Leslie Nielsen Dies…what a shame, he was great.

Despite decades spent playing sober commanders and serious captains, Leslie Nielsen insisted that he was always made for comedy. He proved it in his career’s second act.

“Surely you can’t be serious,” an airline passenger says to Nielsen in “Airplane!” the 1980 hit that turned the actor from dramatic leading man to comic star.

“I am serious,” Nielsen replies. “And don’t call me Shirley.”

The line was probably his most famous — and a perfect distillation of his career.

Can Babies Eat Curry?

हां (hāṁ)…yes…

Because my youngest daughter Ally was born in Malaysia some of her first solid foods were curries! After telling the stories of her young childhood in Kuala Lumpur I felt the need to justify this strange (what some of our friends call a lapse in parenting skills) with some facts regarding spicy foods for babies.

Some pediatricians agree that from around four to 10 months of age, babies are remarkably open to new flavor sensations, and are able to enjoy a wide variety of interesting tastes. If you are able to offer something a little different, more likely than not, your baby will be game enough to give it a try.
Sheila and my daughter Ally in Kuala Lumpur

I found out by accident one day when I returned home early and found our Indian housekeeper Sheila feeding Ally curry potatoes. She was eating it like ice cream and with far more gusto than she was ever eating the jars of Gerber peas or carrots!

I am convinced that one of the best ways to encourage your child to have a wide and varied palate is to feed her or him a good range of interesting and flavorful fresh ingredients from a very young age. Now at 21 Ally is an adventurous eater for sure after traveling the globe we me and now she is also interested in becoming a chef.

Babies can eat curry, but don’t be tempted to share a vindaloo or your takeaway (however mild) with your baby. A fragrant and mild korma or pasanda (without nuts) is a good first choice. Either prepare it yourself or check the packet ingredients.

We moved to Thailand from Kuala Lumpur and her culinary experience expanded as she got a bit older. There is a wide range of herbs you can introduce your baby to, such as coriander, parsley, basil, dill, chives, cardamom, cinnamon and paprika. Steer clear of chilli; it is too strong to give to a baby.

Here is Sheila’s “baby” curry recipe.

Vegetable Coconut Curry

1tsp olive oil (Sheila of course used Ghee)
Half a small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
Pinch each of ground ginger, cumin, coriander and turmeric
2 tsp. tomato purée
1 small potato, peeled and finely diced
1tbsp beans, such as lentils or butter beans
2 tsp. desiccated coconut
50 ml water
A dash of coconut milk

Sheila used a Wok I guess since Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures the mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisines made her cooking style unique. Heat the ghee in a small wok over a medium heat.

Lightly fry the onion and carrot until soft. Add the spices and the tomato purée and heat for three minutes, stirring continuously. Put half the mixture in a bowl and set to one side.

Add the potato, beans, coconut and water to the pan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. She then gently mashed the potatoes and mixed in the vegetables, adding extra water if required.

Ben Franklin Preferred the Turkey as our National Symbol

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner I have been thinking about turkey…of course lately I think about turkey more often as it is now available all year, everywhere…even on the menu at Cheeseburger in Paradise!

I wonder if the turkey had been chosen as the symbol of our country as Ben Franklin originally proposed would we still be eating them as the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving day feast?

Here is an excerpt of Franklin’s Letter to His Daughter regarding America’s choice of the eagle as its symbol.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country . . .

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

“Because of their size, bald eagles are not concerned about threats from other birds. However, eagles are often chased by smaller birds, who are trying to protect their young. . . ”

It was Benjamin Franklin’s observations of a bald eagle either ignoring or retreating from such mobbing that probably led to his claim of the bald eagle’s lack of courage.

Forget “Black Friday” the real deals are online on “Cyber Monday.”

Thousands of consumers went to Best Buy at 4 a.m. on Black Friday last year searching for discounts on a Blu-ray players, netbooks and dozens of other items. Supplies of those hot items ran out before they reached the front of the line.
This year many consumers will be giving up real-world shopping and plan to do all their gadget buying online.

While Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving in the United States — is one of the biggest retail shopping days of the year, tech-smart consumers are increasingly turning to the internet for the best gadget deals. Last year, 84 million people in the United States went online from mid-November to mid-December to shop for gift items, which was up 12 percent over the year before, according to comScore, a company that tracks online traffic. Furthermore, the growth in online purchases is expected to outpace that in brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season.

The National Retail Association is predicting a 16% increase in online sales, compared to a 2.3% increase in “real world” spending.

But penny-pinchers may also be driving the phenomenon. Many of the best discounts on electronics — especially big-ticket items like TVs, laptops and gaming systems — are found on the internet, not at retail stores.

Online discounts “are as juicy or even more appealing than what some of the retailers are promising on Black Friday,” said Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports. Gikas advised people to stay away from the Black Friday mania “unless you like rubbing against people you don’t know — or getting trampled.”
On the internet, particular days seem to have less importance than at retail stores. Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target and Best Buy are already offering online discounts on electronics that may match or beat Black Friday prices.

Some discounts may pop up online on Friday, in tandem with in-store deals. Apple, which isn’t known for discounting its high-end products, says it will have a one day online sale at Apple.com Friday.

In recent years, a phenomenon marketers call “Cyber Monday” has emerged as a sort of online holiday shopping event. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, legend has it, consumers rush to the internet — presumably from their workplace computers — to shop for the rest of their lists.

The internet tracker comScore said Cyber Monday never has been the biggest online shopping day of the year. That day typically comes on a Monday in December, said comScore’s senior director of industry analysis, Andrew Lipsman.

Still, the Monday after Thanksgiving is a bigger day for online shopping than either Thanksgiving day — which has been talked about as the hot new day to shop online — and Black Friday. Last year, Americans spent almost $900 million at online retail stores on the Monday after Thanksgiving — compared with $595 million on Black Friday and $300 million on Thanksgiving Day.

Alice Chong服務32年後正式退休

Alice Chong已從大馬McCann Erickson首席執行員助理的職位退休了。在此之前,她曾協助Momentum董事經理Peter Yap,並曾擔任多名創意總監的秘書,包括 Dean Johns、John Lane、Bill Mc Cure、Rick Laupus、Walt Chipperfield、Bruce Bendry、Jerry Gentemann、Paul Grezoux以及Bere Mitchell。


她曾在公司先後7個不同的領導人之下服務,即David Wethey、Peter Campbell、David Bell、Noel Derby、Ray Dempsey、Daniel Binns及Matthew Gorrick。

Alice數年前就想到要提早退休,並表示希望能提前退休以便能有更多時間陪伴丈夫。不過當公司請求她留下來時,她也欣然接受了。吉隆坡McCann Erickson老總Tony Savarimuthu曾經說過:“她是一名真正的McCann Erickson人!”

Alice was one of the most professional assistants in the business.

Finally Fab Four on iTunes!

The Beatles finally are making their debut on iTunes.

On Tuesday, Apple announced a deal with representatives of the Beatles and the group’s record label, EMI Group, to put the entire catalog of Beatles music in the iTunes Store.

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. “It has been a long and winding road to get here.”

For years, The Fab Four have been the most notable holdout from selling their collective digital music in Apple’s popular iTunes store even though solo recordings by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are available.

But Tuesday’s announcement brings the British pop royalty into the digital realm in a major way.

“It’s a very big deal,” says Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “It’s a symbolic milestone.”

While the Beatles music has been available for four decades on vinyl, cassette, 8-track and CD, its migration to iTunes makes it more easily available to those who don’t own the songs in those other formats.

“It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around,” said Sir Paul McCartney.

All 13 of the group’s remastered studio albums are available for $12.99, or as double albums for $19.99. Individual songs can be downloaded for $1.29 each.

It’s not like owners of Apple iPods, Zunes and other mp3 haven’t been able to get the music onto their devices. All they had to do was copy their CDs to the computer and transfer the music.

“But there’s a value to saying ‘We’re the first to have the Beatles online,” says Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner. “Have you ever downloaded something you were pretty sure you had somewhere else? I know I have. Apple will sell lots of Beatles downloads.”

