Tuesday 31 March 2015

Our Dinner From Night Market (Pasar Malam), First Garden (Taman Pertama), Ipoh

During my working days, Friday was the day I did my marketing for fresh fruits and vegetables from the night market in First Garden. The night market comes to First Garden every Friday. Many claimed that First Garden enjoys one of the biggest night market in Ipoh.

When the weather is not too hot, we enjoy strolling and looking at all the interesting items on display in the night market. Some of the items found in the night market cannot be found in the normal shops or the supermarkets. Even some of the food items can only be found in the night markets and not else where.

To be able to enjoy the night market, you must have the time and not be in a hurry. The passage for walking is narrow and the people in front may be walking quite slowly, looking or even stopping to have a closer look at the items or buying them. And if you are following behind, you will also have to stop or squeeze your way to go through and continue your walk.

Once in a while, we would buy some of the food from the night market for our dinner. My favourite food from the night market is popiah (Chinese spring rolls). There are many popiah stalls but I only like the popiah from one particular stall. We have been buying popiah from this stall for many years.
This is the popiah uncle. The business is very good and from the start to the end, there will always be a crowd around the stall. This uncle now plays a less active role, he only collects the money, the son and daughter prepare the popiah.
This is also another one of my favourite stall. This stall sells char kueh, which is fried rice cake with multiple ingredients. He will be frying non-stop and sometimes he has a male or a female assistance to help him when he gets tired.
This looked like a van selling some kind of accessories. He just park the van, open up the sides and back and he is ready for business. Very convenient for him.

Very colourful slippers, sandals and shoes for sale.

This is part of a fruits stall selling all kinds of fruits and mangoes.

Either this young man is just curious or he is not happy with me aiming my camera in his direction.

The crowd is growing.

Popcorn and pancake stall.

Some kind of fried sausages.

Lekur (fish crackers) stall.

This is the luk-luk or dip-dip (cook in boiling water) stall. There are many varieties to choose from, just dip the skewers with the ingredients into boiling water to cook and then dip them into the spicy peanut sauce or chili sauce before eating them.
I find this stall very interesting, full of so many varieties of fried goodies. All types of fried sausages, nuggets, fish balls and fish cakes, etc.

More varieties on skewers.

Fried chicken, crabs, potato wedges, etc. We have not tried all these fried things yet but one day I might be tempted to try the fried crabs. Maybe....
For this particular evening, we decided to give this laksa stall a try.

We ordered a bowl of laksa to share. It is quite tasty.

We came to this BBQ chicken wings & drumstick stall. Bought 2 chicken drumsticks.

Dinner for two - 2 chicken drumsticks and a bowl of laksa.

Yet He has not left Himself without testimony:
He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven
and crops in their seasons; He provides you
with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.
(Acts 14:17, New International Version-NIV)

Monday 30 March 2015

Growing Sand Ginger Or Cekur Plant And Its Medicinal Uses

Some of the common names of Sand Ginger or cekur (in Malay) are Galanga, Lesser Galanga, Chinese Ginger, Finger Root, Kencur, Cutcherry, Aromatic Ginger, etc. Its scientific name is Kaempferia Galanga Linn.

Sand Ginger or Cekur is related to the common ginger and is commonly found in kampungs and villages. It grows well in moist garden soil with good drainage and it likes the sun. I grow my Sand Ginger plants in a small, round and shallow pot.
This is a short plant and has no stem. It grows very close to the ground. The leaves are very close together and have a nice fragrant.
The flowers are just slightly above the leaves. I like the flowers even though they are tiny. The flowers are white with purple centre. Some Sand Ginger plants have purple flowers. I only have the ones with white flowers.
The root or rhizome is like the ginger rhizome but it is smaller in size. The root also has a nice and a stronger fragrant than the leaves. The rhizome is small and light brown to brown in colour. Propagation of sand ginger is through rhizome or baby plants.

These rhizomes are quite small. Probably they are fighting for space because I planted them in a very small, shallow pot and the plants are too closely packed together.
Usually Sand Ginger can be harvested around 9 to 12 months or when the leaves started to turn yellow and dried up.
I grow Sand Ginger in my garden because I like the nice fragrance of both the leaves and rhizomes. Once I tried using the rhizomes in my cooking but hubby doesn't like the "one kind of strong smell", so I do not use them anymore for cooking.

My Indonesian friends and my local friends shared with me some of the uses of Sand Ginger or Cekur:

Used for treatment for:
  • Wounds, infection, rheumatism, inflammation, acne, boils (bisul in Malay), sore eyes and dandruff - rhizome paste with or without oil.
  • Tonic or herbal drink for cough, chest ailment, sore-throat, fever, indigestion, headache, toothache, for postnatal women - rhizome slices with honey.
  • Young leaves and rhizomes are used in salad or ulam dishes.
  • As a spice in cooking in Indonesia, Thai, Malay and Chinese cooking.
Who is this coming up from the dessert
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
made from all the spices of the merchant?
(Song of Songs 3:6, New International Version-NIV)

Sunday 29 March 2015

Fish Balls Noodle For Breakfast At Kopitiam Sin Tong Ki, First Garden, Ipoh

 I first tasted this fish ball noodle way back in early 1982/1983. I had a colleague who had to send her daughters to school early in the morning. After that she will buy breakfast on her way to work and because of her selflessness and goodness, she also took the trouble to help buy breakfast for us as well. It was through her that we get to enjoy some very tasty breakfast in the comfort of the tea-room in our office. Sometimes, eating the same food from the office canteen could be very boring and we really looked forward to the breakfast she bought for us. Every time I eat this fish ball noodle, I will remember this ex-colleague turned very close friend of mine.

