Monday, 7 April 2014

My Girl is Leaving Home for National Service Training Program /Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (NSTP/PLKN) and Healthy Mixed Congee with Ginkgo Nuts

Finally, my girl has grown up and has been selected for the National Service Training Program. Today (7 April 2014) is her 1st time she is leaving home and away from the family for 3 months. She is posted to Semarak Camp, in Pekan, Pahang. Of course, it’s very emotional for us; sobbing, hugging, encouraging and motivating words, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.  We are going to miss her and she too.
For my foreign followers' information, the Ministry of Defence Malaysia had implemented National Service Training Program in 2002 and the program was fully operational since 2004. The first targeted group for National Service Program were teenagers born in 1986 or those 18 years of age in 2004. Since then, more and more teenagers who fall in this category are being randomly selected and expected to participate in the National Service Program.
The National Service Training Program (NSTP) is implemented to achieve the objectives as stated below:
1) To develop and enhance the spirit of patriotism among youths
2) To encourage national integration and racial unity
3) To build character through imparting core moral values
4) To instil spirit of volunteerism
5) To develop a young generation that is resilient, healthy and confident.
Her friends came to send her off :)
She is fortunate her good friend is under the same batch and camp as her.
For this posting, I have mixed congee with ginkgo nuts. With the current hot weather, it is great to have congee for lunch. Instead of plain rice congee, try adding your favourite ingredients. I love mixed congee and this time, I have ginkgo nuts added to the congee.

Ingredients :
-2 cups of rice (I used brown rice - washed)
-enough water for congee (add more water if you prefer your congee to be watery)
- 1 cup fresh ginkgo nut (membrane peeled, split and remove the pith/embryo)
- 1 tbsp Chinese Wolfberries
- 1 bowl of chopped kai lan/chinese kale
- 1 cup of mixed vegetables
- 2 thumb sized ginger (crushed)
Seasonings : (to taste)
- 1 tbsp miso
- salt
- soy sauce
- pepper

Method :
1) Add enough water to boil rice. Add ginger. If you prefer watery congee or porridge, add more water accordingly.

2) When rice have split but not fully cooked, add ginkgo nuts and mixed vegetables.

3) When congee is cooked, add Chinese kale and Chinese Wolfberries. Stir and mix well.

4) Lastly, add seasonings to taste.
5) Serve hot or warm.
Just for your info, I won't be available from tomorrow till next week. Till then, have a nice day and cheers :)

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  1. Hi, Ivy. I have never try putting ginkgo in porridge, guess it must be tasty too. I think you will be missing your daughter so much!

  2. Ivy, your porridge is very colourful! Like having jewels in them. I am so glad that National Services was not introduced during my time. I would not have enjoyed it hah...hah....But your daughter will be alright. She has a good friend with her and she will make many more friends at the camp. It is a good experience for her to leave home. It will prepare her for her future and I wish her all the best!

  3. Very healthy n colorful conjee

  4. I somehow feel that its a good exposure amidst all those not nice things we've heard about. They learn to be independent and comes along responsibilities. Still I can understand the emotional attachment and letting go is pretty difficult. I love congee but never made with gingko nuts. Miso inside too? Wow, heavenly in taste.

  5. Hi Jozelyn, this porridge is very refreshing and healthy too. Oh yes, we do miss her. Thanks Jozelyn and you have a great week :)

  6. Thanks Phong Hong. Yes, it's colourfully healthy too, hahaha... You know, I think I would love to be selected for that National Service program as I know I would enjoy the training. It's a good program and I would like my young girl to go too. Once again thanks for your kind wishes, Phong Hong. Warmest regards :)

  7. Thanks Harini. You have a great week and regards :)

  8. Hi5 Nava, I do agree with you that NS is a very good training program for teenagers. I personally would love to participate if I were a teenager now!! Yes, miso is added to this congee and I tell you, this congee is very sedaplicious and refereshing too! Try it and you will not regret. Thanks Nava for your kind words and warmest regards :)

  9. This is such a beautiful pic of you and your daughter Ivy!
    Seeing them growing up and leaving home, even for a short time, is always difficult.
    The Gonkee is a wonderful and healthy comfort food.

