Sunday 31 May 2015

Growing Taro Plants And Its Health Benefits

Last year in the month of September 2014, I took a few taro corms (small type) from my refrigerator and tried planting them to see if they would grow to yield some corms.
The taro corms are smaller than the local purple yam/taro which is bigger and longer. I love to eat both the small and purple yam. The small taro corms are not always available in the market.
I do not have much space in my garden and the only way I can plant the taro (small type) is in pots. I started off with 4 corms, planted them in 4 medium sized pots but only two were successful. I was not sure whether I would get any taro corms since I planted them in pots.
Two days ago I took one of the pots and slowly and gently remove the plant from the pot, which I have planted 8 months ago. I was mainly curious and was not expecting much when I slowly removed the soil from the base of the plant.
Bit by bit, I scraped the soil away and slowly the corms appeared. I took some photos but it went missing...I really must get this cranky phone to the phone clinic... One by one the corms appeared, I was getting real excited because I didn't expect to get any corm!
These are the corms yielded from one single corm planted in a pot. I am very happy with the yield. I brushed the soil away and leave the corms aside. What a happy surprise for me!
Rinsed clean with water
Taro roots can be cooked in curries, braised meat, deep fried, steamed or in sweet drinks (tong sui in Cantonese). There are many other ways of cooking taro. It can also be used as starch to thicken soup or gravy. It can also be steamed or cooked together with rice.
All cleaned and ready to use or store in refrigerator.

Taro is rich with vitamins and minerals. It is highly nutritious and easily digested. Taro is claimed to detoxify liver and good for liver. Some claimed that it is also good for those suffering from bowel problems e.g. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diabetes, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and also good for those with heart problem and protects from cancer.
Taro is toxic in the raw state. It can only be eaten when well cooked. If it is not properly cooked, it will cause itchiness in the throat. It has a nutty flavour and every part of the plant can be eaten. So far I have only eaten the corms but not the stem or leaves yet. Peeling taro skin and the sap from the plant will cause skin irritation.
 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
(Psalm 67:6-7, NIV)

Friday 29 May 2015

Roast Duck At New Old Friend Restaurant, Kuala Kuang, Chemor

Last week, one afternoon I followed my hubby to Chemor. After he had finished whatever he needed to do there, it was time for lunch. We wanted to eat roast duck rice but the shop was closed. So we went to another shop in Kampung Kuala Kuang. I have heard about Kpg Kuala Kuang but I have not been there.

Hubby was driving so I was free to take photos from a moving car. Sometimes I have to ask hubby to slow down his car. Good thing there was not many cars on the road to Kampung Kuala Kuang.
Entering Kampung Kuala Kuang.

A signboard on the right says, "Clean and beautiful garden, Kampung Kuala Kuang"

Police Station on the left.

Shop houses on both sides of the road.

New Old Friend Restaurant, started business on 09.07.2014, not even 1 year old.

Clean and bright, nice place to have our lunch.

The time was about 1.30 pm, there was no crowd. Since this is a small place, mainly residential, I think there is no peak time or fixed lunch hour.

A plate of roast duck for 2 persons. Served separately with 2 types of sauce.

Duck meat is tender and tasty.

Roast duck with white rice and the soup is free. While eating, I noticed there is a rojak stall opposite the shop. We didn't try the rojak.
After lunch, time to go home. Leaving Kuala Kuang, Selamat Jalan!
Nice drive, light traffic and good weather but it looked like rain clouds were forming and it may rain in the late afternoon.

Linking to Skywatch Friday.

He covers the sky with clouds;
He supplies the earth with rain and
makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle and
for the young ravens when they call.
(Psalm 147:8-9, New International Version-NIV)

Thursday 28 May 2015

Dinner At Restoran Brogla In Broga, Semenyih

What a disappointment it was to find the food photos in Broga missing from my smart phone a few days after I came back from my holidays in Semenyih. Lately, some photos have been disappearing from my smart phone, must be some cranky problem with my smart phone! I remembered I was asked to share the photos with my hubby through Whatsapp the night itself. He wanted to forward the photos to a friend who couldn't be with us.

When I found the photos missing, I thought they were gone forever. It was only much later that I realized that our friend may still have a copy of the photos. I quickly messaged her to ask whether the photos are still with her or not, or whether she has already deleted them from her smart phone. What a relief when after a short while later, she forwarded back the photos to me. Thank you so much, Michelle, for the photos!

The first evening we arrived in Semenyih, we were taken to Broga for dinner. Our host had a few places in mind but finally decided on Broga when I mentioned that my ex-colleague highly recommended Restoran Broga.
We arrived about 7 pm and there were already many cars parked there and about 5 to 6 tables were occupied by customers.

This view was taken from where our cars were parked.

Inner portion of the restaurant.

After our orders were taken, we sat back and entertained each other with our updates, jokes and conversation. But after more than half an hour, we noticed that the dishes were very slow in coming out from the kitchen and the other tables that were before us were still waiting. The mosquitoes were having a feast, biting & sucking blood from our legs under the table. I got up from the table to walk about to escape the mosquitoes and took some photos. Looked like the mosquitoes were targeting only a few of us but not the others. Maybe Ipoh blood taste!
The waiting time was exceptionally long that evening. Previously, when my ex-colleague & her family were there for lunch, I was told the waiting time was normal.
Finally, the dishes started to arrive at our table. Plain steamed fish (pak soh koong in Cantonese). Garnished with ginger strips, garlic oil and coriander leaves.

