Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are We On The Same Channel?

You may look at the moon and wonder if someone you used to know long time ago is looking at the same moon and thinking about the same thing you might be thinking of like what in the world are you doing in the middle of a night looking up the sky as if your real home is somewhere out there in the celestial domain, forgetting for a second or two that your real home is right here in the terrestial precinct where you've gotta pay your cukai pintu or else they're gonna seal up your house for good and you won't have a place to stay to cook a decent meal like the New England Clam Chowder the way Chef Micheal is teaching you how to do it on Asian Food Channel.

I'm watching Asian Food Channel and thinking if my friend in Kuching is tuning in to the same programme because I know for certain that when she has the remote commander in her hand, you can bet all the properties you own that she won't let anyone watches any other channel. Not even when aliens have landed right behind her house to have a look at the herb garden she has so they can steal a few leaves of daun kesom to take it back where they came from so they can experiment with something like Asam Pedas Melaka, or Assam Laksa.

My friend in Kuching is a talented cook. I know she won't like it that I call her 'my friend in Kuching' because she'd rather have me call her Priscilla, and so I'd better behave and do the thing she says or she's gonna call me 'my friend in KL' instead of Bergen. And that won't make either one of us to feel good about it because it's rather funny to call someone by a phrase that runs almost into a full sentence.

Prissy learns to cook from a very young age, experimenting from Australian Women Weekly magazine. I wrote about this magazine in my first blog (which has been deleted). I also wrote about Punjabi Women Weekly, and how it got the cook, and the men in the rig I used to work all fired up. I'll publish it again later.

Maybe I'll never be able to cook as well as Prissy, which is okay because in my book the real chef at home is this special friend from Kuching who can whip up great dishes that can knock your socks off. Or your toupee if you're wearing one. Or your dentures.

So while I watch Chef Micheal prepares New England Clam Chowder with dill, and home-made bread with dill, I'm looking at the moon outside and thinking, have I paid the cukai pintu?


Anonymous podgykat aka prissy said...

Bergen, my good friend in KL, am turning a bright shade of beetroot here, *blush, blush* You are too kind, am just a mum who cooks n bakes n experiments with new dishes etc n 'forces' them on my family members much like a scientist on those poor unsuspecting lab rats! I'd very much to be able to knock the toupee off( i just like the sound of that!) of some unsuspecting soul some day, hehe. You just got to repost that story on the Punjabi Womens Weekly because i dont believe i had the pleasure of reading it. Now why am i feeling tickled already? I bet it'll have me in stitches before i even get through the first sentence :D Now back i go to watching the AFC Channel for more inspiration! Many, many thanks for the mention-that in itself is a wonderful inspiration for me to try out some new recipe, soon. Sure feels like real soon! And its way past midnight now! :-) You stay good now and take care.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous kl_gal said...

At the risk of sounding like a total blur, what is cukai pintu? I know cukai & pintu separately lah..but tax on what?
I love England clam chowder, have never made it though, the canned stuff is pretty delicious here.
Re the Punjabi Womens Weekly, apa binatang tu?:)) I'm Punjabi but tak pernah dengar pun.

6:06 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Aahhhh..the good old Australian Women's Weekly.. I'm still a sucker for their crosswords-that I never fail to buy one every month. And yes, the recipes are pretty good too - I now have a scrapbook of pasted recipes from the Aussie Women's Weekly. Awesome mag it is..

8:09 AM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Salam Bergen:

Yes, we are on the same channel. Astro 703.AFC.

Unlike you and your friend in Kucing,Podgykat I don't cook. Not that I never tried my hands on it.I did with my friend chicken and fried eggs becoming as black as charcoal and as bitter as ..something hangus. Hafiz was my witness(and victim of that culinary adventure).

I visited podgykat's,my...she sure have lots of recipes to make all the chefs in AFC drooling their saliva(while they are not cooking for the programmes).

I just had by breakfast,but am hungry again now!

10:20 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Prissy: I promise to write about Punjabi Women's Weekly.

KL_Gal: Good. I'm as blur as you are how they work out the assessment rate, and calling it cukai pintu. The way I've figured, it's a tax for the number of doors you've got in your house. Does it make sense to you? It sure doesn't to me. LOL.

About the Punjabi Women's Weekly, I will try to recapture the mood of the entry and reproduce it as a new entry.

