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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We've Moved!

new(ish) blog here!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Other Harvests

Melbourne's blazing sun is doing its magic at the backgarden - but on the downside some of the more sensitive plants are taking a beating with the full sun in all its glory.


some of the tomatoes are ripe and ready


this is a spring onion. possibly on some serious steroids. they are huge!!! 




waiting patiently for the green ones - while some of the leaves get burned out



baby potatoes - these spuds came from old potatoes from a colleague's pantry
they were growing those little nodes, so they were saved from the bin,and just out of sheer curiosity, i stuck them into the ground.
and voila! baby potatoes! dug out from the garden!


possibly navel oranges. we'll know later!













Sunday, February 7, 2010

Scribe's Notes : Excess Baggage

This just makes you want to be really careful in selecting the bag you use, and the quality of the zipper/lock :)


Flight - Barcelona to Dublin (connecting flight to Boston for most of the passengers)


The pilot was 'apologetic for the delays' without saying the exact reason why, but because I was looking at this situation I knew what was going on! (and just like a true shutterbug, my backup digicam was in my pocket, for reasons such as these!)




the luggage just BURST OPEN and the man handling it was just simply surprised at what happened.
i think it was a faulty zipper.
the crew saw me watching and with his hands up in the air in exasperation, he knew he had no choice
but to put all the stuff back in! 





unfortunate. guess what the violet colored fabric was.



after asking someone to fetch the packaging tape, the luggage was taped all over.
just like massive bandage.
no the broken luggage wasn't mine - although upon arrival at Dublin i had some delays in getting my bag as it was mixed up with the other baggages going to Boston!



So that's what those massive cling wrap devices in the airport are for - to avoid things like these! :)

Shelled Ones

This one was found at the front garden on a summer's day





which brought back wonderful memories of its cousin found on the other side of the planet, one winter day





go for escargot at Saint Michel Restaurant, along the Seine in Paris







Saturday, February 6, 2010

Harvest

ripe and red
the green one was an accident!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sambal Matah : A Balinese Dipping Sauce

A couple of colleagues went to Bali for New Year and were talking about their awesome holiday pver lunch, and there it was -  a gush of wonderful gastronomical memories from this beautiful place, all coming back to me like a song last heard that you can't get rid off in your head. One unforgettable sambal (a chili based sauce, used as a condiment, just as you would use tomato sauce and brown sauce) to me was only remembered as "sambal bali" because that was what the restaurant called it! I did a quick search on balinese sambal and tried to recall what the ingredients were, and found this sambal matah recipe which was close enough to describe it.

I had to give it a go to see if it would hit the spot!



ingredients :
15 shallots, peeled, cut in half and finely sliced (unfortunately I had 3 shallots only so i had to substitute one huge gigantic brown onion)
4 cloves garlic, cut in half & sliced (i minced it)
15 small sliced chilies, minced
5 lemon leaves ("daun limau") chopped finely
1 tsp roasted shrimp cake (terasi), finely grated (i used belacan, that huge brown chunk on the lower left side, about 1 tsp worth, crumbled)
4 stalks lemon grass, bruised and very finely sliced
salt and ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly squeezed limejuice
80 ml coconut oil (i used peanut oil)


a whole lot of chopping going on


Simple!
1. Combine above ingredients in deep bowl and mix well for 5 minutes.
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.




For an enhanced flavor, give it a quick saute on medium-low heat.



It was tempting to use a food processor but I remembered the sambal for its texture as well, like the crunchy bits of lemongrass, which is also one of the things that make it quite unique.

Best served with grilled fish ("ikan bakar").

However for this weekend, there was an extra cast for the Indonesian treat - petai (or "pete" pronounced "peh-teh"). I would describe it as bitter broad beans.... (very, very, very bitter beans!). I suppose it would be an acquired taste, but I personally love it. I found tinned petai in one of the newly discovered Asian shops.




 just quickly stir fried with the sambal bali. yumm!
these beans look slightly lighter green in color - the fresh ones have a vibrant green color.


Previous sambal recipe here

Grapefruit Tart (and Tartlets)







A harvest of grapefruits one lovely summer day meant that the fruits had to be put to good use.  A previous play on lemon tart yielded good results - this time, the experiment was to substitute the grapefruits for the lemons. A choice too safe, you'd think, especially for this adventurous cook! But there were some folks coming over and I can't risk serving a completely untested recipe!

So grapefruit tart it is.

I just followed the same steps as per the previous recipe, and just directly substituted the juice of 3 grapefruits instead of lemon juice. Since this grapefruit was slightly sweet, the result was also quite nice.



the pastry rolled out and into the tart tin


Well, one big tart and 3 tartlets  :p



bake it blind at 180C for around 15 minutes






let cool for a bit and serve with a dusting of icing sugar and vanilla ice cream


Previous grapefruit mug shot here and here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seine, in the morning


Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris






If the purpose is not to visit a relative, then I suppose most people would find it weird to drop by the city's cemetery...especially if one is on holiday. However, the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris would probably be an exemption, as this is one of the most famous graveyards in the world. The reason - most of the 300,000 names whose remains therein lie were actually pretty famous before their bodies were laid to rest. Tourists flock to have a glimpse of the epitaphs of these personalities, walk on cobblestone paths, see huge copper statues that have oxidized and turned green, or perhaps admire a slightly creepy landscape when the sun sets.












