Culture, Uncategorized

Process of making glutinous rice

Just before CNY each year for the past 20 years, residents are carried away by the aroma of tnee kuih, a sweet and sticky glutinous rice cake, wafting in the air.
My dad has been making the traditional delicacy at home over the years now. Tnee kuih (in Hokkien) is also known as nian gao in Mandarin and kuih bakal in Bahasa. Although it involves a painstaking process, my dad want to continue making this delicacy as it is a Chinese tradition which was pass to him by my granny.

Tnee kuih is highly sought after as a prayer item during the sending-off of Zhao Chun (Kitchen God) a week before CNY, on CNY and when welcoming the deity back on the fourth day of the celebration. It was a Chinese belief that with the offering of this sweet and sticky kuih, the Kitchen God, upon his return to Heaven, would only have good things to say about the family to the God of Heaven. During CNY, some people would offer 5 pieces of tnee kuih stacked one on top of another (from the largest to the smallest size) to symbolize prosperity.

To make the delicacy glutinous rice flour and sugar were mixed, without any preservatives or colouring, and poured into metal tins wrapped in banana leaf. The tins are then arranged in a wooden tray and steamed for at least 12 hours in a custom-made wok before mixture turns dark brown.

Took some pictures when my dad started making it.




Self improvement

It’s Not a Guilty Pleasure

“Ahhh, soothe, reassure and relax.”

Each woman needs a regime for recharging and relaxing. Ask yourself, “What makes me most comfortable?” “What soothes me?” “What recharges me?”

It can be as simple as a bubble bath or lighting candles. How about a long walk or a phone call to a good friend? Perhaps a nap, a massage or a shopping spree is in your future?

Make a list of your rechargers, relaxers and soothers. Include in your list ones that you can do on short notice like sitting down with a cup of your favorite tea or watching a favorite movie classic. Put your list somewhere where you will see it and be reminded by it.

Next, do something on your list at least once a week. It will clear your mind put things in perspective and ultimately put you in charge of you. And, one last thing don’t feel guilty for taking time for you.

Jane Powell – Meditations for Women

Today’s Affirmation: I do something for myself at least once a week, without guilt.

Self improvement

Simply Inpsire Yourself

“Adventure is as near as stepping out your front door…”

Too often we think of adventure as this big event that we have to plan way in advance. We think arrangements must be made, schedules coordinated, flights booked, time off secured, etc. With such planning the “adventure” of the adventure is easily lost.

Adventure is really a decision to do something that inspires awe, from within. It can be simple, uncomplicated and spontaneous.

When you’re out and about, today, try to look at things in a new way. Approach your tasks with a fresh sense of curiosity. See something new, smell something new, touch something new.

Dare to explore and enjoy the experience of living. You will discover that adventure is easily found in an otherwise ordinary day.

©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women
Today’s Affirmation: I find adventure in my daily living.

Self improvement

Bullet Proof Your Inner Strength

“Inner strength is just a decision away.”

You probably can think of someone whom you admire and respect. Perhaps you admire her ambition to learn new skills. Maybe it is her perseverance to overcome difficulties and hardships. Why can’t that person be you?

It can and the key is willpower and self-discipline. You have it in you even if you refuse to believe it.

Each one of us is confronted and tempted by an endless stream of temptations; many of which aren’t that important. When you learn to refuse to satisfy all of them, and choose only to satisfy those that are in line with your priorities and values, your willpower and self-discipline become impenetrable.

Try it, you’ll quickly become the woman to admire!

©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women

Today’s Affirmation: My willpower and self-discipline are as strong as ever.

Self improvement

Secret Scrolls

From The Secret Daily Teachings
If you have a problem with a member of your family who is negative, begin by writing a list of all the things you appreciate about that person. Remember to include gratitude to them for giving you a great desire for positivity in your life; because that is a gift they are giving you. As you focus with all of your strength on appreciation, you will not only reduce your exposure to the negativity, but at the same time you will be attracting positive people into your life.

Get yourself on to the appreciation frequency, and the law of attraction can only surround you with people who are in a positive state.

May the joy be with you.

Self improvement

You Can Become Creative, Energetic & Empowered

“A chip off the old block.”

In our youth, we didn’t appreciate being called a “chip off the old block.” But, this was really a compliment to our inner powers.

Deep within you is a rock of strength, an immovable foundation of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual muscle. You empower yourself when you take charge of that inner muscle, for this is your real self, your true character.

Each of us is a combination of the physical self, the emotional self, the mental self and the spiritual self. When you nurture these “selves,” you naturally grow more creative, energetic and empowered to enjoy life.

So, don’t be afraid of becoming a “chip off the old block.” For within you, at this moment, is a firm foundation that will always remain unshakeable.

©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women

Today’s Affirmation: I nurture my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ‘selves.

Self improvement

Become stronger, braver, disciplined, driven and focused

“Why not now?”

You’re going to get serious about finding a new job; really you are. You’re just going to wait until you win the lotto before you go on vacation. And yes, you honestly want to get in shape and lose weight but you’ll wait until your schedule lightens up. Does any of this sound familiar?

Procrastination can undo even the best of intentions. The truth is procrastination is a vicious cycle.

“I’ll get it done today!” becomes “I really meant to, I’ll do it tomorrow for sure.” Before you know it, today has turned into tomorrow; those tomorrows have added up and turned into months, sometimes years. The bottom line is you have made no progress. You’re exactly where you’ve always been.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! You can stop the cycle by taking action. All you have to do is make a start; you don’t have to take on the world and do everything at once. Take baby steps. Make one phone call, go to the gym one day, take one step toward you goals.

The more you push against tendencies to procrastinate, the easier it is to bust free and realize your goals.

©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women

Today’s Affirmation: I’m getting things done and realizing my goals.