HAPPY FAMILY: Fargo & Shauna Chan’s family – part 1 the appetiser

fargo chan - hakkachan

Being so far away, obviously Fargo’s family is the one we are missing most.

There’s never a family get together or celebration we do not discussed about how nice it would be if Fargo, Shauna and children were here.

Recently bumped into this cute “Chan Clan” video produced by Shauna, Fargo’s wife. I shall take a short cut to insert this video I borrowed from Shauna’s blog Spirit Suds.

I hope Shauna will co-write with me here on, “What Happen’s On The Other Side of the World?”. Everything that has to do with those hakkachans in Texas, USA.

In the meanwhile, I bet you will enjoy getting acquainted with Fargo, Shauna, Lauren, Sara and little Ian.

No doubt, it’s an old tape. Way back in 2008. So by the time I am done doing the next official posting on them, you will be gasping on how much these kids have grown. The marvel of digital technology, we are able to freeze time and lock them up.

Savour and enjoy life.

Capture every moment.

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HAPPY FAMILY: Agnes & Margaux Chan

I thought it would be nice if I start introducing you the Chan family members. Let’s start with this beautiful mother-daughter couple, Agnes Chan and Margaux Chan Chaillou.

Pretty, successful and enterprising. She is now all dressed up on a Saturday morning, all ready to defend a team of residents of a condominium in Ampang. Although a busy lady, Agnes makes sure she spends enough time with her little kiddo; especially on weekends like this.

Strong taste buds, highly critical on food, Agnes prefers home-cook food because rarely she finds those served outside palatable. Despite a late bloomer as far as venturing into the kitchen department, she can cook up a surprise or two. Summarily, a very daring, adaptable and intuitive cook.

Margaux Chan Chaillou is an artist. That is how she loves to be recognised. Kid you not, this kid can produce very beautiful sketches and drawings. Margaux actually started selling some of her creations as far back as when she was a tiny tot at 4.

This morning, while Agnes is cooking her favourite French Toast, she is busy preparing an illustration project on Benjamin Franklin. Whenever she is inspired, her creative adrenaline is gushing; nothing can distract her.

FRENCH TOAST with RAW HONEY

INGREDIENTS:-

1                  egg

1 tbsp           condensed milk

3 slices      wholemeal bread

3 tsp           raw honey

milk

oil butter

METHOD:-

1. Break egg in a wide bowl. Beat the egg a little.

2. Add condensed milk and lightly stir to dissolve them.

3. Pour in a little milk to the right consistency.

4. Immerse bread slice by slice.

5. Heat a frying pan and put in a little oil.

6. Fry both side to golden colour.

7. Scope a little raw honey and trickle as much or as little, or none.

She is so absorbed into Franklin’s world.

Pleasantly taking a little pause from school work. Time for this little girl to grab these golden toasts.

Her little masterpiece for the morning.

Red Bean Paste Buns 豆沙包

Momsie prepared this a day ahead. Will come back and get her recipe. She makes it effortlessly. She didn’t even sieved them, so unfair. It tasted so smooth and yummy.

Scope generous amounts of red beans and let it sit in the middle of the round dough on your palm.

Remember to place those buns in order so that you know which are to be steamed first.

Momsie uses 4 chopsticks tied together as a decorative chop for these buns. Creative.

I love a good red bean paste bun, you rarely get a good one with fresh, clean and yummy fillings anymore.

INGREDIENTS:- makes 24 fairly large buns

1 kg      pau flour
1 tbs     instant yeast
60g      caster sugar
water, vegetable shortening, softener

1 kg      red bean paste

METHOD:
  1. Put some warm water into the tablespoonful of yeast.
  2. Sieve pau flour and add yeast, caster sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add in water and mix to form a dough.
  4. Knead dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 mins).Knead in the vegetable shortening and continue to knead for another 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough must be smooth on the overall surface.
  5. Cover with cling wrap or cloth and let it proof for about 1 hr or until it doubles in bulk.
  6. Transfer dough onto a gently floured table. Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles.
  7. Take a big piece of dough and roll into a long log. Cut into smaller serving sizes. Momsie is random here and she suggested that we should divide the dough into 24 portions. We decided it was okay to have fun and forgo the weighing.
  8. Roll each portion into a smooth round. Flatten each dough into a small disc with your palm or a small rolling pin, make the edges thinner and the centre portion thicker.
  9. Wrap each dough with some of red bean paste.
  10. Pinch and seal the seams. Place dough seam side down on a square piece of parchment paper. Leave buns to proof for 20-25 mins.
  11. Place buns in a steamer* and space them apart so that they do not touch one another.
  12. Remember to steam those made earlier first.
  13. Steam at medium to high heat for 12mins (make sure the water is already boiling before steaming). When ready, remove the lid carefully to prevent water from dripping over the buns.
  14. Make decorative red chop and always serve them warm.

