The beautiful blue chrysanthemums... aren't they lovely?
It is now no longer a problem for anybody (especially florists) to obtain fresh flowers of any colour they wished for. There is now a technique of dyeing white flowers to other colours; be it pink, blue, black, green or purple.
I remember conducting an experiment when I was in Primary 1. We placed white flowers into a beaker of diluted red food colouring. After a while, the flowers had tints of red on the tips of their petals. Later, we saw that almost the whole flowers had turned red. We then cut the stalks of the flowers and found out that they were red too. We even ‘created’ a mixed-coloured flowers by dividing the stems and place them in separate jars of dye.
Last Sunday, I came home from Kak Tasneem’s kenduri (click here to learn more about kenduri’ and click here to read about Kak Tasneem’s kenduri) with a bouquet of blue chrysanthemum for Nenek (my grandmother). I showed the flowers to nenek and she stared at them in wonder. She was really amazed by the flowers! She told me that she had never seen blue chrysanthemums before.
Blue chrysanthemums in a vase
Anyway we later found out that the chrysanthemums were actually dyed! As soon as we reached home, I arranged the flowers in a transparent vase and to my surprise, the water turned into a faint shade of blue after 5 minutes. Then, the eczema on my hands became very itchy and rashes appeared as I am allergic to some chemicals like artificial colourings. After replacing the water for four times within 41 hours, the colour of the chrysanthemums are no longer a striking blue but had toned down into a softer shade. Nevertheless, the water were still blue everytime I changed it.
The water is blue although I had changed it about 5 times when the photo was snapped
It is amazing how we can ‘colour’ our flowers into any colours of our choice. It would definitely be a fun project for kids to enjoy.
Note: All of the flowers in these photos had their colours toned down to a softer blue. Click here to see the original colours of the flowers.
The tasty ttupak pulok
The other day mum asked if I want to eat rendang… Rendang reminds me of ttupak pulok and no ttupak pulok tastes as good as the ones from Kuala Terengganu. Ttupak pulok is a type of glutinous rice delicacy, steamed with coconut milk and wrapped in a special leaf before it is fried to perfection.
I’ve tried the ones sold in KL but none can match the tasty ttupak pulok of Kuala Terengganu. As I always wrote in my blog, the Terengganu folks love to eat fish and we eat fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, we do not use fish to make ttupak pulok but we eat ttupak pulok with grilled fish. Ttupak pulok is also tasty when eaten with rending ( a spicy beef / chicken dish) or samba ayang or daging/serunding in standardspeak (chicken or beef floss – another meat recipe). In fact ‘ttupak pulok’ is even tasty on its own especially when eaten fresh from the wok.
To make ‘ttupak pulok’ we first steam the rice. Half way through, add the thick coconut milk and salt. Next, continue steaming the rice until cooked. Then comes the tricky part – to wrap the steamed glutinous rice in special leaves. Too bad I do not master the art of wrapping the ttupak pulok neither did mum nor nenek. If the wrapping process is not done properly, the ttupak will be too soft and maybe too oily after it is fried. The final step is the easiest – fry the wrapped ttupak in hot oil and the ttupak is ready to be served with grilled fish, rendang or ‘samba daging’. How I wish that I can have them… But it always took me much longer than mum to unwrap the ttupak! Not only do we need a lot of practise to enable us to wrap the ttupak pulok, but we also need to learn how to unwrap it before eating the tasty ttupak pulok. But once you try them….you won’t mind the hassle of unwrapping them.