With so much uncertainties over the near future caused by La Corona, I don’t think we will accept the partial scholarship. Even after subsidy from the partial scholarship, it’s still a hefty sum to cough out every month for tuition fees.   The prize came at the wrong time but Sherilyn is very contented with this achievement.  With her tenacity and will power, I am sure she will be able to win something bigger in the near future, perhaps a full scholarship and perhaps even realizing her wildest dreams of studying in a renowned university in Canada.




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MCO Day 51 ~ 7 May 2020 (Thursday)

Today is Wesak Day but Buddhists in our country and in most parts of the world have to celebrate quietly while sheltering at home.

The photo below was taken on Wesak Day 11 years ago from the 5th floor of our hospital room in Penang.  Cass, my helper and I were still camping at Gleneagles Medical Center, Penang. It was day 6 or 7 after Cass’ first surgery.  I was dying to hear my baby girl fart or see her poo but it was impossible as something was seriously wrong with her guts resulting from complications from the first surgery. Her surgeon had no inkling of it as all the scans didn’t pick up the kink.   We were discharged from the hospital the next day and went back to my parents in Ipoh. But a day later, we checked into the hospital again as Cass kept throwing up the moment I nursed her.  And this began part 2 of our nightmarish stay at GMC Penang which lasted for another two hellish weeks.

Coming back to our Wesak Day today!

Today is my jailbreak from home quarantine!  Hubs was to bring me to our neighborhood supermarket to do groceries shopping but at the eleventh hour, he drove to Mid Valley Megamall instead.   It’s my first mall shopping trip during the MCO and it felt strange. I used to feel excited going to the mall but this time, I had a mixed of emotions – happy, excited, worried, tensed.  I’ve now grown to be paranoid when I am near people and I know that they are afraid to be near me too. Everyone tries to maintain a physical distance.  Yet we can’t help being near each other when we’re inside the crowded aisles in the supermarket.

Covid-19 preventive measures at the shopping mall is satisfactory. At the entrance of the car park and escalator, body temperature is taken and hands must be sanitized. Free face mask will be given as well, if you don’t have one.

At the entrance of Jaya Grocer, body temperature is taken again and the guard spritzes disinfectant on your hands and gives you a pair of disposable gloves.  Another staff hands out a card with a number to you and at the exit later, the staff collects the card number back.

The queue into the supermarket was super long, spilling out to about 20 meters long outside.

Our loot – groceries for home and hubby’s shop.

I grabbed these so-called healthy snacks  for the girls and I to munch away our  quarantine blues at home. They’ve not gone out for  over 51 days and are getting restless and insomniac at night!

Hubby ordered takeout from Din Tai Fung and was told to wait for at least 20 minutes for the food. To kill time, we walked around that floor and bought more food! I got myself a cup of Tealive with grass jelly (no sugar and no ice).  I was supposed to claim a free cup of Tealive in March, which is my birthday month but due to the MCO, I guess my free treat is now null and void.

We got some bread, buns and cakes from Barcook, one of my favorite bakeries.

I must have sanitized my hands more than eight times today at every specialty store stop that I made and whenever there was hand sanitizer available. My hands feel so chapped now. And when I got home, I had an allergy attack with a super itchy and irritable nose that lasted for several hours.  I guess it must have been caused by inhalation of the chemicals used in the face mask that I wore 😷

Dinner of oven baked salmon with garlic and black pepper with a dip of raw garlic and vinegar; anchovies egg drop soup with organic ‘Yeh Heong Fah’ edible flowers  aka Chinese Violet Telosma Cordata, stir-fried organic baby spinach and Japanese curry chicken tenders.



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