Friday, December 28, 2007

A Recipe Collector from a Different Era

My Mother-in-law lost her mother Rae a few years ago, when she and her sister were cleaning out her home she found several old books. Included in these treasures were hundreds of hand written recipes. It was fun to pull these out recently and leaf through them. While many recipes would be considered unappealing to us today, there were several that were keepers. One keeper was called "Egg White Pie Crust".

I even found one that was labeled "1908 My Wedding Cake." What a great piece of history ! My kids had fun going through them and looking at the vernacular of the day, such as " Mother Etz's" cake. Or "Mrs. Holden's" Nut Bread. I don't think we will be having the Aspic with Salmon anytime soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Farewell Old Friend

Yes, about a month ago, an old abused friend couldn't take the strain anymore of the icy sleet. She buckled under the pressure. Actually, this old Russian Olive is an invasive species that overtakes native Utah species and it was probably a good thing that it came down. The picture above where the men are working is my garden area, and the tree was way too shady for this spot. We don't actually know who really owns this tree, us or the neighbors to the back, but since it fell on us, we took care of it.

Dave just had to make a few calls and we had several men from the ward show up with chainsaws and gloves. They had the whole thing cleared in about an hour and a half. Our next door neighbor provided the dumpster and they even took care of a fallen tree in his yard too.

It is for reasons and neighbors like these that we came running back to Provo!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christina Unplugged

We were messing around with the camera while we were rolling around on the floor. I held it up and pointed it behind my head and said to Christina,
"I am going to point the camera to where I think you are and take the picture."

Well, who knew it was going to turn out so cute? I think I will take all of my pictures, from now on, with my back to the subject and the camera over my head!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pretty in Provo

As I have contacted many of my friends during the Holiday Season, so many of them have commented on my abandoned blog. I guess I have missed posting, but I really don't think I have very many interesting things to say. At least when we were living overseas, I had a focus for my posts. I assumed that interest in my blog would die off and eventually be forgotten.

So, here I am happy to report that I will again be starting regular entries, and, I hope some of you will find interest in what I have to offer. I won't try to catch you up on events since my last post, but I will continue with my "happenings" from this point on.

The picture at right is my families most recent shot. We were at church, and we all looked very nice in all of our finery.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Cat's Hole and Shanghai Bound

Yippee... even the cat is excited to come home. She balked at the cat carrier for about 2 days, then saw that her favorite cushions were inside. Now she never leaves the silly carrier. She gets in there and purrs and purrs, she kneads the cushions and rolls into a ball as much as her fat blubbery body will let her.

Let's see... some other things we are getting done... We have sold all of our 220 volt appliances and electronics. All of my plants are sold. I have sorted through all the goods that are going to charity. I have even cleaned out the extra fridge and sold it to my maids friend Tuna.

We are off to Shanghai this Saturday. We will stay there for 4 days then we fly toXi'An where the Terra'Cotta warriors are being excavated. I hear that is really incredible. Then we will be going to Beijing for several days, I want to ride bikes with all the other Beijinger's, climb the Great Wall and visit the Forbidden City.
One thing we are going to do that is really different is ride the overnite train from Beijing back to Shanghai where we catch the plane back to Singapore. We'll stay in Singapore for the nite then hop up to Penang. I am hoping none of us gets sick. My friend Bonny (who has a 2 month old) will be going with her husband for the Shanghai part of the trip, so we'll be hanging out shopping whilst our menfolk are at business. Sounds like fun to me...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

For Malaina

My darling daughter came to Malaysia and fell in love with Indian food. This magnificent feast above here is authentic Penang Tandoori Chicken. It is like none other in the world. I mean that quite literally. In Penang the Indians make it different than Indians in India. In Penang it must be served just like this on a stainless sectioned tray, with red onions, limes and sauces. The green sauce is wonderfully minty, and the red, is dahl. This dish has garlic naan. You can get butter naan, butter-garlic naan, garlic, naan. All is equally good. The chicken is incredibly juicy because it is marinated in yogurt and spices. Real tandooi chicken for us needs to be orange in color. The Asians have a special way of cutting those limes too, for maximum juiciness and no seeds. I promise Malaina, we will get this recipe just right if it takes years!
The rice dish above is usually served on a real banana leaf. The one above is plastic... the cuisine is called Nasi Kandar. Or rice -stick. A hundred years ago the Indian-Muslims would go around and sell their wares balanced from a large stick they carried on their shoulders. Pots of rice on one end and curries on the other. Now we line up to go to their amazing shop houses. This is a typical one above. The patrons circle the food. And you don't leave hungry! Oh my gosh the curries are insanely good. Hot, sweet, chicken, beef, fish. There are wonderful veggies too. The food is Halal the Muslim equivalent of Jewish Kosher. The price is right too. We can eat stuffed to the brim for under 8 USD. Most Nasi Kandar stalls also have various other Indian foods to order like Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer, uuummmm!!
I must confess, these photos come from another blogger, but I am going to go out this week to Little India and take my own photos and eat some chicken. I will also be buying some trays like these above too. I have to stop this blog now because I am getting hungry just thinking about the food, and it's bed time, but that is not usually an issue in Penang because the Nasi Kandar stalls are open 24/7. Agghh

