Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Malaysian Day in Celebration of the Jenny Wee.

It was Jenny's Bday so we had to roll out the Red Carpet... with LAKSA...

Here is a photo of my crafting space converted into a party area. All part of my "keeping it lowkey for your birthday Jenny" assurances.

More of the.. "we won't make a big deal about it. People won't even know its your Birthday..."

Fruit Platter... yum.

Fixings for Laksa... but we also served Curried Beef, Coconut and Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chicken and Beef Satay, 6 types of salads. Lychee Calpis Beverage, Tea Sangria, Deep Fried Wonton, Cendol, Lemon Grass Wings, BBQ Wings, Steak, Deep Fried Bananas, Deep Fried Mars Bars (Taking advantage of the opportunity not the theme haha!)...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rainmbow Jelly

Rainbow Agar Agar from: http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2007/10/rainbow-agar-agar.html

It's a refreshing dessert, a perfect finish to an Asian meal, especially after heavy stuff like curry. It's served cold, so it's great for summer too. It is easy to make and oh so impressive to serve.


The Transparent Layer:
2 tbsp agar agar powder
1200 ml water
200 gm castor sugar
Colorings - green is a must and i use pandan paste, it not only gives the green, it fragrants the whole jelly.

The Coconut Milk Layer:
2 tbsp agar agar powder
400 ml concentrated coconut milk
800 ml water
200 gm of castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Boil above ingredients for the transparent layer except colourings till dissolved. Sieve mixture and return to pot. Leave it on the stove on the lowest heat or doubleboil to keep the mixture warm until the coconut layer is ready for assembling.
2. Boil the agar agar, sugar and water for the coconut layer till dissolved, then add in coconut milk and salt. Sieve mixture and return to pot. Leave it on very low heat .
1. Measure about 250 ml of transparent agar agar and colour it in the colour you like. Leave it to harden slightly(not too hard if not the jelly will not stick together. If too hard, just use a fork to lightly scratch the surface before adding the next layer.)
2. The second layer will be 250 ml of the coconut milk agar agar. Leave to harden slightly
Do the same alternating between the transparent layer and the coconut milk layer until all the agar agar have been used up.
3. Leave the whole jelly to cool down before refrigerating it for at least a few hours.

Ivy's Cendol Recipe

I'm going to make this for my family this weekend. All I need is a costume for a toothless streetside hawker.

10 Pandan Leaves. Found fresh, or frozen.
250ml Water
A few drops Green food colouring (optional)
1/2 tsp Alkaline Water (kan sui) pottassium carbonate & sodium bicarbonate solution(kan sui) Salt water or Kan sui, lye water. Milk.

- or if you have it.. use pandan paste instead of everything above!

250ml extra Water
65g Green Bean Flour


* To obtain pandan juice, chop the pandan leaves and blend them in an electric blender with 250ml water.
* Use a muslin cloth to squeeze out the juice then mix with the green colouring and alkaline water (or milk)
* Pour the pandan juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
* Blend green bean flour with the extra cup of water into a smooth batter and add to the boiling pandan juice, stirring all the time until the mixture is transparent and thick. May be shiny.
* Remove immediately from the heat. DO NOT OVER COOK.
* Place a cendol frame, potato ricer, or dotted ladle over a basin half-filled with ice-cold water. The recommended distance between the wooden cendol-maker frame and the surface of the water should be 15 cm. This distance will prevent the cendol strands from becoming too long basin filled with iced water
* Press the cooked mixture through the holes to form little droplets of cendol.
* Leave the cendol to set in the ice water till firm for eight minutes. Add more ice cubes to the water to set the cendol faster.
* Rinse cendol strands to prevent the cendol strands from sticking to each other
* Drain in a colander and refrigerate till ready to use.


350g Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka)
100g Castor Sugar
250ml Water
3 Screwpine Leaves (Pandan leaves)

Boil palm sugar, sugar, water and Pandan until both sugars have dissolved completely. Strain and allow to cool completely.

+ Canned Coconut Milk

Serving Instructions

1. Add the desired amount of Cendol into serving bowls
2. Add some crushed ice and pour on some coconut milk.
3. Add 1 tablespoon palm sugar syrup or to taste.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Singer Featherweight 221 Part Numbers

Singer Featherweight Gathering/Shirring Foot Information

Material placed under the gatherer and stitched in the usual way will be slightly gathered. Any fabric that drapes well is especially suited for shirring with thegatherer, generally with a long stitch and tight tension. To increase the fullnes of the gathers, lengthen the stitch. To decrease the fullness, shorten the stitch. With the gatherer, it is possible to shirr in narrow rows as shown in Fig. 33.

Fig 33

The material may be guided as easily as when sewing with the presser foot. Fine materials, such as batiste, silk or net, may be very attractivelt shirred. Where only a slight fullnes is required, as at the top of a sleeve or around the neck, the gatherer will be found very convenient.

