Question for Bakers

Hello Everyone. I would love to be able to bake my own cakes but I don’t know where to start. Can all you experienced bakers out there tell me where to begin?

First, would be the equipment of course. Please keep your suggestions as economical as possible. Can you tell me what I need to start off? Please start from scratch or zero. At the moment I have none.

Will I need a mixer? What type should I get? Is it very costly? An oven? Can I get a portable oven? A really small one to start off with? Just in case I am not successful? Haha. I don’t want to buy the best only to have it collect dust afterwards. At the same time, thinking long term perhaps its wiser to invest? Space wise, I have very little space left for any oven. I have a convection microwave oven at the moment. Can I use that? See? I’m really a novice in this. Please help.

I do know how to bake from school days but that was a long time ago. I think that was back when I was in lower secondary school and we had homescience classes. I really enjoyed those classes. I remember cycling to my friend’s house to try out our baking skills whenever we can. Oh those were the days. Ok, enough reminiscing. This is not about my homescience classes. (I’ll write a separate post about that another day. Hehe.)

Thanks for any suggestions. I may not be able to take up the suggestions immediately or run out straight away to get the items and start baking but this is for future reference as something I would like to do when I have more time. Otherwise hubby will “scold” me for trying to take on too much. Really got a lot of things up my sleeve at the moment and baking will have to wait but I still like to dream. 🙂

Olympic Fever

beijing_olympic_mascot_2008.jpg

The Olympic Fever begins today on the 8th Day of the 8th Month of the year at 8:08:08pm. You know Chinese lah. Everything also must be auspicious. 🙂

I read from my kids McDonald’s newsletter that there are five mascots. They are…

  1. A Fish named Bei Bei
  2. A Panda named Jing Jing
  3. The Olympic Flame Doll called Huan Huan
  4. A Tibetan Antelope named Ying Ying
  5. A Swallow named Ni Ni

Put them all together and they form the words “Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni” (Meaning Beijing Welcomes You). See? I know a little bit of Chinese. I’m not such a banana afterall. 😉

Anyway, I am rather excited to see the opening ceremony tonight. I think the Olympic Games is a good opportunity to expose or teach the kids about the different countries of the world as well as the various types of sports. Unfortunately, I don’t have Astro, so I can only watch a delayed live transmission by RTM 1. What to do? Miser don’t want to pay. Have to watch delayed loh. Hopefully the transmission will be clear and we won’t miss anything.

For those who are interested to know more about the Olympic Mascots, you can check out this : Beijing 2008 Olympics: What are the meanings of the five mascots? Or you can simply enjoy the following YouTube video on The Mascots of the Olympic Games. The background music you hear in the video is a Chinese Folk song called “Mo Li Hua” or “Jasmine Flower”. My girl sings it in kindy. Very nice.

Security Patrol Surveillance by Private Residents’ Association

If you’re not fortunate enough to be living in a gated and guarded community, or  you don’t live in a condo, then you’ve probably heard of a security patrol team by your local Residents’ Association. These have mushroomed all over our urban residential areas or housing estates in recent years.

In the past, there was never a need for such things and I’ve never heard of them before but now, you can see security patrols  by guards hired by residence patroling the housing areas. A sure sign that crime is on the rise. Many homes now carry stickers that their house is subscribing to a certain security patrol, paying an extra RM30 to RM40 a month if I am not mistaken. My house is one of them.

However, I wonder how everyone feels about this. We feel that we want very much to improve the security in our area and that is why we dutifully pay the subscription fee for extra security surveillance. We feel that since it is a community kind of thing, it will only be successful, if everyone contributes or does their part by subscribing and so we subscribe faithfully even though, its hard for us to even pay up and after paying we don’t even have a receipt.

The excuse is that since the team is manned by volunteers and so… we’re not to have overly high expectations (like getting a receipt?). Oh well…. We do receive quarterly reports about the security in our area and we feel a (perhaps a wrong) sense of security seeing the guards patrolling our area in their motorbikes and cars and having an emergency number to call, just in case.