  10. Thanks Daniela! Yes, it's not easy to see them leave home even for a short period but that's life. This congee is very refreshing besides being a healthy comfort food. You have a wonderful week and regards :)

  11. Hello Ivy, this the 1st time I learned about Malaysia having this National Service. I know about Singapore's. I guess its good too have kids this age learning to be on their own and the training given....she'll come home a different daughter, I guess.
    Can see your girl has her mom's very attractive looks, ahemmmm!

    Wow! I've never seen, nor eaten congee with ginko nuts. But sure looks delicious. a guarantee 2 big bowls disappearing. You are very creative, adventurous with your cooking. Love the colourful presentation.
    My wife on and off makes congee, but the Simpan Empat way with fried ikan bilis, hum choy, salted eggs, and spring onions. As well with yau cha kwei.

    We have lots of China makan stores here, and there's several with 'congee' names, 'Congee Queen, Congee town', etc...and with yau cha kwei. Oh ya, people here eat wonton mee with yau cha kwei too.
    Have fun, keep well.

  12. How nice that your daughter was able to go off with a friend. I got myself a kitten last summer when one of my girls went away to college ;-)

  13. Hi Ivy, I was looking for the photo of you and your sweet daughter (according to Daniela)...just did not see it, unless you also look like a teenager, which I would not be surprised!
    I do think that it will be great for your daughter to have this time away from home ...experience and grow with more knowledge, and be independent away from home for a short while; a long period of time would make me nervous, as I have done similar with both my adult children when they were that age!

    Your porridge is so colorful, healthy, and super delicious, and your steamed sponge cake is 'out of this world' light and mouthwatering yumminess!
    Have a great week, my dear friend, and rest assure your daughter will be all right! Hugs,

  14. sopa muy saludable y colorida me encanta la tomaría de inmediato hoy llueve suavemente aquí,abrazos

    1. Thanks Rosita! Yes, it's very yummy and healthy at the same time. Warmest regards and cheers :)

  15. It's hard seeing them leave home even though it's over a short period, huh. Stay strong mummy, don't worry sweetie will be fine :) Very attractive looking bowl of porridge you have there, must be delicious!

  16. Hi Shane, yes, this National Service only implemented in 2004 and as far as I am concerned, I prefer my children to participate if they are selected. Already told my small girl that if she is not selected (3 years time), I would apply for her even though have to pay for it! Oh, thanks for your sweet compliments, Shane.

    Re ginkgo congee, it's very refreshing and healthy too. At times I do also cook what you called Simpang Empat porridge too! Love it too especially with salted fish and salted eggs!. Give this ginkgo congee a try and I won't be surprised if you and your wife would give this 4 thumbs up!

    Till then, be seeing you after my holidays. You stay healthy and happy always :)

  17. Hi Inger, nice to hear that you got yourself a kitten as your companion. Yes, she is fortunate to have her friend to be same camp as hers. You have a nice day Inger and regards :)

  18. Hi Elisabeth, lols... Daniela must have made a mistake. I am not as young as you and Daniela think. The 2 teenagers you see in the 1st pic are my 2 girls. The one in black-T is my eldest girl and she is the one going for National Service whereas in white is my youngest girl. The rest of the girls in other pics are my girl's good friends. You are right, Elisabeth. It's a good training for youths to be independent and at the same to buildl self-confidence in them.

