Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping up December 2013

2013 has been one exciting year for me, and like everyone else, it's time to wrap up the year and give our thanks to a great year.

I started 2013 with a new job with a new industry, never thought I would take the leap to leave my previous company as I was very much comfortable there. External factors contributed to my leaving, something which I've never revealed in my blog (and only a handful ex-colleagues know the real reason), and I won't bore anyone with the details which led to my parting of Integricity Interactive (now known as VLT KL).

I quit my job, took a whole month of to do stuff for myself, and found a new job to start 2013. I told myself 2013 will be a brand new year for me, with a new job, make new friends, experience and learn new things. I will have a blank canvas, and it's up to me how I want to paint that canvas. I figured starting the new year with a new job will also help lift my spirits up. And it did :)

It's been an exciting and wonderful 2013, and despite starting the year which much sadness and confusion, everything fell into place eventually, and emotionally I'm in a much better place. I'm a lot happier today than I was one year ago, and for this I have to thank my supportive husband and wonderful new friends at BFM 89.9. The crazy lovable folks whom I work with from Mondays to Fridays are the ones who have made me turn my life around and get out of depression. I have learnt a lot from them, and everyday I continue to learn from them.

The year 2013 was also a year I've had some significant "first time" experiences. Hubby and I made our journey to Beijing, China in May. And then in November, we made our way to Japan, a country which we've always wanted to go to. A few weeks later, I went to Phuket on a company trip. So this year alone, I went to 3 countries, a first time for me!

I also had the experience to go dragon boating, had the chance to eat a lot of cakes and cupcakes at work, learn new skills and knowledge, and hug a tiger!

It's been a fantastic year for me, one which I feel very blessed and grateful for. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone (yes, to you too!), and here's to a wonderful 2014!



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pork Green Curry

While at the Phuket International Airport, I was browsing around and stumbled upon a shop selling several kinds of cooking paste, such as green curry, yellow curry, and tomyam. Being a foodie, I couldn't resist so I bought some cooking paste back, then I can cook some yummy meals for the hubby.

This dish here is pork green curry. While the paste is very aromatic, it was also very spicy for green curry! Maybe that's how the Thais like it, SPICY!


Ingredients:
Green curry paste (this serving is for 3-5 pax, as I had a lot of pork)
Semi-lean pork meat, sliced (next time I'll use roast pork)
1 cup (about 200ml) coconut milk
Potatoes (pre-boil them, cut into large cubes - optional)
Eggplant
Red chilli, sliced (remove the seeds)
Half a cup of green peas
Kaffir leaves
Thai sweet basil leaves (optional)
1 to 1.5 cups of water

Using a large pan, heat up the coconut milk until it's just boiling. Add the green curry paste and stir until the mixture is creamy. Add the sliced pork and stir them until they are cooked. Add the potatoes, eggplant, chilli, green peas, kaffir leaves and and stir occasionally. Add the water if the mixture gets too thick. Close the pan and keep the flame on low for a few minutes to let the mixture cook slowly. Just before dishing it out, bring the mixture to boil.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Phuket December 2013

Went to Phuket with the colleagues, and it was a blast! I spent most of my waking hours in the fabulous resort, Westin Siray Bay. The location was quite a distance from town, which was probably why I decided to stay within the resort and just soak up the sun. I had told myself, for this trip, I'm going to give myself a bit of pampering. I booked myself a bath and massage treatment, had lunch by the pool side and just chillax until dinner time. And boy, did I enjoyed myself immensely.

I also had the chance to make a trip to Tiger Kingdom Phuket, and experience a rare opportunity to be up close and personal with the tigers! There are two school of thoughts about this place, I will let you make your own decision about it:

1) The tigers are not in their natural setting, they are behind large enclosures and are made tourists attractions (read: animal cruelty).

2) The tigers have a much better chance of survival in these enclosures, where they are cared for by their trainers and tourists have the opportunity to see them up close and personal.

My new pillow whee!

Nice kitty...

Snoooorrreeee....!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Making Sui Kow (dumplings)

Chinese dumplings, possibly a family favourite in any Chinese family. Paired with a hearty soup, dumplings are easy to make and brings warmth to the tummy. The filling can have meat inside, or pure vegetables. It can be eaten fried or with soup, or eaten with a bowl of noodles. And since we've made gyoza (pot stickers) before, I decided to try to make 'sui kow'.

