Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Poetic Rhapsody 一瞬诗影

Han Fong Dance Troupe was formed in May 18th 2002 by Kuen Cheng High School Chinese Cultural Dance Club to promote Chinese dance locally, encompassing traditional, classical and contemporary Chinese dance. It provides an avenue for dancers to practice and hone their skills as well as performance opportunities.
This afternoon, Uncle Kelvin Li took both Nicholas and Alexandra to Panggung Dewan Bandaraya to attend a performance by Han Fong Dance Troupe called “A Poetic Rhapsody.” It was a great way to learn to appreciate Chinese art and culture, of which Uncle was a keen advocator.
All in, there were eleven dance pieces by the talented dancers under artistic director Justin Wong.
Among the pieces are Jiang Nan, Unbound, A Retreat at Xu Inn, The Spirits’ Lament, Court Ladies, Ripples, Home, Song of the Wanderer, Florid Sleeves, Longing and Dark Plum Blossoms.
Each piece was beautifully executed, much to the delights of the audience, comprising all ages. As the dancer moves with grace and agility on the stage, Chinese poems were projected on a giant screen. The dance steps and poems flows in perfect synchronize.
It was an evening well spent and both my children had a wonderful time. Thank you very much, Uncle!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yong Tau Foo, Water chestnut dessert and 'Tung Shing' on a Saturday......

 Nicholas and Alexandra having 'Tung-Shing 通勝' session with uncle Kelvin

" Mr Liew, I’m on my way to your house to teach your kids some real useful stuff!" Uncle Kevin Li was on the mobile this morning.

“Okay, no problem. Thanks for giving some of your precious time to my kids, Uncle!” Marcus replied happily.
“Mommy, Uncle is coming afterwards to teach the kids. Is it okay for you to prepare some of your ‘lah sau’ dishes for him?” my husband asked jokingly.
“Hmm, let me think. What are my ‘lah sau’ dishes?” I pondered.
“Why not you make some yong tau foo?” he offered.
“Okay, let’s make yong tau foo then!” I was pleased with his suggestion for I loved this Hakka dish myself!
So off we went to the wet market to buy some fresh ‘saito’ fish paste and an assortment of vegetable to be stuffed with the fish paste.
Uncle Kevin was already there teaching the kids ‘Tung Shing’ when we got back from the wet market with the food. ‘Tung Shing 通勝' is a Chinese divination guide and almanac. It was also known as “victorious in all things.”
Some Chinese families still consults the book before conducting some important undertakings such as travelling, wedding or funeral. All the auspicious and inauspicious time to do such activities was listed out.

The knowledge to be gained from this book is countless and will be suffice for a lifetime! Therefore, it is very good to have a grip on this book which was an important part of our heritage.

While the kids were busy learning, I was busy in the kitchen, painstakingly preparing yong tau foo. I made two trays of them, enough to go around for everyone. We have stuffed chilies, okra, aubergine and bitter gourd in a very light and tasty broth made from anchovies. I cooked some rice to go with the yong tau foo.

I think they must be very good because all the stuffed items were snapped up in no time and at the end of the meal, I got compliments from everyone, from Uncle, Marcus, right up to the kids – they were truly satisfied with the food.

“Mommy, these yong tau foo are so tasty, why don’t you cook it more often?” Nicholas asked playfully.

‘Okay, since you all loved it so much, I will cook it more often!” I promised.

For dessert, we have water chestnut and snow fungus cooked with rock sugar and thickens with water chestnut starch. This is supposed to invigorate the lungs and rejuvenate the skin.

They said this dessert, which I cooked for the first time, tasted just as tasty as the ones they had last month in Ipoh when we went there for ‘Hor Hee’ noodles with my brother.

Just after Uncle Kevin left, Eugene, Nicholas’s friend came. He looked hungry and I cooked him a bowl of tom yam noodles with a half boiled egg. He finished everything, until the last drop of soup and came to me with an empty bowl.

“That was simply delicious!” he said gratefully.I gave him a smile for his compliment.
 Yong Tau Foo treat for all


Saturday, October 1, 2011

A date with the maestros

Today is a memorable day for my children Nicholas and Alexandra. They were given a very special treat by Uncle Kelvin Li. He took them to the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas to attend a musical performance called "Thematic Variations" played by the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra conducted by Kevin Field.

The performance started at 3:00 pm. and they were already there by 2:30 pm. Both of them posed for some photos by the entrance of the hall before entering to take their seats.

My children truly enjoyed themselves, serenaded by music of Franz Joseph Haydn (Symphony No.94 in G- Surprise), Johannes Brahms (Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op.56), Bela Bartok (Hungarian Sketches) and Zoltan Kodaly (Peacock Variations). The entire performance lasted for three hours with a twenty minutes interval. According to them, it was an evening well spent and a very memorable Saturday too. Thank you, Uncle Kelvin Li!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My family's reunion dinner for 2011

Every year my family used to have steamboat for reunion dinner. It is easy to prepare and saved a lot of time which I can used to do other work like house cleaning or making decorative items.

However, this year I decided to have something different. Enough of fishballs, squid or meatballs, my children said. So I opted for another favourite, the "Phun Choy" which was actually a big basin consisting of layers upon layers of delicious food such as prawns, Chinese sausages, roasted pork, steamed chicken, stewed mushrooms and blanched broccoli. A lot of work goes into preparing these food and then had them arranged into layers. There are altogether five layers. I chose five because it was a lucky number.

My family simply loved it. It goes well with red wine. Perhaps next year I will made another basin of "Phun Choy" again, with more exquisite food and more layers.