Saturday, January 31, 2009

Head Eating

Sorry lamb, we are going to eat you. That look won't help lamb.

Since we moved to Philadelphia, we befriended a neighbour from Saudi Arabia, Ali. He is a Master student together with his wife, we call Ummu Zahrah and their 2 cute daugthers, Zahrah and Qauthar.

They are really nice couple who always invite us to hang out with them at their apartment and try their Middle Eastern dishes and Ali is a very good cook. We love the muttabal, salad, falaffel, lambs etc. But we never expected to try this one : LAMB HEAD. We ate it indeed. The tongue is spongy, the cheek is so tender, the brain is a lil bit bitter and fatty and the eye sockets are heaven! My wife likes the taste of the tongue, meanwhile I love the eyes.

Ali in the middle of price bargaining with the Al Baraka Livestock & Poultry owner, halal meat main source in North Philly

We are quite sceptical at the first place, since eating animal head [except fish] is not in our routine diet back in Malaysia. But after being served twice, we started to like it and the third time, we shared with them to buy the whole lamb that we bought from the halal meat store in North Philly so we can have the head fresh for dinner.

The lamb head special homecook with muttabal and pita bread

Leftover lamb teeth. I think the gum taste better, but we don't dare to eat it.

Definitely, we will bring this menu back to Malaysia and get my butt kick by my friends when I serve them the head or maybe they will like it? Hhmmm... after a deep thought, I know they absolutely will kick my butt.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Raleigh, North Carolina - Winter Escapism Trip

The weather forecast on the local tv station shows our 4 days rainy stay

This winter break, we headed south to escape from the chilling weather in Philadelphia. We decided to have a road trip to North Carolina, one of North America's south states. It takes roughly about 9 hours [if you drive non stop] to drive from Philadelphia to Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina.

One of the most critical factor you must consider when you wanna have a trip to the nothern hemisphere countries is to check the weather forecast when you plan for a trip. Unfortunately, we did not do that! Eventhough it was warmer in Raleigh [10 to 15C] compared to Philly [-6 to 2C], it rained non-stop for the entire 4 days of our stay there. Darn it! Well, since we already confirmed the hotel booking online, we had no other choice but to enjoy our stay in the pouring rain.

Raleigh downtown. A cool & slow pace city.

Raleigh is an old and small city. Most of the bulidings are old with a southern architecture. Really cool town. Relatively, all shops will be closed at 7pm. We arrived there at 8pm and were surprised to see that all the shops were closed except fast food eateries, convenient stores and pubs.


Old buildings in downtown Raleigh

Raleigh State Capitol building in the heart of the old city

The people here converse with their heavy southern accent, and this is kinda new for us. We need to listen carefully everytime we had a conversation with the locals The radio stations play western and country songs which we have never heard before. Cool*

N.C Museum of History: Hey! Vicks was invented here!

After roaming around the city, we stopped by at the local cafe. This is Mecca Cafe, established since 1930. Classic interior design. Common American diner.

We went to JC Raulston Arboretum Botanical Garden of North Carolina University, North Carolina Museum of History and Cary Town, 20 minutes away from Raleigh downtown. One thing about Raleigh is that it is surrounded by lakes around the Greater Raleigh area. We managed to go to 2 of those lakes, namely the Crabtree Lake and Bunn Lake . Bunn Lake is actually a private lake and we did not know that. We ended up being chased by 3 guardian dogs when we made a stop to take pictures. We survived anyway. Phew*

Crabtree Lake - Public lake & park

Crabtree Lake view in the rain. We are sure the view will be nicer on a bright sunny day.

The dogs stared at us, making sure we are away from their master's property after they chased us away. Bad dog! Bad dog!

On the last day at Raleigh, we went to the old town and the Legend of Harley Davidson Drag Museum. We are a slow driver. And one thing that we realised about this trip of ours was that we were never being honked at by any driver when we drove around the town. This shows how slow the pace is, compared with Philly where we always get honked at. Definitely irritating.

The Harley Davidson Drag Museum

One of the drag bike at the museum

Eventhough it rained heavily during our stay there, we managed to enjoy ourselves and we learned a couple of good lessons. They are:-

Lesson #1: For each trip, check the weather forecast before you do the online hotel booking
Lesson #2 : DON'T stop anywhere you like before you are pretty sure that the place is a public spot and there is no guardian dog hovering around.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Princeton, Kebun Buah & Sin Nien Kuai Le 2009

At 11:20 sharp, we headed towards Princeton from Saffa's abode. It took us half an hour to reach Ewing, a surburb of Trenton, New Jersey.

We took a car drive around the area with our other 3 friends. The area was picture perfect, with stretch of empty lands and beautiful houses.

The Princeton University buildings victorian architecture are awesome


As we reached Princeton, we parked the car and took a walk. We walked through the Ivy League university, snapping pictures along the way. We loved the architecture of the buildings around Princeton.

