Sunday, February 28, 2010

Way Beyond what I can Think Or Imagine

.... this is my story ... this is my song .... the Lord is my Provider .... indeed He is my Provider all the way ....

When the Lord ask me study full time, one of my greatest struggle was finances. I had no money to study full time .... :0 ... why .. because He gave me 2 words when He first called me to resign ;
a) Trust & Obey
b) He is going to empty my bank accounts

I always say that I was pushed off the boat to step into full time studies and some one's hands were used to push me in ... and at that point, stepping into the waters was a scary thing to do ...

How did survive financially past 3 years? At average, I need at least $Sin10,000 per academic year, about Sin8,000 plus for fees, accommodation & food. The balance goes to my pocket money and other expenses like books, transportation, bills, hostel/class/subject funds etc .... This is a lot of money in Ringgit!

As I come to my final term, I have to testify that God has never once failed to provide for me or short change me.

Firstly, He blessed me with supportive family, supporting me with prayers, moral support, understanding, making many sacrifices and adjustments to accommodate my journey of faith ... they have also support me financially. SM is always the first to make any support whenever I make any decisions .... where there is short fall for fees, Mom chose to helped twice.

Secondly, God has also blessed me with a church that is rich in giving and with Kingdom mindset of faith. I was not even their church member when they decided to pledge to support me and by faith, their support has been on an increase every year - like an annual increment.

Thirdly, scholarship through the school - from the 2nd semester of my 1st year till 1st semester of final year, I have been blessed with Mustard Seed, scholarship from a company from US. They will normally allocate 70% of my total fees.

Due to the economic downturn last year, my application was the final for Mustard Seed. This leaves me to paying 100% of my fees for this term. The fees is roughly $Sin4000 per term. However, just before Ms Yap left for her sabbatical leave, I asked if there is any other scholarship to apply and she mentioned Lee Foundations.

I thank God that I applied and the funding came -- $Sin4150, more than what I needed. there was even a surplus of $108 which came handy for paying for graduation fees ....

This is my story ... this is my song ... God is faithful ... and will continue to be faithful .. to provide for His servant ... for His child ... trust and obey for there is no other way ... :0

... This is the balance after paying for the fees ...

Friday, February 26, 2010

.... Under the Lens of a Camera .....

Yesterday, the printer for our graduation magazine came to take shots for our magazine. It was already quite a hassle and drama trying to arrange all the graduating students to come together .... :0 ... Susanto was very cute .... he went round clicking his camera as he turn his camera all over trying to capture the final moments that we spent together as we come to an end of our journey .... soon .... he was our unofficial photographer .... :0

It was very interesting to observe the many patterns of human beings under the spot light of a camera .... very interesting ....

Some really took pain to dress up and ensure that they look great for the camera, for the moment ... some can't really be bothered ... hehehehe ... Some are just themselves .... cool!

Lian said that he oledi "give face" cos he wore long pants and a collar t-shirt ... his normal school uniform is bermuda shorts and a t-shirt. When he comes to school in proper shirt and slacks ... its just not him, the him that we have been seeing past 3years and we are not used to him in formal attire ... Susanto came with slippers -- why cos he said that he will stand at the back -- so cannot see the feet ... not realizing that its casual shots .. so, his feet may be seen ... so, then he reasoned that slippers (toilet slippers mind you..) are symbol of servanthood - humility ... lol...

It is also very obvious who are the ones who are extremely "excited" and are "overly conscious" of the camera ... and had thrown themselves at every single shot and scene available though it may not be their section.... and made sure that they are in the most prominent visible position with the best post possible .... very very interesting .... and this human behavior knows no cultural, gender nor age boundaries ...

Indeed when one come under the exposure of a camera, one's true inner self is also exposed! The lens seem to have the power expose what is hidden and not seen under our naked eye lens....

