Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Munchies 9 - Puri Chapati with Katsu Curry

Made Japanese Katsu Curry for lunch today. I finally had the opportunity to make puri. I was in love with puri when I ate at my North Indian classmate's house. Her deft hands created flat little wheat pancakes that magically inflate into cute little balls on top a nonstick electric pan.

I therefore asked my boss to help me buy puri flour, when he was at Mustafa (my classmate had told me that I could get the special flour there. I was flabbergasted when I saw the package of flour he passed to me.

"Isn't this chapati flour?"

No, no, no, his mother makes puri and chapati with this kind of Indian wheat flour. Sigh. =d

Well, while my curry was cooking away on the stove, I poured warm water, into a well of flour, salt and olive oil (could it be because I didn't use ghee???). But after resting for half an hour, my stupid pancakes didn't inflate. Instead they laid defeatedly on the pan, frumpy little blankets.

But my Katsu did turn out perfect, because for once, I resisted thoughts of salmonella and didn't leave the chicken frying till it's dead again. I took it out at about what I think is 80% cooked, and let the meat cook itself while resting on the sieve. This kept the meat nice and juicy inside the 'panko' (breadcrumb) pocket.

So what you see is clockwise from left: boiled brocoli (I reused the boiling liquid in the curry, no nutrients lost, very hausfrau, nicht wahr =d), cherry tomatoes, boiled egg (just barely hard boiled, so B1 had problems peeling. Left patterns all over my poor egg), brown rice, chapati, potato and carrot curry and Chicken Katsu.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No Brainer 1 - Who Owns a Volkswagen car

1. Sam and Timothy's girlfriends are friends.
2. Jonathan lives in the last house.
3. The Poodle owner lives two doors left from the Border Collie owner.
4. Gregory owns a Border Collie.
5. The Brandy drinker owns a Toyota.
6. Ivan lives two doors left from Gregory.
7. The Terrier owner lives on the left of the Border Collie owner.
8. The Soju drinker owns a Sheepdog.
9. The Whisky drinker lives next door to Jonathan.
10. The Brandy drinker lives two door left from the Mercedes owner.
11. Sam lives on the right side of the Kia Owner.
12. Jonathan is single.
13. The Soju drinker lives three doors right of the Martini drinker
14. The Daschund owner lives in the first house.
15. Timothy drives a BMW.
16. The Poodle owner lives on the right side of the Vodka drinker.
17. Neighbours next door to Sam are single.

Do the Quiz here but please clear your answers once you finished. Pls comment the owner's name. Answers will be posted on this Friday.

Incursion Trio Concert at Esplanade last week

I attended a concert by the Incursion Trio last Saturday at Esplanade. A trio would be three instruments; a violin, a piano and a cello. Was pretty good, especially since I loved Hadyn. We decided to move from our current seats because we wanted to see the violinist play (since we learn violin, duh), and then we regretted it... cos the violinist YiLi looked like he was constipated. 便溺 you know? Keeping grimacing as he danced his bow across the strings. We were definitely more impressed by the cellist. Very masterful. =d See what I mean about men and musical instruments??

Well definitely he still left a lasting impression on two out of three of us at least. We definitely practised our violins more, since then.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

JAS Natsumatsuri [夏祭り] 2009

Didn't expect to go to the Natsumatsuri this year, after all B1 isn't feeling too well. Being a bitch of a F, made him go anyway. *wicked grin* The queues were terrifying...

Anyway, we had some fun. Food's terrible and scary expensive. Example, the salmon bento is like two sad pieces of cold fried salmon on top of rice. Full Stop. I should have made a bento as suggested by the JAS (well actually they said bring your own food). I had to wait 1hr at one particular stall and the food is only slightly ok... Surprisingly ugly ass local girls can look damn kawaii when they wear Japanese yukata and much makeup (read: fake eyelashes and glitter), but not always. B1 was rather traumatised by some, haha, served him right. Well, everyone can look better with Asahi beer. Cos Beer can set you free.

We didn't take part in the Bon Odori, but a lot of people did, super adorable (watch the video). They danced to Ponyo, and even Chan Mali Chan. I was definitely tempted when I saw them dance the summer dance that Crayon Shinchan and family did in the ending theme of one of the series.

The games were quite fun. I liked the yoyo ball game, which reminded me of the Bon Odori festival B1 and I attended in 1995, albeit separately, hehe, our paths hadn't crossed then). Check out my Black and Blue Balls! Hahahahhahaa.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

I just finished "I loved, I lost, I made spaghetti" by Giulia Melucci. According to its eponymous website, it's supposed to be a "deliciously hilarious" read about the author's "fizzled romances and the mouth-watering recipes she used to seduce her men, smooth over the lumps, and console herself when the relationships flamed out."

