Friday, August 29, 2008

Found at last ......the Bata bear

the Bata bear and friend at it's predecessor usual place

Yes, finally found the Bata bear. Well, somebody from Bata came across this blog about my search for the tiny bear, and circulated it among their office. And luckily for FJ, someone from Bata did have the bear, and was kind enough to give it to my daughter. Not only that, Cookie II (FM's name for the bear) came home with a little friend.
In the past one week that the bear went missing, had met many kindhearted people on online forums, etc who took the trouble to contact Bata outlets, and some even emailed me Bata's website and their HQ phone contact.
So thanks to all you wonderful people out there, esp Doreen who contacted her friend Jay from Bata Msia who agree to search their store but regretfully there were none left.
FJ is walking around with a big grin plastered on her face, and the find has definitely made her day.
My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful folks at Bata Malaysia who made it possible.
And to :
Datuk James Selvaraj (Marketing Manager of Bata):
FJ hereby solemnly promised to take good care of your bear, and to keep it safe and sound. She says a warm thank to you for giving her your bear, and also for the little companion that came with Cookie.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a lead at last

Just receive an email from one of my leads. Told me to contact a certain someone at Bata HQ . Hopefully this contact will lead me somewhere, and that I will not be disappointed.
Hard to believe that it is so hard to find a bear, and I am not talking about the missing Cookie, but just a similar one to the one that FJ lost! Ebay is suppose to be the place that you can buy almost anything, but i have made countless searches using countless subjects but so far my search have been unsuccessful. I must have gone through countless ebay sales on bears, but so far no similar one has come up in my search. This is not just the past week, but I have been doing so for a few months since FJ expressed a desire to have the whole set. It is easier to look for fuwas than the bear!
Now I know how parents with a missing child feels. It must be frustrating to be pasting posters all over town looking for a lead on a missing child, and following leads from every message that comes in only to be disappointed again and again. Then are also the cruel people who would call saying that know where your missing child is and asking for a reward before they will let you know where your child is, and what about those crank calls. I would not want to imagine.

the search continues

Well, the search continues for one tiny bear. Its just incredible that despite there being 10000 bears in the market, nobody has come forward to say they might have a bear for adoption. Yes, I call it adoption not buying, sounds nicer. I suppose everybody love the tiny bear very much, and is quite reluctant to put it up for adoption.
FJ just asked me today, whether I receive any replies to my online quest, and sure hate to reply in the negative. Could see the disappointment on her face.
Some people might think i am crazy the way i go searching for the bear. Niece Mei was just telling me her friend says she is so dramatic like the 10.00 pm Ntv7 drama, which i have no idea what it is about since i hardly watches any tv drama. Seems in the drama, the character went online to look for a soft toy or something.
Note to self : will, look out for the tv drama tonight to see what it is all about.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Missing FM and looking for Bear

Yesterday, was at KLIA to see FM off to Vancouver. Today, she has called back to say that she has arrived safely in Vancouver, and was on her way to Victoria, BC where she will be there for the next three years. As for me here, i am missing her already. I keep looking at the clock and wondering what she is doing at the moment. Yes, I have set a clock to Vancouver time, so that it makes it easier to figure out the local time in Vancouver, instead of doing mental calculations in my head.
Meanwhile, my search for Cookie continues. Have not really got any leads. A kind lady on a forum did give me a lead, only to be disappointed. Her friend did not find any bear in her store, so her friend has extended the search to her colleagues' home. Hopefully, this lead will not turn cold.
Niece Yiew Yiew has also printed out a picture of Cookie, and will circulate among her tuition mates in the hope that one of them will have one such bear.
Have also posted my quests on ebay and, but so far have not got any leads.
CK has chipped in with his spot on comments. Commented that we are like looking for a missing child, the way we have been going about the search. But in a way, I guess I also miss Cookie very much, because the little bear has become a familiar feature around the house. FJ used to place it in front of this computer whenever she was in school, and I would be looking at it when I am at the computer!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

