Monthly Archives: March 2008

Amphibian Adventure

It rained a lot during the March school holidays. Not good for a household full of young, hyperactive, on-the-go lads. They were bouncing off the walls and generally tearing the house apart.

But there was a wonderful silver lining. When the sky cleared, we brought the boys cycling along Sentosa beach (one of the Pilgrim family’s favourite hangouts). And at Tanjong Beach, we discovered that the tree-covered grassy patch next to the carpark had become waterlogged, and was now home to hundreds and hundreds of tadpoles. Continue reading


A friend sent this to me. It freaked me out enough to circulate to family and friends.

Dear friends, this is true. A friend of mine also saw a similar occurrence in the Tanjung Aru (Malaysia) famous goreng pisang. What they do is they cut the (drinking) straw into small pieces and throw them into the boiling oil and when the straw melts they start frying the pisang. Unthinkable!!!!

This is a REAL TRUE STORY…and also SL told me it happened at her place in Kedah…Tunjang…(Malaysia) I think…. It happended to us too, in Perlis(Malaysia) (titi chai kangar…the pasar malam (night market) area where they always selling goreng pisang (fried banana) at noon .. Mom said my uncle saw that when they fried the goreng pisang they added the straw (which we use to drink water) and melted it into hot oil before frying. That’s why the goreng pisang, goreng ubi etc are all very crispy for hours…. And my uncle could not explain why, and he asked them. They just keep quiet. And then when my uncle told my mom, and we realized this is how to make the foods crispy for a while….

DO NOT EAT CRISPY FOOD especially from the hawker!
I have been to Cameron Highlands (holiday resort in Malaysia) with my family, It was 3pm ++. We were hanging around the market area, we saw many hawker stalls doing their business, suddenly something attracted me…. One of the stalls, there was a big wok of oil and there was a half-5-litre empty oil bottle on it! It was melting slowly in the hot frying oil… I freaked out, I thought it was an unintentional act by a 7-yr-old girl … but when I looked at it closely, I saw a pair of chopstick stirring the bottle…. Seemed like it was done purposely. Immediately I asked my family to come and check it out…. At that moment, the parents of the girl who sat beside, were looking at us ferociously. Oh my god…they were using melted plastic to fry food…. The reason is that the titbits will not soften after placing for some time due to the plastic hardening.

It doesn’t end here. Continue reading



“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

That’s what the Pilgrim family is celebrating today. Happy Easter!

Tagged: 5 Things About Myself

Brenda over at Little Gastronomy has just tagged me to reveal 5 things about myself that most of you probably wouldn’t know. Brenda, by the way, looks to be an absolute gourmet and if I were less of a kitchen dunce, I would give some of her brilliant suggestions a go.

Anyway, her tag is a little challenging because the regular readers of this blog include people who have known me all my life. But let me give it a go anyway:

  1. My favourite television series of all time (ALL TIME!) is The West Wing. I am a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin in particular. The Star Trek series comes in a distant second – and only Voyager and The Next Generation.
  2. My favourite book/movie of all time (ALL TIME!) is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am geeky enough to have read The Silmarillion and contemplated learning Elvish. Until I concluded that there are probably more useful things I could do with my time 🙂
  3. My favourite music has strong melody and lyrics. I am a fan of the earlier albums of The Indigo Girls, in particular the songs written by Emily Saliers. I am also a fan of jazz and acapella.
  4. I multi-task too much for my own good. I am usually reading at least three books at a time, running several projects at once, and at this very moment have 7 applications running on my laptop….
  5. I am also a hypocrite: I forbid the children to drink Coke, and they are allowed one piece of candy a day. I regularly break both rules myself. Just another piece of evidence pointing to my soul-need for salvation!

I’m tagging

Separated and Swingin’ in Shanghai

I know some working mothers who have travelling jobs. I don’t know how they do it. Me, I’m just a giant marshmallow, and being apart from the boys for more than 24 hours turns me a bit soppy. So ever since Athos was born, I’ve turned down all work-related travel. (Not that there have been that many opportunities, of course!)

Anyhow, late last year an offer came to do a project in Phuket, Thailand. It’s a resort island that’s a short flight away from Singapore, and I thought the Pilgrim family might even make a holiday out of it, so I agreed. But early this year the project venue was changed to Shanghai! I had already committed and so could not pull out. But the cost meant that I would have to go alone, sans family.

I have never gone overseas without the children, whether for work or pleasure. So this was something of a milestone for me. And since it would be my first visit to this great city, I decided – gulp – to go a couple of days early to explore the place, with the blessings of Pilgrim Dad who would have to man the fort at home.

Continue reading

Train Spotting

Athos was invited to a birthday party at McDonalds King Albert Park. It’s not a place we go to frequently, but I remember that the KTM (Malaysian railway) tracks pass near there. So after dropping Athos off, I decided to take Porthos and Aramis on a little adventure to look at train tracks.

Pilgrim Parent delicious discovery: the Bukit Timah signal station! If you’re going along Bukit Timah Road towards Woodlands, you’ll find a small road just before King Albert Park. It’s easy to miss because it has no name and is not properly paved. But it’s just past the overhead trackbridge, and before the McDonald’s HQ at the junction. And if you turn into the road, you’ll find a world set apart – train tracks at street level, with a platform running alongside, as well as a signal station and office belonging to Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malaysian Railway, or KTM for short).



Serendipitously, the friendly signalman Mr Abdul Ghani told us that a train would be passing by in 15 minutes! Porthos was particularly excited. In the meantime, Mr Abdul Ghani let us follow him around on his duties. Continue reading

A meal, a movie and a whole lotta love

Grandpa and Grandma took the boys for the weekend so Pilgrim Dad and I got to have a date last night. We haven’t done this as regularly as we used to ever since the Primary One early-morning action began, so we really relish our alone time when we get some!

After church on Saturday evening, we headed over to Tuckshop for dinner. I had eaten there once on the recommendation of a friend, and liked the place a lot. It’s a little hole in the wall along Tanjong Pagar Road (opposite the Duxton shophouses) and serves low-key, good quality, cafe food. Pilgrim Dad had the fish and chips, and I had the steak sandwich, both of which are among their more popular dishes. But the revelation for me was the ice-cream, which they bring in from Ice Cream Chefs. If you follow this blog, you might know that the Pilgrim family are big fans of Island Creamery. So it was a great delight to discover another establishment that creates its own locally-flavoured ice-cream. Pilgrim Dad had the Nutty Peanut Butter, and I had the Nutella Delight. I discovered later that they have other local flavours like Milo Peng, Durian Decadence and Kaya Lotee. Oh my!

After dinner, we went home and watched Akeelah and the Bee, a DVD which we had rented. Thoroughly enjoyable, and I would heartily recommend it for any family movie night. The movie is about Akeelah, an 11-year-old black girl from the inner city who aspires to win the national spelling bee. The story is a classic tale of the underdog, well told through a strong script and sterling performances by Keke Palmer (Akeelah), Angela Bassett as her mother, and Laurence Fishburne as her tutor. The film is rated PG due to some “light” profanity, and was also criticised for stereotyping Asians, but is otherwise heartwarming and eminently watchable.