I googled for some recipe and decided to take one from Rasa Malaysia, and tweaked it a little.


Ingredients:
160 gram medium size shrimps (de-veined)
80 gram semi-lean pork (minced)
30 gram carrots
2 pieces shittake mushrooms – it can be substituted with black fungus (木耳)
1 tablespoon coriander leaves (use the leaves only) (chopped finely)
25 pieces round-shaped dumpling wrappers (really depends on the amount of filling you have to use, in my case I only used 22 wrappers. You can buy the wrappers from the supermarket, pre-packed)
Water for boiling
Spring onions (chopped) – for garnishings

Seasonings:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Dash of white pepper powder

Combine all the ingredients and seasoning into a big bowl, use your hands if necessary to ensure the mixture is thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate for an hour at least.

When you're ready to make the dumplings, line the wrappers up individually around a plate. Place one piece of wrapper on your palm, and scope one tablespoon of filling into the wrapper. Be sure not to overstuff the wrapper or the wrapper might break open. Dab a bit of water on the edge of the wrapper (half circle only), fold it into half and press firmly to seal the edges. Repeat the same process until you have used all the filling.

In a deep pot, boil some water and place a cube of stock (chicken, beef, ikan bilis, whatever you fancy) in the pot. When the water is boiling, add the dumplings inside one by one, be sure not to let them stick together! You can add some green leafy vegetables into the pot for extra flavour. Using medium-low heat, allow the dumpling to cook for several minutes. The dumplings are cooked when the skin is transparent and floating. Garnish with some spring onions.

SlimWalk Compression Socks.

This was something I discovered during our trip to Japan: Slimwalk compression socks. A very popular product in Japan, these socks increase blood circulation around the legs, reduces water retention and great for tired legs, all while toning the legs too. 

At JPY1080 (about RM 36), it is quite affordable, and being the curious one, I got myself a pair of these, and another pair which separates your toes.


So how do these socks feel? I love the material, lycra. It's stretchable and breathable, doesn't feel too tight around the legs, yet keeps the legs feeling warm especially on a rainy day. You might be thinking it must be quite hot to wear these socks to bed, but really, it's not hot at all. In fact, because the material is breathable, it's actually comfortable to wear to bed.

If you're the type who is constantly in a pair of heels for long hours, these compression socks are good for your legs. And if you suffer from water retention (pregnant ladies especially), these compression socks are highly recommended. I'm usually in flats or sneakers most of the time, but there are days your legs will feel a little tired, and that's when these socks come in handy. 

You can get the exact brand from online shopping sites like Rakuten, but it will cost you more than double the price at least (check it out here: http://www.rakuten.com.my/shop/jselection/product/A99PH306/). I think you might also be able to find some resellers in Lowyat.net too.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Japan Trip November 2013

Ah, Japan... Land of shinkansens, sushi, ramen, sashimi, and endless vending machines. A developed nation, yet still retaining a lot of culture and tradition, a mix of old and new.

Some friends have asked how we planned the trip. Well, I had 6 months to think about it, and had Google a spreadsheet to work on, covering places of interest, locating accommodations and balancing the budget. I referred to japan-guide.com, which is a website with comprehensive information about Japan. I also referred to Tripadvisor for accommodation research. Some friends recommended Airbnb, but I was a skeptic about renting someone's house and risking getting kicked out.

One of hubby's requirement was to experience the shinkansen, high speed bullet train. In order to do that, I decided to get the 7-day JR Pass which is valid for travel on all major forms of transportation provided by the JR Group in Japan (except for the “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines). You have to buy the JR exchange order in your country first, before you go to Japan. Once you reach Japan, find the JR Office, give them your exchange order and you will get your JR Pass. We bought the ordinary pass, priced at JPY28,300 for 7 days. Green cars are more expensive (JPY37,800 for 7 days), and is just essentially bigger seats. With the JR Pass, you can reserve your seat on the shinkansen at no additional cost.