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Strangely Delightful Movie

Stranger Than Fiction with Will Farrell, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and the adorable Maggie Gylennhal was filed in the huge collection of DVD's we have amassed so far here in Asia. I hadn't watched it yet because I wasn't sure if I cared to see Will Farrell in such an unusual role. But I am a huge Will Farrell fan, and I just finished it while I sat here at the computer working on other things. I have to say this movie has been one of my favorites that I have seen in a very long time. It was romantic, funny, thoughtful, and all of the characters were so likeable. I can't imagine why it didn't get a bigger response in the theaters.
It is about Harold Krick and his mundane life, and how it all begins to change as Harold becomes the main character in a "blocked" authors latest big book comeback. Harold starts to hear the author as she writes about his life, and he begins to realize that he needs to start living life to the fullest. It was absolutely charming and I love Will Farrell even more after this role. Also, the character that Maggie Gylennhal (the cute Jake Gylennhal's older sister) plays is so totally darling in this as Harolds Love interest. If you happen to be at a video store or you see this on sale at Walmart, it might be something your whole family will like. I will warn you there is one scene where Will Farrell and Dustin Hoffman walk through a YMCA locker room and you see about 4 bare butts of some hairy old farts taking a shower. Other than that there is nothing else that I found questionable.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cow's milk is for Calves

Other than a bit of hard Cheddar and Parmesean in salads I have pretty much given up on dairy. Cow's milk is very mucus forming and my body is working just fine without it. So far I haven't missed it. We have been using oat milk, and eating this yummy yogurt.
Cashew Yogurt
Makes 2 cups or more
1 cup water
1 cup raw cashews, unsalted
2 capsules of Pro-biotic acidophilous (easily available at a pharmacy)
1) There is really no need to soak cashews because they loose a lot of their flavor if you do. Place cashews in a coffe ginder and process them into a powder.
2)Pour the cup of water into a blender and add the cashew powder. Blend until creamy. Open the capsules and stir them in.
3)Place cashew mixture into a glass jar, and cover mouth of jar with a towel of napkin.
4)Place the jar in a warm area
5) Check yogurt after 36 hrs. If a thick layer of curd has formed on top and a layer of whey at the bottom, then transfer it to the fridge. You may eat eat after it has been in the fridge for at least an hour. To eat just simply stir until the whey and curd have mixed.

Then for a special treat make:
Bircher Muesli (a famous Swiss recipe)
to the above yogurt add :
1 cup of rolled old fashioned oats
juice from 1 lemon
1 Granny Smith apple grated
1 guava grated
3 Tablespoons raw unfiltered honey
Mix and let sit in fridge over night. I could eat this everyday!
Your tummy will thank you. Bloating and discomfort will become a thing of your past.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to the Worlds Sleepiest Girl!!

Malaina turns 19 today. Where has the time gone? At 7 lbs. 11 Oz. she was my smallest baby, but her vocal chords where the strongest! She could scream the house down. Until she was 3 I thought she was insane. The problem was, was that she was a late talker, and her brain was a fast thinker. She couldn't communicate.Times changed, Malaina is the quietest woman now. She is happy to let others lead the discussions, and never wants the limelight. Malaina loves to cuddle and when she cuddles she sleeps. We have a cute collection of photographs of the sleepy Malaina. She has missed lots of good sights because she can't stay awake! The one above was in India! You would not believe the road conditions. You have never seen such potholes! We swerved for cows, people, trash vomit spewing from bus passengers up ahead, you name it we saw it. She slept through it all.This is a picture of Malaina asleep while riding the subway in Tokyo. I don't know how she does it! Granted, Tokyo was so orderly and tame, it was a rather peaceful subway ride. This is one where we are on the way to Hong Kong. I love that she has the same look when she sleeps. She typically sleeps spread eagle on her bed. She wears ear plugs, and an eye mask. We Gaddis' are serious about our sleep!

