Jan Leow's Press Blog

Chinese New Year Celebration and finally firing up the oven for pineapple tarts

It’s been almost a week of meeting up with family members, relatives and reunion dinner and not to mention the Yee Sang dinner for symbol of hope of prosperity in the coming months ahead. How time flies when you are enjoying yourself and already the week is coming to an end. There’s still one more trip to go, to Raub where my aunty’s sundry shop is located. She’s really cheerful person despite the loss of her loving husband from a motorbike accident some years ago. She still invites us over to have a good makan in her favourite restaurant in Raub.

Fortunately I do have some respite from the boisterous family reunion as they make merry having a go at Mahjong. While those that didn’t play would become spectators to the sound of click clacking of Mahjong pieces being shuffled about and held or thrown back on the table pile. I’m not a fan of Mahjong and so do not know the rules of the game. Though from what I gather the game is sort of played like a round of Gin Rummy.

Yee Sang Dish. Getting ready for the attack!

Yee Sang. The attack!

Yen, our cousin sister from Singapore came up to Kuala Lumpur this time around and we all decided that she would stay over for the night and help kick start and fire up the newly installed electric baking oven. She knows a thing or about baking cookies and this as good time as any to try out the oven. To think about it our oven really was a quite a problem to install because it draws a fair bit of power. The normal house wiring could not withstand the higher amperage and requires new wiring to be fixed from our fuse box. One thing led to another, and Lena ended doing some minor home improvement which made a major mess in the house. Well we were glad when it was finally fixed up and done. She got a new cabinet just for the electric baking oven, a makeover to our living/dining hall with new plaster ceiling to hide the power cable that was drawn from the fuse box to the back kitchen, some new light fixtures and new paint for a new overall look to a new year!

We also invited our Aunt from Raub to stay over and with my parents-in-law, together they had their first hands on lesson on how to bake pineapple tarts. We did have a late start as it seems we were missing some ingredients and utensils, having got up late, we had a late lunch in Ikea. There was still a large crowd though some people have started working after the official two days CNY public holidays, many did take leave for the whole week, and it was common for offices to close during the CNY celebration durations. And where do most people hang out during the holidays? Shopping malls! Yep, seems like just about everybody’s favourite hang out is always the shopping malls. Not picnic, or go off to some jungle or waterfall area, or some beach side resort. Well perhaps there might be, but since I was not in those places, it is like the proverbial quote, “When a tree falls in the jungle makes a sound when there is nobody there to listen for it?”

Cousin Yen had some trouble finding our place as she was not familiar and there was some hairy moments for her as she tried to get her bearings. All ended up well after giving her some directions though some of the landmarks then she mentioned I didn’t seem to know though I do pass by them everyday. Funny how we never pay attention to the existence of those buildings when we travel daily on the same route day in day out. How our brain does selective focusing while we do our daily routine. So much for our cognitive ability.

Finally when we all made it back in one piece to our house, the baking process began. I’m not much of a baker so I left them to their own devices while I fired up my Gigabyte desktop PC and do some tweaking to my web site. There still some hacking to do, sometimes I’m a bit at a loss on what to post for article writing. I should structure the articles a bit more but writing technically was a different challenge in comparison to travel writing. Hopefully what I wrote would be compelling and useful to web surfers and hopefully that would draw in the much needed web site traffic and eventually some good potential in adsense earnings. It is such a kick to see the web site traffic growing and your web site becoming ever popular.

The electric oven in action!

Soon the salivating aroma of pineapple tarts baking away in the oven wafts through the air. While the tarts baked, my mom-in-law started her dinner cooking. Deciding to make the whole place livelier, I also invited over my parents and the old people could sit around and converse on their usual subjects about health and fitness and children fidelity and whatever. Noisy and boisterous, yes, but it creates a really happy Chinese New Year mood with all the cheerful faces around.

Pineapple tarts fresh from the oven! umm... yum!

Before long the first batch of pineapple tarts were ready and I got to savour it. Ummm… tasted good. Can’t wait for the scones and muffins to my way. Have to wait for Kar Hoon magic hands and teach Lena a thing or two about baking. It seems baking is just not simply putting all the ingredients together and stuffing it in the pre-heated oven and waiting for it to come round. The preparation is the important step like how to knead the dough, how thick the dough should be before rolling it up into its respective shape before sliding the tray into the oven. Well that was Yen’s baking secret. So let’s see if Kar Hoon has some good technique to pass on to Lena.

And me? Nah… I’m not the one for baking though I probably could do it if I want to. I just settle for web site hacking. Haha!

By early evening my parents came round and so did Kenny, Rebecca and Victor. Jonn was busy with some other dinner function while Esther and baby Zouee (hope I got the spelling right) didn’t want to come so we just got on with our dinner and started off with the Yee Sang toss for good luck. After dinner it was fellowship time and before long it was Mahjong time. My parents were not well verse in Mahjong and so it was time to bid them bye-bye as they made their way home. Later Esther and baby Zouee came round and there was really a gala time with Mahjong game going around, while those that didn’t play would watch Wah Lah Toi Astro or go play with baby Zouee.

It was really a great time all round and really felt great. I think this was one of the best new year days around!

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