Shin-Osaka Station. This is the Shinkansen Hikari bound for Tokyo, which we boarded with reserve seats.
Our adventure started from Kansai International Airport (KIX) where we flew to, and from there, we got our JR Pass, took the Haruka Express to Shin-Osaka, and from Shin-Osaka, took the shinkansen for a 3-hour high speed ride to Tokyo. I had calculated exactly on which day our JR Pass would expire, to make sure I made full use of it.

Ameyoko shopping street which runs between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations.
Tokyo is a very big city, and is teaming with everything old and new. The train networks are amazing, I'm still fascinated by their comprehensive system really. The Japanese are hospitable, a few times we had some trouble understanding their train schedules, and when we approach the station masters (who can speak some form of English) they were ever willing to help us out. Communication didn't pose much of a barrier, as most can speak very basic English, which was good enough to understand (sign and body languages also help). 

Hello Fuji-San!
Our second stop was at Hakone, a mountainous region just outside Tokyo and famous for its sulfuric hot springs. We took the shinkansen to Odawara Station, which was about a 40 minute journey. Having the chance to see Mt Fuji on a clear day is like a dream come true, the mountain is magnificent.

Hakone Shrine's lakefront torii gate at lake Ashinoko.
We spend two nights at Fuji-Hakone Guesthouse in Hakone, and Rumi, the lady I was liaising my reservations with had been waiting to welcome us. She even recommended some restaurants for us to have our meals, and also introduced us to some good tourist spots. In the same guest house, we could use the indoor onsen and outdoor onsen (additional charges apply for outdoor onsen). It was quite an experience to soak in an onsen, a good soak to rest those tired muscles after a long day on your feet. Plus temperature was dropping, imagine being super cold and then easing into a hot tub.


Kyoto Station. Isetan is inside, about 11 floors.
Our third leg of the trip saw us in Kyoto, a two hour journey by shinkansen from Odawara Station (Hakone). Kyoto used to be the former capital of the country, and has retained a lot of its culture and temples. This place is full of temples! Some key temples to visit are the Kiyomizudera (they have night illumination during spring and autumn), Tofukuji, Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine (shinto shrine just south of Kyoto), oh so many. As it is autumn now, the spectacular changes of colours has attracted many visitors far and wide, all here to see the lovely autumn colours.

Tsutenkyo Bridge is opposite the bridge we were on, additional charges apply to get to that bridge.

The many thousands of vermillion torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Yakiniku for dinner. No idea which part of the cow, but it's damn good wagyu.

Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion.

Fiery red leaves.
The last leg of the trip was at Osaka, we took the rapid express train from Kyoto Station (about 30 minutes). Osaka is a huge metropolis, and endless streets for shopping. I also noticed that Osaka folks tend to be less patient compared to Tokyo. Surprising discovery, eh? It is said that people in Osaka are more money-minded too.

Dotonbori.
Osaka Castle.
Wagyu from Kuromon Market.

 We love Japan, and we have been talking about visiting this country for a few years. Now that we have made the journey, we can't wait to go back! :D

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hiatus

By the time you read this, we have touched down for our second adventure vacation for 2013 :D


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cik Kong Ribs

This recipe was in one of my cook books, and I decided to try it as I had some pork in the fridge to use up. Don't ask me what is 'cik kong ribs', it's a direct translation from the Chinese character. All I know is the sauce as tangy, sweet and spicy, and is now one of our favourite pork dishes to make at home. Possibly even one of my best dishes :P


Ingredients:
600 grams spare ribs or pork loin
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed (optional)

Marinade:
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp Shiao Hsing wine or rose wine (I used Shiao Hsing)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp water (optional)

Sauce:
2 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbps worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp chilli sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water

Combine pork with marinade and mix well. If the marinade is a little thick, add a bit of water. I usually like to marinate meat overnight. When you're ready to fry the meat, leave it at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.

Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown, then set aside. Pour the sauce into a clean pan and bring to boil using medium to high heat. Add in the pork and mix well, making sure all the surface of the meat is coated. Dish up and sprinkle some sesame seed on it. I didn't have sesame seeds at the time of cooking, but it still taste awesome!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Halloween 2013

The folks at the workplace really put effort into ensuring the entire office creates everyone with the Halloween spirit.