Likewise, God's lens also has the power to expose our inner self and inner thoughts ... I wonder what will God see and uncover when we come under His lens? I am consciously reminding myself that "nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Heb 4:13). Its scary to know what's inside of us ... if we are honest with ourselves to take time to know ourselves ... for many times, we don't even know ourselves because we do not take time to get to know ourselves ... we do not take time to listen to our own voice and heart beat .... We all have to give an account to our Maker when our time here on earth expires ... do we know our inner self, our inner thoughts, intent, true agendas, true motives that drives our actions? .... Are we ready to give an account on the Day?

I thank God that He knows how we are formed and we are merely from dust (Ps 103:14), hence, He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love ... he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Ps 103:14,8,10). If not ... we are all gone case people even before we are born as how David claims in Ps 51:5 (Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me).

Let's pause and thank God that we are still here today, living under His grace for .....

" He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps 103 : 10-12)

While I await for the Day, I pray that I will be God conscious and not man conscious .... while I await for the Day, may I pause ... to take time to spent time to know who I am ... who I am in Christ Jesus ... and constantly allow God's eyes to reveal and expose my inner life so that I am able to move towards shedding off my sinful fleshly self ... and exchanging it for my new self in Christ Jesus ...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creating Moments of Sweet Memories ....

Yesterday afternoon, Pris, Li and I decided to go down to Chinatown to check out the CNY deco and at the same time just to hang out ... after all, this is our final semester together before we walk the separate path that God will lead us to.....

Pris was very excited in "capturing" our moments ... she brought her camera along ... hehehhe ... she wants to take as many photos as we can together ... ;0 .. and yup ... photos we did take ... I was the person clicking away ... for the ladies ... nice shots ... great angle ... beautiful/sexy smile?? ... and then ... suddenly, we realize that I don't have many pix taken. So, Lily kindly volunteered herself to take my photos .... as long as I don't move but hold the camera at the angle I want ... and she takes over ..... now ... this is definitely NOT a good idea .... cos when one can see the angle and say : "yea .. that's a take", one can see it ... when one cannot see it ... one just cannot see it ...

Under the "magical" hands of Li, I looked like a turtle stretching out its neck and has a retarded look in general ... hahhaa ... in the lingo of my village, Li has "tangan pembunuh" (murderous hands) .... hahhahah ....

All these added to the little nuggets of memory of the crazy time we had in Chinatown. The best part is, Pris -- the Singaporean looks sooo tourist like .. bust posing here and there to get herself photographed in Chinatown --- like its her first time there and probably last time there ... hehehe ...

I love Chinatown .. I love the buildings .... I love the crowd ... the stalls ... shops .... I think that its a great place to do "cuci mata" - "watch people" as the go about their lives. I hope I'll go for few more sessions of camera clicking .... I simply just enjoy photography .. with my simple Sony camera ... its therapy to me too ... :0 ...

M glad that we made time to create moments that we will carry in our hearts as special moments we enjoyed and had great fun together in our journey in TTC .... and I realize that we have to make time to create moments in our lives ... moments that will build to the meaning and purpose of living .... and to help us appreciate life and people around us even more ... life is definitely more than just making money, climbing the ladder, not just about finding a life partner, have a family ... but life is also about the people and friends God place along path in our lives ... the bigger family that we live in and community that we belong to .... and its up to us to enjoy and appreciate them by create time to create moments together ...

Thanks for your time and the great fun that we had guys !!! We must do it again ... soon .....

p/s : O yea ... must record down .... bird pooed on Lily's arms and hair while we were taking photos!!! hahhahah ......

p/p/s : Pris say must record down that she helped to clean the poo - it is yellowish on the pony tail and white on the right sleeve. When we looked up the tree, the tree did not have any leaves but 3 little sparrows shaking their backside (quote from Pris)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Temptation of A Wife

I am so scared of Korean series ... they are addictive ... in the past I have never had this problem because I just don't watch Chinese series or movies because I do not want to be caught in the "I don't understand mode" when the whole room or cinema is laughing their heads off .... I do recall such an incident way back in Cathay cinema of Simpang Ampat on CNY .... many many moons ago.

