Friday, 1 January 2016
It’s hard to believe an entire year has come and gone. The older I get, the faster the they go. 2015 was hectic and eventful but with the recent installation of a new domestic helper, today I’m finally able to slow down and savour a quiet afternoon.
A trusted recipe from my repertoire - rich buttery shortbread cookies with tangy cranberries and a kiss of orange. May you always find the time for slow living. Happy New Year!
CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Makes 40 cookies
250 grams all-purpose flour
40 grams rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
225 grams good quality unsalted butter, room temperature
60 grams icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons diced candied orange peel
100 grams coarsely chopped dried cranberries
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, rice flour and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and zest. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the dried cranberries and candied orange peel, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Form the dough into a log, about 5-cm in diameter. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven at 180 degrees C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough log and, using a very sharp knife, cut the chilled dough into slices no thicker than ½ cm. Place the slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly brown.
When the cookies are baked, rest them for a few minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to wire racks. Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Monday, 21 December 2015
A whirling vortex - that's how I would describe my 2015. Fast and furious. Overwhelmed isn't even the word. A calendar filled with medical appointments that would take us right up to December 30th. Countless miscellaneous chores. An avalanche of errands every weekend. No time to take stock, even less for socialising.
Our first domestic helper came to live with us on December 21 (Sat). Naw's hometown is a 5-hour drive from the city of Yangon, Myanmar. She speaks pretty good English. My mother, who herself was self-taught in the language, is able to communicate with Naw in a combination of broken English and hand gestures. They seem to get along immensely! If they continue to do so I just might be able to take a vacation next year.
Leaving you with a glorious December sunset. See you back here in January.
Thursday, 26 November 2015
Sunday, 22 November 2015
昨天（星期六）早早陪母亲买菜，过后帮父亲跑银行。Jeremy刚搬进我的社区，下午跟他在不远的Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee 吃好吃的waffles and ice-cream.
过去的一年多就在一波又一波的忙碌中度过。今天突然多了一个空白的上午，把家里的储物室徹底收拾一遍，扔了好几箱十年都没碰过一次的杂物。发现几样莫名其妙的items: 一个不知几时搬进来我们家的黑色行李箱；还有一台来历不详的果汁机。是谁送的？ 记不起来了。下週搬到CASH CONVERTER 把它换了现金吧。
爱听藤田恵美（Emi Fujita）唱“In My Life”。母亲问：怎么一首歌播了一遍又一遍？ What to do? 就是百听不厌啊!
下午，Tryphena 把我, Lai Har 和 Rhys 招到Yahava KoffeeWorks 小聚。聊着，聊着，被告知原来Hazel 明年的三月将步上红地毯，而且会搬进我家对面的组屋! 好嘢！Rhys 似乎 也正在同个社区物色房子。希望我们不久后会become 邻居咯。
Monday, 16 November 2015
饭后回到家里，母亲突然惊喊：啊!! 我有一条鱼落在鱼摊忘记拿！我说：较早时不是拿回一条吗？天啊，原来还有一条！ 怕去晚了鱼贩已收摊，我又匆匆往市场跑了第三趟。
一天内往外跑了五趟, 大腿上的肌肉似乎结实了不少嘛！ :)