Giant spider doesn't seem to scare the folks in the conference room.

Abdul Mummy and Skelittle making an appearance.

Posting with one of the best dressed, and with sexy legs too!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dragon Boating @ Putrajaya

*Long overdue post!

The workplace had the chance to experience dragon boating, courtesy of one of our guest, KL Barbarians, who came on our weekend segment. DRAGON BOATING!

The first thing which came on my mind when I heard dragon boating was... SIBEH TIRED. And yet, how could I say no to such an experience, right? I mean I'll probably come back with aching arms and a sore back, but I'm only going to do this once for the experience, heck! So I asked hubby if he wanted to join me, to which he jumped at the chance :D

It was a good day for dragon boating, sunny and clear skies. Which also means slather on the sunscreen cos you're gonna get burn! After a brief introduction about the activity, the do's and the don'ts, the instructor had us to some warm up exercises to get our spirits pumped up before the real action starts - which also led to some catching their breaths.

On still waters.

Paying full attention.

Paddles up!
Once on water, we were briefed about paddling, and made several attempts to paddle the boat in a certain number of strokes, to see our stance. From 20 strokes, to 30 strokes, to 50 strokes, you get the gist. And because dragon boating is not so much about who has the more muscular members on board but rather, about team work and good synchronization to power the boat forward, this sports emphasizes on collective team work, collaboration, and a good understanding between team members, to work as one.

Possibly the toughest routine we did on that day was, paddling the boat two-on-two. In one boat, we can sit about 16 pax, 8 on each row (excluding the instructor and rear). The instructor had us paddling the boat row by row, two person at a time. Now it might seem easy as we're on water, but damn! It is actually damn hard to paddle and power the entire boat with just two person paddling! Again this was coming down the being in sync with your partner sitting beside you, making sure the both of us enter and exit out of the water at the same time.

One of the longest journey my boat had to do was coming back to the pier, as a colleague of mine was exhausted, so we sent her back to the shores first. And that journey, according to the instructor, was between 500 to 600 meters, which was pretty damn far for beginners to start with (the previous distances we were only doing between 100 to 200 meters, to get the feel of dragon boating).

Move it move it!

In formation everyone!
During the last leg of the workshop, both boats were pitted to a race, covering about 250 meters. It was a very very close race, with a lot of trash talking in between.

Overall everyone enjoyed themselves, and it was indeed a fantastic experience for all, even for KL Barbarians, to get to meet in person some of the presenters and also the team behind everything. Despite most of us being first timers to dragon boat, we enjoyed the 3-hour lesson, sore arms, sore butts and all. I think some of the members are now keen to take up dragon boating more often too. My arms didn't feel sore the next day, that said, it was my shoulders, lower back muscles, and my butt that felt the sore hahahaha!


Thank you KL Barbarians for the lovely photos. If you are keen to take up dragon boating, head over the the Putrajaya marina and look out for KL Barbarians, they are there every Saturday morning from 8am for their weekly practise.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Simplicity

Simplicity at its best.

#1: I sometimes like to make my own garlic butter spread. Simply put the butter in a large bowl, add a generous dose of finely chopped garlic, and a sprinkle of parsley. Mix everything up, roll the butter into a plastic sheet like a bolster, and pop it into the fridge to use later. Buy some baguette, spread the butter, and you have some delicious garlic butter baguette to with your main course.
Get ready for some garlic breath! 

#2: Peel medium size prawns and clean the internals, which means you have to slice them right at the centre. Pat dry, and place into a large bowl. Add a teaspoon of sugar, drizzle with olive oil, chilli flakes and some thyme. Marinate for a few hours for fuller flavour. Heat a pan until it's sizzling hot, add olive oil and chopped garlic, toss the prawns in with some dried parsley and stir fry until the prawns are cook.

Nomming good time~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013

Hubby took part in his first Standard Chartered marathon this year, and being a supportive wife, of course I must go with him lah :P Ok I didn't run, but I was at the finishing line waiting for him hyuk!

Prior to heading downtown, we were actually contemplating driving down, but then we got to know about all that road closure etc, decided against the idea. Then we got to know that there was a special arrangement from Putra LRT, and that there were opening the stations from 3am onwards, to facilitate the event. What better way than to take the train downtown and avoid all that traffic! Plus at 3am, the only folks on board would be all the participants! 