    Elisabeth, thank for your sweet compliments. Yes, the porridge is very refreshing and healthy at the same time. And the cake is yummy too.
    You have a fabulous week and warmest regards, Hugs :)

  19. Hi LTB, yes, even though it's only for a short period, we still miss her. Thanks for your sweet words and the porridge is indeed very yummy and healthy too. You have a great week and cheers :)

  20. All the best to your girl! Does she get to come home every month?

  21. Oh my Ivy, your daughters are so adorable:) You are so brave. I would be kicking and screaming if my daughter had to go at such a young age. I know it is probably better in the long run for them to learn independence and the way of the world but children grow up quick enough I don't think I could be as brave as you OR your daughter:) Wishing your daughter a safe and rewarding experience:)

    You proably remember that I have never had Congee before. Nor have I ever had Ginkgo Nuts. Boy, I must live under a carpet or something. I can only know how delightful it must be to have this meal because of all the ingredients and love you have put into preparing it. Someday Ivy:) Thank you so much for sharing...enjoy your short time off:)

    1. Hi Louise, thanks for your sweet words. Congee with ginkgo nuts is very healthy and refreshing. Try it and you will ask for more! Hugs and warmest regards :)

  22. Great post! And I love the song!

  23. I enjoy seeing all the pictures both look so cute together. I too think that it will be a great experience for your daughter...the good thing is that she will be back soon.
    The congee looks delicious with all the yummy ingredients in it...especially ginko.
    Have a wonderful week my dear :D

  24. Wishing your daughter all the best! The porridge looks delicious!

  25. Hi Ivy,
    Your daughter would have a wonderful experience. My niece was the first batch to go for the National Training, and all of us was really worried at that time, as she was sent to Sabah! Luckily she enjoyed herself so much with lots of activities, and said that it ended too soon! Don't worry, they are allowed to call home during the weekends. :)
    Your porridge looks good. I seldom cook with gingko nuts, as my kids do not like them.
    Hope you have a lovely Sunday!

  26. Hi Ivy, your girl look cute. It's good that she been selected to the National service, it maybe tough but good training for her.
    Your healthy porridge look very colourful and delicious. This one I don't mind to eat 2 bowls, can put the weight down too.
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

    Congratulation for being award Chef of the week. Keep up the good job.
    Have a nice weekend, regards.

  27. Hi Ivy, I did several porridge with an assortment of ingredients like these but so far with gingko nuts. They are tasty and delicious. Perhaps I should try this one too. Good for weekend lunch.

  28. Thanks Yen. No, she is not allowed to come home every month but parents can visit them on Sundays. Regards :)

  29. Thanks Juliana for your sweet sweet wishes and compliments. You have a great day ahead and hugs :)

  30. Thanks Mich, and regards :)

  31. Hi Joyce, yes, now she is getting used to it and will be visiting her this Sunday. Thanks for your kind words and you have a great weekend ahead. Hugs and regards :)

  32. Amelia dear, thanks for the wishes and kind words. Yes, NS is actually good for youngsters and we are visiting her this Sunday. However, I don't know how to break the news to her that one of her good friends passed away unexpectedly 2 days ago. I know she will be very sad....
    Come over, I cook for you and it's so easy peasy and cheap too. No need to belanja you besar if you really love this porridge :)
    Hugs and cheers :)

  33. Yes, Kimmy, try this porridge with ginkgo nuts. You will thank me for this! Cheers and regards :)

  34. Hello Ivy, you still having jet lag from your recent o/seas trip? Ha ha.
    And you missed Jeju park too...if been there, it won't be jet lag...maybe exhaustion from....oh well, you know.
    Anyway, just dropped by say hello....
    If free drop by my pondok see how women undress, strip for me....*wink*.
    Have a nice day.

    1. Hi Shane,
      No jet lag lah. I know I have not been publishing any post since this post, hahahaha.. My thousand apologies to you and all my readers.
      Yeah, I just came back from your pondok. Very interesting post on handwriting analysis.
      Thanks for dropping by and you too have a nice day :)

  35. Mummy nanges tak, princess nak kena pergi PLKN? :D. Your porridge looks yummy!

  36. Hi MamaFaMi, thanks for dropping by. Ya, the porridge is yummy and refreshing too. Nangis jugak, tapi , sekarang dah biasa lah. You have a nice day and cheers :)


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