Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pomelo salad with roast chicken

Some of the ladies in a recent gardening group potluck lunch asked for the recipe for a pomelo salad I made. I normally include either roast duck or turkey in the salad, but this time I used roast chicken instead, and it tasted just as good. I also added in some Thai basil which added its distinctive character as well. You can really just about add any of your favourite vegetables to the salad, like chopped up and julienned cabbage, snake beans, jicama or carrots. Just make more of the dressing.

Pomelo salad with roast chicken

- 1 cup roast chicken meat, shredded

1 cup pomelo chunks (can be substituted with grapefruit)

1 cup roughly chopped coriander and mint (other salad leaves can be added or substituted, depending on your preference)

3 - 4 stalks of finely chopped lemongrass (use only the tender inner leaves)

3 - 4 shallots, finely sliced

2 tablespoons dried shrimp, toasted and chopped roughly

- 2 tablespoons cashewnuts or peanuts, toasted and chopped roughly

For the dressing:

Juice of 2 limes

- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar, dissolved in hot water (can be substituted with brown sugar or honey)

1 chilli, chopped finely (more can be added, or omitted entirely, to taste)

A dash of peanut oil

Make the dressing, and adjust accordingly to taste.
Assemble the salad ingredients, adding the dried shrimp and nuts at the last minute so they retain their crunch.
Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Gardening tips for idiots

It’s only been recently when I joined an online gardening group that I’ve picked up a few tips on plants. Before that, I kind of just planted them, watered and fertilized them. Occasionally I changed the soil, using a standard potting mix that I bought in the nurseries or hardware stores. Now that I’ve been reading plant blogs and you tube videos, I’m beginning to realize that, idiot that I am, I don’t know anything about plants! Like you should use a cactus mix instead of normal potting mix for succulents. No wonder all of mine died!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gardening for joy

I have green fingers, meaning I can just about grow green, leafy plants where I’ve failed miserably at flowers and fruits. Fortunately, nothing delights me more than the sight of lush greenery. Nothing too manicured or trimmed for me. I’m happy to just let foliage thrive, although a neighbor has complained that my balcony of plants looks unkempt. I prefer to think of it as looking natural and lush!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Exercise - fad or commitment?

I had great fun the other day listening to my old friends talk about getting on their exercise machine at home after letting it sit there for more years than they can remember. While other friends regularly work out at the gym, join marathons and cycle more than 100km every weekend, this couple has largely lived sedentary lives. They recounted how they only lasted just about five minutes on the elliptical machine but good-naturedly said it was a start. I agree. No matter how late in life we start exercising, the important thing is to keep moving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I tweet, therefore I am?

We've all quoted Descartes often enough, but perhaps we're doing a lot online that we're not even thinking really hard enough about. Younger folk might find it hard to imagine, but there was a time, not too long ago, when people didn't share their every waking moment with literally millions of complete strangers. Do I feel the need to post what I have for breakfast, a new hairdo I try or every dish that comes my way in a restaurant, together with the ubiquitous pictures that go out there in cybersphere for all eternity?