when will bear be found

Still desperately looking for the bear. Have posted messages on forums, and on this blog, but looks like I or rather FJ is going to be bitterly disappointed. Today is FJ's birthday, but she has turned down other birthday gifts. All she wants is her bear, and if not her Cookie, another bear like Cookie will be ok. Actually, find it hard to understand why? A bear is a bear, but to her it has got to be that bear. Between her, FM and CK, I think they have got about 70 stuffed toys, but this is her favourite. The bear is quite small, about 6" only, but the bear has got a cheeky smirk, which I think is the reason why she is quite taken with the bear.
Yesterday, a lady on a forum responded to my request, telling me that her friend would search through her store room for one, but as yet she has not informed me whether she found the bear. Many kind strangers have responded, but none seems to have the bear or heard of the campaign.
Incredible, seeing there's got to be about 10000 bears around. I am prepared to pay more than what they paid for the bear, but maybe because it was for charity people are reluctant to sell for profit.
Still fervently hoping that someone, somewhere out there will have the bear. Actually, since it was for charity, i fondly believe there are many out there who would have bought it without really knowing what to do with the bear.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

still desperately seeking bear

FJ is still inconsolable and I have been desperately making enquiries on who would have a bear to spare. It has got to be the right bear, that is the cute little bear that Bata Msia imported in 2006 for their Bata Cares Campaign in aid of the National Cancer Society. At that time anybody who bought a pair of shoes could buy the bear for RM5/-, with the proceeds going to the society. I even contacted Bata HQ in Klang today, but disappointingly they did not have any left. I even begged their staff to ask around the office as to who might have one they would be willing to sell to me.
Today i was at Bata MidValley, one of their salesgirl had one, but regretfully she was not willing to sell it to me, even though I was willing to pay more than what she paid for the bear. I have even emailed the Cancer Society in the hope that they might have some left, but I guess they have more important things on their agenda than to reply to a mundane letter seeking a bear.
I am pretty confident that there must be plenty of the bears out there, as according to the Bata website, they brought in 10000 bears for the campaign which is certainly a lot of bears.
Have even gone to discussion boards on ebay seeking one, in the hope that a ebayer might have one that they might wish to sell.
FJ has even gone on to online forums looking for the bear, but so far has been unsuccessful.
Still it has been less 24 hours since we posted our search online, and I am still hopeful that somewhere out there, someone will have 1 such bear that they would be willing to give up for adoption. It would certainly be much loved and would be most welcomed by FJ.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

desperately seeking bear

Do anyone out there remember these bear, and the campaign by Bata Malaysia in 2006, where you pay RM5/- for a bear in aid of the National Cancer Society.
My daughter FJ, was one of the lucky adoptees of the bear, and it was certainly a well loved bear, and she took it with her wherever she went. However to her utmost distress today, it rolled out of the car near the bus stop at Jaya Jusco, Bukit Raja, Klang today without us being aware of it until it was too late. We went back to the the bus stop but we were too late, as according to the taxi drivers waiting there, a young Malay girl had picked up the precious bear and left on the bus with it.
My daughter is inconsolable and I am at my wit ends on how to get her another bear. My only hope is that someone who read this, would have one of these precious bears and would be willing to give it up for adoption by my daughter. I would be willing to pay adoption fees or make a small contribution to a charity of the person's choice.
It would be too much to hope that the person who found the precious bear would read this and return the bear. But if by some small miracle, if you are reading this or you know of someone who might have found a small well worn out bear outside the Jaya Jusco bus stop, at Bukit Raja, Klang today 20 Aug 2008 between 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm, please, please return the bear to my daughter. It would certainly make a wonderful birthday present for my daughter who turns 13 this week.
Please leave a comment on this blog, on how you can be contacted if you have one of these bears.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flying on her own

Yes, been a few days since I posted anything. Been rather busy. FM will be leaving for Canada soon so have been rather busy. She have yet to pack her stuff, or rather I think it will be me who will be doing the packing. Sometimes, I wonder do I pamper her too much, but then I tell myself, it is the least I can do to help my baby who will be leaving home on her own for the very first time. Ok, she has been away before but then it was only nearby and only for a night or two.
My eldest baby leaving the nest, and I suppose like mothers everywhere I wonder whether I have taught her well to fly on her own. My dearest baby, I hope you have adequate flying lessons. However, whether they have been enough or not, the time will come when I will have to boot you out of the nest for you to fly on your own.
All your early flying lessons have had me or your dad flying beside you, but this time, you will have to flap your own wings, and we will not be nearby to catch your fall!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

claypot chicken rice

I still remember the first time i was introduced to claypot chicken rice as a small girl. It was at a restaurant near my childhood home, and was the only restaurant in the small town that I grew up in. I was only about 4 - 5 years old, and at that time I think i was more fascinated with the scoop they use for the cooked rice than the food itself. It was a giant Chinese soup spoon, and was the first time I had ever seen such a big Chinese soup spoon!
Since that time I have had countless clay pot rice, but somehow the first impression still remains. Its a simple one pot meal that I think you will be able to prepare for yourself. However, instead of a clay pot you can use a rice cooker or even the microwave.
Buy boneless chicken so there is no worry of bone fragments.

