A Hurricane of A Trip

Finally, I’m back. I’ve been missing for a while – more than a week – due to a couple of things. Well, one thing is that here’s a big shoutout to my best pal and courageous friend, Janarthani who is now a councillor with the Kuala Langat district in Selangor.
I am so proud of you Jana! This woman has been my best pal since I was 10. I’m still amazed how long our friendship has endured. Jana by herself is a powerhouse – she’s a lecturer, she is doing her Masters in Theatre (this gal does great on the stage), she is an activist fighting for the local community of Sungai Sedu (in Kuala Langat) and now she’s a councillor.
I caught up with her when I was back in Selangor last week. To everyone who’s in KL and whom I did not manage to meet up with, do forgive me. It was a sudden trip and one which left me quite breathless.
Sudden because I was nominated for the Malaysian Women’s Weekly Great Women of Our Time Awards. Sudden because I had to fly in for a photo shoot (by the veritable photographer extraordinaire, Jen Siow) and interview for print and a video taping session last Thursday at The Westin KL.

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Making All Natural Ribena

If you know me, you know I’m big on making stuff myself. I’m also a big experimenter.
Last Saturday, I bought a 1 kg of roselle for RM4 from Lorong Kulit to make my own Ribena.
Roselle fruits from the hibiscus family
Roselle is a tropical fruit from the Hibiscus family; the fruit has 5 lobes or calyxes of the deepest velvety maroon.
A single roselle fruit
What’s great about this fruit is that you can make your own natural ribena drink! It’s full of vitamin C and according to the fruit seller, it helps reduces cholesterol and prevents hypertension.
If eaten as it is, it is tart! So tart your ears will start growing. I suggest you make it into a drink. Below is a photo of the roselle seeds after you’ve peeled the calyxes.
Roselle seeds once the calyxes are peeled off
How to make roselle syrup
To make your own roselle syrup, peel 1 kg of the fruit. Discard the seeds. What you want is the calyxes.
Into a pot, add these calyxes with 4 cups of caster sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, uncovered . Then simmer gently for 45 minutes or until water has been reduced by half and there’s a sticky, jelly-like consistency. Let it cool and store in a glass jar in the fridge.
You can discard the boiled calyxes but if you want a good chew, don’t throw it away.
When you want a refreshing drink, take 1 tablespoon of this roselle syrup and mix with cold water. Stir well and enjoy!
But what if you don’t have 1 kg of roselle but have a handful? Then you can make a weak roselle tea. Peel enough calyx, add water and boil for 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey and serve. If you have 1 kg like me, it’s best to make the syrup and store for later consumption.
From fruit to vitamin-packed drink that's good for hypertension

A Godmother Called Miss V

I was telling Nic that I should have bloody gone for the recent Estee Lauder Model Search when they were doing the model makeover roadshow in Queensbay on 31 May. I only read about it when my sis gave me a bunch of her CLEO and Malaysian Women’s Weekly (she only buys mags to clip out the contest forms… and then she passes them all to me).
If you asked me at 24 if I wanted to join such a competition (it is a competition, let’s be brutally honest about it), I’d have run a mile in the other direction.
Then again, there’s something decidedly odd about turning 34. I guess the clock of mortality and age and boldness and vanity tell me that if I want to do something, might as well go ahead and do it.

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5 Easy Ways to Green Your Lifestyle

This is my 250th post since 2005. 😉
And today is also World Environment Day.
On reflection, I think I am a good environmentalist. Nic and I have made the environment one of those causes that we support heartily.
Starting last year, I became an MNS member so that I could channel some money towards Mother Nature especially to safekeep what we currently have. I’ve also learnt so much from the monthly MNS newsletters.
This morning, I read about bats in the June MNS newsletter (I have a tendency to read while having breakfast). Pahang is one of the best places on earth to see a variety of bats (which are mammals by the way). We have about 65 species of bats. The other place which comes close with some 50 species is the French Guyana. See the things you learn about Malaysia when you support a local cause? I encourage you to join as an MNS member – if only to know that your money is going towards saving endangered animals. Do good for only RM6 a day. I am sure your latte costs much more than that.

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My Fondest Thoughts

My Grandma celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday, with as usual a Chinese-style banquet. This time we had the celebration at Taipan Fins, Northam Hotel. 4 tables in a superbly narrow private room (definitely not for fat folks).

We also realised that good food cannot be found in hotels, well, at least at the Penang hotels I’ve eaten at! What annoyed us all terribly (some 4 generations of a large extended family of 40 or so people, but this is just about 3/4 of the actual clan) was that service was bad.

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