Anyway, my latest series that I am hooked to is Temptation of a Wife (129 series). I have to confess I stayed up 2 sessions till 430am to complete the show... something that I am not very proud of ....

Anyway .. the series is center around the drama of how a husband attempted to drown his pregnant wife in order to marry his lover. The wife did not die but came back to take maximum revenge of the husband, the lover and the in laws. There are many things to unpack ... many issues that we can discuss but I will just highlight a few :

a) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jer 17:9)

The plot is complicated where everyone in the series in related and inter-related one another .... The story exposes the power of human nature - greed, selfishness, lust, covetousness, anger, bitterness, hatred, deceitfulness ... the lure of power, money and sex .... the list goes on .... Though its just a drama ... but it is a raw truth of mankind. Yes, man indeed are fallen creatures who needs Jesus to cleanse and forgive our sins and give us a new heart, a new clean heart to live godly Christ-centered lives, even after we asked Jesus to come into our hearts and to forgive us of our sins. This struggle is ongoing and it is a process. We have to make a conscious afford to choose how do we want to live and whom our heart will want to follow .....

b) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Gal 6:7)

I echo the words of the author of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun and hence is also a strong believer of the principle of sowing and reaping. This is my explanation the the patterns I see in my own life, people's life and trends in the family ... and sometimes, don't you think that life is a vicious cycle ... and we are going round and round ... when our lives is not rooted and focused on Christ?

Proverbs has many says on this principle : "The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward." (Prov 11:18). "He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed." (Prov 22:8).

Numbers and Deuteronomy speaks of our God is a jealous God and a God who is abounding in love and compassion. We cannot only take that our God is abounding in love, but God is equally serious in visiting our offspring for our unconfess sins.

"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." (Deut. 5: 9-10)

"Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 'The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Num 14:17-18)

Even Mom knows this principle --- and for this reason, Mom always tell us that in those matchmaking days, people will normally inquire of a person's background to the third generation.

So, let's live right before God and before men .... for the sake of our souls and the sake of our offspring! Let our hearts belong to Jesus and Jesus alone!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Counter Action to An Outrageous Request

21 Feb, we drove through the Malaysia checkpoint in second link as we come back from our CNY break. As Ong greeted the officer and handed our passports to him, he said, "Selamat Tahun Baru. Ada angpow ah?" All of us was stunned that the officer was so bold and outright in asking for $$...

Though he may said in almost like a teasing manner, I am sure that he meant what he asked for. Imagine how much of ang pow he will collect if he asked that for every car that pass through .... this is CNY and the traffic that comes through is at its peak!

This is just a tiny glimpse of the ugly reality and the dark truth of the system in our nation fact evil deeds and injustice in the system that is supposedly to govern and protect us had been exposed .... too many cases to quote ....

What are we going to do about it? If we love our land and want a better future for our next generation, let's get on our knees to stand in the gap for our land - for God to visit our Land with justice and righteousness ... let it come like a rolling river! ( Amos 5:24)

Time has come --- time has come for us come on bended knees in unity rising the harp and bowl for our nation. ("Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" ... Rev 5:8b) Let there be a roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder .... for God to intervene and bring justice to our land

Let's flood our nation with intercession and tears ---- till it burst and flood our nation .... till breakthrough comes ... and Jesus to shine through our nation! May this song be on our lips and cry for our hearts daily till He comes ... bringing grace, mercy, justice ... and for His glory to shine in our nation!

Lord the Light of Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus light of the world shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your word
Lord and let there be light.

Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

As we gaze on Your kindly brightness.
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Calling our all Malaysians ---- If we do not love our nation enough to pray for our land... who then will? Who can God use? How then can God move in our land?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Parable of the Soil

When I first moved to Sutera Biru 4, I had Siti, who loves gardening as my neighbor. From her, I caught the love and passion for gardening again. I started planting flowers way back when I in my early teens and in those days I planted flowers like chrysanthemum, dahlia and Japanese roses. In those days soil and fertilizer was free and in abundance. After all, I lived in a 5.5a of land surrounded by few chicken coops.

