Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jade: Bitemypasta#3

I should be packing, really..I start a 13 hour oncall in about 4 hours...and my flight leaves 3 hours after my shift. My suitcases are somewhere, I'm sure...I just don't know where they are. And in about 10 days, when I'm due to come back here, I will be the exact same picture of procrastination and disorganisation(? is it even a word); but for entirely different reasons. You see, in my head, if I don't acknowledge something, there is a good chance it might not have to happen; so I refuse to think unhappy thoughts...thoughts like me getting on a plane and leaving home, yet again..I dissociate myself from anything remotely related to the notion of leaving...I lock my suitcases away, hide my passport..and I don't pack because in my head, if I don't pack, I don't have to go. Just like how in my head, if I don't send that email ranking my F2 jobs, I won't have to leave Basingstoke. I think we can safely say my head's a pretty twisted place to be...except maybe for 5-year olds who hide their dad's briefcase so he can't go for another long business trip; they get me. Which isn't such a bad thing if you think about it...It all stems from some semblance of hope, however misguided....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jade: Bitemycabbage

I always finish my rice... I try to, anyway. I grew up with my mum telling me: if you leave any rice on in your bowl, you'll end up marrying a pockmarked man. It made me giggle..but deep down, there was always a nagging fear that she might be right. I remember looking at my dad at the dinner table... I used to sneak a sidelong glance at my mother's rice bowl everytime he got a new pimple...and this fear of mine would grow a little bit more. So I made sure I scraped up every last grain of rice..although it did worry me on a few occasions how the bits of meat and fish I chose to leave behind instead would manifest on my future husband's face. And then I got a boyfriend...and another...none of whom, sadly, were blessed with particularly good complexions and realized actually..all my efforts to clear my plate throughout the years hadn't made the blindest bit of difference.

Braised napa cabbage~ perfect with hot, steamed rice

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bacon rasher
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
some woodear fungus, soaked n sliced
mushrooms, sliced
napa cabbage, roughly torn
splash of shaoxing wine
oyster sauce
chicken stock

1. Heat up some oil and sautee garlic
2. Add the chopped up bacon, and let it brown and crisp up
3. Add the mushrooms and cabbage, give it all a quick stir
4. Add the oyster sauce, wine and much you add depends on how much liquid you want
5. Slap a lid on, and leave it to braise on low heat for about half an hour
6. Serve with rice...I would finish the rice...just in case ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jade: Bitemymushrooms

Things that make me happy: staying in on a rainy day with the windows half open..and loving how all the colours outside seem so much brighter after a heavy downpour...Maybe the scientists have it all wrong..maybe instead of boring water vapour, clouds are actually made of sighs...and swallowed sobs..and when it all gets a little too sad, because even fluffy white clouds have their limit, they explode into millions of raindrops..washing away layers of frustration, leaving in their place clarity and fresh perspectives; The smell of nail polish..because it reminds me of the night before chinese new year and my 4-yr old self, perched at the end of my mum's bed, staring wide-eyed as she applies coat after coat of vibrant polish, hoping if I was still enough, she would paint my nails too...but mostly because it reminds me of how once upon a time, I couldn't wait to be all grown up; My dad's tatty old shirt that I'd rescued from the charity pile...with it's yellowed stains from where I've spilt countless cups of tea and the kind of worn softness that you can only get after about the thousandth wash..the same shirt i wore when my cousins and I played dress up..the one I belted with a ribbon because i thought it would look cool as a dress..the one that never fails to make me feel like a kid all over again; Hot mushroom soup made from scratch on a chilly Sunday...oversalted..but comforting nonetheless...because like all the best things in life, it has just the right amount of flaw.

Cream of mushroom soup~ I have a sneaking suspicion my mushrooms had gone bad.....but it baffles me how fungus can sprout fungus...

4-5 large chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
white wine

1. Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan, sauteed the garlic and onion until tender
2. Add the mushrooms and a generous glug of white wine
3. Once the mushrooms have softened, add the stock, milk and bayleaf and simmer gently for about half an hour, lid on
4. I used a stick blender to give the whole mix a good blitz...feel free to use a blender and good luck with the washing up
5. Season to taste....I have learnt less is more when it comes to salt....ladle into a pretty soup bowl and serve with your favourite bread :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mars: Mee Jawa - Curry Laksa

I probably should have snapped a picture before diving into this, but I forgot!

