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Malaysian Cooking News, Issue #002 -- Cooking for Children.
March 18, 2008

Greetings from Pickles and Spices World!

Time really flies. It is now March 2008. What have you achieved so far? Have any of your New Year resolutions born fruits?

I read somewhere that everyone is given 24 hours a day. It's your call to spend it anyway you like. Some people are more efficient than others. Some people are just happy to follow a set routine, while others always find ways to do new things or explore and experience formerly unknown territory.

My son Johan, just turned 10 years old last month. He joins the school swimming team. Three times a week of punishing drills that really is exhausting. Now, he was chosen to be a candidate for Penang state sailing team too! Besides being very proud, I look at ways to improve his diet so that he has enough nutrients to replace the energy spent.

For one, consumption of fast food is discouraged in my household. Yes, we do have burgers once in a while but they are served between wholemeal bread slices and I drained all excess fat while cooking them. I replace white rice with brown rice as a staple. Instead of carbonated drinks, I made home-made syrup flavored with pandanus leaves as a cold treat. Besides being healthier, these alternatives are easier on your wallets too.

As Johan does not like fresh fruits, we make fruit juice instead and also eat dried fruits like raisins and dates. I explained to him that to be an athlete you have to eat well and sleep well. Both of my kids are in bed by 9 p.m. and we rarely watch the tv. I truly believe these practises are better in the long run for all of us.

Sounds un-appetizing and un-exciting? Well, not really. If you realize the large amount of additives in all processed food, you would WANT to get back to eating basic rough food. (It is akin to what we have been told in religious studies: If men are given the glimpse of paradise, they would do nothing but pray and ignore all worldly matters so that they can be there - but I am digressing here).

Why not learn how to bake your own bread? Why not cook your own homemade kaya? I have a great recipe here and also the how-tos. No double boiler? No problem. Check out the link below:

Like I said before, we rarely watch the tv. So, some people may ask: What do we do instead? Other than when the children are at school, what time we have, we spend it together. When I am doing household chores, my children are busy with their make-believe world. When I make our meals, they are also involved. We also read a lot. We make frequent trips to the book store too.

We also spend a lot of time outdoor. During the last school mid term break, we went again to Pasir Bogak at Pulau Pangkor for a swim. It was interesting because the tide was really low. Instead of digging for remis, we caught a small fish fry which provided hours of distraction to the kids.

It made me think about the diversity of seafood around us in Malaysia. Read my latest report at

Did I hear you say that the crab is one of my favorite seafood? This delicious recipe using pineapple in a crab curry is outlined below:

Other than that, I also recall my own cooking experience when I was a child. One of the basic things my mother used to teach me was how to make toasted, grounded coconut paste (kerisik). Incidentally, the crab curry above uses kerisik as one of its ingredients. If this sounds intriguing to you, go to this link:

To sum up my newsletter this time, it is all about the choice we make to lead the lives we live. Some may ask me, how do I make money if most of the time is spend raising the kids? I have a secret to tell. I call it my spicy secret:

After finishing reading the secret, it would be heartening to know that SBI! is now having its Spring Special offer. Get two sites hosted for a mere USD399.00! That is a saving of USD200.00.

For details, check this out:

This will wrap up my second issue of Malaysian Cooking News. Let me know what you think about this first issue. Do contact me for suggestions, questions or to voice out any concern.

Till next time!

best wishes,
A Unique Outlook from a Malaysian Cook.

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