Between the academic blocks

Students' Hall

Later, we took a short break and went into a bakery shop at Palmer Square Shopping and Eateries. It was a relieved since the weather outside was cold. Sipping hot coffees and tiramisu was a blessing. We chatted for a while before we started heading out again, braving the cold.

Princeton's Palmer Square Shopping streets


Princeton Public Library

As and Aina D., the couple who have been staying in Ewing for the last 3 years, brought us to our next destination: Terhune Orchards, where they sell fruits and vegetables from their own farm. There were turkeys and geese too. There are all sorts of fruit plantations, from strawberries, apples to peaches.

The Terhune Orchard's farm

The Kepo Cat

We were welcomed by a fluffy cat, which was so tamed that followed us everywhere we go. Then there's a docile dog waiting outside the shop where they sell their goods. I was skeptical at first, afraid that it might bite us as we entered the shop. But then, as we passed through, there was no reaction from the dog, and it seemed to be lazing around, taking no interest on us. What a relief.

And the lazy dog, Cider Jr.,the orchard's "guardian"

Inside the shop. Fresh fruits and veggies

Penang Restaurant of Nassau Park Blvd, Princeton

We made our final stop at Penang restaurant, where we had our Chinese New Year late lunch cum dinner. And guess what we had? Yam Basket!!! Been craving for it all this while and who would have thought that we found it in New Jersey?

The overall trip seemed to be so in a hurry that we wished we had more time. But we will be back for sure, and this time it'll be just the 2 of us, taking our sweet time. =)

A Mum and Her 4 Active Toddlers

Aina, the third and the only princess

Last weekend we went to visit our friend and her children up north in Englishtown, New Jersey. Her hubby is back to Malaysia for 3 weeks for family matters. With 4 kids aged between 2 to 10, the house is full of joy, laughing, screaming [both kids and the mum] and err.. crying. It is nice to be surrounded by active kids and it was not nice at all when we had our butt kicked by a 6 year old when it comes to playing Wii. We suck at it!

Suffian the whimper, the youngest one with his 2nd bro, Safwan playing leftover snow at the backyard

Aiman, the eldest and he is so talented in origami. hmm...

The house. Cute and very cozy and it costs USD250,000 forgodsake!

We didn't have the chance to go to the town itself. We arrived there at night and had to leave for Princeton the next morning. During our short stay, we had very delicious Johor dishes served by our hostess. Saffa, your kari daging and sambal sotong are to die for!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter & Grocery List

The not so long grocery list

Winter this year is colder than previous years. That was what I have been told by the local lads everytime I asked about the winter. Yeap, it's freaking cold eventhough it's not as cold as in Mid West, Canada or Alaska. But trust me, it's FREAKIN' cold. When it's cold, you just feel lazy to move around. All you want to do is stay at home, watch tv, eat and the best of all, sleep underneath the cozy comforter and fleece. Heaven*

Zaki's place in Audubon, 15 miles from Philly

Our apartment car park from the lobby

But we still have a list of groceries that we should get for our kitchen in this chilling freezing weather. I wish that Korean or Vietnamese Supermarket provides door to door delivery services. But they do not. Damn it. Now I've got to go out there and get that stupid groceries. Subzero temp, here I come [It's -14C or 7F out there]!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tiny Town Herndon, VA



















Herndon, a small town packed with high rise office buildings and shopping malls, used to have a railroad that drove the town's development but it was closed back in 1960s. The town that just 10 minutes away from Washington Dulles International Airport.

We were there for nearly a week, spending time with a friend with his family. There were a lot of catching up to do since it had been quite a while we did not meet each other.

We only managed to visit the old town on the day we were supposed to leave for Philly. The town itself has its own attraction that made us feel welcomed. We visited places like the Herndon Depot Museum, the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad [now is a 45-mile long bike trail], the library and small shops which is only a short distance away from each other. We wished that we had more time to spend. But we know we had to leave because we have other plans back home. Skiing, Snowboarding + tubing, here we come.

DC Waterfront


Washington DC offers a lot of interesting places to visit such as malls, museums [mostly are free], monuments, historical sites etc. Last weekend, we crashed at a friend's place in Herndon [25 miles from DC] that we decided to go to DC once again.









Surprisingly no one was there except the two of us,the boatmen and a number of old folks from nearby retirement house. It felt weird but what the heck. We just want to spend our evening there and enjoy the breathtaking view in DC from different perspective. And we got it.

An Unplanned Trip to Allentown, PA



it's freezing cold out there (-4 C). but we braved through the chilling weather and had our lunch all the way in Allentown, PA. it took us an hour to reach there from Philly. the road was icy, but we managed to reach there with our head still intact. we love going for a road trip, looking beyond the horizon, feeling completely at ease as we gaze at the beauty of the view ahead of us.

I hope that we'll do it again.

The Fleece Shrank


Welcome to the blog. Why Shrinking Fleece? Our favourite fleece shrank when we stashed it the dryer for too long. Now it is unable to cover our body from head to toe, just merely up to our ankle. Lesson learnt: We should not have put it in the dryer too long. WTH, Welcome again.
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