Happy birthday Malaina. I wish you a peaceful night's sleep. Enjoy it now before school starts in the fall!

I've Gone Coconuts!

Last week when in Ko Samui, Thailand, I learned how valuable the coconut is. We drank several coconuts each, and it is amazing how good we felt afterward. I wanted to share this info with you.
I believe it helped me kick my salt addiction!

Here is some information about Coconut Water:
"It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It's the fluid of life, so to speak." In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma trasfusions to wounded soldiers.
Most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical coastal areas - once exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment.
Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO cholesterol!
Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice - Much lower calories
Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk
Coconut water is naturally sterile -- Water permeates though the filtering husk!
Coconut water is a universal donor-- Its identical to human blook plasma
Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood.
Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
"Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue... and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural!", according to Mortin Satin, Chielf of the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organization.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.
Data is based on a 100ml drink.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Two Trips for the Road

Right below is Pulau Tioman. We had not really ventured to the East Coast of Malaysia before. My good friend Karen found a delightful place that slept her family of 6 and the 3 of us. So we drove about 8 hours each way. We all liked road trips and it was good highway the entire stretch. Pulau Tioman is the setting of Bali Hai from the musical South Pacific! You can see a picture here of the high jagged peak. It really was lovely. The water surrounding it was so clean and blue. Not Caribbean blue but a lovely rich deep blue. Kind of like swimming pool with dark blue tiles instead of sky blue ones. We did some snorkeling, hiking, spa wraps, yum.

Then a week after we got back from the beautiful island of Tioman, Christina and I went to Koh Samui, Thailand for 7 days. I was told by a friend of the great new direct flight to Koh Samui originating in Penang. I checked it out and I decided to look for a fun "backpacker" style of trip, since Koh Samui is a really big backpacker stop. As I was surfing I hit upon an interesting website for "internal cleansing". I was facinated, it was like I had found the door to Narnia! I knew this was the answer to my eternal yeast problems! is the coolest thing since the Red Sox won the Series! Let's just say I have one CLEAN colon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Friends/Happy Children

I just got back here to Penang after a 2 week visit to Utah. My primary travel purpose was to see my girls Jordan and Malaina who are BYU students there. Also, Malaina is in the BYU Guitar Ensemble and she had a performance. WOW!! We had a wonderful visit. I was able to spend every day with Jordan, and only missed seeing Malaina 3 or 4 days of the entire trip. All and all, as a mother who was starved for the company of her kids, I was emotionally fed. They are so independant and well off. I really don't have anything to worry about except the normal Mom worries like, safety, nutrition, boys etc.. Heavenly Father has blessed our family in ways we cannot comprehend. I also enjoyed the peak bloom time. Spring was busting out all over. I saw countless lilacs, tulips and daffodils. And in typical Utah fashion it snowed several inches at my parents house. I scraped off snow for the first time in years!

While I was there I came to one very important conclusion. I hope I can put it in words here. My good friend Sherri offered to organize a lunch date for me and a few friends from my neighborhood/Ward church group who weren't working etc. She had a list of about ten invitees. Many of them couldn't attend and I was sad not to see them, but I know they love me. There...that sums it up. They love me. They will continue to love me even through my faults , nasty temper, impatience and sometimes unlikeable behavior. I don't have to pretend to be something I'm not around them. We can have disagreements, (many of us have) get over it ,carry on and just love each other. My friends who were able to meet for lunch were happy to see me, happy to hear about some of my adventures and once those stories were out of the way it was just so fun to talk about school issues, family issues, proms, making ends meet, getting ready for a new baby, dealing with husbands and kids etc. There was absolutely no awkwardness around them. I have been gone along time, but I felt like I hadn't been gone at all. I don't have to worry if they are going to judge me because I'm fat, or my clothes aren't trendy, or if they get offended will they dump me as their friend or who's husband has the most important job. They just included me. There is an old saying..."you can never go home again." Well I can promise you that these women have proven that saying WRONG. I did go home, I will go home, and we will pick where we left off. I miss them so much and I love them dearly. All of them.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ghost in the Toilet

The title of this is real, and true. Okay, there are huge superstions here among the locals. Several of them believe in ghosts! A few of the women at Dave's office began to complain and become frightented of the Woman's bathroom. They swore it was haunted. So, they all got together and requested that Intel rid the toilet of the ghost. So believe it or not Intel has in it's budget to provide for these circumstances. They have brought in a Bomoh (Malaysian medium) to preform a ritual to rid the bathroom of the ghost. So, the ladies were talking with Dave at his cubicle expressing their fear... Dave told them "Clear that bathroom, and I'll go in there and take a big massive shit, and you won't ever hear from that ghost again!" He said only one of the women understood the significance of that statement, and laughed her head off. The rest of them just stared at him with questioning looks on their faces.

