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Showing posts from March, 2006

To market... to market...

NOT to buy a fat pig...

But fresh fruit and vegies!

Every Saturday, I will always stop by here:
I find it very therapeutic to walk up and down the aisle, bordered by neatly arranged fresh produce. It's a feast for the eyes... I almost feel sure that they have colour-coordinated the produce to make it all look so perfect.

I like the happy bustle of excited people all around me... and sometimes when a worker is in an especially good mood, he will let me sample a taste of some of the produce. During my last visit, I sampled a cool and juicy merlot grape. The worker assured me that they were the best (they were his FAVOURITE type of grapes). So I bought a couple of bunches to roast with my chicken for dinner... yummy and SWEET!!! But that's another story...

I also buy eggs here... the always have the best prices for eggs around... but lately the prices of eggs have been quite high. My own theory is because of the Easter season, egg-sellers are anticipating an over-demand for all the u…

Four and twenty blackbirds?

Yesterday evening, I was struck with a sudden inspiration to bake a pie. I already knew how to make a basic pastry. So I just needed something nice for the filling. I didn't have the classic "four and twenty blackbirds". But I had a jar of the preserved peaches I made a few weeks ago... and I also had a slightly overripe pineapple (which I was tempted to buy for $1.50 last week). Pineapple and peach pie? Will it work? There's only one way to find out...
Voila!!! A dainty dish to set before the "king" of the household.
(As you can see, it was so yummy that we couldn't resist taking generous slice each before I had a chance to snap a photo)

Unpleasant Tasks: Taxes

Filed my taxes online for my Singapore income this afternoon. I took great pains to make sure I keyed in everything correctly. I am in mortal fear that I may have missed this or that little detail which will result in very painful consequences for me. I took a little more time over this to read all the FAQs and guidelines to check that I covered everything. It's all done to the BEST of my ability and understanding of the numerous policies and exemptions and clauses.

Perhaps this endless mountain of rules is their ploy to discourage us from doing anything clever with our tax filing. This is to maximise the total amount of tax due out of our meagre little earnings (poor us!). I'm convinced there's a evil looking line of bureaucrats with beady eyes rubbing their hands together and saying in chorus: "just overwhelm and flood 'em with data!!! That's the way to get 'em!".

Even after I clicked the SUBMIT button. I still had that prickly feeling at the back of …

A very interesting plant...

This is rhubarb. I bought a bunch at the Burwood Fruit Market for $3.50. It's a very interesting plant because it is both poisonous and edible. The ruby red stalks taste quite nice when cooked with sugar. However the green leaves are poisonous and can cause toxic poisoning when ingested.Some organic garderners use the leaves to make a natural pesticide for their gardens. Since I don't have a garden, the leaves are of no use to me at all. So into the bin they go.

For the stalks, this is what I did with them...

Take a few stalks of rhubarb (remember to discard the leaves which are poisonous). Dice the stalks and place in a baking dish with generous amounts of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, then bake for 20-30 minutes in a medium hot oven. Serve with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and pastry triangles. Perfect for afternoon tea. What does it taste like? Well, I personally find rhubarb just a 'leetle' too sour. Even with the indecent amounts of sugar I added to the …

Cup of Tea

One of my favourite pet pleasures is sipping chinese tea from this charming little set...

Isn't it pretty? I bought it at the Bugis Street market during our stopover in Singapore over Chinese New Year.

REVIEW: Hotel 1929

I want to tell you about this hotel we stayed at during our last stopover at Singapore on route to KK for CNY.

This charming little place is the boutique Hotel 1929 located at Keong Saik Road close to the heart of Singapore's Chinatown.

As you can see, they have maintain the original facade of the old-style shophouses as part of the building design and architecture. I really love the classic look of these old buildings.

I first came across the name in a magazine article which featured a celebrity interview who mentioned that his must-stay hotel whenever he was in Singapore was this particular hotel.

