Tuesday, December 30, 2014

red rice

I am writing of a time when the people did have rice to eat.

As an Ethnic Chinese I grew up eating rice, rice and more rice. People say eating rice won't make you fat, but this is not true. It depends on what you eta with the rice. I have never been match stick thin, and in Asia, I am considered fat. But here in New Zealand, it feels good when there are more people who tilt the scale more than you.

Rice and whole grains are healthful sources of carbohydrates, providing you choose the right ones. Try adding the following varieties to your holiday table - each provides nutritional benefits as well as flavor and texture.

For rice dishes: Experiment with brown, basmati, jasmine and wild rice, all healthier options than traditional white rice. My brother in law Kallang comes from the Bario Highlands, they grow a very good Bario rice, and people who have tasted this rice swear by it.

Look for organic varieties, and keep them stored in tightly sealed jars on the pantry shelf. During very hot, humid weather you might want to refrigerate the grains.

When I was in Singapore, I used to entertain quite a bit or have pot luck meals with my friends. I made this at one of the lunches with our friends in Nanyang technological University where I lived for 16 years. It was WOWed and they wanted the recipe and it is such a healthy dish.


1 cup cooked brown or red (from NTUC or Liberty)rice
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of red onion, diced (optional for colour)
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 cup. cashew nuts
2 tbsp. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. soy sauce dressing

Toss thoroughly.

Optional: sweet corn kernels
diced green pepper
diced celery
pine nuts
for a non vegetarian salad, boiled eggs, chicken, ham may be added.


3/4 c. oil (sunflower or soy)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper for taste

Put all ingredients in jar; shake well. Makes 1 cup.
Serves 6 to 8.

I couldn't find a photo of this rice salad. The photo shows the boiled red rice we ate in Singapore. My son and I made the cake one year for the man in the house birthday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

kauri gum store. New Zealand.


09-412 9555
A group of thirteen of us braved the rain and headed up to Riverhead.  I loved the warm cosiness of the decor. The paraphernalia and the display of the things of times gone by was very welcome.
The waitress Laura was friendly and helpful . The food was delicious and generous. The muffin was huge.
A great way for us to end the year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

white morning glory

The morning glory Calystegia silvatica is the largest species of bindweed and is a hairless perennial strong rampant climber growing to four metres.

Looks like the vegetable Kangkong in South East Asia, and is an obnoxious plant.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tru2U Flax seed Oil - boost your health.

 I tested this flax seed oil which  come in Garlic, Lemon and Chilli flavours. These  flavours are mild and suit the Kiwi palate. They are a delightful addition to your food, just drizzle over your salad or pasta.

 Tru2U flax seed oil is a high quality product for adults and children and can assist the body to function more efficiently.
a few dash of chilli flavoured flax seed oil on the mango salad, and drizzle garlic flavoured Flax seed oil on the pasta will make a lot of difference to your taste and health.

Flax seed oil is a rich source of healing compounds. Flax seed (also called linseed) has been cultivated for more than 7000 years. First cultivated in Europe, the plant's brown seeds were regularly used to prepare balms for inflamed skin and healing slurries for constipation.
Flax seed oil is one of nature's riches sources of Omega-3,  it is rich in essential fatty acids. These EFAs are vital for good health and are considered to play a crucial role in brain function and possibly reducing the risk of heart disease and arthritis, and to relieve a variety of inflammatory disorders and hormone-related problems, including infertility.

Tru2U Flax seed Oil is cold pressed and grown in Canterbury, New Zealand. This flax seed oil comes in different gourmet flavours for a delightful addition to your food.

Buy them for yourself  or to fill that Christmas stocking  or that Secret Santa. It is a welcomed gift.

How would you use it?

I used them in my summer salad, drizzle over pasta or as a light dressing. As Kiwis are getting more and more health conscious, Flax seeds oil are a tasty option, and are a great alternative to fish oils for vegetarians.

100%pure and natural Tru2U range is available in six exciting flavours, pure, cracked pepper, garlic, lemon, chilli and Rosemary. I recommend them at http://tru2u.co.nz.

I am not paid to do this review. I am given samples to try them out.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus" swan plant

This can be a story of the life cycle of the butterfly. But this is beyond this. In two days time, Patrick Martin would have been celebrating his 10th birthday. He should probably be playing in Junior rugby or rugby league. His mum Louise would be busy preparing for his birthday party. But there is none of these going to happen. Louise's heart is heavy and she knows she is dreading the day.

I wasn't here when this happened. It was a stroke of unusual circumstance that Louise and I became friends. We were at a workshop and she invited me to sit beside her. I introduced myself as a bereaved mum, and Louise touched my arm. She whispered, I am too. It was as if that touch and soft words were magical. We became friends.

On Friday, I was sitting outside the clump of swan plants teaching some students. A Monarch butterfly landed on my shoulder. I taught my kids with this song Butterfly, my butterfly, wait for me don't fly away, I told the students, it is natural for the butterflies to fly away when they are ready.

But in the case of Patrick, it was far from being natural. I looked up the archives, It was a very tragic case. 

swan plant

Little Patrick was taken to welfare care, and he died 10 days later which they claim was SIDS. Patrick had been living in a house with nine other foster children and the foster couple's own two.

An inquest into the death of four-month-old Patrick Martin also heard that the home, owned by the Methodist Mission Northern, did not have resource consent for use as a children's home.
A coroner yesterday recorded an open verdict into the death of four-month-old Patrick Martin last May. 

As regarding the dead butterfly in this photo, I was told that children play with the caterpillars, squeeze the pupas, they have no chance to grow to become healthy butterflies and fly away. Just like Louise's Patrick, someone had interfered with his well being.

White Bucida tree

White Bucida tree...... Bucida buceras ( Bucida 'Variegated') ......upside down Christmas tree

This tree and a few others is growing off Jln Song, near 101 in Kuching. I was told they are very expensive. I remark, they were not worried people might steal them as they were outside the fence.  I am known to be a value for money person. I will never buy a tree this expensive, and if I did, I would grow it inside the yard.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Proposal: A formal Chinese garden.

"A person that creates a garden finds much happiness" - An ancient Chinese saying

A friend my home Borneo had the above quote in his facebook page, just the right one I needed today, as I come back from a function where it was proposed to construct a Chinese garden. I want to add on to Tony's quote by saying that a garden gives much happiness to anyone who walks by. In deed, I walk round places and soak in the atmosphere, smell the fragrances of flowers and enjoy the eye candy.

Will a formal Chinese Garden be the right thing in Auckland?  The Chinese have been in New Zealand since 1850, and there are more than 110,000 Chinese in Auckland?

I wrote to the local MP, Mr David Shearer, I drive past Chamberlain Park daily. There are hardly anyone playing golf. In fact an avid golfer told me that golf course is so low quality that people do not want to play there.

I like my say, I do not think a golf course serving a small group of people are the right one for the city that has diverse groups of people living. I am no expert in culture or landscaping.  I would expect there will be plants like my photo where I took from The New Zealand Chinese Association building.

I signed my feedback to Albert-Eden Local Board.