Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A bird's eye view

Family members were over for dinner a a few weeks' ago. We were out on my balcony when I pointed out the beginnings of a nest that a pair of bulbuls were building. They were incredulous that different kinds of birds have built nests among my plants the past few months, so I thought I'd share some pictures of my feathered friends and insights I have gained from them.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Easy Peasy Summer Pasta

I'm no chef, but I can usually whip something up in a jiffy when hungry hordes descend upon me. One fail-safe recipe that I've relied on time and time again calls for a few ingredients I generally have lying around in the fridge and involves a minimum of cooking (only boiling up the spaghetti). If you don't want to read my long-winded story about how I came upon this dish, then just scroll down to the actual recipe itself!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Personal first aid kit, all in a bottle

I was cooking up a storm just before Christmas and firing up all the hobs on my stove, trying to do too many things at one time. Before I knew it, a shot of steam from the steamer had seared three fingers on my left hand, causing me to drop everything and go running to my bathroom cabinet. I liberally doused my fingers with the 100% pure lavender oil I keep there at all times, and kept doing it for the next few hours. Although my fingers were still throbbing, the pain slowly dissipated along with the redness. Over the next few days, the skin managed to heal without scarring.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Silent thanks

I am truly and completely silenced. The flu that I've suffered for more than a week, coupled with shingles, has resulted in my totally losing my voice. What comes out of my mouth are some hisses, croaks and squeaks. I wasn't sure if I even wanted to post this, but it's too hilarious a story not to share, and there are some lessons I've certainly learnt from the experience.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yearning for yong tow foo

I’m a true-blue Hakka, 100% Taipu on both my father’s and mother’s sides, so I do consider myself somewhat of an authority on Hakka yong tow foo. Literally translated, it’s beancurd stuffed with a bit of ground pork and fish paste. I’m sure its beginnings were humble, as Hakka cuisine is typically hearty peasant fare, featuring lots of belly pork and preserved vegetables. But for those in the know (ahem, me) there’s a world of difference between what passes for excellent yong tow foo and the mediocre stuff sold in food courts.