Daisypath Anniversary tickers

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

16 months of marriage

So we roll around to yet another month of marriage bliss. Any surprise there? No. Any changes? Of course - life is all about change, isn't it? But there are only some changes that can be disclosed, and others which need to be kept just between the couple. :P

This time last year, we were on our honeymoon in South America. It was an awesome time. This time this year, we are not holidaying at all in any way but it is still awesome. It's all in the mind, or rather it is all about the company. And while present company isn't perfect, my CEB will do just fine. He's been picking up the slack around the house (the housework!) and been as he puts it a "Very Good Tiger". I can't dispute that...I can only pray that he stays that way!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An accident at home

Now, despite our best intentions, accidents at home are pretty common and the past 2 weeks have been buaya drama-filled.

I'd sent Buah Buah to my mother for a good washing after my CEB complained that the creature felt dirty. I guess my mother did not sun Buah Buah long enough because there was a damp foul-smelling blackish stain on the creature's chest when I took it back home. Despite sunning it for 5 days, the stain was still there so I took the creature back to my mother's house for another washing. It was either that or hearing my CEB go on every single night about wanting to put Buah Buah in our fridge (ions) to try to repair him.

So, the night I brought Buah Buah home, I happened to be blowing my hair dry in the master bedroom in the night. And my CEB had the most "brilliant" idea that I should use my expensive hairdryer (which had ions) to blow dry the dark stain on Buah Buah (see pic below). I thought it was unnecessary since the creature was rather dry but my CEB insisted (he's mad over ions since we bought our fridge) so I obliged him.

I put Buah Buah over my knee, set the hair dryer to the highest setting and pressed the mouth of the hair dryer up against that dark looking patch on his chest for maximum effect. I didn't think it would do any damage because a hair dryer is meant for hair. Even the highest setting shouldn't damage hair.

Well, when I lifted the hair dryer away from the creature's chest, to my horror, a 20 cent patch of fur had been burnt clean away. We could see the white stuffing in Buah Buah and the edges of the hole were seared. And that was when I was in for at least 2 more weeks of listening to my CEB go on about his stupid beloved creature. Darn.

Now, I would love to say that I was the one who repaired the creature but my sewing skills are dismal - I can sew on a button and that's about it. My mother on the hand is excellent with the needle so for the third time in a month, I found myself bundling the creature in my car and driving to her house. My CEB had bought some felt material from Daiso for her to patch up the creature (I do believe he put in more effort for the ugly creature than he does for many other things) so I left both the creature and the packet of felt stuff for her to work her magic

Three days later, I happened to be driving by her house when I decided to pop by with some food for her and I discovered that Buah Buah was all repaired with a large heart sewed perfectly on him! I am so very proud of my mother for her amazing repair skill.

And guess who was the happiest man ever when he came home that night? I didn't tell my CEB that I had brought Buah Buah home but asked him to close the kitchen windows when he got back and off he went to return clutching the creature that I had hung up on the poles to sun!

Looks like Buah Buah is back for good in our bed! I tell you, I never thought my marriage life would be full of such fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feast @ East - A pretty decent Nyonya Buffet

We have been to the Sunday lunch time Nyonya buffet at Feast @ East (Grand Mercure Hotel) twice in the past month, primarily because of our Accor card which affords us a 50% discount on the buffet (about SGD45 for 2 of us with tax included).

The spread of food is nothing to shout about - in fact, I'll say that you would be sorely disappointed if you were looking for quality. In fact, the Japanese sashimi section is limited to just salmon.

The focus is on Nyonya food and on some days, they have Ngoh Hiang which is very good according to my Teochew in-laws and my CEB. However on other days they have lamp chop instead or poh piah. I've loved poh piah since young and could not wait to help myself to unlimited rolls of the good stuff when I spied the item at the food counter. However, the experience was disappointing because despite the superior quality of the skin used, the skin was hard and tasteless.

The buffet also serves Or Lah - Fried oysters in flour. I don't eat this dish at all but my mother and CEB both thought that the restaurant did a bad job on this one too.

So why the return trips? The Laksa. It's been a long time since all of us have had really good laksa and the thick flavorful gravy of the laksa had us coming back for more - round after round. I had 3 bowls one visit, and 4 the next! It was that good. The laksa does not come with prawns - just fishcakes, 1/2 a egg and clams but one can always add prawns from the cold spread (prawns, mussels, scallops).

It also helps that the restaurant does a pretty decent durian puree and serves slices of cheese cakes, chocolate brownies and durian cakes for desserts.

There is also a chendol and ice kachang machine in addition to tubs of ice-cream, and trays full of kuehs - the rainbow colored ones, the rice based ones (See pic above) and all sorts of sweets from the 80s. I had some of the Rabbit ones which I loved when I was a kid! The sago and corn dessert were also very good!

The Slog Reviews: 7/10. The spread of food is limited and the quality of the cooked food very average. Having a buffet here only makes sense if one wants to have Nyonya / 80s food to gorge on, or if one gets a one for one buffet.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Herbal black chicken soup and Aerogaz slow cooker

I read on the net that cooking Chinese herbs in a metal pot is not advisable because (somehow) the metal causes the herbs to lose their efficacy. So after looking around a bit, I decided to buy the 3litre Aerogaz slow cooker from Giant last Sat to cook the black chicken I had bought.

I also bought the 2 herbs I needed - Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal) and Huai Shan from Giant since I saw the herbs there. The rest of the other herbs that I used were dang gui, dang shen, wolfberries and red longans. Now, my good ole mama told me that I needed to pour hot water into the crockpot so I boiled water separately and poured that into the pot over the herbs. Then I added the chicken from another pot that I used for blanching it. After that I set the slow cooker on auto-cook and left the house.

When I got home about 5 hours later, the entire kitchen and rooms were filled with an earthy herbal aroma. I found the chicken bubbling away in a delicious herbal concoction. Even after I switched off the electricity to the slow cooker, the pot kept the soup warm for a period of time. Just before we dug into the dish, I set the cooker to fast stew (which didn't seem to do much in 5-10mins) and the meat was by then so tender that it fell off the bones of the black chicken.

I think my CEB rather liked the soup as I did although he doesn't eat black chicken for no better reason that that the color is unappealing. That's alright - more for me! I had half the chicken for dinner while he ate the spinach dish and the tom kar gai with prawns dish which I had cooked for him in the tanyu pot I bought from Groupon. That pot is really easy to clean and seems to keep the food warm a pretty long time.

I tell you, I never thought I would end up so "domesticated" when just 2 years ago, I could not cook anything more than instant noodles. I'm just happy now that I have the time to indulge a little in the homely side of things before that gets taken out of my hands by circumstances.