Yesterday, I met a friend who stays in a “crime zone” (which area isn’t that now). His neighbour’s houses had been broken in (both side and opposite). He does not subscribe to the security surveillance service that is available though. His feeling is. “What is the point anyway?” Besides, “you don’t even know if the security team is in cahorts with the burglars or thieves.” he added.

I wonder what does everyone else feel about such security patrols? Are you paying extra for it? How do you feel about this? Do you think it has reduced crime?

I keep on receiving scary emails about people being hijacked from their cars and houses being broken into. I know some of these emails may not be true but some of them come from people we actually know. I used to feel safer living in a condo but apparently even living in a condo is not safe anymore. The other day, I visited the old condo where I used to live. The maintenance person there told us that they are now stepping up security to have the guards going around floor by floor every hour because of crime. According to the guy some tenants do not like this but they have no choice. The burglars now come from within ie the modus operandi is to rent the premise for a few months, then strike when their neighbours are out.

Almost everyone I know has witness a crime or has had some personal experience. I feel so unsafe. The other day, I happened to be eating at the roadside with my handbag (I normally don’t carry my handbag when I eat at the roadside) and I was very distracted throughout my meal because I have to keep on clutching my handbag close to me and glancing around every few minutes. (I’ve had friends whose had their handphones or bags snatched while they were enjoying their meal, thats why I have this paranoia). Afterall, crime happens partly because of opportunity and we can reduce that opportunity by being more aware of our surroundings and it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful, right? Can you tell me what you have done to reduce the opportunity of crime to your person, car and home?

Is it Fashion Week in KL 2008?

Well, I don’t know if it is but it is Fashion Week at One Utama and Mid Valley Megamall. I just happened to be there during the weekend and was treated to Fashion Shows.

I watched a Fitness Fashion show at Mid Valley. What fantastic outfits. Gone are those days of boring old shorts and t-shirts for jogging or boring black leotards for group aerobics exercises. The fitness fashion is so interesting these days. What fantastic outfits. Now if only I could fit into them! Hahaha. Well, first I’ve got to exercise in my boring old T and shorts first before I can wear one of those nice fitness outfits. Lol! The models looked great sashaing on the walkway. Oh! Those flat tummies! I’m so jealous! I never had a flat tummy. Not even when I was a teen! Sobs. Now I can forget about a flat tummy ever. Racking sobs!

At One Utama I was treated to an all male fashion show as I happened to be there when they were modelling an all male brand. The guys don’t look as good as the girls on the walkway. Maybe I’m just not used to seeing guys strutting their stuff on the walkway. Haha. I thought they walked kind of funny. My only thought was how come none of the male models (and there were plenty) looked like a true blue Malaysian. They all looked so…. foreign. I am sure there are many good looking Malaysian guys around. Maybe none of them wants to become a model. Hmmm… what do you think?

Fish Spa anyone?

The other day, I was window shopping at a shopping complex in KL when I saw a small crowd gathering in front of a window display. Out of curiousity (KPC), I too went over to have a look. I haven’t the time to upload the photo yet so I shall describe it the best I can.

In the window display was a water tank and in it I saw two pairs of feet and lots of little fishes nibbling away at the two pairs of feet! At first I thought it was some new marketing gimmick. You know, sometimes you see magic shows and escape artists doing their act in the water.

But it was no marketing gimmick. Its the latest spa therapy. A designer spa to rejuvenate, relax and beautify. The little fish nibbling at your nerve endings is good apparently. Sorry I can’t give more information because I was too busy chasing after two kids to listen to what the marketing person was saying and by now the brochure they handed me has been torn up by the same two little kids.

Anyway this is not a review so I don’t have to worry about the accuracy. I am just speaking my thoughts. It just shows that we live in a world of added stress leading to more and more people seeking new alternative forms of treatments.

If you are interested in having your feet snacked on by Dr Fish you can check out this NST story link for a more detailed story about the fish spa.

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