Sunday, July 19, 2009

sungai pelek dragon fruit farm

brother yh told me about this place, so i just got to check it out!

sungai pelek is a cowboy town just a 10 minute drive from sepang. yh spilled the beans about the goodies of this little small town.

of which, the favourite has to be this dragon fruit farm!

this is how the fruit is planted. this is quite a large farm...

anyway, we went there mainly for the dragon fruit enzyme. the prices we get in kuala lumpur is couple times higher than buying directly from the farm.

other than dragon fruit enzyme, there's papaya enzyme, pineapple enzyme and aloe very enzyme too.

best seller and best tasting is of course, the dragon fruit enzyme.

curiously, they managed to grow grapes too!

some "malaysian" variety. quite tiny and quite sourish i was told.

this farm is very interesting as other than dragon fruit (and grapes!), they managed to grow passion fruit as well.

oh, did i mention their pineapples are the best pineapple i have ever tasted?

bountiful of dragon fruit!

these are quite large and go for rm10 for 3.

so far we have been to this farm twice and all i can say is the trip is definitely worthwhile.

the folks at the farm are very friendly. these are nice decent hardworking folks who toil the earth and harvest such beautiful produce from mother earth.

unlike bankers... or engineers... ha ha!

perhaps one day i'll grow my own fruits too!

my gratitude towards yh for recommending me this place!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

why does my bread crust turn out so tough?

a friend tried baking bread recently and found that the crust of her bread always come out a bit too chewy. it's like biting leather!

i then realized she was using a regular pan like those you use for baking cakes.

well, if you desire a softer top crust, apparently you need to give it some "moisture" during the first few instances of baking. err, not quite like this...

what you want to ensure is when the bread initially starts baking, you want to have some moisture in the oven. i guess this way come at the end of baking time, the top won't lose too much moisture.

some folks put a pan of hot water to create steam during baking. not only is this arduous, i'm not quite sure i want to handle hot water when i'm opening the oven door.

a better solution will be to use something like a "dutch oven" where you bake the bread inside a covered pot, then remove the lid almost at the end of baking time.

better still and the one i uses all the time, is to use a lidded bread loaf pan like the above. keep the lid on for more than 2/3 of baking time and remove the lid at the remainder 1/3 of baking time.

as i usually bake at 180c for 45-minutes, i usually have the lid on and place the dough + pan into the oven for 30-35 minutes, then remove the lid for the remainder 10 minutes.

through this, i found out that if i desire a chewier crust, take out the lid earlier.
if i want an even softer crust, leave the lid on longer.

quite easy eh?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

movies i'll watch again and again 2

the first time i watched "legend of 1900" was more than 10 years ago but when i chanced upon the dvd in a shop nearby, i just had to revisit it!

10 years later, i'm still enthralled by the story of "the world's greatest pianist". click on the pic to read more about the story.

most memorable are the few scenes of "movie magic" to me. the almost surreal "piano playing while dancing with the ocean" and the "piano duel". i assure you, if i were to write more on this, i'll be spoiling the movie for you!

i also later realized that the director of this movie, mr giuseppe tornatore, also directed another favourite of mine --- "cinema paradiso".

this is basically a love story, but with a lot more depth than all that angsty, petty, "love at first sight" that seems to be the favourite of most love stories out there. pathetic!

the most poignant thing about this story is near the ending when the protagonist realizes the source for his greatest love in life is also the source for his greatest sorrow in life.

do yourself a favour. borrow, beg or steal. watch these great movies!

ps: oh yeah! mr tornatore also directed another movie which i enjoyed very much - malena. starring the muse to my best selling digital analog convertor!