This fish ball noodle shop Kedai Kopi Tong Ki first started in Ipoh old town and it is still operating there today. Later, one of the brothers started a shop and named it Kopitiam Sin Tong Ki in First Garden few years ago. Until today, both shops are still enjoying brisk business and most of the time the shops are packed with customers.

Since our retirement, we seldom go to the shop in old town because the one in First Garden is very convenient for us. To avoid the morning crowd, we will usually go there after our morning walk, which is before 8 am. Once in a while, my ex-colleagues and I will meet up here for our breakfast and fellowship with one another. It is good and fun to come together, chat and laugh, keeping our friendship alive.
A bowl of treasures - fish balls, meat balls, tofu, bitter gourd and brinjal stuffed with fish paste.

Another bowl of treasures - fish balls, meat balls, tofu and soy sheet stuffed with fish paste.

Plain rice vermicelli in clear soup with some bean sprout and garnished with spring onion.

Address; Kopitiam Sin Tong Ki,
Lorong Taman Sepuluh, (parallel to Lebuh Taman Pertama)
Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh.
"Friends, why are you doing this?
We too are only men, human like you.
We are bringing you good news,
telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.
(Acts 14:15, New International Version-NIV)

Saturday 28 March 2015

Assam Fish For Early Dinner At Restoran Sin Hup Kee, Ipoh New Town

Yesterday evening, we had an early dinner because we did not have any lunch. Hubby was thinking of fried noodle and we went to Jalan Leong Sin Nam at Ipoh new town. After parking our car, hubby changed his mind about eating fried noodle. We had parked our car in front of Restoran Sin Hup Kee and hubby decided to eat at this place.

Whenever we eat at Restoran Sin Hup Kee, we will order their signature Assam Fish. Our favourite is Assam Stingray. This evening we were told that there is no stingray so we opted for Assam Black Pomfret.
Assam Black Pomfret with ladies' finger, long beans, tomatoes and tofu puff. Whenever we have assam, I will have very good appetite. Just this dish alone is enough for me. Small portion. Cost MYR 27.00
Deep fried soy sauce chicken, with thick soy sauce sticking to chicken pieces. This is my family's favourite dish, especially the men's. Small portion - Cost MYR 8.00.

Stir-fry asparagus with belacan (prawn paste).
Medium portion - Cost MYR 10.00. 2 plates white rice - MYR 2.40.
1 glass plain water, 1 glass Chinese Tea - MYR 0.90.
Total cost MYR 48.30 (approx. 13.13 USD)
(No service charge or government tax was charged)

The tables started to fill up by the dinner crowd.

They started with one shop lot, now they have 2 shop lots, side by side each other.

Address: Restoran Sin Hup Kee,
No. 17. Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh.
Tel: 05-242 3128

That God is on one side and all the people on the other side,
and Christ Jesus, Himself man, is between them to
bring them together, by giving His life for all mankind.
This is the message that at the proper time God gave to the world.
(1 Timothy 2:5-6, The Living Bible-TLB)

Friday 27 March 2015

Growing Japanese Bamboo Plants (Dracaena Surculosa) In My Garden

Some common names of Japanese Bamboo are Gold Dust Dracaena, Gold Dust Dracaena, Spotted-Leaf Dracaena and etc. Its scientific name is Dracaena Surculosa.

There are 3 types of Japanese Bamboo Plants in my garden.
Type A is the dark green leaves with yellow to white spots.

Type B is the light green leaves with yellow to white spots.

And type C is the dark green leaves with light green or very light yellow spots.

These are evergreen shrubs. These plants are common plants and are found in most homes and offices.

They are easy to grow and easy to maintain. These plants do not need to be fertilized regularly.

It can be grown as an ornamental plant or as a garden plant. It grows well both indoor and outdoor. It can also be grown in small pots for decoration placed on table tops, etc.
It is propagated through stem cuttings.
Plant the stem cuttings in soil in a small pot and place the pot away from direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist and very soon sign of new growth will come forth from the stems.
Another way is to stand the stem cuttings in water until the stems grow roots before planting them in garden soil.
Stem cuttings with leaves can also serve as decorative plants placed in water in glass containers or any decorative containers. When place in water, the growth will be slow but the water has to be changed daily to avoid mosquitoes breeding in the water.
Japanese Bamboo is a hardy plant and it grows well in warm climate. If grown as indoor plant, place it where there is light.

It can grow very tall and to control the height and the shape, some pruning is necessary. New shoots will grow from the root.
If existing stem is not cut off from the base, new stem will grow from the stump left behind.
It is named Gold Dust Dracaena because of the gold spots found on the leaves.

If the plants are placed in very shady places, the gold spots will be in lighter shade.

To keep indoor plants fresh and glossy, take the plants out and spray them with water to wash away the dust from the leaves.
These plants seldom flower but when they do flower, the flowers are very small and light beige to white in colour.
Sometimes the flowers will form green berries and berries will be red when ripe.

If you stay away from sin you will be like one of these dishes
made of purest gold - the very best in the house -
so that Christ Himself can use you for His highest purposes.
(2 Timothy 2:21, The Living Bible-TLB)
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