Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hosting the Monthly Meeting

This morning, we had our project monthly meeting, and for this month, I was nominated as the emcee! I was only given two days notice, and unfortunately due to other business priorities, I couldn't spend much time planning for the meeting. So at 430pm yesterday, I sat and brainstormed with a colleague on how to make the meeting more interesting.

This month's meeting agenda is quite unique, as we are not only going to gather for updates on the project, but to also celebrate Hari Raya and 395 Goal Zero Days (170,000 safe man-hours) to date. So there I was cracking my head on how to make this meeting interesting...

I mentioned to my colleague, that besides these two themes, we could also celebrate the Tanglung festival and also Hari 1Malaysia. It was then that he suggested we play a game called cāidēngmí. Traditionally, during the mooncake festival, Chinese family members and friends will gather and carry brighly lit lanterns or hang lanterns around their house. To play this game, Chinese riddles will be written on pieces of paper which are then hung under these lanterns, and children would usually gather around the lanterns to try and solve these riddles.

I was lucky that he had a stash of lanterns in his house so he volunteered to bring them to the office. I then spent the whole evening researching riddles and composing questions on the three cultural themes - Hari Raya, Pesta Tanglung and Hari 1Malaysia.

The next morning was spent printing the questions, making answer sheets and hanging the lanterns all over the meeting room (we even had to use a ladder!). Makes you wonder how much actual work we actually get done in a day, eh?

So this was how the meeting room looked like.

Everyone who came to the meeting room was so impressed with how it looked. Honestly, I had a lot of help, from friends who supplied lanterns, to friends who made up questions, to friends who helped carry everything to the meeting room, even to tall friends who helped me to hang the lanterns from the ceiling.

The agenda.

I kicked off the meeting to a good start, everyone was laughing at my jokes (which is a sure sign that the crowd is actually listening to you), and after the welcome note we dispersed for lunch and game. The team was tasked to answer the riddles during lunch, the person with the most correct answer and fastest submission would win. So while the team went around the room, I started with the food! We had nyummy traditional Hari Raya food - rendang, nasi impit, satay and also the normal lunch spread like ayam masak merah, sayur campur, fish curry... I was really impressed with the catering!

And the thing about having such good friends in the office, is that they wouldn't be segan silu in playing a prank on you. While going around the room to solve riddles, they came up with this:

Courtesy of the guys who helped me with the hanging of the lanterns!

This is during the meeting. I was making my round to check whether anyone was asleep.

Looking good, although we did forget to hide the ladder away before the meeting. *grin*

The stash of prizes.

In between presentations from various colleagues, I tortured the newcomers into giving a few words about themselves and gave away the prizes for the game we had earlier. (Second prize winner was actually our Project Manager and I heard people yelling "Conspiracy!!" in the background!) I also had a pop quiz on Malaysia, to test whether the expats knew how many stripes we have on our Malaysian flags, and whether our locals knew what sea lies in between Malaysia and Singapore.

I certainly had fun emceeing, I wouldn't mind doing it again!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

HomeDec and Danya's Open House

The weekend is here and it is time again for yet another open house!

We started the morning early (have you noticed that our weekends are A.L.W.A.Y.S packed??!!) with Hubby washing the car and yours truly playing her role as house manager, picking up after everything that the maid has missed during the week. After a quick shower with Aiden, we packed up and left for the first stop of the day, HomeDec!

As usual, HomeDec is a bi-annual event for us. We would never fail to miss it, sometimes even going two days in a row. Some years we would include the CIMB Perfect Livin' but we gave that recent one a miss this year as it was held during fasting month (tak larat nak bring my heavy butt all over PWTC, heh!). This year, HomeDec shall be split into two weekends, Design It and Furnish It. And after attending the Design It, I absolutely agree to them splitting them two. The exhibition was way way way easier to manage as they only occupied 5 halls (instead of two floors), I knew exactly what to look for in Design It and Furnish It respectively (wallpaper in Design it and a brand new aircon in Furnish It), and the crowd was definitely more manageable.

So apart from placing a booking at two (yes two!) wallpaper companies, we also placed another booking at SCI Kitchen for our walk-in wardrobe and bought two all-in-one rain shower sets. Funny how from wallpaper we mushroomed our purchases to wardrobe and shower heads!

But, I absolutely love my rain shower set. Ooohhh la la!

It looks something like this. Picture courtesy of Google.

After memborong at HomeDec, we immediately left for our first open house for the day. Sadly, we missed one in VillaWangsaMas, so we skipped that and went straight to Shah Alam. Intention was to drop our loot off at the new house then to the open house.

