Monday, February 01, 2016

::february::


february, with lunar chinese new year almost approaching, you're in the mood to bake and cook festive goodies again. most of these you only make it once a year and that's always around lunar new year.
these are taste of festivity, taste of home.  the chicken jerky always taste better than the store bought version as you can control the amount of sugar and no preservative added.
the teochew style braised duck, is really a taste of childhood and a taste of mama. cooking these dishes is always a journey down the memory lane and could be melancholic due to the reminisce of good old time.  you count it a blessing that you could recreate this taste here in europe and not having to miss them.
it's almost chinese new year!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

::first::





it's a privilege to attend a friend's baby first birthday in a very nice setting,  a reception held in a villa that converted from a water tower. it's one of your favorite place in spring and summer anyway. the garden is a bit bland without the bloom and blossom but inside the building it's nicely touch up with fresh flowers. it's also really nice to meet up with a few friends that you haven't see for awhile.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

restaurant.john

 mojito pearl palate cleanser


on friend's recommendation you went to this restaurant in amsterdam with a group of girl friends.  while the waitresses were extremely helpful and friendly, you're a bit disappointed with the food. perhaps you'd too much expectation based on your friend's feedback. in really food were quite salty to your liking.  while the food served is fusion based, but it's a tad too oriental to your taste with excessive five spice powder. it could be a bit balance if salt and five spice is reduced.
the highlight for you (being a dessert person) was the dessert, a white chocolate mouse egg with mango yoke and serve with passion fruit and basil dressing.
it's a fun evening nonetheless with your girl friends.  hopefully this sort of dining can be a once a month or bimonthly outing.

Friday, January 29, 2016

::open air skating::



you have been wanting to skate at the ice ring of rijks museum and you finally had an occasion to pay a visit.  you arrived to a ice ring with a layer of water, the weather is a tad too warm for skating and you don't want to be wet for your dinner.
as such instead of skating, you and your friend ended up at the cafe next to the skate ring drinking and chatting away.
well there's always next time if not next year.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

::farewell.dinner::



you went out for a farewell meal with a singaporean exchange student who will be leaving next friday.  for some reasons, you always feel the need to show a little kindness to students who are studying abroad, students who are alone and yet faithfully coming the the sunday church service, sunday after sunday.  along the years, you have met and known many of them and most of them still remain friends.
it has to do with your personal experience during your one year exchange (or twining program) abroad in the uk. you're actively attending the local church, seeking and growing in Him but the most lasting experience that have left a lasting impact to your life is probably the kindness and care that showered to you by a malaysian lady living in the area and attending the same church with you.  she invited you to her place for some home cooked meal that has the flavor of your homeland. she gave advise on student life in uk and occasionally invited you for a stay-over at her place.  her acts and deeds had never meant so much to you that determine who you're today, a special heart for exchange students.  you follow the same pattern, you showered your love to the exchange students regardless of their nationalities (taiwan, singapore, china, malaysia) and offering them home cooked meal and inviting them to some events that you believe will enrich their life here.
today, when you read this hand written letter, you know that deep in your heart you're doing the right thing, little things you did have lasting impression to others.  you're really thankful!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

food for thought




it's the time of the year, with spring festival or chinese new year just around the corner, you're embarking into your annual cooking and baking.  those food that you will only make once a year.

except this year, you're somehow in a melancholic mood. perhaps due to your work load, may be it's the fact that january is the month that you're totally ground, you couldn't tell exactly.  while cutting, slicing and doing things, it brought back so much memories of the past. you're literally down (and almost drown in) the memory lane. you couldn't pin point exactly what triggers such an emotion but it's so real. you missed your mother and those happy childhood so much as those food that you're making are the taste of childhood, the taste of home, a taste of memory and a taste of her.
you became so sentimental that you wept silently for a few occasions in a week that you almost couldn't help yourself but cried out to God for help.  you like to reminiscence the past but not to the extend that you cannot function on your daily life.
it was so bad to the stage all you want is to be alone, spending your time in solitude and not having anything to do. that's so for today. you woke up naturally without morning alarm, no conference call to attend and practically nothing. you forgo the church's workers meeting because you just want to listen to your inner self and spent your afternoon home seeking God.  the joy of the Lord is my strength, and that's just a simple but profound bible verse that you often forget.
when you determine to seek the joy of the Lord, you gain your strength in finding the melancholic mood and anything that doesn't build you up but tear you down.
thank you Jesus!

that being said, to date you have made a batch of acar from your home town that you normally eat it with keropok (fish or prawn crackers). two small batch of pineapple tarts, one open face and one bamboo charcoal rolled up version.  you're not planning to make too much this year since you have lost your appetite or rather cravings for sweets and these are extremely fattening.
two more weeks and the lunar new year will come.  can't wait for spring festival and the month of february where you will have your fair chance of traveling.

Friday, January 22, 2016

::salon::

finally made it to hair salon. and while you're open for a drastic change, your hair dresser thinks your curls is still nice to keep for a little longer, so no drastic change but just trimmed  and hopefully by summer you will have much longer hair...

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