qing ming 清明 2011

清明时节雨纷纷,
路上行人欲断魂。
借问酒家何处有?
牧童遥指杏花村。

Remembered the 1st time was in 2009, I wasn’t a Chan yet. My mother, a traditional one, reminded me umpteenth time that I wasn’t supposed to go to the graveyard with Stevie. And not to pray to their ancestors with any joss sticks offered. She was chanting away that it would be a taboo.

Anyway, I did everything she said I wasn’t supposed to. Naughty me.

Time flies.

This is the 3rd year I am celebrating Qing Ming with Steve and family. A little sad though, my parents decided to go visit grandma’a grave this Sunday too. It will be the 1st time I would be absent for my family’s side for Qing Ming. I am sad that I wasn’t told or I would have suggested my mom to push it to the next week.

I won’t sweat the small stuff. A reminder.

Qing Ming is a festival that reminds us on paying respect to family members that have passed on. It teaches family value system and how we put our family above ourselves.

Waking earlier than usual on a Sunday morning is pretty tough for everyone. But this is one Sunday, we all cannot negotiate. Momsie woke up at 5.30 am, got most of the prayer stuff ready. Even had time to make some pink rice cupcakes 發糕.

There isn’t very much for us juniors to fuss about, except getting ready and be on time.

Sun block lotions, wide brimmed hats, long sleeved blouses and umbrellas are “must” items as far as the female fraternity is concerned. I totally forgot my gears and had to borrow hubby’s Yankee baseball cap and Daiso‘s 大嫂 pretty retro printed long sleeved blouse.

I feel 16 again.

“So clean!”, that is the first exclamation from everyone. We are overjoyed and looks like a breezy spring cleaning. Being the official photographer has its perks and I love the part whereby I need not lift my fingers to do much. Just an occasional favour or two, especially from hubby to scratch his back or find his ciggy. Otherwise, I am a happy, snappy photographer.

Everything is quite a routine. Everyone knows what he or she is supposed to do.

Some enjoy watching and cracking a joke, here and there.

Margaux and Tic Toc love to find the right sized paper weight.

Szi Hao, the eldest great grandchild in the backdrop.

Agnes enjoying the calm and shade under momsie’s big straw hat.Forever groovy and charming, even on a Qing Ming morning at Malim Chinese Cemetery.

We usually have 2 debates on this Qing Ming day.

One, should we continue to do “open burning” and observe such unfriendly gifts to the dead.

Two, where shall we have breakfast.

Momsie is the busiest person of the day. She has to make a year long report to grandpa and grandma on the progress of the Chans. She has plenty of great news for them except that Mitch and Sol are unable to attend because they are down with a terrible flu.

All these food offered, the glutinous rice dumplings, red bean paste steamed buns and pink rice cup cakes are made by momsie. Look out for my posting on the buns.

My momsie, the dutiful daughter-in-law.

Like the old saying, “when one has a good daugther-in-law, your alter will never be smokeless”.

the star of fruits

Momsie is supervising her harvest. Who gets what and how much or how many. She is reserving that pair for us to eat on this hot Sunday afternoon.

Isn’t it amazing. This little star fruit tree provides us a year round supply. Golden, juicy, sweet and no disgusting chewy fibre. Pure goodness in every bite.

When it is time for us to depart for KL, momsie and maid will be very busy. They will make sure every golden fruit up the tree is harvested and shared among us. This time around, I counted more than 20 star fruits on momsie’s patch.

A platter of golden serving.

tiny blooms

We are home!

So looking forward to this Qing Ming weekend as we will be spending a weekend home, in Malacca. It has been a tremendously nice drive back with the grace of an overcast sky.

Qing Ming is known for its stubborn drizzle, the dampness and rain to remind us of loved ones who have passed on.

There isn’t a raindrop today. Bless.

What welcomes us home is the lone star fruit tree, in full bloom.

Without the tree flowering, she isn’t going to bear you fruits.

Marvellous tree, such tiny little flowers but bears us awesome big golden fruits.

Wonder why so many buds, but not many made it to be fruits.

Don’t lose sight of the small things in life while pursuing the big ambition.

Pause.

Smell the flowers along the journey.