Ingredients :
2 cups of rice, wash and drained.
2 chicken thighs ( cut and marinated with soy sauce, oyster sauce ,dark soy sauce, & pepper). Chinese rice wine is optional.
3 - 4 dried mushroom, soaked and sliced
1 Chinese sausage, sliced

Place rice and mushroom in rice cooker. Add water and when water starts to boil, add chicken and sausage. Cook, and presto you have easy clay pot chicken rice.
Of cos, if you use a clay pot over a stove, you will have the nice crusty rice which you all love.

Chicken floss swiss roll

Chicken floss roll, a difference from the normal sweet swiss rolls

Had a packet of chicken floss left over from CNY which I did not know what to do with, until I found this recipe in a cookbook recently. Bought the chicken floss with the intention of making crispy rolls but somehow never got round to doing it.
The original recipe calls for added spring onions but I omitted it as I had none at home. Have never been very successful with swiss rolls as they tend to crack when rolling, until my sifu told me that I got to bake at 200 deg C for a maximum of 10 mins only, and yes, I used sponge mix.

Ingredients for sponge :
150 g sponge mix
3 eggs
40 g corn oil or melted butter
2 tbsp cold water

Method :
1) Line a 14" x 10" swiss roll tin with grease proof paper
2) Whisk sponge mix, eggs and cold water until fluffy.
3) Fold in corn oil
4) Pour into swiss roll tin and bake at 200 deg C for 20 minutes. Cool.

Making up the swiss roll.
1) Spread sponge with mayonnaise.
2) Sprinkle meat floss on top and roll into a swiss roll.

If meat floss is not available, spread with some jam or kaya, and roll up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home made pizza

Not exactly Pizza Hut stuff, but then it is healthy as there is not so much oil involved. My oven do not have a upper fire, so I cant really get a nice toasty colour to the mozarella topping unless i bake for a longer while. The yellowy stuff is canned pineapples, my fave add ons to pizza!

One of my favorite bakes on a Sunday afternoon is pizza because then the children can eat as they go about their hobbies, and that means they do not really need to move away from their Maple Online game, which they are totally addicted to. If need be, I think they can produce a theses on Maple Story!
I am quite relaxed about their computer gaming, and am quite alright with it so long as it do not interfere with their studies and homework. At least with the computer they are at home instead of out on the streets creating mischief.
However, i insist they strike a balance and include other hobbies. All three loves to read, esp CK who is rather fond of books by Jeffrey Archer and Terry Pratchett. CK is reading Prisoner Of Birth by Jeffrey Archer, which i think is a valiant effort considering his tender 14 years. He has read all the Jeffrey Archer books, but to date I have only read one, and that is Twelve Red Herrings, though I was the one who introduced his books to CK.
On my pizza, previously i would prepare a tomato sauce base of tomato paste, onion, etc, but lately I have modified my recipe and use mayonnaise or thousand island. Much easier for me, as less preparation work.

My recipe for the pizza dough :
2 tsp instant yeast and 1 tsp sugar added to 100 ml water and set aside until frothy (10 mins)
500 g high protein flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
100 ml cold water
150 ml cold milk

Method :
1) Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl.
2) Add instant yeast, water and milk.
3) Use dough to mix together. Add in cold water. Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
4) Cover dough and proof until double in bulk (45 - 60 mins)
5) Punch down the dough then leave to rise again (about 30 mins)
6) Divide into equal portions, depending on the size of pizza you want.

Assembling the pizza :
This is up to individual taste. I normally spread some mayonnaise on the base, and then add whatever vegetable (bell pepper, onions) available and then some chicken ham or sausages.
Sprinkle with mozarella cheese and bake until done.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

easy chicken rice

My dear daughter,
For when you have an urge for pak chit kai (white boiled chicken) and chicken rice, today going to teach u how to make easy chicken rice in a rice cooker or micro-wave. Back home, mummy use a whole chicken and dunk it into a pot of boiling water, but I doubt you will be able to manage a whole chicken! So to make it easy for you, buy a couple of chicken whole thighs.

