Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wrapping up 2016

We are well into the new year!
And Chinese New Year is around the corner.

If you notice my blog becomes quieter, it will probably stay that way unless I have something interesting to blog about. Not that Singapore is a boring place. In fact,  it has plenty of interesting places to explore and visit. Just last month, I visited Jalan Besar. And I think it is pretty awesome and quite an eye-opener. I have not been blogging about it because I could not find any time to do so. School holidays makes it even harder so. My primary focus is still on the family. However, I am allocating a time slot for blogging and I will see how that goes.

I never expect to find these at Jalan Besar!

This year, I intend to finish up the crafts which I had left undone. I intend to pull up my socks on calligraphy. I had bought a lot of crafting stuff and I shall see that they are being used. Probably I would pick up one or two new skills this year.

Last year, not only had I learnt to slow down , I had also learnt that not to expect too much from Little One. Throughout out her P1 years, I had thought that Little One could have done better for the assignments I gave but I realised  later in the year that she had been doing fairly well in her cohort. Although she was not the top student in her class but nevertheless, the report book and comments from the teachers were rather positive. That made me think I had probably expect too much from the child. Nonetheless, I feel that there is a lot of room for improvement on her Chinese.

Blog's progress

Top 5 post of 2017
These are selected based on total page views.

5. The art of Batik
Batik is one of my favorite subject. I was fortunate to attend a batik tour and some classes last year. For the first time, I attempted layering something which I had wanted to do for a long time. Although I did not blog about the pieces that I did.
This is done by layering but not by me.

4. 10th Anniversary at Goodwood Park Hotel
We celebrated our 10th anniversary at Goodwood Park Hotel. It was the place we celebrated after our solemnisation 10 years ago. The tower block is actually a monument of Singapore! Back then, I did not know.

Tower Block of Goodwood Park Hotel

3. Lessons from the school holidays
From the June holidays, I learnt to slow down! Slowing down lets one enjoy one's time better and also to recuperate.
Labrador Park during low tide. I never know the tides can be as low as this!

We enjoyed the street parties at Singapore Heritage Festival. It was a time to revive olden days livelihood. I just hope these culture will never disappear.
Various performances

And No. 1 goes to...
This is another site which I visited during the Singapore Heritage Festival. A enchanting site for musical box lovers. And yes, the site is also gazetted as a national monument.

Doesn't this reminds you of a vinyl player?

I noticed last year top posts were mostly heritage related. This is also one area of interest which I had developed over the years. It is quite addictive once you start to learn about it.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Foodie Reads: Tangerine by Colin Cheong

The last book I am choosing for Foodie Read is Colin Cheong's Tangerine. I chose to read this book because it  was the winner of the 1996 Singapore Literature Prize. In summary, it is about how Nick, a young Singaporean photojournalist, travels by himself from Saigon to Hanoi to meet up with his old friends. Throughout the week-long journey, he tries to mix in with the locals. He travels in crowded buses and lives in inexpensive hostels. He reflects on himself and his relationship with the whole world in general.

I had not been to Vietnam and had expected it to be a travelogue that would go into detail about the different places that Nick visited. However, the book focus more on the people he met along the way and reflects on the Vietnamese’s post-war sentiments. Some local dishes were mentioned too but not much.

I took 3 months to read the book. Partly because I find it boring and slightly confusing in the beginning. There were quite a number of flashbacks and many characters so I got confused and started to re-read the whole book again. Sad to say but it was only from the middle the of book, I started to enjoy reading. Nick was talking to Denise and Margaret, his fellow travellers whom he met on the bus, that why he remains as a single because of the 5C expectation of Singaporeans. This is something I could relate to.

And why the book was named Tangerine. I guessed probably Nick had tangerines with him every since he left the airport and he gave them to a Vietnamese who always ask for price but refused to buy tangerines from every tangerine girls they met.

At the end of the story whereby he finally united with his friends for a gathering, he realised he and his friends had the common frames of references, but he would never see things the way they do. Somewhat I feel Nick has more compassion and attentive than his friends. The ending left my heart feeling warm.

Linking with: 
Foodies Read 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Foodie Read: 轻松易学的手工面包 : 即使没有烤箱也能在家做的面包! 饭田顺子著 ; 左瑞瑤译

If you have been wondering why this blog had been so quiet . One of the reasons I had blogged lesser because I am committing myself to read more. Not only for myself but for Little One as well. Not just that I had also committed to learn new skills. I have been tatting, sewing and painting.

What have I been reading?
Voices under the Rising Sun - Fiona Hodgkins ( a review on it was written in the blog)
Alice's adventures in Wonderland ; &, Through the looking-glass
Finally, this 轻松易学的手工面包 : 即使没有烤箱也能在家做的面包!

My review:
Regarding the recipe book, it's a pity that they do not have English translation. I believe this book would be a hit! The Japanese author, Iida, Junko, is very creative. She had written a couple of recipe books for baked products including macaroons, bread, pastries, cakes, pies and desserts. This is her first cookbook that I have read. I say she is creative because in this particular book, she made bread using non-stick pan. She also had another book on making cakes and snacks using non stick pan. However, I am interested in another book which she wrote. It includes recipes for making cakes and pies in rice cooker. I had just bought a rice cooker which can bake. Hence, it will be great if I can lay my hands on this book.

This particular book teaches you mainly how to make bread, you can also learn to make simple thin crust pizza, naan, bagel and muffin. It also guide how to make your own cottage cheese , jam and butter.

The recipe book is split into various parts
1) making simple bread with low protein flour
2) making simple bread using pancake mix
3) making bread using yeast and high protein flour

All recipes requires low heat and covering of the pan while cooking. Total minimum cooking time is about 25 minutes. The resulting bread looked exactly like what you would have found in a bakery.

I tried make banana bread but I do not have a non -stick pan with a lid. Hence I used a normal pan instead, resulting a charred bottom bread even though I used baking paper. However, the bread still taste great (We discarded the bottom) !  Personally I think I can improve the next try out by making smaller bread instead of covering the whole pan.

My failed  "masterpiece" 

Linking with:
Foodies Read 2016
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