And then it started raining cats and dogs. And we got stuck in a massive traffic jam at Jalan Batu Arang. We have heard lots and lots of horror stories about the traffic in the area, but really, it was our first time experiencing this traffic jam since we purchased the house. We were stuck for nearly 45 minutes for the short 3km road. And right after we passed through the traffic light, I turned to Hubby and said:

"Yang, serious ke kita nak pindah nie???"

Picture courtesy of Cahaya SPK official resident website.

Anyway, after stuffing outselves silly at Mustakim's open house in Subang USJ (which would have only been a 15minute drive if not for the traffic), we made our way to Dayang's open house in Bukit Jelutong. Aiden was overjoyed to have plenty to play with, as Dayang's house was well decorated with very fragile decorations, while Mummy had to run after Aiden all night long to stop him from getting into detrimental mischief.

Aiden and Uncle Zul

Aiden playing with Danya's toys.

Lining it up and then banging on it.

Buat macam rumah sendiri!

Aiden getting into his next mischief - he nearly broke a decorative bowl on the table while dear Hubby sat chit chatting in the background. Grrrrr....

Stand at the corner, Aiden!

Mummy. Pooped.

Danya had already changed from her kebaya into her pajamas.

Then Danya was brought to another room by one of the guests. And guess what, Aiden wanted to follow! This is Danya showing off that she can now stand on her own.

Aiden found another secret stash of Danya's toys.

The BBGS gang plus a few more.

Aiden handing duit raya to Danya.

Danya pura pura malu.


Thank you for the invite, Dayang, Danya and Zul!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lontong for Hubby!

The night we arrived home after a long week of Raya-ing at our kampung, Hubby had the cheek to jokingly ask for lontong when I asked him what he wanted for dinner. And me being tired, hungry and sakit buntut from sitting in the car through the massive traffic jam, immediately gave him the pissed off look, and prepared a simple meal of instant nasi impit with reheated daging dendeng that had been sitting in our freezer for the past week.

However, I never stopped feeling guilty whenever I reflect on that incident.

So, I decided to surprise Hubby with a fine meal of lontong! Googled for a lontong recipe (which looked easy enough to imitate) and went grocery shopping the day before to buy all the needed ingredients. Came home from work and immediately jumped into the kitchen. Perfect timing, Hubby called me on my phone. I wanted the meal to be a surprise so I didn't mention anything, but apparently Hubby knows me very well, that even from the tone of my voice he could tell that I was cooking something special for him that night.

I used a combination of two recipes: here and here.

Cut the tempe into cute squares.

Clean and rendam the foo chuk in a bowl of water. Make sure you clean it properly and rendam lama because if not it will taste like plastic - according to my sister who had a bad encounter with the foo chuk before. I love foo chuk, so I used nearly half a packet!

Cut the chilli and kacang panjang.

Cut the tauhu into cute squares as well.

For those who are not kitchen savvy (like me!), this is how an unsliced sengkuang looks like. I went up and down the aisles of Tesco at least 3 times looking for a sengkung which in my mind, looks like white strips (like the sliced ones). I laughed my head off when my sister showed me this brown potato-like thing!

Cut the cabbage thinly. Chilli for decorative purposes only.

Blend dried shrimps, garlic, kunyit hidup, halia and shallots. (For Bibik's version, add two tablespoon of ground black pepper, three buah keras and lengkuas.)

In the meantime, boil the instant nasi impit.

You can choose to either use coconut, or instant coconut milk.

Of course, lemon grass!

Aiden playing with the serai.

And daun limau.

Fry the tauhu until golden brown.

Aiden imitating Bibik.

Aiden wants to help as well!

Boil the hard ingredients (sengkuang, carrot, kacang panjang, chilli, tempe etc.) to lessen actual cooking time.

Then angkat.

Bibik insisted on heating the coconut milk. And it was a good thing that she did, because I could smell a foul smell, indicating that the raw coconut dah basi! In the end I had to stick with just instant coconut milk.

This boy was busy playing with cooking oil!

Tumis the blended items until pecah minyak. Add a bit of blended dried chilli.

Add coconut milk and water. Add lemon grass and daun limau.

Season as needed with salt and chicken stock.


Throw in the boiled ingredients.

And the tempe and fried tauhu. Make sure the fire is small.

Mix it well and add the foo chuk.

Last but not least, throw in the chilli.

And you're done! One nyummy lontong coming up for dear Hubby!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...