Easy Chicken rice.
2 - 3 pcs chicken whole thighs
2 cups of rice (washed)
2 pcs pandan leaves (if you don't have it, you can omit)
1 thumb size pc of ginger (crushed)

Place rice, ginger and pandan leaves in rice cooker. Add sufficient water. Place chicken on top of rice. Start the rice cooker. Wait till rice is cooked, keep warm for about 15 - 20 mins. and you have chicken rice. Remove chicken, cut it up, season with soy sauce and sesame oil.

Now if you are wondering how to tell whether the chicken is cooked? Use a fork, and poke it into the thickest part of the thighs (near the drumstick joint). If the liquid comes out clear, then the chicken is cooked. how to cut up the chicken. You probably would not have a cleaver, and then I doubt you would dare to wield one. Do like mum sometimes do. Use a pair of kitchen scissors like the one that I have at home to cut up the chicken. Not as neat as if you use a cleaver, but then ....

Actually, I find a pair of kitchen scissors rather handy in the kitchen. I even clean fish (easier than using a knife) or to snip chives, etc.

Ohh, yes, how much water in the rice? A rather easy way. The height of the water should about reach the first ridge of your middle finger. Some advocate the thickness of a person's palm. Of course, if you are using a electric rice cooker, your problem is solved. But then, the amount of water would also depends on the type of rice use.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Egg tarts

Egg tarts that I baked. Not that nice looking but according to my chief tasters, tasted nice! The egg filling look kind of pale compared to what you get from the bakery because I did not use any yellow colouring.

I think the easiest way to make short crust pastry is by using the food processor. I remember years ago watching Chef Wan demonstrating on tv on how to make pastry by using the food processor. But last weekend I use the kitchen machine, as I was too lazy to fish out the food processor from the cupboard. And, finally after quite a few years, i got to try out my pastry cutter.

Ingredients for the sweet short crust pastry
250 g flour
125 g butter
60 g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cold water

Method :
1) Using the K beater, mix the butter, icing sugar and flour together until like breadcrumbs.
2) Add in egg yolk, vanilla and cold water and mix together.
3) Shape into a ball and chill in fridge for about 30 mins.

Ingredients for egg tart filling :
3 eggs
120 g sugar, dissolved in 250 ml of hot water and cooled.
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp of custard powder (the original recipe call for yellow coloring but I substituted with custard powder, which I think tasted better)

1) Add eggs, vinegar, vanilla and custard powder to sugar mixture. Beat lightly.
2) Roll out pastry between two sheets of plastic sheets and cut into rounds.
3) Place pastry rounds into patty tins, and pour in egg mixture until 3/4 full.
4) Bake at 180 deg. C for 15 - 20 mins. until egg sets.

my weekends

One of the advantages of being a stay-at-home mother is that I have the luxury of avoiding the weekend crowds at the supermarket. I do most of my shopping during the weekdays when the children are in school. After dropping them off at the school gates, I would go to the supermarket and shop at leisure.
I hate going to the shopping centres during the weekend, so most of my weekends are spent at home with the children. The children do not enjoy shopping and would rather sleep in late and spend the rest of the day glued to the computer. I enjoy trying out new restaurants but most of the time, I prefer to go on a Friday evenings, where normally it would not be that crowded.
Mostly I would spend my weekends catching up on my household chores where the children will help me or tending to my little garden or baking or catching up on my reading.
Yesterday, being a Sunday we went out for dim sum in the morning, and i spent the afternoon baking. First I baked pizza for dinner, and then also a chicken floss Swiss roll and yes, i baked some egg tarts. All three recipes turned out quite successful although they were not that nice to look (by that, I mean nothing compared to what one would find in the shops). My children being the supportive guys were rather complimentary in their praises...
Well, according to them, the egg tarts tasted as good as the store bought ones!
I seldom try making pastry as i have never been too successful at them, but at least this time, I manage quite alrite, in that the pastry did roll out quite nicely, and did not cracked like some previous attempts.
The eggs I used for the filling were rather big so I ended up with too much egg tart filling. Steamed up the balance of the filling and chilled in the fridge. Have yet to taste the steamed eggs, so cant comment on how they tasted!