We woke up super early, something like 3.30am, got dressed, had a quick breakfast, drove next door to pick his colleague up, and were on our way from Kelana LRT to Masjid Jamek. A sea of blue and white filled the train as we rode the train down to Masjid Jamek, and took an early morning stroll to Dataran Merdeka. The atmosphere was already pretty intense, as the half marathon was just about to flag off at 5.45am.

The 21KM category waiting to be flagged off.

The group of percussionists entertaining the crowd.
As the time got closer to hubby's 10KM category flag off at Padang Merbok (a short walk away from Dataran Merdeka), he and his friends walked off while I lingered around to see if I could spot any friends. This group of percussionists were at the corner of the pavement, making really exciting music and keeping the crowd utterly entertained :)

At the finishing line of SCKLM 2013.

Waiting patiently for the first few 42KM runners to come back.
About 6.30am, which was the flag off time for the 10KM category in Padang Merbok, I was loitering around when I heard the emcee saying they have spotted the first six runners from the 42KM category, and they were about 15mins away from the finishing line. WTFFFFF?!?

So I waited patiently for the super mutant runners to reach. 15mins wasn't that far away, those guys must have been flying throughout the course! As I readied my camera to film the first person to cross the finishing line, I forgot my camera was set to take still photos LOL! So I missed the first runner, but managed to get a video of the second place runner to come in, who was following very closely behind the winner. Them legs were stretched out to the max...! Watch the second place runner speed through!

video


And there's hubby crossing the finishing line, achieving a personal best and qualifying for the finisher medal too!
Overall the event is pretty OK, heard there were at least 23,000 participants this year (wow!). Got to know that the company who handled all the timing chip this year was a Dutch company, MYLAPS

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Some Quick Updates

The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy, what with launching a new project, being the internal support for my team members, helping out with some company events. This year has just been a blessing for me, getting to know new friends, experience new things, gaining new knowledge. Despite the odds that were against me last year, this year has been fulfilling and I've been embracing everything new that has some my way :) And I feel good about them, I really do. I'm glad I made the move to move on, I had to lose something in order to gain something. More on that later.

Last month I helped out with two events back to back, phew! It was tiring, but because we didn't engage any third part events company to help us out, a lot of us chipped in and did as much as we could. 

The first event was the BFM Raise your Game Bootcamp, a closed door event which the Sales team had invited folks from the media industry (media specialists and media agencies). The idea of this bootcamp was to share with the media folks about the potentials of BFM, the market that's out there, the type of people we interview, and also listening to some folks speak about their struggle and hardship before finding success. During the intervals, the guests also had a chance to sample some of our homegrown business ideas and products, as we had invited some of the previous guests who had been on our 10am show, to set up their booths. We had products like ice-cream, homemade soap, lotion, coffee etc.

At the opening of Raise Your Game Bootcamp 2013.

A crowd of almost 150 pax. Some speakers were invited to share their story and experience about being entrepreneurs.

The next event on the following week was an annual affair by the radio station, the BFM Enterprise Breakaway 2013. This event was of a larger scale, attracting about 500 participants (I managed to say hi to some ex-colleagues who signed up for this event, thanks guys for the support!). Some of the speakers this year included folks from Catcha Group, Boston Consulting Group, and even a very funny entrepreneur from Penang, Pentamaster. I still recall this quote from him: People always say there is light at the end of the tunnel. What they don't tell you is, that light could be from an oncoming train!

Before the event.

Malek Ali undergoing a grill from the audience.

Rick Ramli from Boston Consulting.

Patrick Grove from Catcha Group.

Bernie from Sketchpost and her lovely lovely on-the-spot sketches of the entire event!
We're now planning for another year end event, which is going to be a heck of a blast! Fancy running up the stairway to the 63rd floor?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pink Ribbon Month

It's October and it's also breast cancer awareness month.


The last time I blogged about the pink month was in 2006, when I want to 1Utama to check out the Pink Ribbon roadshow. You can read about it here.