A very pleasing effect may be gained by using thread or embroidery silk of contrasting colour on the bobbin. Fig. 35 shows a white organdie collar and cuff set with red and green smocking made with the gatherer, using fine crochet cotton or tatting thread on top and white cotton on the bobbin

Singer Featherweight Adjustable Hemmer Information

The Adjustable Hemmer

With its slide close the attachment will make hems up to 1 inch wide.

Loosen the screen at the front and move the slide until the pointer is against the desired width, then tighten the screw. Insert the edge of the material between the slide and the number gauge, and draw it backward and forward until the hem is formed, stopping with it's end under the needle. Lower the presser bar and sew, taking care in guiding the work to keep the hemmer full.

To make a gem more than one inch wide, loosen the screw, draw the slide to the right as far as it will go, and turn it towards you. Fold and crease down a gem of the desired width, pass the fold under the extension at the right of the hemmer, then insert the edge of the material into the folder and proceed to sew.

Singer Featherweight Ruffler Information

Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Fig. 42 indicate where the material is to be placed for various operations, as follows:

Line 1 -- the correct position for the material to which the ruffled material is applied. Line 2 -- material to be ruffled. Line 3 -- the facing for the ruffle. Line 4 -- the strip of piping material. Line 5 -- the edge to be piped. Refer to Fig. 42 when inserting the material in the ruffler

The names and uses of the principal parts of the ruffler are as follows, see Fig. 42:

A -- FOOT -- the part by which the ruffler is attached to the presser bar.
B -- FORK ARM -- the section that must be placed astride the needle clamp.
C -- ADJUSTING SCREW -- the screw that regulates the fullness of the gather.
D -- PROJECTION -- the part that projects through the slots in the adjusting lever.
E -- ADJUSTING LEVER -- the lever that sets the ruffler for gathering or for making a plait once at every six inches or once at every twelve inches, as desired; also for disengaging the ruffler, when either plaiting or gathering is not desired.
F -- ADJUSTING FINGER -- the part which regulates the width or size of the plaits.
G -- SEPARATOR GUIDE -- the guide on the underside of the ruffler, containing slots into which the edge of the material is placed to keep the heading of the ruffle even; also for separating the material to be ruffled from the material to which the ruffle is to be attached.
H -- RUFFLING BLADE -- the upper blue steel blade with the teeth at the end to push the material in plaits up to the needle.
J -- SEPARATOR BLADE -- the lower blue steel blade without teeth, which prevents the teeth of the ruffling blade coming into contact with the feed of the machine or the material to which ruffle or plaiting is to be applied.

Fig 43

To Attach the Ruffler to the machine Raise the needle bar to its highest position and remove the presser foot. Attach the ruffler foot (A) to the presser bar from the right and fasten by means of the thumb screw, at the same time placing the fork arm (B) astride the needle clamp as shown in Fig. 43.

To Adjust the Ruffler for Gathering
The adjusting finger (F) is not intended for gathering and should be moved forward and away from the needle, as shown in Fig. 43.
Raise the adjusting lever (E) and move it to the left so that the projection (D) will enter the slot marked "1" in the adjusting lever (E) when the lever is released. The ruffling blade will then move forward and back once at every stitch. Insert the material to be ruffled between the two blue blades, following the line 2 in Fig. 42. Draw the material slightly back of the needle, lower the presser bar and commence to sew.

Fig 44

To make fine gathering, shorten the stroke of the ruffling blade by turning the adjusting screw (C) upward; also shorten the stitch. To make full gathering, lengthen the stroke of the ruffling blade by turning the adjusting screw (C) downward; also lengthen the stitch. By varying these adjustments, many pleasing varieties of work can be accomplished

To Make a Ruffle and Sewon a facing in One Operation
Insert the material to be ruffled between the two blue blades, following the line 2 (Fig. 42).

Fig 45

Place the garment to which the ruffle is to be attached under the separator blade, following the line 1 (Fig. 42). Place the material for thefacing over the upper blue blade, as shown

Fig 46

in Fig. 45, following the line 3 (Fig. 42). The facing may be straight or bias material. If thefacing is to be on the right side of the garment, place the garment and the ruffle so that the wrong sides are together. If the facing is to be on the wrong side, place the right sides of the garment and the ruffle together.