My passion for plants and gardening was reignited after almost 25years. With plants given by Siti to me, I started gardening again. Siti and I will sometimes garden together past midnight. We would buy soil, mixed the black with red (burnt) soil. Siti shared with me the secret to get "gemuk2" healthy plants - add little of fertilizer (at that point, I used processed tahi ayam from Japan) into the mixed soil. Not too much cos it will kill the plant but just a little to add the extra vitamin to the soil. The soil was then ready for be the home of plants. Every few weeks I have to dig the pots to loosen the soil and every few months I will change the soil of the plants to ensure my plants are growing well and healthy in good soil environment.

My favorite plant at that point was hydrangeas. I had as many as 10 pots of it in my garden. I still love hydrangeas ... Gardening was therapy to me at that season of life. I was so into gardening that I would visit almost every nursery in every city or town I travel to ...

However, maintaining and keeping the plants alive became a challenge when I started traveling outstation and staying away from my house for as long as 3 weeks sometimes.... especially in the hot dry season around CNY, many of my plants was baked,burned and sacrificed... :-( .. by the time I moved to Sutera Kuning, my garden and plants shrunk tremendously.

Reflections :
Jesus told the parable of the sower in Matt 13 where soil or the ground where the seed is scattered is the heart of man and the seed is the word of God.

In this reflection, allow me to use soil as the environment that we are living in. We like plants planted in the soil, we need good soil to grow strong and healthy. Our soil has to be properly "mixed" and must have sufficient minerals so that we, like the plants be "gemuk2" with green big leaves and beautiful lasting flowers. We need to add fertilizer in order to enhance the growth of our plants. Likewise in our lives, we need to be selective in the environment that we choose to live in -- we choose to make our home - what kind of neighborhood that we choose to live in? What is the environment we choose to work in? What type of people and friends that we choose to hang out with? What type of activities do we choose to fill our time?

The regular digging of the plants and change of the soil in the pot signifies that we regularly need to reflect and re-look at our lives, take stock of our lives on the regular basis to check - to ensure that we continually live in a healthy environment and have not allowed harmful and foreign elements to come into the environment we live in.

We have to make godly wise choices to the type of soil we choose to live in and the type of "fertilizers" that we want to add into our soil. I hope that we will not be like Lot in making our choices for surely the wickedness and sins of our environment will seep into our lives and eventually destroy us. Lot chose to live in the fringe of the sinful city of Sodom (Gen 13 : 10-13) and we can see how the norm culture of that city had influenced his values when he offered his virgin daughters when pressure of live comes in and the love of material things had gripped his wife that she could not let go of it when the way of escape came. She was turned into a pillar of salt.

Imagine how different will Lot and his family's life be if he were to choose to live away from Sodom ....... his family will not be destroyed ...... he will not hurt his daughter's feelings by betraying them ....

..... eeemmmm ..... lastly .... I do miss gardening ... I wonder if I will have set up a garden in the new tent that I will pitch soon .... and have the time to enjoy gardening ......

Some Things I Enjoy in Sban ....

Every time I go back to Seremban, I enjoy my time there ... just throwing my cute body on the sofa .... relaxing .... no need so homework .... going for movies or trying to chop the TV channel that I want to watch ... cooking .... hanging out in Jusco with Mom ... and some times driving to KL for a shopping trip .....

Off course the more the merrier in the family ... hehehhe ... so, every time I come down, I betul2 kecoh-kan the whole family there ... cos sometimes my kuncu2 of cucu will follow behind .... :0

So, this trip, I manage to take some shots of family in "action" ....

This is Dan at the age of 10 .... imaginative in his creation of toys ....

This is Lyn helping Mom with her eye drops .....

CNY 2010 Family Thanksgiving

This has been a low profile CNY for me ... I have scaled down all the normal activities, cooking and visitations that I do this year. Instead, spent quite a bit of time resting since its far tooooo toooo HOT to step outside of the house. Sitiawan was far tooooo HOT ... but if I were to step out of the house and my fats melt .. I don't mind ... hehehe....

