A Blogger From Malaysia Landed in Aberdeen

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Enjoying Scottish breakfast at Dobbies Garden Centre

Enjoying Scottish breakfast at Dobbies Garden Centre

I think the title of my blog post today sounds like an alien from outer space has landed….haha. No, not alien, but a lovely Malaysian blogger friend whom I came to know only through blogging. Haven’t met yet. I’ve mentioned on several occasions that blogging makes my world smaller and exciting. It’s wonderful to make friends who are like-minded from different parts of the world. Not only do we learn cooking and baking from each other but we also learn about the different cultures from each other’s blogs.

I was very surprised and excited when Claire, from Caring Is Not Only Sharing, wrote to me that she’s coming here for a visit. Her son’s coming for a business trip and she and her sister-in-law will come along too, but a week later.

Scotland is so far away and so cold that we hardly get any visitors from overseas, especially from home. Maybe I complain about the cold here too much that it frightens all my friends away….haha. I think I better stop that and concentrate on boasting about the beautiful sceneries around. That’s true! Scotland is a very beautiful country. Having said that, a wonderful young Canadian blogger, LeQuan of luvtoeat, came all the way from Canada to visit 2 years back. I think my roof almost came crashing down….haha. It was so much fun. We have remained very close friends since. I would love to visit her in Canada one day….to stop her pestering….*big grin*. For more, check out at Superwoman Visited Aberdeen.

Finally the day arrived! I went to the airport to pick Claire and her sister-in-law. It’s the first time we met! Know what’s the first thing Claire said? ‘You look SO cute!’ Oh wow……..a surprise to hear that. Makes me feel like a little girl or like a little cuddly teddy bear…..haha. LeQuan often says I’m cute cos I say and think the weirdest things…..haha.

However, when I saw Claire, I heaved a big sigh of relief. In my heart, I went, ‘YES! I have met someone far more petite than me. Now I can tell my girls that and stop their teasing once and for all’……..haha. But actually with the layers of clothing and winter jacket, I think she managed to transform herself from size 4 to size 8….*big grin*. Lovely to meet Claire’s sister-in-law too. She’s such a sweet lady, too, like Claire.

Straight from the airport, I took them to Costco for shopping! Sounds crazy huh. But they enjoyed it and bought a lot of dried fruits. Since it was quite late, I decided to invite them to my house for a simple dinner. That was an impromptu, last minute invitation. I must be crazy because I didn’t make any preparation. It has to be fast food. I mean real fast food. I bought lemon sole from Costco.

Happy Claire at the self checkout at Asda

Happy Claire at the self checkout at Asda

From Costco, we went to Asda for more shopping. I bought vegetables, potatoes and the hot and spicy chicken wings, my favourite. Claire loves the self checkout. The big smile proves it all!

Snack time

Snack time

Finally home at last…..somewhere warm! A hot drink and some homemade prawn crackers brought more smiles. Wait, before you say ‘Wow!’, I need to clarify myself here. Those addictive and most delicious prawn crackers were made by my mother-in-law. I wish I know how to make them but then looking at the whole process she makes them, I give up! Just too much work. I need more patience first…*big smiles*.

We had very simple dinner….baked lemon sole, baked hot and spicy chicken wings, baked southern fried potato wedges, a dish of vegetable stir fry and rice. They are all my favourite. Almost everything into the oven! Last minute invitation IS possible……*big smiles*. Claire’s son joined us for dinner after work. Oh, I also served them the homemade yoghurt as I shared in my previous post at Super Easy Homemade Yoghurt.

Scottish breakfast

Scottish breakfast

The next morning, I took Claire and her sister-in-law for a Scottish breakfast at Dobbies Garden Centre. I love to go there as the cafe is very relaxing and there are lots of things to see too. This is called heavy breakfast for me.

Picnic in the car!

Picnic in the car!

After breakfast, we went for a fairly long drive to the famous Glenfiddich whisky distillery. There was a guided tour and then whisky testing. The weather was still very cold outside, and rainy too. But we had picnic in the car after the visit….*smiles*. Hot drinks and homemade banana and figs cake brought smiles. Claire must be very hungry. She took the whole box of the cake…..haha. She couldn’t smile properly because her mouth was full of cake……haha.

The journey back wasn’t too good. The 2 ladies felt exhausted. Claire was a little car sick. My poor driving…..ooooops. So I sent them back to the hotel. I invited them to my house for breakfast the next morning but only Claire came. I made carrot-apple juice for her. She liked it very much. I hope she will do that when she gets back to Malaysia. Freshly made juices are very beneficial to health. More in my Health section.

Lovely time playing guitar and singing!

Lovely time playing guitar and singing!

We even played guitar and sang our hearts out! Cool huh…….preparing for X-Factor……haha.

Enjoying buckwheat noodles in chicken soup with wine

Enjoying buckwheat noodles in chicken soup with wine

Then, it was chicken soup with buckwheat noodles with wine for lunch. That was really good. Both of us enjoyed it very much. Sounds like breakfast in the kopitiam back home.