There are many other instances where our crude American humor/slang goes "whoosh" over the heads of the locals here. Dave and Christina have a date night every Saturday where they walk next door to the mall and see a movie. Well, all the movies here are censured for nudity, and violence here, as well as profanity, so they can see any movie they like . But even the Malaysian censors cannot begin to understand what to edit in a African/American humor movie like Eddie Murphy's Norbit, so tons of funny stuff gets by. Anyway they were at the movie and it was packed. They were the only Americans, in the theatre. When Eddie would pop out a joke, Dave and Christina were rolling in the isle screaming with laughter at the toilet humor. The rest of the auditorium was dead quiet. They came home with side aches. Granted, Eddie Murphy is really raunchy and falls right in line with Gaddis style humor, but I thought it was funnier hearing about the audience's lack of reaction.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why no Posts

Okay, I haven't posted in a month! I have good reasons. I had Lasik about 5 weeks ago. I am reasonably happy with it,---but.... I still have some astigmatism in both eyes that needs taking care of. I don't understand why they blundered on the first try, and just thinking about doing it again makes my eyes water. I was miserable the first 5 hours. It felt like all my eyelashes were poking me in the eyes at the same time. For some reason the Malaysians don't like to use pain medication either. They sent me home with Ponstan... how stupid is that? Then I had some other surgery 3 weeks ago that was gruesome and horrifically painful. The road to recovery is slow and I won't post online the reasons for that. Some things have to remain secret.. So those two things combined have kept me from sitting at the computer. I do get to my email about 2 times a week.
Okay that said, I want to share with you an incredible article I found on-line. Some background. Malaysia is notorious for pirating DVD's. I think this country ranks 3rd worldwide behind Russia and China for pirating. Well, this article was such a bad show for Malaysia, that they wouldn't even print it in the paper. Read it and see

Friday, February 23, 2007

Chinese New Year Penang Style

This picture was in the Malaysia Star Newspaper last Tuesday. My friend Jill next to me loves everything Chinese. As you can see her home is beautifully decorated with bamboo, and various pictures. Well she had a friend at the paper who wanted to do a photo op with her. The Title of the article was "American Twist to CNY" (Chinese New Year). They needed some extra bodies to toss the "Yee Sam" , a traditional raw fish salad served at CNY. We are all tossing with chopsticks in our very traditional Chinese clothes. Jill has lived in Penang for 5 years and 5 years in Singapore before that. She takes Mandarin, and she practices Feng Shui and Qigong (a mental practice). The lady in the pink with the boy is my friend Karen from Florida. She is LDS too and a great sounding board for me. I like this picture because it makes me look really skinny. I got tons of calls from friends saying I looked so thin.

Chinese New Year in Penang is celebrated the full 15 days. They start out by cleaning and sweeping everysingle corner of the house. Then the broom won't be touched for fear of sweeping out the good luck! In America we are used to eating Manarin oranges from the can. Here in Penang they are in great abundance in the fresh variety. They are given to hosts as good luck gifts in 2's or 4's. Also all unmarried children, guards, drivers etc. are given an Ang Pow. An Ang Pow or Hong Bow is a little red envelope filled with money. Red is Luck, Gold Prosperity. The Chinese are very superstitious and love the word Auspicious adj: encouraging, favorable, luck prosperous etc.. There are dozens of Chinese superstitions around this time of year, and we are having a blast getting in on the fun. We will probably always celebrate Chinese New Year as a major holiday now for the rest of our lives. Gong Xi Fa Cai !

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thipusam in Penang

Thipusam is a Hindu holy day devoted to Lord Murgha. It is widely celebrated in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Most Indians in India have no clue about this celebration that is such a big part of the Indian Community here. Malaysian Hindus who feel their prayers and wishes have been answered offer sacrifice or Ponggal to Lord Murgha for his blessings on them. They show their gratitude in the form of physical piercings and offerings of milk and flowers. In the following pictures you can see the various hooks holding little metal orbs of milk that are hooked through the sacrifants skin. You can also see some of the piercings go through the cheeks, nose, lips and tounge. I believe there are other cultures who do this as well.
Then the devotee will walk several miles to the temple of Lord Murgha here in Penang to offer Ponggal. Sometimes they pull great weights from the hooks on their backs as Christina is showing here in frot of a cute statue of the Elephant God Ganesha. During this Holiday that lasts for 3 days there is a very festive atmosphere and all Hindus are dressed to kill and enjoy dancing and feasting the night away.