But I do strongly suggest ordering this with a cold green tea!

The broth is thick and just enough flavour for everything. The tofu soaks up the soup and the flavours that when you bite into it, it flows out and fills your mouth with a barrage of flavours!

And at RM7.90, I do think its totally worth it. Do ask for extra tofu! (^_^)"

They have breakfast sets that I'm dying to try but normally do not have time for!

Mee Jawa
A1-G2-09 Solaris Dutamas
Kuala Lumpur

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device via Vodafone-Celcom Mobile.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jade: Bitemymuffin #2

I think having to wake up early in the middle of winter is one of the more depressing things in life. In the interest of political correctness, I am fully aware it's not famine or the apartheid..but try..just try and imagine that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when your alarm rings at stupid o'clock..when all you want to do is stay within the warm embrace of your duvet because you know the minute you fling those covers aside, nothing will protect you from that first shock of cold; and then you look out the window and all you see is will still be dark when you're finally ready to leave the house...and however hopeful you try to be, you know deep down, any sign of the sun would have long gone by the time you leave work.. I really should get my vitamin D levels checked.

But on some sick level, I enjoy getting ready for work, winter or not. I love the ritualistic feel of my little routine...that precious hour of me time before I have to face the respiratory triage list. It's a sort of quiet satisfaction...shaping my eyebrows..which the lady at the Shu Uemura counter pointed out in cantonese-accented english: " is quite cham ( read: tragic) hor, miss" ; blending sandy golds and deep mochas...gently smudging my favourite liner...slow, therapeutic strokes of the mascara wand, making sure each lash has the right amount of curl. And then there's my closet, brimming with promise..a new dress perhaps? or my favourite skirt...better yet, a forgotten top hidden so far back it's as good as new. I'm a lucky girl, really.

Breakfast muffins

I can't for the life of me remember the recipe or if I even had one. It was one of those Sunday mornings where I'd woken up early out of habit, a bit unsure of what to do with myself because there's no ward round to be done..eventually deciding muffins would be perfect with my morning cuppa. I do remember replacing some of the butter with cream cheese...yoghurt..a pinch of caramel coffee..some chopped up pecans, chocolate chunks..and at some point, when it was far too late, realizing the pecans should've gone on top of the muffins.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jade: Bitemycroissant

I used to believe in new year resolutions. The whole notion of making list after list of promises to make the new year better than the last. And then I grew up...and it struck me how futile the whole exercise was. To spend all that time setting new rules for yourself, fully knowing what they say about rules and how they are meant to be broken....beating yourself up when you cave and eat that second slice of cake on the 2nd day of the new year......and then trying your damnest to justify that moment of weakness..convincing yourself it somehow doesn't count. So I shan't make any this year...I shall instead figure out what I don't want in 2011, because I don't want this year to slip by like so many others have...because I don't want to live this year on fast get where I want to get but have absolutely no recollection of how or why I ended up there...because I don't want to sit in bed on new year's eve thinking "why didn't I..."

I've missed writing...and as much as I love my job, I really don't want to be defined by how much I know about DMARDs or how many lumbar punctures I've done...So here's to a year of chinese calligraphy, traditional chinese instruments, pole dancing lessons and as much food as you and I can eat.

Caramel croissant pudding ~ adapted from Nigella

2 stale croissants [ i've tried it with pain au chocolat, equally gorgeous]
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tbsp rum
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

~I'm not a huge custard fan, original recipe calls for double the custard...but that to me just spells soggy bread

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Tear croissants up roughly and arrange in a little pie tin or a small baking dish
3. Pour sugar and water into a saucepan and let it caramelize over medium low heat. Swirl it gently, but don't stir..the sugar will crystallize. Should take about 3-5 minutes to turn a beautiful amber
4. Take the pan off the heat, and pour in the cream, rum and milk
5. Whisk in the beaten egg and pour the mixture over your torn up croissants
6. Nigella says to steep for 10 minutes, but i usually just let it sit while i'm doing the washing up which takes all of 5 minutes. Read above re: aversion to soggy bread
7. Bake for 20 minutes, drizzle some cream over it and have yourself a very happy new year :)