An Unexpected Use For Peanut Butter

I’ve always loved peanut butter. As a little girl, my idea of a special treat was a spoonful of peanut butter for me to lick and savour slowly as a child would with a prized lollipop. peanut_butter

Suffice to say that I still love peanut butter to this day but try to enjoy in moderation, eaten either with green apples or wholemeal bread or sometimes, in a peanut butter-flavoured banana smoothie.

Then last weekend, I found an unexpected use for peanut butter — as a home remedy for a fish bone stuck in one’s throat! It all started like any other dinner. I thought I was careful enough with the ikan kerisi (Japanese threadfin bream). ikan kerisiBut after I was done eating, I felt something strange and prickly in my throat — it was a fish bone!

So I tried an old trick — I took the still moist steamed rice and formed small balls, swallowing them whole. I thought it worked…until I started eating some fruits and realised that it was still there, judging from the tiny pricking feeling that would come and go every time I’d swallow.

So I tried something else — bananas. I bit off large chunks and swallowed them without chewing. Again, it still did not work!

Panicked, I turned to Professor Google…and boom! In some obscure forum, someone suggested eating a peanut butter sandwich, chewing it just so you can swallow it without gagging, but making sure it’s still sticky and ‘together’. I imagined the gooey bread and peanut butter mixture pulling away the fish bone and immediately rushed to the kitchen to try it.

True enough, after just a couple of bites of my peanut butter and honey sandwich, I could finally swallow without having to endure that annoying pricking feeling in my throat.

Thanks, peanut butter! Yet another reason for me to continue loving you ;)

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I Love Weddings (Henna Night)

henna on hand

Who says only the bride gets to indulge on intricate henna designs on her hands? ;)

Selamat pengantin baru, A & A!

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I’d have to be honest with you all and admit that my husband is not exactly the most romantic man in the world.  But one fine birthday (can’t remember which one), he totally surprised me by giving me one gift I’ve always wanted (a passing request which I never expected him to remember) — having my very own rambutan tree in front of my house. I remember waking up that morning to the sound of the cangkul (a tool used for digging up soil) hitting dirt and grass, then squealing in delight as I peeked out my window and saw him planting a rambutan sapling in the front yard.


It took about three years before the tree started bearing fruit, with the first harvest only yielding less than 10 fruits. But now, that my tree continues to bear fruit year after year after year, with the number of fruits increasing with each succeeding year.

The anticipation starts months in advance, the moment those tiny flower buds make their appearance. I watch with trepidation as many of these flowers get washed away by the rain or blown away by strong winds. Then the flowers suddenly become miniature green rambutan fruits…and the suspense mounts even more as the fruits get bigger and bigger. The moment the fruits start showing the first tinge of red (ripe rambutan fruits are red in colour), we scramble and start harvesting them, lest the monkeys from a nearby hill beat us to it.

Thank you, DH. It’s like my birthday all over again each and every time I savour these sweet little treats!

P.S. To all the men out there, this only goes to show gifts don’t need to be expensive to be memorable and sweep women off their feet!

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My Top 3 Favourite British Slang Words

When I was new in Malaysia, it took me quite  a while to adjust from American English (the norm in the Philippines) to British English (the norm in Malaysia). Suddenly, I had to start saying ‘lift’ instead of ‘elevator’; add u’s to words like neighbour, labour, and colour; pronounce ‘family’ as ‘femly’ and ‘sure’ as ‘shore’ and shorten the ‘ary’ in words like secretary, military, and elementary.

Twenty-one years later, my English is a hodgepodge of Filipino English, American English, British English, and Malaysian English (Manglish?). Every time I go back to the Philippines, people can’t quite place my accent and, often, I’d have to modify the way I pronounce things to make sure I get understood.

Lately, I notice that I tend to lean more towards the British way of pronouncing things. Perhaps I can blame this on a predisposition for all things British — in no particular order: scones with clotted cream and jam, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Merlin, Jamie Campbell Bower (‘City of Bones’), Benedict Cumberbatch (‘Sherlock’), Sam Claflin (‘Hunger Games’), Jim Sturgess (‘Across The Universe’), One Direction, and The Beatles.

I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for British English and am even learning to distinguish its variations (the Queen’s English versus Cockney, for a start). Watch this adorable little girl demonstrate to us the difference between Cockney and the Queen’s English:

And now in my 21 years of living in Malaysia and learning British English, I can now handpick my favourite informal words (a.k.a. slang) in British English:

1. Wicked
(slang) excellent
He’s got some wicked trainers.

My favourite use of ‘wicked’: When Ron meets Harry for the first time and gets to see Harry’s lighting scar on his forehead.


2. Bloody
(British English, very informal)  used to express anger or to emphasize what you are saying in a slightly rude way

I’ve had a bloody awful week.
It’s a bloody disgrace that some war widows don’t get a decent pension.
Don’t be a bloody idiot!
This computer’s bloody useless! It’s always going wrong.
Don’t you tell me what to do! I’ll do what I bloody well like in my own house.

Click here to see a video of actor Russell Brand “accidentally” swearing (i.e. using the word ‘bloody’) during a TV interview.


3. Brilliant
(British English, informal) very good

“Did you like the film?” “I thought it was brilliant.”
She’s got a brilliant sense of humour.
Oh, brilliant! My parcel’s arrived.

All definitions sourced from Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

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2 Years In The Blink Of An Eye

How could two years just pass by like the mere blink of an eye? (Click image to view 15-second video clip on Instagram.)

your hand fits in mine

Happy 2nd birthday, Little Dragon…

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