Chill out time at MacDonalds

Chill out time at McDonalds

One place we must not miss out is my favourite place….MacDonalds…..YAY! Have to bring Claire there….*big smiles*. We just had chips and drinks. A nice time to chill out and more chat. Claire’s life is such an inspiration. She went through very tough times but yet she was able to come through it all, brought up her children well and stay strong and cheerful! It’s just wonderful listening to her stories.

Claire’s son took a few days to drive around Scotland to enjoy the beautiful Scottish sceneries. They came back to Aberdeen yesterday. Claire was so happy when I invited her over for dinner. She has been really missing home cooked meals! I can just imagine that. I would too….hehe. And we must meet up again before she leaves.

Here’s what I cooked…the only properly cooked meal for them before they leave today. Missing them….sob sob!

Chicken rice

Chicken rice

This is my signature chicken rice. Chicken rice is VERY popular in Malaysia. There’s no where to get it here in Aberdeen so I had to learn it. This is my own special version…the one and only one here in Aberdeen…*big smiles*. The chilly sauce and the sauce to drizzle over the chicken are all homemade.

Curry salmon

Salmon curry

Scotland is famous for it’s fresh salmon. All Malaysians love curry. I know my guest will love this salmon curry. I’m glad they did.

Stewed pork belly

Stewed pork belly

I love to cook this pork belly stew when I have visitors. I can cook it early. It has to be slow cooked for a few hours to get the right tenderness. It has to be belly pork with the skin still on. The belly pork has to be more fatty like in the picture. This dish goes very well with rice or steamed buns (mantou).

Char siu pao

Char siu pao

These are char siu pao or roasted meat puffs. These are very popular in Malaysia too. It’s hard to get them here in Aberdeen. Not too sure if there is. The best is homemade. It’s a lot of work but worth it. Nothing is better than homemade, freshly baked siu pao.

Angkoo with bean paste

Angkoo with bean paste

This is a popular Malaysian dessert…..angkoo with bean paste. These are steamed. You can’t find these here in Aberdeen. That’s why I had to learn to make. I forgot to take picture of the whole plate. Glad there’s still 2 left for me to take pictures….phew…..haha.

Oh wait…….look what Claire brought along for me? All the special goodies from Malaysia……WOW! So sweet of her! She seems to know what I like…..*big smiles*. She really shouldn’t have bought so much for me! I felt so bad but yet so touched. Thanks very much, Claire!

Famous Ipoh white coffee

Famous Ipoh white coffee

This is the famous Ipoh white coffee. All coffee drinkers like it. I’m drinking a nice hot cup while typing away……*big smiles*.

Ikan bilis and salted fish

Ikan bilis and salted fish

Just what I have been craving for….salted fish! I also ran out of ikan bilis for my sambal. These are like gold to me….haha. I’m so glad to know from friends that the airport custom allows a maximum of 2kg ikan bilis per person…..YAY! These were not allowed before. I’m sure you know what I’m going to bring when I go back for vacation next time….*big grin*

Seasonings to make salted chicken

Seasonings to make salted chicken

This is new to me. Apparently salted chicken is a very delicious dish. I need to try that soon.

Delicious snacks from Malaysia

Delicious snacks from Malaysia

Ooooh…….snacks! Perfect with coffee. These are also very popular back home, especially the Ipoh brand. Gosh….I’m really well pampered! When I enjoy all these goodies, I’ll think of Claire, her sister-in law and her son. And missing them…..sob sob.

Time really passes so fast. Friends come and go but sweet memories stay forever. It’s wonderful meeting Claire, her sis-in-law and her son. We talked and laughed a LOT! I do hope one day I can visit Claire and her family too. You can read more Scotland stories at Claire’s blog, Caring Is Not Only Sharing.

I’m really so glad that I started blogging a few years ago! Blogging makes my life very exciting. Not only does it help me to improve my baking and cooking but through it, I meet wonderful people all over the world in the blogosphere. I do hope you start blogging too if you haven’t.

It’s Friday again! I do hope you enjoy your weekend. My weekends are always the busiest but always the most enjoyable…..*big smiles*. Til then, see you in my next post.

Quote of the day……

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”

- Les Brown

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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Belinda @zomppa  on April 26th, 2013

What a fun to eat your way through your country! Your signature dish looks wonderful….

Claire  on April 26th, 2013

What a lovely post esp it is all about Me!! Hahahaha … Really I am very Big headed and at the same time blur headed as well… Two times i left my camera behind with u, right?
Mary oh Mary… U R such a Nice Cute lady… U and yr baby faced hubby really make us feel at home even though we just met for the first time! :). Such a lovely loving couple both of u r! Now in the airport awaiting for our departure… Time flies! Please come visit us in Ipoh … No ‘paiseh’ please … No need home cooked fod when u come… Ipoh has endless varieties! Hahaha….

agnes  on April 26th, 2013

I am glad to get to know Claire too in blogsphere. She is very helpful. Scotland has beautiful hilly countryside. But is very cold. I have been to Aberdeen once during my college days for a function organised by the Sabahan students. But only a brief stay.

suituapui  on April 26th, 2013

Ooooooo….I’m soooooo jealous!!! Wish I could fly over for a visit too!!!! Eeeee…your char siew pao looks better than those commercially-sold ones. Yum! Yum! Everything looks absolutely stunning. Bet Claire enjoyed what you cooked a lot more than what she had outside…

somewhere in singapore  on April 26th, 2013

Ohhhhhhh, not only suituapui jealous, me also jealous, wkakakakakaka…..

