Sunday, July 22, 2012

The New House, Part One -- E.

One of our biggest tasks in Malaysia so far has been to find a house to live in.  The place where we've been since May was always a temporary thing.  Now it's time to move on.

So, over the next week and a half, we will be moving into this place:

Would you like to take a look around inside?  Let me show you a bit of what it looks like.  Keep in mind, we are not moved in yet!  This is how the house came to us, partly furnished.  We've got a bit of work to do before we are ready to live here.

The view as you step in the front door: a nice cozy living room, with the kitchen through that door in the back.
The kitchen.
There are three bedrooms.  I won't show you all three because they all look like this.
And another look at the outside.

Unfortunately, the house also has a bit of this...
... so we'll be giving it a lot of this.

It's nice, isn't it?  We're certainly happy with it.

So, this week, in addition to the cleaning, we'll be doing some shopping for stuff like fridge, stove, washing machine, beds, and probably an air conditioning unit or two.  And hopefully we can show you some amazing before-and-after pictures after we're moved in!  Check in on us again soon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grandma Alene's Chicken Corn Soup--in Malaysia! --QM

Do you remember that chicken foot peeking out of the pot in the last post? The chicken was sold to me with a head too! To the shopkeepers' credit, I think they did offer to chop the 'extras' off before selling it, but I thought they were offering to chop the whole thing into bits! Time to learn some Malay, or more Chinese...
That bird inspired me! Thursday's fellowship meal was going to be at our house, and I decided to serve some of my Grandma Alene's chicken corn soup.
What to do about the ingredient list? I had seen some produce stalls selling corn-on-the-cob, so I had the fresh corn...but no limas. Fresh green beans made an adequate substitute, and I had Maggi ramen noodles for the seasoning packet Grandma usually uses. Ramen noodles are a big deal here.
 Did it pass the taste test? It wasn't quite the same--nor do  I imagine it ever will be--but our guests seemed to love it! Watch out chickens, I'm coming back for you another day!
A movie still from a clip of Grandma reading to James and Dorie just before we moved.
 Grandma, you are loved and missed across the ocean!
For those that want to attempt her soup, here is the recipe, as she gave it to me a few years ago:
Grandma Alene's Chicken Corn Soup Recipe 
(For the authoritative version, ask her!) 
onion powder and/or onions
celery salt and/or celery
ground coriander
ramen noodle seasoning packet

1/2 c. carrot, for color
Lima beans

cook in enough water to cover--simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hour
debone and deskin

Egg noodles-- add and cook at the very end

She also used some kind of chicken base, which I never figured out. Also, I always saute the seasonings in the onions and celery.

Thank you Grandma! I got sick a few days after making this, and was SO GLAD to have had leftovers!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Staying Cool -- E.

It can get warm in Kuching.  Air conditioning is available here but expensive to run.  What can you do?  We've learned a few things so far:
  1. Stay in the shade.
    It's much cooler here than in the sun.

  2. Visit the South China Sea.

  3. Have a little ice cream.
    This shop does a nice mango flavor soft serve.

  4. Use the mop bucket. 
    James figured this one out all on his own.

In other news, Queena promises to write a post soon about her amazing chicken soup.  Grandma Alene's recipe!