Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easier than you think breakfast , snacks and light meals.

I have been wanting to avoid eating bread everyday. But the kids love it. So how, replacement! Apparently our well known traditional tosai ( dosa, rice pancake) has been the best kept secret in an Indian household. I find the homemade version tastes better minus the sour taste.

So, clear your mind, this is the type of recipe that requires pre planning. But once done you can enjoy it instantly from your fridge for over a week!

Day 1
Phase 1 : after breakfast 10am. soaking the grains separately 6-8 hours.
Soak 2 cups of rice and one (or 1/2) cup of tur dhal. ( when you are more confident you can double the quantity, then can last you for a week serving 3 times for a family of 5,6 person)

Phase 2 : after or before your dinner at 6 pm, blend the grains separately with some water ( the rice blends easier, dhal is tougher) . Then mix them up and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Let it ferment outside the fridge for 8 hours overnight.

Day 2
Phase 3: the batter is ready for breakfast! It should be pouring consistency. You can add some cumin seeds to improve the aroma. Or experiment it with some sesame seeds, flaxseeds. Or add some of your favourite herbs. You can fry it with some ghee, and coconut oil. Rub the oil on the pan with a wedge of  onion. Then Make sure your cast iron pan is well heated. For beginners, non stick pan can save you a lot of trouble. Move your pan around using the lowest heat, make sure the sides of the tosai is well heated. Scoop the batter onto the well heated pan and immediately run your ladle on top the batter in a circular motion. ( observe this in the Indian shop) A lot of steam will come out. Then wait for a magical opening by the sides of the pancake when it is well heated. And scrap your way into the tosai from there using a wooden spatula.

Keep the unfinished batter in the fridge. Can keep well for a week.

No curry, or chutney... My kids spread butter and jam over it. This is even easier than the western pancake. Minus the eggs and gluten. It is important to follow a routine of work process. Then everything becomes easier!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A detour

Many things happened since I last wrote. One of the major change in life was that shan yang has requested to go back to school. I have anticipated for this. I have learnt this from other homeschooling family that some child prefers school. So this didn't hit me too badly as i would probably mark it as a "failure". I have carefully chosen a "gentle" Waldorf school in jln Ipoh for him to explore a community school life.

We started a 3 day rhythm studying in the teacher's house. And soon more students join in. He was happy initially. As more students join in, especially those with previous public school experience, he started to make some comments. He observed the unpleasant language choice among his peers.

As for me, as along as he is happy, I am enjoying the break, dealing with my other Kindy children. With a stronger routine, adhering to the school, our domestic life has become more structured. Next year he will be going to school for the full 5 days. I hope he could absorb as much as he needs, learn some basic skills, he could come out from the system after he has enough. I will be here to support what he wish to do.

He has improved on his movement and coordination with the regular jumping rope exercise in school. Lots of fun meeting friends more regularly. And he learns to cook n prepare his lunch everyday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My first moon cake! A Healthy one!

Is there such thing as healthy moon cake? I wonder! Today I attempted a sweet potato snowskin moon cake. Despite the sabotage, the taste was not bad! Basically mashed the steamed sweet potatoes then add some syrup and coconut oil in it. Mix it until it reaches a paste like consistency. Then wrap it with the colored snow skin. This time I made a yellow colour snow skin with turmeric powder. Next time I would try coloured juices like dragon fruit, orange, nyonya blue flower etc.

So lets make this easy Healthy moon cake!

Fruity coloured Snow skin:
130g koh fun
130g powdered sugar
130ml coloured juices (orange or dragon fruit, or blue flower)
100g butter

Rub the butter in the flour n sugar first then mix in the juices slowly. And roll them into 60g balls and leave it to chill while you prepare the filling.

Sweet potato filling
1kg steamed mashed sweet potatoes (purple or orange potato, purple potato gives better results)
70ml cold pressed coconut oil
30g roasted melon seeds
5 Tbs of agave nectar (or honey)
Pinch of salt

Dust the surface w some koh fun, Roll the snow skin out, then wrap the filling in. Dust the surface of the mooncake ball w some koh fun then Press it into the mould.

Chill the moon cake in the fridge for a few hours and eat while it is fresh!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New discoveries

Today we have been busy w the flour business. Started w making some scones in mind, then i found out the kids enjoy playing flour as it is. I have a few boxes of worm infested flour, perhaps I should sieve them and let them play in the garden b4 it hits the compost bin.

Bought a good smelling honey dew, but to my surprise it was tasteless. As it almost going to the compost, I thought it might make very good dessert if boil it w red n honey dates plus some wolfberries. Having thrown in a bunch of pandan leaves i rushed to get from my green finger neighbor, a wonderful smelling soothing tonic was ready effortlessly. So next time, any fruits that does not fit for your taste palette consider making them into some tea.
Just throw in some dates and wolfberries + pandan leaves works all the time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Coco de potato

Shanyang came out w a new recipe. He rolled the sweet potato over some cocoa powder then put some freshly grated coconut with moleses sugar on it. I have never seen the kids eat so much sweet potato before. His recipes is much supported by his siblings.