All the dishes makes me drooling, wkakakaka…..

wok with ray  on April 26th, 2013

I love this post! Looks like you had a lot of fun with Claire and her family. You are a very nice and hospitable host, Mary. Nice meeting you Claire and thank you for sharing this with us, Mary. :)

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on April 27th, 2013

I can tell that you all have a great time together!

Jeannie  on April 28th, 2013

Lovely post, so nice to meet friends from home country huh! All those delicious food to enjoy, lucky Claire:D

Mich Piece of Cake  on April 28th, 2013

That looks like a great visit! If I do come to Scotland, I’ll come visit you too :)

LeQuan  on April 30th, 2013

That is so funny…I just finished calling you cute in my last comment and now I’m reading that you say I call you cute quite often. Hahaha! It’s True though, you are simply adorable, my dear. Not b/c of your size, but b/c of your thoughts and actions. No wonder you don’t look a day over 30. Never change, my dear friend.

Wow! Sounds like you guys had quite the adventure. Sorry to hear your friend got carsick. For the record, you are a great driver. I’m sure it had nothing to do with your driving. Maybe it was the whiskey. Tell her next time I will help her drink. Teehee. So glad you had such a wonderful time with your friends. Blogging was such a lovely experience for me. I totally agree with you, blogging makes this world a smaller place. I met a number of very sincere bloggers whom I still keep in touch with. Definitely an experience I’ll never regret. Shamefully though, I’ve forgotten my password so I can’t get back into my blog. Lol. I’ll have to look for it. I’m sure I wrote it down somewhere. Been still getting comments but haven’t been able to log back in to approve them. Sigh.

Yes, please visit soon or the pestering will only get worse. Teehee. Don’t come during winter though, coz almost like your friend, I’m sure you’ll go from a size 4 to a size 12. Lol. Maybe some day we can make a trip to Malaysia together. Anyways, until we meet again, you keep staying cute and adorable, my dear Mary. Great post!

Cheah ~ No-Frills Recipes  on April 30th, 2013

See you soon, Mary! I’m sure Claire must be enjoyed herself tremendously!

Mary  on May 1st, 2013

@Belinda @zomppa - Thanks very much, Belinda! Not too sure about other races, but Malaysians love to eat and eat and eat and eat…..haha :D

@Claire - Haha…….yes, have to be ALL about you. I have very few visitors from abroad, so I have a lot to talk about you after all the wonderful time that we had :D BIG headed and BLUR headed? Sound very alien now….haha. Yes, we would love to visit you one day and enjoy all the famous Ipoh food. I think I will roll back like a potato after that….haha :D

@agnes - Yes, Claire is very friendly and helpful. Hope you get to meet her one day, too. Wonderful to know you have been here before. If you ever come by again, do give me a shout. We can paint the city red :D

@suituapui - Arthur, you should make a trip here one day and make Claire jealous :D Whah….my char siu pao better than those sold there? You have just shot me to Cloud 9!….haha

@somewhere in singapore - Come here quick. Still waiting for you! You are just too slow :D

@wok with ray - Indeed, we had a lot of fun. Her holiday was just too short….hmmm. Thanks very much for your lovely compliments, Ray :D

@Angie@Angie’s Recipes - Yes, lots of fun :D

@Jeannie - Yes, like meeting a family member :D So much home stories to share :D

@Mich Piece of Cake - Yes, please. Would love to meet up with you too. Let’s rock Aberdeen :D

@LeQuan - Haha…I am always cute in your eyes! Do still look that young? Must give you a good treat….haha. Thanks for making me feel a lot better….it’s the whisky and not my driving….yay…..*punching my fist into the air*….haha. Oh no, how on earth did you forget your password for your blog. Next time use ‘Incorrect’ as your password. I’m sure you will remember that forever :D Hope you start blogging again. Yes, you should make a trip to Malaysia. That would be food haven for you!

@Cheah ~ No-Frills Recipes - Oh yes, looking forward to meeting up with you soon! :D

busygran  on May 3rd, 2013

It’s always a heart-warming and delightful feeling to meet a fellow blogger especially one from back home! Bet you had a fabulous time!

Baby Sumo  on May 9th, 2013

Hehe! I’ll be visiting Aberdeen soon too :)

Mary  on June 8th, 2013

@busygran - Indeed it’s such fun meeting another blogger. It’s like we are suddenly on a different planet….haha

@Baby Sumo - Welcome to Aberdeen! At least you should be happy that I didn’t say ‘cold Aberdeen’….haha

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