Though I was on a much lower scale of activities, my brains have been busy .. I have spent much time reflecting and appreciating what I have now .. for one, Mom and Dad ... I really thank God for Mom and Dad ... and preserving their health. Mom is 83 and Dad is 84 this year and both of them are still mobile and active. Dad still cycles around and many times still shirtless cos its too hot and in his shorts (but his boxers are longer than his shorts ... hehehhe ... ). We have been asking him to cut down in distance and trips. He still goes to work in the plantation few times a week but we discourage him because he needs to cycle all the way to Kampong Cina and cross the main road. Mom -- she misses her care free days riding her motorbike. She was "forced' to stop at 77years old. She "surrendered" her motorbike keys to us but .... quietly curi2 ride the bike sometimes with the spare key ... hehehhe .... But her mind is still very much on business .. wanting to close deals. She may forget things and seems to be sleepy, inactive but once her handphone rings, she's all energized and suddenly becomes very active again ... off course, Mom is still very busy in the phone, calling whole Malaysia.... and sometimes to Singapore .... :0

Looking at our parents, I think that it is not easy for them as they go through this reverse process where instead of providing, caring, running, managing and making decisions for the family, and their own lives. Now, they have to depend on people, their children to provide for them (but I have say that I am also thankful for our parents financial situation).

I have also spent some time observing people --- so many people to observe .. look like this is becoming my hobby now.... interesting ... interesting ... unveil my observation some other time ...

Lastly, I have also take a good look at our family dynamics and pondered on what is family .. what makes a family besides individuals placed together by birth and marriage?

Besides people placed together under one unit of family and living together, I think that family is about loving, caring, forgiving, forbearing, patience, understanding, respecting, not letting go and giving up of one another. It is also about making time to spend with one another -- sharing and carrying with one another the joys and burdens in life .... the tears and pains of life .... It is just not taking or receiving but lots and lots of giving ....

Blessed and healthy family is when each of us plays an active part in giving and receiving .. contributing to the dynamics of the family .... It is also giving space to one another as individuals. To make a family blessed and healthy ... it takes lots of sacrifice, lots of hard work and only by God's love and grace that families stay together -- especially in this broken and dysfunctional world. Lord, have mercy on all of us ....

I thank God for my family ... I have been blessed with very wonderful understanding and sacrificial siblings who had stood by me through thick and thin, ups and downs of my life, and given me their support - emotionally and physically .... more importantly, their prayer support .... and I know of one .. who even fast for me .... hehehe .... to all of you ... I thank God for you ....

What is family to you? Have you played the role of being a family member? If you have not, start now ... its never too late. Blessed happy starts with you yourself -- how are you contributing to the family? What is your attitude towards your family? Remember to appreciate your family .... each of us have our roles and part to play .... it takes two willing parties on the same page to make a relationship work .... mixed with God's love, mercy and grace.

Man cannot live alone or in isolation from family and community .... we are created to live with one another and to need one another ... not just one person but a family and community .... this is why the old saying comes : it takes a village to raise a child.

Many times, our pets is also very much part of the family .... look at this one ... tengah bermalas

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Memory of Fifth Grand Aunt

Dad came home on 3rd day of CNY almost lunch time and he looked real sad. He said that 5th Grand Aunt had just passed away the night before. Tears covered his eyes as he spoke. He just came from visiting their home. Dad said that she is very "hor mia" cos she choose to go Home after the CNY celebrations ... and when all the children get to come home to send her off. The next day, I send Dad for the funeral and brother-in-law send him home. He came home teary and sad.

Mom also spoke highly on Grand Aunt ... said .. she is really respectable for not remarrying after her husband passed away but concentrated in bringing up her kids well. According to Mom, her husband was killed by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation in Padang Astaka and was simply buried there. It seems many were killed and buried in this place during Japanese Occupation. If Mom's story is true, then, the grave may be located there now though Padang Astaka is now a field where people jogs. There is NOT a single sight of grave but who knows, there might be mass grave or graves hidden somewhere underneath .....

