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To be honest, i’m not that well travelled as compared to some or rather, most of you.

In fact, i’ve been to just a handful of countries. However, my little experiences in these countries are enough to make me realized something — I want to live simple.

It might surprise some of you but if you are one of the few people who know me well, i am exactly that. I may not look like it, or sometimes, live like it but deep down, right to the bottom of my fat toes, i am that.

For the past few years through my holidays in third world countries — i really enjoy visiting third world countries for many reasons –, i notice that it is possible for humans to live happily with just basics. They are truly happy and contented.They smile all the time, much often than most of us who have hundredth or thousandth folds more (be it monetary or materially) than them.

For one particular family of 4 at a very secluded area on the mountain, i even lived with them for a night.. Witnessing how they lived their lives warmed my heart greatly. Sure, they have neither proper shoes nor beds, but they are happy. They are grateful for what they have. To them, as long as there is food on the table even if it was just rice with vegetables, and as long as they are sheltered properly from rain and cold, they are satisfied. Importantly, they have each other, their loved ones. And the kampung spirit in that village… *smile*.. is really quite something and you know how strongly i feel when it comes to this particular issue.

After i touched down last night, i did some serious thinking and i have made up my mind on something rather important.

In about 17-19 years’ time, once my youngest boy goes off to college after he has served his National Service, i wanna retire to a countryside, preferably along the coast line at somewhere with 4 seasons, secure, safe and where gorgeous fresh foods are readily and easily attainable.

There, in my manageable small plot of land, i’ll have my very own organic vegetable farm and herb garden which will supply to our daily meals and of course, a few chickens (for their eggs), piglets (because they are adorable!), cats and dogs. Then, not far off from the house, along the main road, i’ll have a tiny but cozy bakery + cafe where there will be no fixed menu. Hee! You see, I enjoy baking and cooking different food everyday. It makes life more fun and interesting, don’t you think? ;)

Of course, travelling every other month, writing (though i’m not fab at it *oopss*) and photography will still go on. I enjoy these stuff immensely, you know! *smile* But if there’s 1 thing i’ll not dabble into, it would be B & B because i really suck at housekeeping! Hahaha!

So, with this decision of mine, i now can say… I CAN’T WAIT TO BE 50, live the life i really want and grow old with Darcy! :)

I’m back! :)

The China trip is nothing but wonderful, lovely and breathtaking. I’ve been gone for 11 days but it felt like just 3 days! The clock ticked by waaayyy much faster than i’d like it to be, even when i was climbing the 21566184131648733 (in short, endless!!) stair cases! Lol!

Anyway, here’s something to work your appetite for the week while i work on my trip’s photos. I really can’t wait to share all my stories with ya! ;)

Ipoh Hor Fun (from Cantonese hor fun – 河粉) — from Wikipedia :

These are flat rice noodles prepared in the hard water. There are two varieties. Sar hor fun – 沙河粉 is served in a clear chicken and prawn Chau hor fun is fried with a little dark gravy, as opposed to Penang char kway teowwat tan ho which is completely immersed in clear, egg-starch gravy. soup with chicken shreds, prawns and spring onions. which has no gravy but is fried with egg, prawns and cockles. It is also different from Cantonese-style

In my case, my version is Sar Hor Fun.

I had at least 1.5kg of prawn heads sitting in the freezer that waiting to be used. Initially, i wanted to cook Prawn Noodles but unfortunately, i didnt’t have most of the ingredients needed except just a couple. Then, i stared hard at my pantry and fridge for a quick few seconds. In the end, i decided to cook this instead and i must say, no regrets! ;)

All of the ingredients used in this noodle dish is always readily available in my kitchen so, yes.. i’ll be cooking this quite often from now on! It’s extremely easy and very tasty (think of the stock!). Best of all, i could make use of the chicken breast meat which usually would end up in the thrash bin. :P

Ipoh Hor Fun

(serves 4)

For stock


1 chicken breast with bones
300-500g prawn heads, depending on how prawny you like your stock
2L water
fish gravy or salt, to taste

Method

1. Boil chicken breast with water using low heat for at least 1.5 hours.
2. Add in prawn heads and simmer for another 20 minutes before switching the fire off. Stir in fish gravy or salt.
3. Cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

For the toppings


chili paste, optional (recipe follows)
2 hard boiled eggs, boiled, peeled and halved, optional
chives, washed and cut (i replaced with spring onions)
200 – 300g bean sprouts, blanched
12 prawns, cooked
chicken meat (can be any part you like, not necessarily breast meat), shredded
fried shallots
800g – 1kg hor fun or flat noodles

Method

1. Prepare all the toppings above — For myself, i enjoy involving the little ones in my meal preparation.. eg ; shredding the chicken meat, peeling the eggs and prawns.

2. Boil a pot full of water and very briefly blanch the noodles in it.

3. Divide the noodles equally among for big bowls before adding in the soup and arranging the toppings onto it.
4. Serve with a spoonful of chili paste if you like for extra oompphhh!

Enjoy! :)

For chili paste
(adapted from here)

15 dried chilies (de-seeded and soaked to soften)
5 shallots (peeled)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 tablespoon of water
3 tablespoons of cooking oil

Blend the chili paste ingredients with a mini food processor until finely ground and well blended. Heat up the wok and add cooking oil. Stir fry the chili paste for 5 minutes. Dish up and set aside.

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Submitting this to Muhibbah Monday hosted by lovely Sharon from Test with Skewer.

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