Cold Storage, the supermarket, is no more in Gurney Plaza. Now it is Mercato. The same employees, but the store has been renovated.
Progress in Penang, at last! Up until the middle of last year any progress in Penang that required finance was difficult. The government in KL was held by a different party than the party that held power in Penang. But after the election last year where now both the Penang state and federal government are the same party we thought that the improvement projects that had been on hold for so many years would at last be implemented. It has taken a while, but now things are happening.
Work should have already started on the Ayer Itam -to the coastal road bypass. It is scheduled to finish in three years.
There is also a proposal to build a cable car from the Penang Botanical Gardens to Penang Hill, and on to Teluk Bahang. This would be partly funded by the federal government. This is currently being studied.
Progress in Penang is being held back by traffic congestion. There is an article about a proposal to build an underpass in Pulau Tikus.
On October 7th, I just learnt, the first eight acres of the 131-acre reclamation project land was handed over to the Penang government. From now every one or two weeks further small sections will be received by the government, with the handover completed by mid-September next year. The Chief Minister of Penang estimates that it will take about 18 months for the first phase to be ready and open to the public. It was unclear to me when that 18 month preparation period would start.
Last night (Friday) there was a storm in Penang. Despite raining early on Friday morning by lunch it was hazy in Penang. The storm took care of that!
So, anyway, there was a big storm in Penang last night. It started around 10.30 PM. in our area. And it died down about an hour later. This time we didn’t lose the Internet. Once it was over I went out to survey the damage. But it was more obvious this morning.
It ripped branches off trees, falling mangoes from trees caused vehicle damage, tore tiles and gutters off roofs, a local condo dropped tile(s) on the footpath from above… Two years ago we suffered much worse damage, though. Here are some photos taken this morning.
Are you missing durian already? The season is over, sadly. However, you can still get the flavour.
I don’t eat in McDonald’s from one year to the next – but I noticed they have some durian desserts.
So I had a Durian Sundae. I enjoyed it. Another week I had the Durian McFlurry. I enjoyed that too.
I have written in the past about durian chocolate. Harriston Chocolates is still there at 68 Kelawei Road, Pulau Tikus. This is another way of getting a durian fix.
And if you want to see a big durian – not a real one – click here.
Well, they had Ice Cream Sandwich – so it’s always possible. And I think it would make a nice name. Then, after Passion fruit jelly, Quince jam?
In the meantime, this is how we make passion fruit jelly. It goes nicely with mango and / or ice cream.
I grow passion fruit – and one hears one can use most parts of the plant for different purposes. Sure, you eat the fruit or make jam from it, but the flowers can be used medically, the leaves stir fried and eaten, the stalks for something – possibly tea, and the fruit pulp to make jelly, put in stew to bulk it up etc.
Here I will describe using the pulp in the fruit that is left over in the shell after eating it.
After eating the fruit, save the shells in the freezer in a freezer bag until you have quite a few.
Then put in a big pan and cover with water and cook.
Once cooked, blend until smooth in a blender.
It’s difficult to get gelatin here, probably for religious reasons.
You’ll probably have to cook for over 10 minutes to dissolve it. You’ll need several sachets. Experiment with how much water you need, but probably much less than it says on the packet. Add in sugar once agar-agar dissolved, and dissolve the sugar in the mix.
Heat up the passion fruit pulp.
When hot add in the agar-agar / sugar mix and stir until mixed.
Add in lemon if you wish, and stir thoroughly.
Then you just need to put into containers and let them cool and set. You can then refrigerate, or freeze if you have made a lot. If you’re going to freeze, the jelly expands, so leave some space in the container.
Actually, it’s more like rainy late afternoon or evenings, with long sunny periods until then.
Having said which a few hours ago, it rained this morning briefly, and it’s currently overcast. It feels like the season is changing.
After a short hot and dry period around Chinese New Year it has cooled down and got wetter. Evenings are cooler than before.
And the passion fruit are finally ripening. I had more than 60 passion fruit on the vines, and now they are finally ripening. It used to be the season ended in about November, then the vines were quite dormant until February or March. So I’d prune during that period. I did some in February. But I have had to wait until now to finish pruning, once the passion fruit have been picked.
And already the young passion fruit plants have started growing, so it’s really late to prune.
Here are about two days pickings:
Once I have picked the passion fruit I can prune the part of the vines they were growing on. And then dry the leaves in the sun, and the dried leaves and stems go onto the soil as mulch.
But the pruning is a bit of a race against time, as pumpkin vines are rapidly growing and spreading. The theory is that the pumpkins will grow and then die off before the passion fruit flower and fruit later in the year. Already the pumpkin vines have flowers on them. But once the pumpkins vines spread over the passion fruit vines, it’s hard to prune the passion fruit.