DIY Chinese chess

When you are in the middle it the wild and want to play Chinese chess this is what you can do. so one fine day in the name of Learning Chinese we moved slightly out door and played around with some chalks and stones. My aim to get shanyang to write Chinese really. After creating it we played a game. I must say with the size it is more challenging to the mind, cause you can't have all the chess in one look. You might have to some what memories the position instead. So shanyang beat me in this game. He is getting better each day with the private coaching from daddy.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Flower power

I haven't been blogging for a while. Recently I was adviced to blog again more regularly according to my astrology chart. By doing so most of my problems will be solved with little effort. As this would help me w my overall well being. I immediately felt the relief as this has been one of my favorite things in life, to be able to share and have audiences out there.

Recently I begin to tune to flowers in the neighborhood and bring them home to appreciate. Some would say you would shorten the flower's life span by doing so. Something my mom used to tell me long time ago.

One day I took a stroll w my kids and armed w a pair of garden scissors. We brought back some flowers and gathered them in a few casual vessels. The presence of fresh flowers and scent in the house awoke some unexplained senses. The scent of the fresh flowers greeted and sang into every spaces and corners in my house. It was a beautiful moment. A lasting well being stayed in my mind. I can still recall the feelings after many months. You will be surprised that there are so many different types of flowers u can gather rather than just having roses or daisies from the flower stall.

Some flowers don't stay long. You get to observe every moment of change.

Try it one day, just walk out with a basket and a pair of scissors. Invite some natural guests to your adobe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Amazing RM2 Chinese books sale

An Amazing rm 2 clearance sale is going on at the classic shanghai bookshop Jln sultan until september 2012. some books are going for 70%, dictionaries for 50%. I met an elderly man in the book shop, he felt unbelievable that books are going for so cheap these days. And yet not many children are reading much. He believes it is the pressure from the school exam has taken away the love for reading stories.

I would feel in cloud nine if I were presented with these books when I was little. However my son finds reading Chinese is quite a task for him. At 7 years he enjoy Enid blyton's. He finds it easier to read English. I was told to be able for one to read Chinese, once has to master approximately 2000 characters. A Chinese reader teacher told me that these days even children from the chinese school cannot achieve decent Chinese reading ability to enjoy reading even at the age of 9, 10.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

let's sail

so to commemorate the titanic 100 years anniversary the father has come out with some ideas. We have built the ice boat earlier on, which didnt last too long for them to play in the bath tub. Then we moved on to build something more lasting. A simple raft out of a palm trunk we collected. It's easier to saw than wood! Then we drilled a hole in the middle to fix the mast using a bamboo stick collected from the park near our house. (yes we have a wonderful park nearby that provide us these natural materials!)

We also took a trip up to Penang to experience the ferry and watch ships from afar. The kids were overjoyed! I must say ships are such beautiful invention. Even i started to like these water engines! Such marvelous piece of fine work. They spotted some oil tank ship, a ship sailed from hong kong...

We also borrowed some books from the library, a titanic book and a pirate ship book with beautiful illustration naming all parts of the boat.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Learning Chinese via art, calligraphy and Chinese painting

We are getting a bit concerned about 7 year old shanyang not showing much interest in learning Chinese. He managed his way satisfying his knowledge acquiring needs via phonetic reading the English books. His exposure in Chinese reading has need badly hindered by too much early reading and writing during the 3 years in the kindergarten.

So we hope to revive his interest again slowly. We are experimenting with learning the language via art. we have found teacher lai to be a suitable teacher who specialized in Chinese art and understands children well. So we expressed our concerns to him and we were told that at a tender age of 7 play oriented learning is still the best approach. We feel very comforted to leave our kids in the hand of teacher lai . Today we've had our first class together. The kids had free form art lesson as the teacher still trying to understand the child and I had a Chinese calligraphy lesson. I felt great after the class it seems Chinese calligraphy helps to regulate your breathing and cultivate your emotion. I love to be able to learn at the sametime with the kids, not merely ferrying the kids around.

After hearing from teacher lai, again I am confirmed that young school going kids should still be left to play and experiment instead of learning the hard and fast rules. the ripe age to learn doing calligraphy properly is at about age 10.

It's great I am learning it myself now. So that I can teach him when ever he is ready. Hmmm in homeschooling, it is true that the parents should learn first! And the child would be curious and start to imitate.

Teacher lai' studio

Into Boat, ship and marine life (Wednesday 4-4-12)

Recently shanyang showed great interest in transportation on the water. His dad has been telling him about titanic as this ship in sunk sometime around April 15. Dh asked if he could borrow the titanic movie back for the kids to watch, I strongly against it for the movie has much cliche to drown the young kids's senses.

So we try to build an ice boat after lunch. ( I seemed to gain more consciousness after lunch, everyone in the family will come into the similar wave length after having a meal together.)

We spent a long time fixing the boat and left it in the fridge over night. However the time for enjoying the boat floating on the water is too short. The ice melt fast. So I have a dissatisfied 5 yr old complaining his boat is gone. Hmmm... Have to find another way to build a lasting boat again.

Gingerbread man (tuesday -3/4/12)

We've been enjoy reading the gingerbread man book from the library. So it is time to try out the recipes at the back of the book. After a well fed lunch we started our baking project. The kids were overjoyed.

I haven't done baking with them for a long time, as I was over occupied with curriculums. I see sparkles in their eyes, i am blessed with their undivided attention. they are fully engaged with their hands and all the senses. After the first round of bakes, they waited for it to cool down patiently and had it with a cup of cool milk. simply blissful.

I also witness a keen enthusiasm from my 3 yr old daughter in working with her hands. She was so focus in sieving the flour n sugar. I see a rare intense concentration coming from her. Silent Sweat drop from the hair to the forehead.