Green tender fern stir-fried with spicy prawn paste. (Sambal belacan sayur paku-pakis).

Bitter gourd egg omelette.

I like this tasty tofu, crispy on the outside, silky smooth and soft on the inside. I think its chopped salted radish & minced meat as topping.

Deep fried mantis shrimp with salted egg, crispy and very tasty.
Cost of dinner MYR 166 for 9 people (45.63 USD)

For supper - our host opening the durian fruits for us.
Looks like I was not the only one busy taking photos.
I love durians, I love the smell and I love to eat durians!
I am durian crazy, durian freak or lau leen choong in Cantonese!
2 big super yummy fruits, what a feast!

How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the abundance of Your house;
You give them drink from Your river of delights.
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
(Psalm 36:7-8, New International Version-NIV)

Wednesday 27 May 2015

My Croton Plant Finally Flowered!

I read somewhere in the internet that Croton plants have flowers but so far, I have not seen my Croton plants bearing flowers before. Since then, on and off I have been keeping a look out for any sign of flowers on my Croton plants.
Last month while I was watering my plants, I was standing very near to my Croton plants and something caught my eyes. I bent closer to check. To my surprise and excitement this was what I saw!
For the first time my Croton plant was flowering! These were flower buds. The buds were not big and may go unnoticed.

The flowers stalk is only between 2 to 3 inches long from the main stem.

These must be the seeds? It was raining heavily and I didn't get to see the flowers.

I saw 2 flowers stalks from the same plant. I needed to trim another plant as the branches were getting out of shape. I propagated using the stem cuttings and I had another surprise. About 2 to 3 weeks later I saw flowers on one of the newly planted stem cuttings.

The flowers may be tiny but they are so pretty!

What a joy to have the opportunity to see these tiny flowers!

The flowers lasted about a week or more. The joy and reward of gardening is to get to see and enjoy the flowers, especially the rare ones.

After the flowers, I saw this.

Then the flower stalk dropped and could these be seeds? Anyway, I placed these "seeds" back onto the soil in the pot and let nature takes its course. If anything comes out of it, I will post about it in the future.
Linking to Good Fences.

Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
(Isaiah 3:10, New International Version-NIV)

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Meeting Up For Brunch, Dessert And Fellowship

My life is like a book with many chapters. Once I have retired, I started a new chapter in my life. I can hope and plan for my future and I may have expectation but I know, ultimately in many ways I am not in control of how the course of my will turn out to be. There are many friends in my life, some came and moved on, but there are some that stay and we remain as good friends.

Friendship is a joint effort from both parties and I value and appreciate all my friends who have been with me all these years. I take this opportunity through this post to say "thank you" to my friends for being there for me, through thick and thin. My friends, both old and new, you all know who you are! Thank you once again even though I may not mention your names or have your photos in this post. Okay, now back to my post...

It was an impromptu decision. It all started with a Whatsapp message and it was initially suggested that we meet up for breakfast together, but then on of us could not make it for breakfast. So it was brunch that we met up. We had our brunch in Kedai Kopi Chor Kee, a corner shop at Tingkat Taman Ipoh 6.

My friends recommended the Hakka Herbal Tea Rice (Lui Cha in Cantonese) to me. I ordered a set for myself, whereas my other two friends have not yet decided on what they wanted to eat.
Hakka Herbal Tea Rice - dry ingredients and soup served separately.

Plenty of ingredients served on top of the rice until the rice was totally hidden. I also ordered 2 stuffed ingredients to try.

My way of eating this is to mix the rice and the dry ingredients together. Sometimes I will eat the rice + dry ingredients and the soup alternately but sometimes I will scoop the soup over the rice+dry ingredients and eat it "flooded".

Oh! What did my friends eat? I was too busy enjoying my brunch that I didn't take photos of what my friends were eating.

After brunch, one friend wanted to buy some biscuits and off we went to Pasir Pinji. The freshly made biscuits were not ready and we were told to wait for about 30 minutes, so meanwhile how should we pass our time? We had a round of dessert at Restoran Big Big Tree (near to Restoran Tuck Kee).

We ordered 3 bowls of iced yellow jelly (wan tau long in Cantonese) with ice shaving, topped with squeezed lime and salted plum - very refreshing and thirst quenching.

These are two of my pensioners foodie friends (makan kaki).

Time to go over to the biscuit shop. Name of shop is Konfeksi Ming Yue or Ming Yue Confectionary, Pasir Pinji. Many variety of freshly baked biscuits (tau sar peang) and etc.

A very popular biscuit shop, most times there will be customers queuing up. Our favourite biscuit is the peanut candy, very fresh, crispy and addictive. Once started munching, difficult to stop! I too ended up buying some for myself!

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.
(Proverbs 25:16, New American Standard Bible-NASB)
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