Dad had really gone thru quiet a bit past few years as he sees one by one of his friends and people his generation slowly fade away. In fact, he went into depression after Uncle Yong Ching passed away. But thank God he came out of it ... but now ... with 5th Grand Aunt's passing ... its a mix feelings for Dad again. Its always hard to say goodbye to our love ones .... especially with someone as godly and loving like 5th Grand Aunt.

5th Grand Aunt is my Dad's fifth uncle's wife. Great Grand Dad had 8 sons and all of them followed him to Malaya way back in perhaps the 1930s. My own Grand Dad is the 3rd son. It seems the 4th son decided to settle down in Sibu instead of Sitiawan. So, I have unknown relatives in Sibu ...:)

I actually don't remember any of Dad's uncles except for 8th uncle .... cos his name was mentioned quite a bit in the family and I know he lives in Simpang Tiga, just some where behind Grand Ma's house.

But I remember 5th Grand Ma very well -- though I never know how she is related to me till when I was much much older. I remember Dad fetching me on his old bicycle to 5th Grand Aunt's house when I was very young - opposite of Nan Hwa. I can recall that Grand Aunt will serve us drinks and sometimes a box of pickled lime to eat. Off course, its also the place where I met Grand Aunt's grandchildren who later became my MIF/MYF buddies.

Dad will go see Grand Aunt to share his problems, struggles and challenges. Grand Aunt always speak words of encouragement and even prayed for Dad. She is a petite little lady and slim, wears cheong sum and has long straight white hair which she neatly buns it up .... I suspect her feet were bounded, soft spoken and gentle .... full of love and compassion ... and a good, patient listener. One does have to be a good listener to hear out Dad's struggles especially when he has a tendency of repeating the same thing.

Then, in my teens, I remember Grand Aunt as someone who is not only active in church but also actively reaching out to the needy around her. I was living in Taman Maju and Taman Hijau that time (at the back of her housing estate) and I recall seeing her waiting for the local green bus to take her to Simpang Tiga where her church is ... and she was able to chase after the bus in cheong sum!!! Amazing!! She was easy 60-70 years old then ... During that time, I befriend a single Mom (Bebe) who lives around our housing estate as well. This single mom has a lot of problems and Grand Aunt also extended her ministry of love and compassion to her as well ... including giving her money.

Few years ago, I asked Dad about Grand Aunt. He told me that they are celebrating her 100th birthday!! WOW!! She lived 30 years in the grace of God. Dad said she is much weaker now ... memory was failing but she still gets on the piano to play simple songs daily .. wow... amazing!

Grand Aunt went Home at the age of 104 - she must have gone through a lot in her life ... having survived both wars, widowhood at a young age, single Mom to 4 children ..... but I have say that she indeed is filled with love and compassion of God - a godly and god fearing lady ... she must have also been the generation who had seen and experienced the revival and fire of God in Sitiawan under the ministry of John Sung, just like my maternal grand ma. O yea ... it was on her funeral bulletin that I found out she has the same surname as Mom ... wonder if they could be related too ....

The words that came to me when I heard of Grand Aunt's passing .... and these words I dedicate it to her in remembrance of her life and touch in my family ..... I am glad and am honored that God made my path cross with hers in this lifetime ... I pray and hope that my life will also be lived to the fullest and I can also echo the same words that I dedicate to her in my own departure ....

We will miss you Great Grand Aunt!!! Till we meet again ..... to God be the glory!!!

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing." ( 2Tim 4:6-8)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Home Made Foo Chow Egg Noodle (Loong Yean)

This CNY, I try to cook all simple food and if possible just mass one or two dishes and tats it ... so one of the dishes that I cook was the typical home made Foo Chow egg noddle (Loong Yean) on the 5th day of CNY before I leave Sitiawan. Why? Cos I bought 60 Foo Chow meat balls from the market, hoping to cook them for Wen and Wilson ... mana tau, they had to leave pagi2 before lunch.... Anyway, I decided to go ahead to cook it since both Mom, Dad and even Sister LOVES it.

