Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


Eid 2011: A Week On

It’s been a week since we celebrated Eid. Usually, there would still be some lingering celebratory feelings but not this year. In fact, my family barely celebrated. Everything was done with a heavy feeling of obligation. We weren’t in the mood to celebrate at all that we procrastinated the Eid preparation until the last weekend of Ramadhan, where we squeezed a couple of weeks worth of preparation into the last 4 days of Ramadhan. It was a feat and a week on, I’m still recovering from that exhaustion.

My mother had not planned to make the traditional rice cakes, ketupat, the traditional way, by weaving coconut leaves and filling them with rice before boiling. She had just planned to cook the instant ones that are available at the supermarkets, to make our lives easier. However, when presented with a bundle of cheap(ish) young coconut leaves, my mom couldn’t resist and so my sisters and I were tasked to make them.

ketupat weaving

What would normal take my grandmother (when she was well), a couple of hours to do, took the three of us half a day to accomplish as we had to wipe clean each leaf individually. It was the very first time that we had to prepare the ketupat by ourselves, it wasn’t any wonder why it took us so long


We ended up with a whole basket of cooked ketupats with sizes ranging from as small as a baby’s fist to one that was one and a half times bigger than my fist.

ketupat

We were so rushed for time that we didn’t even make that many treats and cookies these year. We made just enough to serve our guests, when in previous years, I would make enough to give all my aunts at least a bottle.

pineapple tarts

The night of Eid saw my cousins coming over for pre-celebration meal and it just so happens that we had a couple boxes of sparklers and I thought, screw it, lets re-live our childhood (even though the youngest of us was 16).

playing with sparklers

We had to play at the void deck of the building as the sparklers were very smoky and we didn’t want our neighbours to complain. I know that my sisters, my cousins and I had a lot of fun.

On Eid day, and the subsequent days after, we recieved a number of guests and this year, having developed Grinch-y, cynical feelings about celebrating Eid, it was an effort to slap on a smile and pretend that I’m all happy at having people whom I only meet once a year, descend to my house and ask me pointed questions about my life that aren’t any of their business. So my sisters and I spent most of the time hiding out in our rooms, away from the crowds and only appear to greet the guests when the arrive and when they leave.

Maybe it was just me being grumpy but there seemed to be a record number of people pushing the buttons this year.

There was that lady with no filters what so ever, asking questions that aren’t any of her business, without even attempting to make it sound less busybody.

There was that relative, who suggested to my aunt that maybe we have a black magic item that’s preventing my grandmother from moving on (read: that she should be dead and that the body lying in the bed is inhibited by something nasty) (Also read: my kneejerk reaction to that was not pretty).

The best of all, the 3-year old boy who went into my room, poked me in the boob and licked my arm before running off to pull my mom’s hair and then hit my domestic helper, all while the parents just shut up and watch.

I might just be a tiny bit pissed off with all of these but on the bright side, I only see them once a year.

Do you have any horror stories from your Eid celebrations or any festivities? Feel free to share in the comment section.


Friday Foods: Tumeric Chicken

One of the things that I love about Dude is that he cooks and loves to experiment with spices. One of the latest things that he came up with is Tumeric Chicken. This recipe is very different from mine but I have to say, his recipe tastes so much better. Though that could just be because I was hungry when he served the chicken for dinner.

Dude has awesomely given me the recipe to his chicken and even pictures to go along with it.

Ingredients
2 tbs tumeric powder
2 tbs black pepper
4 tbs coriander seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
2 tbs chili flakes
2 tbs vegetarian oyster sauce
4 tbs Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
900g chicken

chicken


Mix everything but the chicken together, for the marinate

marinate spices

Poke holes into the chicken skin side with a fork. The chicken should be clean and dry before adding it into the marinate. Mix well and marinate it for as long as you want.

marinated

In a non-stick pan, without using any oil, put the chicken in, with the skin side down. The fat will render out and you won’t need to add any oil at all. If you want a crispier skin, remove the oil from the pan and place it skin side down in the pan to crisp up.

Serve it with rice or porridge or you can make it into a sandwich.

The marinated chicken can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.


Hipstamatic App Experiment: Outdoors, Under Sunlight

name
Also taking using Hipstamatic, just for the heck of it.

I know that the Hipstamatic app has been around for a while and I’ve read about it almost everywhere. So when I finally sold a little more of my soul to the great, big fruit got on the iPhone bandwagon, I bought to app but due to a relatively busy time since I bought it, I haven’t gotten around to trying it out as much.

Even though I’ve only gotten the basic pack, it still comes with 3 different types of film rolls: Blanko, Ina’s 196, and Kodot XGrizzled, 3 different flashes: Standard, Dreampop and Cherry Shine, and 4 lens types: John S, Jimmy, Kaimal Mach II and Buckhorst H1.

With all these different settings, I have no idea which setting to use that’s when I decided that I needed to experiment a little. I took a walk during lunch and snapped some pictures with different films and lenses, using the natural sunlight just to see what happened.

Here are the results.


The set of pictures below are taken using the Blanko film. Clockwise from the top right hand, I used the John S, Jimmy, Kaimal Mach II and Buckhorst H1 lenses.

small Blanko John Ssmall Blanko Jimmysmall Blanko Kaimal Mach IIsmall Blanko Bockhorst H1

The set below is taken with the Ina’s 1969 roll, and with the same lens types. Ignore the little shading thing at the top of some of the pictures. I didn’t realise that my fingertip was covering the

small Ina's 1969 John Ssmall Ina's 1969 Jimmysmall Ina's 1969 Kaimal Mach IIsmall Ina's 1969 Bockhorst H1

This was taken with the Kodot XGrizzled film, and the same lens types.

small Kodot XGrizzled John Ssmall Kodot XGrizzled Jimmysmall Kodot XGrizzled Kaimal Mach IIsmall Kodot XGrizzled Bockhorst H1

I love how the different lenses casts different filter effects on the pictures. It’s really interesting how different the pictures turn out. However, to my eye, I don’t see any difference between the different film types. If there is, maybe my plebeian eyes just can’t see it.

Since the app has the option of using flash and also, different types of flash, I’m going to have to do another experiment just to see what happens.

If you are a Hipstamatic user and have some tips for me, feel free to leave a comment.