This lovely picture of the Indian family is of our favorite taxi driver Danieel and his wife. It is great to go to festivals, the mall, a restaurant and run into friends! Danieel has become a good friend of Dave's. They have had the funniest conversations! When Dave asked if his marriage was arranged by his parents, he said "No sir! match!" I think he got the good end of the stick if you ask me because she is beautiful!
Dave is standing next to a darling set of sisters whose dress is typical of the festive nature of the day. We truly have fallen in love with the Indian culture. We love the food, dress, music, movies, festivals, but most of all the people. We feel very blessed to know them well. We never ever would have had the chance to understand them if we hadn't come to Malaysia.
I think I can speak for all of my family when I say...."India?
I can live there."

Monday, January 22, 2007

College Minx Update

Please note the coats. Yes, Daddy was unable to resist forking out the bucks once he saw this picture. What father could? I am happy to report that said coats are keeping warm the backsides of the two Minxes. One of the reasons we are overseas is so that we can help out the girls with school, even if it is only for a couple of years.

Jordan just celebrated her 20th birthday last weekend. She was born at the peak of winter in one of the snowiest days on record in West Michigan. However she is the sunshine of our lives. From the time she was able to smile, she did so constantly. She only cried when she was hurt and she never whined. Malaina was born in the Spring of the following year, and all she did for 3 months was cry. In fact all she did for 3 years was cry. I thought she was insane. I would lay in bed at night and cry to Dave that our daughter was crazy. Thank heaven it was just that her brain was too advanced for her speech skills. Once both were in sinc, she was and still is a DREAM CHILD.
Where did the years go? From the crib to the dorm...
from the baby to the college minx... life is good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cambodian Christmas

My goodness, it seems like ages since this was updated. Let me first start by saying I was in Motherhood heaven having my two oldest babies with me for two weeks. I missed them from the depths of my soul. However, they are on the right track in their lives pursuing their educations and I know they are in the right place! It has been a beautiful thing watching my children fly into adulthood. They have had the opportunity to face decisions and trials without Mom and Dad right next to them. It has been wonderful to see them grow.
We know we are living a surreal sort of existence for a time. It has its ups and downs, but, for the most part we are truly grateful for being here in this mysterious part of the world. Wow.. Cambodia! Who would have ever thought we Gaddis' from good ole' Provo would have ever set foot in this land? It is a beautiful place too. It is heartbreakingly poor. But the people of Cambodia are fiercely proud of their county. When ever I visit a new place I try to do my geography and history homework so I can better appreciate my stay. Cambodia has overcome huge obstacles and they still do as there are more that 3 million live landmines still in this country! As you can tell from some of these photos they have a very rich history as well. Many of these ruins were built in the 10th century. Many archaeologists are agog at the magnitude of such an undertaking. These ruins are the largest religious ruins in the world! They span miles and miles of countryside. Some of the stones quarried from these ruins are from quarries many km. away. How did they accomplish such a thing?
These photos are from Kampung Ppluck. A village built on 15 foot high stilts way out on the verge of the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Why the stilts? Well to accomodate the rise and fall of the lake! It looked like scene from a movie set. This was the highlight of my Cambodia trip. We were the only tourists here. It took 2 hours by boat to reach this village. I am throwing the pants away! I can't believe the girls let me leave the hotel looking like I did.
My kids have former schoolmates from all over the world now. One cute story they tell is of a friend and her sister from Phenom Penn, Cambodia. These sisters are children of Christian missionaries and have lived in Cambodia all their lives. One summer when they were home (they are boarding at Dalat Intl. School where the girls went)and they were driving and saw Angelina Jolie in the car next to them! The one sister started shouting... "Angelina, Angelina!!" Angelina rolled down her window and beckoned for them to come closer to talk to her. The girls were so startled that they sped off giggling on their motorcycle, leaving Angelina in the dust.

You can see the ruins that were made famous from the Tomb Raider movie here with us in front of them. We feel really fortunate to have visited Cambodia. It was very inspiring.

We did come home extremely sick with Traveler's tribulation. I was so sick I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I spent a good 5 days recuperating and 2 more weeks getting over the main troubling symptom that makes a person need her bathroom!

We ran into a set of Senior Missionaries at AngkorWat! Small world:)