Paul Resnikoff, editor of the Digital Music News blog, says the Beatles on iTunes will appeal to the older demographic who never got with the program of ripping CDs. “A 16-year-old, if they’re interested, already has the music on their iPod, and figured out how to get it there. A 66-year-old may not know how to download the entire catalog in 30 minutes, and may really be interested in getting it from iTunes.”

Yikes I guess they think us geezers can’t do anything digitally.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?


I just answered this Featured Question; you can answer it too!

I have so little food in the house at all…BUT lots of “doggie bag” meals from restaurants that I love….I have Lamb Karai from Royal India, homemade Tamales from a street vendor and two day old Dunkin’ Donuts

Spam Makes Another Comeback!

For the thousands of stranded passengers and crew onboard the damaged Carnival Splendor, which was slowly towed by tugboat to San Diego after a fire knocked out the cruise ship’s engines the U.S. Navy and Spam came to the rescue.

Both the Navy, with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, and the U.S. Coast Guard, with two cutters and aircraft assisted the $700 million ship,
Some 4,500 pounds in supplies, including Spam, were delivered to the ship by Navy Seahawk helicopter.

In the USA the economy is in tatters and, for millions of people, the future is uncertain. But lately for Hormel employees times have never been better. They are working at a furious pace and piling up all the overtime they want.

The workers make Spam, perhaps the emblematic hard-times food in the American pantry.
Through war and recession and now “ship wreck,” Americans have turned to the glistening canned product from Hormel as a way to save money while still putting something that resembles meat on the table. Now, in a sign of the times, it is happening again, and Hormel is cranking out as much Spam as its workers can produce.

In a factory that abuts Interstate 90, two shifts of workers have been making Spam seven days a week since last July, and they have been told that the relentless work schedule will continue indefinitely.

Spam, a gelatinous 12-ounce rectangle of spiced ham and pork, may be among the world’s most maligned foods, dismissed as inedible by food elites and skewered by comedians who have offered smart-alecky theories on its name (one G-rated example: Something Posing As Meat).

But these days, consumers are rediscovering relatively cheap foods, Spam among them. Certainly the luxury cruise passengers were happy to rediscover it.

A 12-ounce can of Spam, marketed as “Crazy Tasty,” costs about $2.40. “People are realizing it’s not that bad a product,” said Dan Johnson, 55, who operates a 70-foot-high Spam oven.

Hormel workers were interviewed recently with the help of their union, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 9. Slumped in chairs at the union hall after making 149,950 cans of Spam on the day shift, several workers said they been through boom times before — but nothing like this.

Spam “seems to do well when hard times hit,” said Dan Bartel, business agent for the union local. “We’ll probably see Spam lines instead of soup lines.”

Even as consumers are cutting back on all sorts of goods, Spam is among a select group of thrifty grocery items that are selling steadily.

Pancake mixes and instant potatoes are booming. So are vitamins, fruit and vegetable preservatives and beer, according to data from last October compiled by Information Resources, a market research firm.

There has also been a double-digit increase in the sale of rice and beans. Heck the Brazilians have known about that great belly filler for decades.

Recently Kraft Foods reported that some of its value-oriented products like macaroni and cheese, Jell-O and Kool-Aid were experiencing robust growth. And sales are still growing, if not booming, for Velveeta, a Kraft product that bears the same passing resemblance to cheese as Spam bears to ham.

Spam holds a special place in America’s culinary history, both as a source of humor and of cheap protein during hard times.

Jay Hormel, the son of the company’s founder, invented Spam during the Great Depression. Spam is a combination of ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, potato starch and a “hint” of sodium nitrite “to help Spam keep its gorgeous pink color,” according to Hormel’s Web site for the product.

Because it is vacuum-sealed in a can and does not require refrigeration, Spam can last for years. Hormel says “it’s like meat with a pause button.”
During World War II, Spam became a staple for Allied troops overseas. They introduced it to local residents, and it remains popular in many parts of the world where the troops were stationed.

Guam, Okinawa and even Japan have a special affection for Spam. I had Spam Sashimi in Tokyo introduced by the Samoan Sumo Champion, Akibono.

Last year I even saw Spam make an appearance on the Waffle House menu…yikes the economy will even change our dietary habits.