There are some people working inside the cemetery, friendly chaps (not ghosts) who are 'guides' and can provide shortcuts from one famous personality's grave to another...for a fee of course ("you know Jim Morrison? This way! Come on baby light my fire!"). Maps are available for those who prefer to explore on their own time and pace.

For more info, there is a movie link here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mojito

Right! It's been more than a month since the last post on this blog, and I profusely apologize for such staggering delinquency - although I do have good reasons... all of which will be posted soon!

*
Melbourne is in for another very hot summer and the scorching sun is annihilating almost all of the herbs and veggies in the patch including the typically hardy mint growing vigorously in a tub at the corner.



So before the sun takes its life away I got a couple of handfuls of leaves and gave it justice by putting it into a cooling summer cocktail - a mojito.

Thought it would be good to sip this refreshing drink, as I contemplate on the chronology of these blog posts invoked all in the name of documentation. Cough.

*





see some of the burnt leaves on the left side


*

A mojito is a highball which means it has a larger quantity of non-alcoholic mixer compared to its alcoholic base. This mojito was made of

a handful of fresh mint leaves (around 12 leaves)
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 lime wedges
60ml (2 shots) of Bacardi (or any white rhum)
Ice cubes
soda water

In a tall glass muddle the mint leaves, sugar and lime (I used the end of a rolling pin)


pre-smash photo

Add rhum, top with soda water, serve with ice and a sprig of mint as garnish



Sit back, relax, and enjoy the heat (especially for those who spent the previous month in the much colder parts of this planet!)

Previous summer cooler here

Monday, December 7, 2009

Post # 300 : An Ode to the Past

A post written some time around this time, some time ago... when these fingers flexed to write more than usual!

**

Early Morn

Melbourne sleeps peacefully...not stirring despite the noisy clicking of my keyboard... it appears to be lulled still by the birds' constant chorus outside.

I opened the windows and let the breeze in, and if i closed my eyes it doesn't take much for the mind to be in the middle of a forest, where there is peace, fresh air, harmony, and a cup of coffee.

It's 4:51am and my notes are still waiting for my eager fingers... but the smell of paper didn't quite appeal as much as the scent of this new beautiful day.

As I enjoy the odd hours of a weekend and the solitude in my living room, an unknown winged one decided to share my space. It stayed in a distance, hovered around and then left me alone again. I liked it.

Traces of brown sugar kept me high still. Flashes of expressive eyes and sunrise somewhere come to a corner of my mind. I let it stay there. Broken fragments of thoughts scattered in my head begin to form another picture. I let it merge unhurried.

A deep inhale. There's always time to pause and breathe in.

Again I hear the birds' song - i think they're rejoicing for my shallow appreciation for life's little moments like this.

Good morning.

**

And indeed, there's always time to pause and breathe, and be grateful of the wonderful things that life brings. The ingredients vary - some find it easy, some find it hard, some need a little luck, a little nudge, and a lot of sacrifice and hard work.

Happy holidays everyone. :)

**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Snapshots






Thursday, November 26, 2009

After the Rain, v.2

Dead, or alive?


Dead
Notice the hole in the middle - no flesh left inside.




Bent


cant get enough of this blooming beauty



Previous rain dance here





Sunday, November 22, 2009

Singapore Style Chili Crab v.2




Made the same way as the last time, and with blue swimmer craps as well, except that I previously substituted bagoong for the belacan, and now I used the real deal!

If you haven't seen it before, here it is -


the cover


Top layer, plastic, to contain the distinct smell which some people may not like :)
and a thin parchment underneath, to keep moisture in (i suppose)


no it's not a chocolate bar!!!


This time, I made some steamed white buns to mop up the spicy sauce, and fried a few freshly steamed buns for a semi-authentic Singapore Chili Crab experience, just like in the restaurant! Except I screwed up the size and shapes of the buns. Hahaha. But the taste wasn't bad! I just used the same recipe as the previous steamed pork buns, and shallow fried several pieces in oil for a crispy outside, yet soft inside.



serving suggestion



and like most Sunday lunches - it is best served with beer! :D

Spell Check

Remember this?

They spelled it correctly this time.


good work!

Pearl Jam Concert

20 Nov 2009
Etihad Stadium
Front Act : Ben Harper, Relentless 7 and Liam Finn
Truly one of the best concerts ever! (and the crowd was not rowdy at all!)





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Ben Harper

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more Ben Harper

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""Due to the possible injuries that could occur from moshing and crowd surfing, we ask that you refrain from such activities tonight"

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Yay!

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awesome

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*screams!*




Those Who Stopped By

Scribe's Notes

This pitstop is where incoherent ramblings seem to have meaning, where things or events are thought of and assessed, where great things are documented and perhaps any not-so-good happenings are written down in attempt to be forgotten!

So from the diversely abstract to the intensely specific, it's off to making tracks, and it is here where it stops for a thought or two.

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