Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lemon ginger cake

The stuff I baked usually don't turn out the way they should be but I'm happy if my family like it or I will have to eat them myself or throw them away if I myself don't even like it.

This afternoon, I tried to make a lemon ginger cake following this recipe on 3-tier Lemon-Ginger Cake.

I didn't follow exactly the instructions and I don't care for any frosting too. I didn't use the mixer to cream the butter and sugar together so the batter didn't rise or turn out light and fluffy. After I added the egg and lemon to the mixture, there was no way my arm power could turn the mixture into a smooth batter. So I had to use the mixer.

The cake mixture didn't rise in the baking dish while baking in the oven. Haha. Instead of a 3-tier cake, I have created a flat dense sponge cake. It's quite yummy as I could taste the lemon and it's not too sweet. Mom and Dad like it too :) Strangely we can't taste the ginger. I will have to consume electricity by using the mixer if I want to have a fluffy lemon ginger cake the next time.

Dinner @ East Coast Road

Yesterday, I wanted to treat my parents to Rose Apple Deli that I read on Sunday Times' Life last Sun. Their yam cake and other dishes sounded yummy. However, when we reach the place around 6pm, the deli had a sign, saying they would be opened at 6.30pm. So we walked around Katong Shopping Centre and the shops along the East Coast Road. Some of the food look yummy but we wanted to save our stomach for yam cake.

When we went back to the deli at 6.30pm, one of the staff amended the time on the sign to 7pm and apologised that they still needed more time to prepare. We were really disappointed and decided not to wait and proceeded to a nearby coffeeshop for dinner.

I had this tau kwa pau (fried bean curd with egg, chicken, fish, cucumber fillings)
while Mom and Dad has some fried kuay teow/bee hoon.
Mom wasn't very satisfied with the meal abut I was quite glad to have something to fill my stomach.

When we walked past the deli after 7pm, we saw couples and families enjoying little plates of yam cakes. We just didn't feel like trying the yam cakes anymore. Mom said I could try making on my own. Oh well, I guess yesterday is not my day to eat yam cakes but lots of tau kwa pau. Hee. Maybe one of these days, we can also make our version of tau kwa pau at home.

Butchering chasoba

Haha. That's what Sis said when she saw the dish I created a few Sunday evenings ago.

I cooked dry chasoba to go with some veggie soup and mixed the Japanese sesame dressing into the soba. I'm the kind of person who like to use whatever ingredients I can find in the fridge. Alright, I'm just lazy :)

Lunch @ Tampopo

I had lunch @ Tampopo, Liang Court with Sis and Mom on Sep 9 (Tues). I was on leave to spend time with them.

Sis and I each ordered a ramen. I had mini miso ramen

and she shoyu ramen.

We found the ramen oily and quite salty but still quite yummy. Mom had the black pork tonkatsu set.

We also had teriyaki ika.

I'm glad Mom enjoyed the food at Tampopo as so far she likes the food at Sun with Moon (it's still number 1 for her) and the few other eateries I brought her to aren't up to her standards.

After walking around Meida-ya the supermarket, I decided to treat myself to Haato's lavender honey ice cream. The server did warn me about the lavender taste. I found it quite nice when I tasted a sample. But strangely the lavender taste was quite overwhelming and had a bitter aftertaste as I ate it on the cone. It's kind of medicinal and if you are not a fan of lavender, you will hate it. I like lavender but it was still a bit too much for me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Passion for our job and life

I have been on course since last Wed with 40 over people from different organisations. 3 others were from my organisation. It was quite an interesting course as the lecturers engaged us with topics that affect us, our work or people around us. We also have the opportunities to interact with our course mates through discussion, tea breaks and lunches.

A few course mates exhibit strong passion for their jobs. One of them, from my organisation, shared with us about his experiences, was keen to use what he learnt from this course to create possible ideas for his work programmes. I, on the other hand, am quite jaded about the work I do even though he and I are from the same organisation. Perhaps, the difference is that he is working at the grassroots level and he can see the impact of the various programmes he has helped to implement. For me, some of my customers are the foreign agencies who visit us to learn about our experience. Some are really serious to learn while for others, it may be just to fill up their travel itinerary and most of the time, I have no idea whether they do implement what they learnt back in their countries.

Sometimes, bits of my work or new assignments do make me feel a bit hopeful in getting my passion back for my job but nowadays such incidents are happening less and less often. But I do treasure my colleagues whom I work well together, the fact that my job is considered meaningful (as compared to harming people, animals and the environment) and also my comfortable pay that allow me to lead this lifestyle and feed my cats.

Hmm. Perhaps, I should look at passion for my life. I think i have always tried my best in executing my duties at work, serving my bosses, helping fellow colleagues and making sure the foreign visitors achieve their objectives of their visit to our organisation. I also try to be a good daughter, sister and friend as well as a responsible cat owner and caregivers by giving them my time, attention and love. The attempts to improve my character, trying to be compassionate in my actions, searching for meaning in my work and life may just be a kind of passion. Am I making sense? :)

Itchy, itchy

That's how the skin on my face and neck had been feeling for the past week. I'm not sure what I have applied on my face to get rashes/hives/flares, as I like to try new stuff on my face. I thought I could afford to do so as so far my skin could take organic, natural products to other kinds (non-natural) of treatments for anti-ageing, etc. I guess I was wrong.

I visited the GP who gave me anti-itchy pills and some aqueous cream to soothe my skin. My friend also gave me some cream prescribed by her dermatologists for her eczema. Perhaps the pills over time help plus the powers of my friend's cream - my skin is almost back to normal. This morning, I can use 2 of the organic sunblock and light moisturiser with no itchy rash.

I must remember to do a patch test when using new products. It's really terrible to develop a skin allergy and having to face the world. Hee. Luckily, it wasn't that serious and I could cover a bit with my usual organic loose powder.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Putting Bob up for adoption

After much consideration, I'm putting Bob up for adoption again on CWS online adoption board. Angel seems less stressed, now that he knows that Bob is always confined to my bedroom or there is always a door barrier when Angel is in the other rooms or balcony. However, sometimes I feel bad that Bob couldn't have more time out of my room. If Angel is happily resting in the living room, we have no heart to try to force him to the other rooms. Poor Bob will be meowing loudly in my room, wanting to be out. I will try to pacify him at times by going into my room and playing with him. Sometimes he will lick my leg or hand and try to bite but I can cope now by touching his neck and distract him with some toy.

I try to imagine if this is the kind of life I want Bob to have. He's like a second class citizen sometimes because he doesn't want to be in my room most of the time. He probably wants to be like Angel to be roaming around the house and see what we do, rest at wherever he likes, ie. freedom to move around the house. But this is something we can't give him as long as he and Angel can't be put together.

I don't put much hope that I may find a suitable adopter for Bob as there are so many cute kittens out there looking for a home. But I need to try for Bob's sake.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Losing Bush forever?

Bush hasn't appeared in the park, like we hope he would. Sigh. Mom and I really miss him. He will roll on the back of his body happily and rub his face against our legs to greet us. He will slap our hands when he has enough of our strokes and massage or when we disturb his eating. He will talk to us in cat language at times. I really hope he's either well/safe or died peacefully without suffering.