A Fluke Shot Success!

I can cook but I'm no baker!  9 out of 10 times ... end results does not go down well with the taste buds.

Frankly I know where my weakness lies and it's because I'm so lame at following the measurements.  I'm one who searches for the simplest of recipes with the least of ingredients.  I guess that way if I fail ... I won't feel the pinch when all of it goes straight into the dumpster.

9 out of 10 and that one successful round of Oatmeal Cookies has had lo kong bugging me for more.  An additional request was that I'm to help him finish his chiaseed by adding them to the cookies.
Just like cooking ... baking too must not be a drill. 

So yesterday, while waiting for lo kong to reach home after work, I decided to make Chiaseed Oatmeal Cookies.  I had found an easy to follow recipe and I had all the ingredients on hand.  With a little tweak on the method, I managed to bake almost 40 pieces of cookies just under 1.5 hours.  It was just in time to pop a sampler into lo kong's mouth as he walks  in through the front door.

Lo kong gave his thumbs up followed by my other hero, Nick.  I'm personally proud of it as this batch has the best result.  The cookies crunchy, flavorful, healthy and it tastes like my favorite IKO Oatmeal Biscuits.  

9 out of 10 ... this is a fluke shot success but I'm confident I'll still get this right again the next time!

A Successful First!

I like cooking but it must not be a drill.  I'll cook when I feel like it or when there's a craving or when there's an inspiration to try something new.  And I don't cook on weekends! 

However, I'll swallow my own words for this one time. 

On Sunday I suddenly decided I wanted  to try cooking lo kong's all-time-favorite ... the ever popular Chinese Roast Pork Belly (Siew Yok). 

Found a simple to follow recipe on the net and followed every step to the T.  Heated up the oven and put in the marinated pork belly.  One peek 2 peeks later, I had to tell myself ... "this is not going to be constructive!"

Putting my mind into my freelance work, the time passed quickly and it was time to remove the pork in preparation for the next level of roasting.  It certainly smelled right as I continued with the roasting with a short prayer ... "Oh please please let it look right too!"

Soon the skin of the pork belly began to pop and looking more and more of a crackling pig skin.  I felt relieved that this slab of meat that cost me RM35 will not go to waste after all.  After a 40-minute constant monitoring and the Siew Yok was ready!  

I waited for it to cool a little with another prayer ... "Oh please please let it taste too!" 

End result was a mouth crunchy roast pork belly which was a tad too salty but lo kong loved it. It's all that matters and I will definitely try again to perfect it!

"A bruise is a lesson ... and each lesson makes us better." ~ George R.R. Martin

First Challenge Of The Year!

Looking back at my half-centurion birthday wishlist, I have no regrets for not achieving or fulfilling all of them.  I must say I am happy still that I've managed to add and achieve a few unplanned ones too.

I've decided to do away with my wishlist and for 2015, I'm starting afresh!  There's not going to be any wishlist but challenges that will be undertaken in spontaneity.

Yup ... I'm going with the flow.

Last Sunday I completed my first adhoc challenge of the year ... Gammon China Coast Half-Marathon in Hong Kong.

Lo Kong had been overly optimistic about running the Vibram HK100 that he had purchased our air tickets months in advance.  However, since he had not been successful in getting balloted, he substituted the event with a full marathon that was organised on the very  same date.

On the spur, I signed up for the half-marathon even though I'm still suffering from ITBS.  I was worried that I did not have enough training to complete the event due to the persistent pain in my right knee.  Anyhow, a run-walk-run-walk strategy helped attained a medal with a finisher T.  Of course the timing wasn't great but the main focus on my mind was to finish the distance no matter what. 

Another 21km challenge is up next weekend ... Nike's We Run KL.  Fingers-crossed, I can do it again.

Employee Attitude Kills Company Image!

I believe once in awhile I can be allowed to be pissed! I have been so stressed up by this courier service, Nationwide Express since Christmas Eve.  Their website slogan 'A Promised Delivered' only means we will deliver but you have to collect personally at our office!

I am not the only who complained!

I am apalled by the attitude of their delivery man.

My bank which is also one of the worst banking institution in the country, had sent out my redemption coupon to me using the mentioned courier service.  I had no inkling at all that they had tried to deliver to me twice before the notice from my bank as there were no Undelivered Notice left at my doorstep or even my mailbox.  I subsequently made an arrangement for the 3rd delivery directly with the courier service and waited patiently on that day.  I dare not even step out of the house and was still in jammies till late afternoon ... until when I opened my door and an Undelivered Notice fell in.

Wow, the delivery guy had so silently come and go.  No knock on the door and mind you ... I have a door bell that will jolt the hell out of you if anyone rings it.  He dare not even put a time on the notice but only the date ... now we can understand why.  Sneaky right?

Call my bank to complain and a second time because no one got back to me on their next course of actions.  Then they promised to get Nationwide Express to escalate delivery again.  On Monday, the courier service called to double-confirmed my delivery address and if I will be home that day.  I waited and waited with my front door ajar the entire day but till today, zilch!!!

Called the bank again today and I was put on hold for ages while they check.  Then the killer response came ... "The courier service will not deliver after the 3rd delivery.  I have to pick up personally at their centre."

What the .....!  Why don't they tell me that on Monday?!

Not the first complain I've ever wrote to my bank (which I am still loyal to because of location convenience) ,,, let's see what they say when they hear the 3 voice recordings between their customer service officers and myself.

Frankly, there's nothing wrong with both companies ... the bank or the courier service.  It is the people working down the line.  Malaysians!  Many are still not matured to understand about integrity and responsibility as an employee to their respective employers and customers.  They simply don't realised that a business is like a food chain ... unhappy customers go away, less earning for the company and there goes the bonus and in worst situations ... downsizing or close shop!

Curiosity Kills The Cat!

I'm doing a recruitment exercise for my employer.  Our business is growing and we need to get our team ready to absorb more work and responsibilities.

In my 20-something years of human resource experience, I know we will come in contact people of varied characters.  It's never easy but a good laugh over it is the best cure.

I had quite a number of responses to my job ad today.  Many queried about the job out of curiosity even though my ad was very specific.  The glaring message is do not call if you don't fit the entire list of pre-requisites.  But alas ... curiosity kills the cat!  They still called.

Anyway one lady stood out.  I actually like her tenacity but sadly it was inappropriate.  My job ad specified that the candidate must have accounting qualifications and relevant work experience.  Shouldn't that mean working on the books. She had no related qualifications but had worked in an accounting software company as a quality assurer.  She enquired and claimed that I was not specific in my ad. She was even far-fetched to think my job ad was for positions selling accounting software.  I humored her for awhile with her persistence. I had to tell her at point blank that she does not fit the bill in order to discontinue the conversation.

It's good to be determined but not all the time.  There's always the place and time.  However sometimes some people are just plain mental!