A good friend of mine has just battled with breast cancer stage 1, and it has been quite an eye opener for me. Not only did she go through a second miscarriage during her second trimester, not longer after that, she discovered she had a lump on her breast. And after getting it checked out, it was confirmed she had breast cancer stage 1. 

Lucky thing is, she has insurance coverage from her employer, so her medical bills were covered. I dread to think what would have happened if she didn't have medical coverage, considering medical bills these days cost a bomb. And because it was at the very early stages, her doctor recommended radiotherapy and chemotherapy thereafter, to completely eradicate all cancer cells. 

She went back to work after a 4 month break, and I hope she regains all her strength to continue living with her family :) She has been such a strong fighter, and she was one of my pillar of support during my down time last year. 

I don't say this much, but I look up to such people for strength. They may be your everyday man or woman on the streets, but when you get to know their story and sometimes hardship, it compels you to think, you're not that weak after all. You just have look deep down inside you to find that missing piece of the puzzle that will keep you going. And it also helps to be surrounded by a good support group, one that will help to alleviate all that pain and pump in some good useful words, mental and emotional strength. All those friends who tell you crap, pretend to know what you're going through and pass judgement, you can drop them like flies and you won't miss a thing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New Sport

Hubby recently took up a new sport: Golf. He was never one to fancy golf, cos it is quite a slow and boring game (to me anyway). Plus he was more a cardio person, preferring to either hit the gym, run or play his weekly badminton. So when a colleague asked if he would be keen to sign up for a 10 classes at a discounted rate, he figured let's just give his a shot and see where it will take him lah.

And so far, he's been liking this new sport. Still learning the ropes and all, and this sport requires different sets of muscles (which involves him forcing his muscles to work at different degrees), and also understanding all the various factors like weather, wind etc, how it affects the game, type of equipment bla bla bla, you get the picture. New knowledge, new skills, new experience. And by the looks of it, hubby has caught the golf bug, and may soon start to hunt around for a set of golf clubs.

Hubby practicing to chip.

Here he is at the Tropicana driving range, practicing using the iron.
He has since got himself a decent pair of golf shoes for better grip.

Hubby's colleague KG, who is a golf payer himself. He dropped by to give hubby a few useful pointers.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Home-made Chicken Stock

I've been cooking porridge at home, and to flavour it I've been using Maggi's concentrated chicken stock with no MSG. The problem here is, sometimes the supermarkets don't carry that particular variant often enough, and I end up hunting for it high and low. Some friends suggested why not make my own chicken stock at home, and at first I thought it would involve a lot of work (the lazy bone in me), but then I figured with the long weekend, maybe I'll give it a shot.

Googled some recipes and decided to go with Jamie Oliver's recipe for chicken stock.  What I did not anticipate was... my biggest pot, wasn't big enough :P We ended up splitting the recipe to two pots.


Ingredients:
2 kg raw chicken carcasses, legs or wings chopped (I don't know what Jamie meant by "higher-welfare chicken", we bought 5 kampung chicken and 3 normal farm chicken, cos the stall ran out of kampung chicken)
½ head garlic, unpeeled and bashed
5 sticks celery, roughly chopped
2 medium leeks, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 sprigs of fresh parsley
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 whole black peppercorns (actually I used a handful)
6 litres cold water
Salt to taste

Clean the carcass and remove all that grim,blood, skin and veins. If you're squirmish, this recipe ain't for you, cos you really gotta get your hands dirty. Place the chicken carcasses, garlic, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large, deep-bottomed pan. Add the cold water and bring to the boil, skim from time to time (cos all that blood and goo will float to the surface), then turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer gently for 3-4 hours, skimming as necessary, then pass the stock through a fine sieve. I would salt it a little to bring the flavour out, so it's really up to you.

Allow the stock to cool, then refrigerate. then divide it into small plastic containers (I used jars) at this point and freeze it. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months. The colour of the stock should be about amber in colour, like the sample below. Ours came up to something similar, a little lighter actually, but maybe it's because of the type of chicken as well. Never the less, it still taste pretty awesome.

Image from Reluctant Gourmet 

I had refrigerated one jar as I wanted to use it the next day to make porridge. When I took the refrigerated one out to cool to room temperature, there was a thin layer of oil on the surface, so simply take a spoon and gently skin the oil before using the stock.