Anedra: Yes, most of the women I know are a big fan of the magazine's crossword puzzle, besides the lovely recipes. So it is true that you're pregnant? Congratulations, ma'am!

Tokasid: Frankly, doc, I believe men make better cook than women. I know a couple of guys who cook for the masjid and they are very good in what they do. It takes practice, doc. And lots of chicken. LOL.

11:03 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Ayoo..there must be something wrong with how I wrote my entry..No, not pregnant yet lah. It's still "work-in-progress". thanks anyways!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

Bergen, that's interesting... I mean your mentioning about the moon. I notice here in Dhahran that the half-moon looks like a "clean" half, i.e. its almost 'horizontal', unlike the half-moon we see in Malaya, where its kind of 'slanted'? Can we be looking at the 'same' moon or is it just about perception? Anyway, good luck with your cooking...

8:37 PM  
Blogger IBU said...

Alamak... suddenly terkenang Clam Chowder at Red Lobster. Those student days... gi restaurant makan soup jerrr...

12:37 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Anedra: Maybe you wrote good, but I understood different. LOL. Anyway, keep going. I'm sure you're gonna there sooner or later. Sorry about the confusion. Promise it won't happen again. Promise to read your entry carefully and not jump to conclusion before checking with Wikipedia. LOL.

Dhahran: Yes, the moon appears clean and sharp there. Yes, we're looking at the same moon but under different skies. I kinda miss the desert. In fact I love the desert with dust and sandstorm. And I love the comradeship. It's still cold there, eh?

Ibu: I'm not willing to bet both my ears, but I'm pretty sure they use bacon strip. Afterall, the recipe calls for bacon strips sauteed in oil before adding in other ingredients. Things we didn't know.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Bergen
Its Michael Smith, Antony Worrall Thompson and Anna Olson for me on AFC.
And the crosswords and puzzles from the Australian Women's Weekly. Their recipe book on chocolates is also awesome!!!

1:07 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Fauziah Ismail: Anna Olson, I thought I fell in love all over again when I first saw her. And she handles sugar like magic. Micheal is my kinda chef. He's creative and daring to venture outside the norms. I like the kitchen he keeps. If I made it to heaven, I'd want a kitchen like that. I am not sure about Antony though. Maybe he's on when I'm having classes or having origami test or something. Will check him out.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

Hi Bergen... you sure sound like you've been here before (or similar desert environment)? Yes, the comradeship is great here considering there are only 4 Malaysian families on campus and 50+ next door at Saudi Aramco. And yes, its still chilly (it was outright cold two three weeks back; near 0C at night and am). I think we'll get away from the 40+C temps come July... inshaallah. Take care & go on cooking...

2:27 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Dhahran: I was there in the 80s when the place attracted people like me to find a job there. There were a lot of Singaporeans but hardly any Malaysian then. Aramco was a big thing then, it's still is now. The place has undergone a complete make-over especially Dubai. I don't think I like it anymore though because I still prefer the old Gulf Arab ways. The Gulf Arab have changed. In the early 80s they were in the transition phase, from the old camel way to super highways, big money and buildings going up by the hour. No, must talk about this because it would only remind me of a girl I fell in love with and had to break up because we came from two different world.

Oh, to answer your question, yes I used to live there. he he

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

So!... no wonder you sounded as though you're just outside my on-campus house at night looking at the half-moon rising in the desert! Yes, I'm sure things have changed a lot with the Gulf Arabs since the 80s; one thing hasn't though, and I'm sure you'd agree - the way they drive!! They drive like crazy!! (was told that KSA has the highest road fatalities rate in the world & Malaya is fast catching up!) I suspect they still have that "badwi mind-set" - they sure drive the huge 4x4 as though they drive camels! Wonder how you could ever fall in love with a girl here, especilally when you could only see their eyes? (the rest are covered by abaya?!)... must be something? Anyway... salam & we'll keep in touch.

4:42 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Dharan: LOL, you described 'em well. They loved Nissan Patrol then, drive 'em like a mechanical camel on newly built freeways going at suicidal speed. BTW, the girl I fell in love with was in Bahrain where it was a little freedom for the Saudi Arabs to flock on Thursday evening for a wild weekend. LOL.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

Bergen, you don't want to cross the causeway to Bahrain on Thursdays these days, even for the wild parties! It took me a good 3+ hours to get there on Thurdays due to the huge congestions! Take care & salam...

3:26 PM  

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