What caught my attention at first was the hotel name itself which I found very interesting (why name a hotel after a particular year?). Upon further investigation, I discovered that the main feature of the hotel was the unique retro theme style and vintage furnishings inspired by design and architecture of the 1920s (the original shophouses were in fact first constructed in the year 1929).…

My Warrior Friend

I came across this link to an article published in Singapore's Seventeen magazine. It featured one of my friends whom I met during my university days in Perth.

Article link: Women Warriors *

What is special about this friend was that she was hearing impaired... we would commonly refer to it as being deaf. We attended the same church and she eventually became one of my housemates at the "famous" Nottingham Street household.

Her friendship opened my eyes and broadened my horizons immensely about people around me. I learnt to communicate in sign language. And I banished my pre-conceived ideas and ignorance of the deaf community. I grew to appreciate the uniqueness and intricacies of Sign as a distinct language in itself.

More importantly, I gained a friend. A friend who allowed me to be able see things from a totally different perspective of the world. A friend who showed me the inner strength we all possess to overcome any obstacle in life to pursue one's dreams. A friend …

Recipe Report: Black Sauce Pork

I forgot to report how the black sauce pork recipe turned out. I cooked it on Saturday night... hubby was tremendously happy with it. I think it was compounded by the hard-boiled eggs in it (hubby loves eggs). There was still enough for lunch on Monday which hubby thoroughly enjoyed at work. "You should cook more of this kind of stuff", he says.To those of of you who may be wondering what this recipe comprises of... I'll go over it briefly: it begins with some garlic, five-spice powder, kayu manis (cinammon), black peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cardamon (which I didn't have) all fried together with some peanut oil; then add pork (I used ribs) and brown with spices; then add dark soy sauce and water; simmer for an 45 minutes to an hour... oh and don't forget to put in eggs to hardboil together.So easy and so yummy!!! (Thanks mom!)

Idlylic Sunday afternoon

On Sunday, this was where MH and I spent an idylic afternoon, sitting back on a bench, enjoying the sunshine and breeze, and watching families paddle about the water like this:

Nice eh? I was so keen to try it out. But I think it would have been quite expensive. So in the end we just lazed around and munched our little picnic lunch and teased the seagulls.

Flashback: This scene brings back memories of my childhood days when mom and dad used to bring us to Tun Fuad park in the evenings. Sometimes dad will go jogging while we played and fed the ducks. I remember one treat we had when dad took us kids out in one of those paddle-boats (not sure what it's called). We enjoyed ourselves so much and couldn't get enough of paddling about in that thing. It's so amusing to think how much fun it is to just paddle in that thing with no real destination... just going round and round in circles in the water... probably as kids with active imaginations we could pretend that we were sailing …

TAG: Five Simple Pleasures in Life

(Tag from my bro Paul... just for fun and to get to know myself...)

1. Making pancakes and/or eggs-sunny-side-up for breakfast on Saturday morning
2. Curling up in bed with a good book
3. Sipping a good hot bowl of home-style Chinese soup (especially on a cold wintry night... or any kind of night for that matter)
4. A good laugh (the ones that give a good kick in the tummy until you cry are the best!)
5. Coming home (to any place I call home... wherever it may be)

I'll stick to these 5 for now... most likely this list will change as time passes and I myself grow and change as a person.

My turn to tag... so I tag whoever is reading this entry... (because it's nice to take a moment to reflect and be thankful for the good things in life)

Bit and pieces of the week

Been quite a few days since I last updated my blog. Busy all week with this current project. Phonecalls, going out to meetings, typing transcripts, emailing... On top of that there's still the usual cleaning, cooking and laundry to do.

Facing information bottlenecks in the project now. We're facing difficulties in obtaining certain industry data. Hope we find a breakthrough soon, otherwise it will be very difficult to put together a solid analysis for the client.

Okay, here are some bits and pieces of what I've been up to this week. After the past few days of silence, you all must be wondering what happened to me...

lundi ~ monday
Attended French class as usual on Monday. We learnt to say all les jours de la semaine (the days of the week) , le mois (the months), and learnt to count up to soixante-neuf (sixty-nine).

mardi ~ tuesday
Made peach jam and preserved a jar of chopped peaches on Tuesday. They were selling a whole tray of peaches for only $5 the other day. So we split the…

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