This is the only dish that Mom taught me to cook .... and most probably the only dish that she can cook properly ... hehhehe .... I mean .... it will NOT taste weird like Bak Kut Teh mixed with seaweed (.... hhahha ... )

When I was a little gal .... we never really get to taste Mom's cooking cos she is always busy finding money to support the 6 of us .... in the wee mornings, she will leave home as early as 430 or 5am to tap rubber. She wakes up and then rides her motorbike to the estate quarter homes to wake an Indian lady who helps Mom to collect the latex after Mom taps the rubber trees. The name of the lady - Poneneh ... serious ..... :) ... Then, after Mom gets ready and have her breakfast, she will go back to pick the lady up and off they go to Simpang Dua.

In the afternoon, after Mom comes back from her tapping rubber job, she will have a shirt nap - 30mins on the Sitiawan lazy chair before she goes out again -- and this time is to pick up all sorts of odd jobs like selling her chickens, ducks, or vegie or fruits from our huge garden .... She will stop by some kopitiam for a bottle of Coke as her energy booster ...

Mom is always on the run .... how to cook for us? From young, we have learned to take care of ourselves and do all the house chores -- from hand washing the clothes, cleaning the house to cooking. I also recall times when I was sent to Poneneh's house for her to baby sit me cos there was no one in our house and I remember that she brushes her white teeth with the ashes she collects from the stove, made from clay and coated with diluted cow dung.

Only when it rains, Mom will cook and Loong Yean is what she will cook for us because its only then she is stranded in the house. Mom said that she made so much of Loong Yean and ate so much of it during Japanese occupation time till she is so scared of it at one point. Guess this is why this is the only dish she cooks well. Hahha .... During Japanese occupation, there was a time when there was no rice to eat. So the people survive eating tapioca - from the leaves as vegies to tapioca flour - to make these noodles. Mom said that they even dry the noodles in the sun so that they can fry it like fried noodle after eating too much the soup noodle.

So, how to make it? It's simple ----- we just need 3 ingredients - 500gm tapioca floor, 50-80gm flour and 5-6eggs (the more eggs the nicer it is). Mix them up with water and agak2 the texture of it. Warm up the wok, add a little oil and scoop the mixture into the wok .. to make it like egg omelet. Roll up and then cut them .... and u'll get the homemade noodle.

After this process, its the process to cook the noodle -- the best soup base is actually clear soup from clams. Those days before they made the back road connecting Ayer Tawar directly to Manjung/Lumut, Dad used to collect clams from either the river at the back of our old house in Sitiawan Estate -- after the Malay kampong (Lumut Kiri) or from Kampung Sitiawan. But the clams are all gone now after development killed their natural habitat. The clams are also so expensive now ... I bought them from the Toodi Market --- RM8 per kilo ... but they are super fresh .... :0 ... I found out that the Foo Chows in Fochow, China also loves to make their soup base from the clams -- and also the Hing Hwa cooking in Spore .. the only difference is .. they do not remove the clam meat from the shell.

Another items that we will add in is also wild mushrooms -- like oyster mushroom but it is wild grown on the fallen trees trunks in the rubber plantations after a heavy down pour .. those mushrooms are very sweet and yummy compared to commercially grown ones. We can still find this once in a while in Sitiawan on rainy seasons.

Dad's role in this whole process is always to remove the clams from the shell after we have boil the soup. We will use the soup as well as the clam meat. Why would a typical Hock Chew man help in the kitchen? Easy ... cos he loves to eat this dish as well! Be it cooked with the loong yean or big bihun. That's my Dad - his stomach his help in the kitchen ... :0

I cooked so much yesterday, I packed some for Sister and the rest goes to Dad for dinner ..:0

p/s : lupa record -- someone was helping me break the egg .... egg fell on table instead of going into the bowl ... mana the mata sepit see I wonder ... :0 ... and another egg ... totally "crushed" into the bowl...