46 of 100 Happy Days: Malaysian Style Artisan Ice Cream

I love ice cream. It sends me into a state of exceptional bliss, earning me the namesake ‘Ice Cream Monster’ in college (derived from a Sesame Street character’s name).

When I come across artisan ice cream, I’m all for funky ones that go all the way out to space and back. And recently I’ve tried some with Malaysian flavours and wow. Just WOW.

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Credits: Wei Fen

This evening, my friends and I went to The Bee @ Publika for dessert. There were unique ones on the menu, all by The Last Polka, including the ones you see above. Pandan Kaya, Teh Tarik and Salted Gula Melaka are obviously familiar local flavours. There was also French Toast, which I contemplated trying but changed my mind.

They tasted lovely. Salted Gula Melaka was a lot sweeter then the rest, though I really enjoyed the Pandan Kaya.

Speaking of locally distinct ice cream flavours,  there’s also Cielo Dolci @ Paradigm Mall. Tau Fu Far and Pineapple Tart were two fascinating flavours on the list and they captured each beautifully.

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How they do that is beyond my comprehension. I learnt that they occasionally have Nasi Lemak flavour, and while I cannot imagine how you can taste an entire meal consisting of coconut milk rice, cucumbers, peanuts, anchovies and sambal in a relatively straightforward dessert, people have praises for it.

That’s my next venture, hopefully. In the meantime, go have ice cream. It’ll cheer you up for the day. And don’t be afraid to get adventurous. You’d be pleasantly surprised.

45 of 100 Happy Days: Lin Chee Kang

Lin Chee Kang (Lotus Seed Drink) is a refreshing traditional dessert common in Malaysia, consisting of Lotus Seeds, Gingko Nuts, Basil seeds (that’s the ones that look like little frog eggs), rock sugar, longan and jelly cubes, amongst others. If you’ve not tried this, don’t be put off by the list of ingredients; they go together like symphony.

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You can have it hot or cold, though in this extreme heat, a bowl of chilly sweetness trickling down your throat is just what you need.

I’m now craving for more local thirst-quenching delights such as Ice Kacang or Cendol. I think it’s time to pay a Pasar Malam (Night Market) a visit.

Or some rain to cool everyone down would be good.

26 of 100 Happy Days: Luck and Excess

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Sometimes you get the feeling that you’re getting it easy. Makes you wonder if it is karma or just sheer dumb luck. Why does one person get a higher education while the other owns a newspaper for a roof? How your life could have turned out so differently?

Saying that ‘You make your own luck’ doesn’t really cut it at times. At some point it works on its own accord.

It’s one of those thoughts that run through my head randomly. But I figured the best thing to do is to not take that for granted, and help someone else get lucky one day.

Well, I guess you can make luck.

PS. Seafood galore for company dinner. I’ve had the good fortune of having lots of good food recently. A luck thing, I am guessing.

21 of 100 Happy Days: A Warm Break

I like to think we were having a summer break picnic with good food and refreshing, cool drinks. Of course, summer breaks don’t exist in a country with typically warm weather. In fact, the afternoon sun has been scorching lately, so much so I worry for the predicament of the yellowing plants outside.

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At least it wasn’t too stuffy outdoors once darkness took over and it was lovely company. Another weekday well spent to make up for future evenings devoid of possible plans.

And some of us have known each other for 10 years. That’s definitely worth celebrating.

18 of 100 Happy Days: Camaraderie and Prosperity

When you’ve known one another for ages, especially since childhood, distance and time change nothing. There’s a history behind it all, from solving ‘Enid Blyton mysteries’ and ‘hiding’ from Jurassic Park dinosaurs to later having adventures rooted in reality.

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When we met up earlier we practised another CNY tradition – having 鱼生 (yu sheng, literally translates to ‘raw fish’), a salad comprising vegetables, pickled ginger, pomelo, crackers and raw fish (usually salmon nowadays) topped with several sauces and condiments, where each ingredient symbolises a CNY greeting for prosperity. You’d be surprised how meaningful four words can be.

Everyone gathers with chopsticks to toss the 鱼生 into the air for luck; the higher it is, the better the luck,  although that would leave a bit of a mess. I have a little portion for its symbolic value rather than its sharp, sweet and mildly sour-ish taste, but that’s just me.

It’s my first for the year as well!

PS. I am definitely going to Avril Lavinge’s concert now. Oh the excitement.

15 of 100 Happy Days: Reunion Dinner

I love Chinese New Year, not because it promises decorations, new clothes, sinful tidbits or ang pows (红包)- red packets filled with money and given out for luck (although it is definitely a perk), but because I can be certain of reunions.

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Reunion Dinner

It is tradition to have a reunion dinner (团圆) on the Eve of the celebration, with relatives near and far coming together for a meal. Of course, it helps that we are pretty close-knit. And after being away from home for three years, it is pure joy to be where family is.

We’re going to ‘greet’ the God of Wealth into the house soon. The fire crackers have started going off outside.

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Ps. The word above means ‘Horse’ as this is the Year of the Horse.

The One with the Last Minute Hurrah

More often than not, a dry spell on my blog means there’s prolonged anxiety and/or general annoyance to be dealt with. I’m glad to say that this week has started becoming a lot better. And with that I find no reason to delete this post and/or slam my head upon the desk.

It was by chance earlier this week that I was informed by the lovely Lucy about a last-minute opening for work experience at a publishing house. I leaped at it like a stage diver at a concert and thankfully did not hit the pavement. It went through successfully and I started the following day. While there was the matter of adapting to a new environment it has been good so far. Most of the tasks were different from what I did previously – there is more publicity work such as dealing with image requests and press clippings, but there was a range of things to do. One of them involves getting hunger pangs while proofreading recipes. And learning how to make poached eggs while I am at it.

I’m also looking forward to the coming weekends. There’ll be many familiar faces around who will probably remind me of why my sanity is intact. Well, no, really there are many people I miss to bits. And if sending random messages and spontaneous sound clips like a cat who has dragged in some poor animal as a peacekeeping gift isn’t an obvious sign, I don’t know what is.

Since there’s no better analogy to describe this, I’ll just go ahead and say that this week I feel as though I am crowd surfing. Thanks to brilliantly supportive people. And if I reach the end only to fall off I suppose I can be content with how fun it was.