Fruits of Serian

We’ve been in Kuching, Sarawak for about 4 months now, but aside from a trip to the Damai Beach in North Kuching, we’ve not gone outside of the South Kuching metro area at all. Today was a public holiday in Malaysia (Awal Muharram – the Islamic New Year) so we decided to get out of town and take a drive to Serian, visit the market there, and see what we could see.

Serian Town is less than 60 km (about an hour’s leisurely drive) from Kuching. You drive south, away from the coast and towards the highlands and the Malaysia-Indonesia border. It’s an easy drive with lots of open space and open sky to encourage your mind to wander. Next thing you know, you see a roundabout up ahead with a big, durian-shaped monument welcoming you to Serian. (Apparently, Serian has a reputation for the best durian in Sarawak.)

Durian Monument at Roundabout Outside Serian

Welcome to Serian Town

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Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Tortilla Soup

Tired of eating the same old dried out, microwave-reheated breast meat for days? I sure would be. This Turkey Tortilla Soup will spice up your leftovers!

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Originally posted 27 Nov 2007
Updated 25 Nov 2009

In the past, we’ve always saved the carcass of the turkey to make stock, and most of the time we turn that stock into turkey jook (rice congee). It’s pretty easy to do.

But I was getting tired of Asian food. I just didn’t want to fall back on warming up leftover turkey again. I wanted some kicked up flavors and spice! So I went Southwestern with a Turkey Tortilla Soup.

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Bread Pudding Recipe

This recipe for bread pudding is so easy and can be used for just about any stale bread you have lying around.

bread pudding baked with apples

Sometimes, when I’m making sandwiches, I save all the crust pieces in the freezer. If I have end pieces of bread, I save those too. When I’ve got a lot stashed up, I just break them all up and make this delicious bread pudding.

Of course, if you happen to have day old brioche bread, you could use that and have a really rich bread pudding but I think it’s just fine with regular bread. Matter of fact, when my friend’s mom gave me this recipe, she told me that you could use pretty much anything you have leftover that is going stale—bagels, doughnuts, sweet breads, french loaves, or any other bready thing.

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Dutch Apple Bread

Dutch Apple Bread

dutch apple cake sliced

Several Thanksgivings ago, a friend, Andrew, made this fabulous Dutch Apple Bread and shared it at a church dinner. It was so simple looking but on that cold evening, with the bread still warm from the oven, it was a total hit. The bread was moist, hearty and infused with apple flavor. It was comfort dessert at its best.

I ate a slice and it stayed in my memory for days. I love homey cakes and quick breads without the frills of adornment especially when the flavors satisfy every craving I have. And it’s not just the flavor, it’s the texture and the simplicity of good ingredients that make it so memorable for me.

So I talked to Andrew about the bread (it is really more like a cake) and in our conversation he mentioned that he had gotten this recipe from a cookbook called “More With Less” by Doris Janzen Longacre. Our conversation left me intrigued about the cookbook and even though I had asked him to email the recipe to me, I had to look the cookbook up in my local library. Lo and behold, they actually had a copy and I ended up getting the book before he had sent me the recipe!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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