Fig 47

Piping a Ruffle
Insert the material to be ruffled between the two blue blades, following the line (Fig. 42). This material must not be over 1 1/4 inches wide, as it is carried through the ruffler with the finished edge of the ruffle to the right of the attachment as shown in Fig. 46. The material for piping must measure about 1/4 inch wide when folded in the centre and is usually cut on the bias. Place the piping material in the ruffler, following the line 4 (Fig. 42) with the folded edge of the piping to the right. The material to which the piping and ruffling are to be sewn should be folded on the edge and inserted in the ruffler, following the line 5 (Fig.4)

To Adjust the Ruffler for Plaiting
Raise the adjusting lever (E) and move it to the right so that the projection (D) will enter the slot marked "6" in the adjusting lever when the lever is released. The ruffling blade will then move forward and back once at every six stitches. To adjust the ruffling blade to make a plait once at every twelve inches, place the adjusting lever (E) so that the projection (D) enters the slot marked "12" in the adjusting lever. Insert the material to be plaited between the two blue blades, following the line 2 (Fig. 42). The size or width of plaits is regulated by the adjusting screw (C) and the adjusting finger (F, Fig. 47). To make a wider plait, move the adjusting finger (F) back or toward the needle and turn the adjusting screw (C) downward. To make a smaller plait, turn the adjusting screw (C) upward. The distance between plaits is regulated by the length of stitch.

To Adjust the Ruffler for Group Plaiting and Gathering
The ruffler can be adjusted for group plaiting by lifting the adjusting lever (E) and moving it to the right so that the top of the projection (D) enters

the small slot indicated by the star on the adjusting lever. This should be done at the points where you wish to make the space between the plaits. The ruffler will then stop and plain stitching will be made. When the desired space has been made, adjust the lever (E) so that the projection (D) enters either the slot marked "6" or the slot marked "12". By alternately making groups of plaits and plain spaces, as shown in Fig. 48, very attractive work can be produced.

To Oil the Ruffler
Occasionally apply a drop of oil to the working parts of the ruffler. After oiling, operate the ruffler on a waste piece of material to prevent the oil soiling the work. If the ruffler does not plait evenly, a drop of oil may remedy the trouble

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Twilight Readalong: Chapter One

What we learn:
  • Bella is 17. Dark long hair. Pale translucent skin with no blemishes (bitch).
  • Bella's mother leaves her father a few months after she was born.
  • She's spent the first 14 summers in Forks, so is fairly familiar with the town.
  • Charlie bought her a faded red 1984 Chevy as a welcoming present. It's a sturdy beast but she loves it.
  • Forks High School has 358 students including Bella.
  • Rosalie described as gentle waving blonde hair to the middle of her back with a killer figure.
  • Alice described as short, pixie-like with deep black cropped hair going in all directions. Graceful like a dancer.
  • Emmett is described as being built like a serious weight lifter with dark curly hair.
  • Jasper is described as being taller than Emmette, lean, muscle with honey blonde hair.
  • Edward is described as lanky with untidy bronze colored hair.
A good introduction to the who what where when and how. Setting the scene for the book. As someone who lives in the North West, I was pleased to see the detail paid to describing the environment. Feels like its written from a first hand account.

I was surprised that such a hot piece of meat like Edward was sitting alone in his class given what I know about teenage superficiality. Bella illustrates for the first time that she lacks this self preservation which is prevalent in the book.

What I enjoy most about Stephenie''s writing style is how intimately she draws you into Bella's world. The little details, like Bella's opinion of her parents and her conversation with her contemporaries is particularly good at illustrating this. the tone of voice is self depreciating and morose, fitting for how she feels about having left Arizona.

Not quite convinced that a guy with a distasteful expression would bring me to tears. Bella needs a thicker skin.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Twilight Read-a-long

Vampires? What a lame concept! Blood and emo lust... eww! Definitely not my thing. As a professional 30 year old woman, I didn't want anything to do with this ultra lame phenom called "TWILIGHT", especially after reading about those crazy-crazy TwiMoms.

But... my curiousity got to me. I picked up Twilight from the Vancouver Public Library on a lark during one of my weekly trips to restock my reading material.

I expected some deliciously quotable lines to laugh over. What surprised me is that I couldn't put it down... For what had been criticized as teen emo fiction and "terrible writing", I was 110% engaged and fully caught up in the story and the characters.

I literally whipped through all 4 books (and devoured Midnight Sun on Stephenie Meyer's homepage) all in a matter of a week. I remember sighing after the last page of the first book wondering if a guy like Edward could even exist (immortality and bloodlust aside). I was officially a convert.

When I finished the series, I was devastated. It took me 3 months to stop mooning over Jacob. It was like a bad break up. (My boyfriend was terribly patient about this). I reread scenes I adored. For the sanity of everyone around me I cut myself off cold turkey. I couldn't subject 'J' to anymore soap box declarations about why Jacob was clearly a better fit for Bella than milk toast Edward.

Life eventually went back to normal. Since seeing Eclipse, I've decided to slowly read the series again and document the chapters as I go. Please follow along with me, chapter by chapter and provide your thoughts...

Let us begin. Open your books and turn to page 1...