Saturday, March 10, 2012

life goes on

to each 
their own journey
nothing left
but that memory
of the walk
through the
enchanted forest
deep within
the towering city
that changed
life as you may know it

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

how did he make do?

While in the car on the way back from the bus terminal last night, me and the aunt started talking about the 'wang bantuan' BR1M. Conversation went on to pension earned by the older people and finally how much my step-grandma was getting every month. She gets RM340 a month, and this is from my late grandfather. I asked her how come they never increase the amount with all the periodic increments. This was when she told me that it has indeed been increased multiple times. My Tok Nana started of with a pension of RM140 at full retirement! His last drawn pay must have been less than RM300!

Memories of him flashes through my mind, the honest-straight-by-the-book and yet generous man that always welcome us  grandchildren into the house with a table laden with foods. Of the occasional gifts he got me and my mom. One that especially stuck to my mind was this lovely piece of cloth that he got my mom that she made into a dress for me. It was in shades of grey with patterns of feathers all over. That was the beginning of my love affair with 'old people' dull color as my mom put it. 

But the million dollar question is... how could he afford it all? Putting my aunts through college and saving enough to perform the haj? Making sure no one goes to bed hungry at night (perhaps everyone but him?)and there's always a feast for all of us every Eid. 

The more I think about it, the more it makes the waterwork flows, imagining the sacrifices he made over the years, it's almost impossible to this 'spoiled' state of mind of mine. And yet he did it. 

Yes, I admit he led a simple live, but still, how did he do it? How did he made do and yet live happily sated?

Alfatihah to my Tok Nana. I miss you greatly.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Lazy day Mexican Beans Apple & Chicken Salad

I had a full day planned for today, but He has other plan for me. The morning drizzle turned in to a real storm. We even had flying debris, tree branches hitting the windscreen, which was really scary. So I decided to head home after the bank errands, scraping the plan for lunch at the mall and cancelling all the other appointments.

It's one of those rare days that I feel like lunch, so I raided the fridge & cupboard for what's available, knowing very well I haven't gone grocery shopping in over 2 week so the choice is pretty limited. With what ever I had at hand, I scratched up this Mexican inspired salad.And surprising, it looks interesting to quite a few people, most requesting for the recipe.

Oh yes... this is one of my special diet dishes ;)


1 whole chicken breast, boned & skinned
1 green apple - sliced thinly
1 packet of arugula / rocket
1/4 onion - sliced thinly
1/4 cup corn nibs - drained
1/2 cup mixed Mexican beans - heated with 1/4 tsp chili flakes
8 cherry tomatoes - cut in half
1 jalapeno chilli - seeded & slice thinly
a handful of sliced olive
a handful of toasted pinenuts
a handful of fresh mint


1 tub plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp lime juice
salt to taste


1. Mix the dressing mix in a bowl. Marinate chicken breast with 2 tbsp of the dressing.
2. Bake in a 170C oven for 25-30 minutes. Once the chicken is done (juice running clear), cover & let the chicken stand covered for 15 minutes before slicing.
3. Plate the salad by layering the ingredients & topping with the dressing or you can just mixed them all up.

Bon apettit!

Monday, March 05, 2012

hot sticky afternoon

but true
too soon
the heart
don't miss
no au revoir
just a memory
of that afternoon
etched into
the mind
and soon
the tears
will stop too