Tell me, given the above premise, how the hell is it supposed to be hilarious? It's not even a little bit funny for one thing. While I can vouch that it is a fascinating read, the only reason why it is interesting is not because it is supposedly funny (not at all) but because it is like witnessing a road accident. You know the scene will be grisly, but you can't tear your eyes away from it. I flipped to the next page to see how poor Guilia is going to self-destruct her next relationship again.
It's like she relies way too much on her own intuition and emotion to determine the health of the relationship. She thinks she senses the end, she tries even harder to resusitate it, way more than what all the boyfriends do, and we don't even get to hear their side of the story. Methinks that she overthinks it and ends up driving the other party away (or even more, if her sensing is right). And on top of that, she gives too much every time, she tries too hard to be loved, as if she wants to somehow overcompensate for being a virgin for too long. That fact seemed to jar very much on her, which I don't understand why. What's wrong with remaining a virgin until you're 23? I mean, treat it like it's a precious gift, gal. And not as a stigma that you couldn't get a man to pop your cherry earlier.
She has way too low self-esteem to begin with, which obviously has not been helped much by the therapists she saw. As I continued reading, Guila herself admits that she is growing desperate to be in a relationship as she grows older. Especially in the case of Lachlan.
She tries to claw into Lachlan the moment she meets him, by dangling the fact that she is a publisher, when she learns that he is a unsuccessful writer. She tries too damn hard to get him recognised and accepted by literary agents, then she feels unappreciated for her efforts. She lets him leech on her, board him at her house for free, then becomes resentful when he eats pricey canned tuna? WTF. Girl, doesn't it cross your mind to not even put yourself in the situation in the first place? I mean you have been in quite a few bad (and long) relationships, you could at least learn something from them, other than your excellent recipes (should be I loved, I lost, I made Pasta/ I cook Italian). The best part is that she points out on hindsight that other people, like her mother, dislike her partners, while she likes to defend her relationships to friends by saying it is her fault when things go bad (so that she can do something about it, since it's her fault, you see). She is quite pathetic, and self-destructive. I feel very awful after I read the book.

Simply Irresistible 3 ~ - Bar Rafaeli

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogspot Tutorial: How to Post a Image on your Blog

  1. Click on the logo next to the spell check (see Figure 1)

  2. A dialog will appear asking you to either add an image from your computer or add an image from the web. Don't bother about the latter, it will be very simple to copy the html from the web and simply embed it into your blog entry. (see Figure 2)
  3. Click on [Browse] to look for an image on your computer. After confirming the image you want, choose [Upload]. You can also click on "Add another image" to add up to 5 images at 1 go.

  4. Once uploaded, Blogspot will tell you it is done (See Figure 3 and 4).
    Blogspot will automatically refresh your entry to show you the image in the "Compose" tab.

  5. Sometimes you maybe a little unlucky, and need to resize the image. You can do so, by clicking on the "Edit HTML" tab and within the <> tag you can find something like this "width: 350px; height: 236px;""? You can then adjust the width and height of the image manually, like I did.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The only time I practise my German

wenn ich spiele COH... und nur hitzig Wörter spreche ich. Unnötig zu sagen, mein Deutsche habe beträchtlich verbessern nicht. Keinen Schlafst am 2 Uhr.

Meinen Spitzname ist furchtbar. Spielst zusammen?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Up - A Love that Transcends Time

Disclaimer: Spoilers Alert!!!

B1 and I went to watch the long awaited "Up". I knew it would feature the old man, Carl Fredrickson's mourning the loss of his wife in spite of the time that has passed, but I didn't anticipate how touching it would be (but then again, this cartoon is done by the same people who convinced us that if you persist in stalking your prey despite her violent resistance, she will fall in love with you... eventually, i.e. Wall -E).

As a shy and fat boy, Carl met the very spirited and hairy Ellie, who shared the same love spirit of adventure as he did. She showed him her adventure book, which contained anecdotes and adventures she had encountered so far, and a page “Stuff I’m Going To Do” for all the empty pages behind that she was going to fill up later. She made Carl cross his heart and swear that he would get them to Paradise Falls some day.

They grew up, got married and moved into their old clubhouse, which they refurbished and outfitted together. Obviously they led a simple and poor life selling balloons at the zoo, but it was a life yet rich in love and happiness. They especially liked climbing up a grassy slope with a picnic basket before lying down in the lush green and making out shapes of clouds in the sky to each other. After receiving the devastating knowledge that they couldn't have a child, Carl and Ellie started saving for their Paradise Falls trip by painstakingly feeding a jar, which they found themselves breaking for other emergencies that needed the money more urgently.

When a much older Carl came across the jar one day while cleaning, he decided to make true his promise and bought two air tickets. When they were climbing up the slope that day with the basket and the surprise tickets hidden inside, the usually more sprightly Ellie could no longer make it up the climb. Unable to go on their adventure and after a sad goodbye, she left Carl behind to mourn her loss, trudging home alone with a sad blue balloon in his hand.

It was apparent throughout the story that Carl felt guilty about not fulfilling his promise to her, that even later when he ended up at Paradise Falls with their house and the neglected Russell, as he flipped the pages of her adventure book in total silence, he laid a heavy hand on the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”. It was then that he discovered that there were actually pages filled out after all, behind that page.

They were filled with pictures of them together, as children, as newlyweds renovating their new home, as an old couple sitting closely together despite on different chairs, and her looking wistfully out the window. Her final words thanking him for the adventure they had spent together and encouraging him to have his own new adventure lent him courage to conquer the odds, and become the father figure in Russell's life, while giving himself new meaning in life.

The reason why I couldn't stop the tears from flowing at both sequences (even now, tears are flowing down my face *damn, I am feeling emo today) was because the show reflected my deepest fear. That when you love a person so much, and so deeply that one day, when he is gone, you will never be able to get over the loss. Yet you wish you'd able to encounter this love, because it is always better to love and be loved like this before.

[source: Norke]

ich liebe mein B1

Monday, August 3, 2009

メンチの 夢幻 My personas image has been uploaded

I will be the first one to admit it. I have been very disappointed in all my creative efforts so far, and am positively ecstatic that my menchi has been posted online. I had to distract myself with work (which is easy) between visiting the personas site every damn hour to check if my image has been uploaded.

Yes, yes, it is not a competition and I didn't win anything, but I had a huge boost to the ego, I tell you.

So PLEASE support my fledging efforts with MenchiDreams メンチの 夢幻. 2 active daily users to date!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday Munchies 8 - Good ole calorific English Fry-Up

Popped over to the Cold Storage at Holland Ville after dinner last Thursday.

I bought some Australian Camembert cheese, Pain de Campagne (I read it in some French book before, and loved how it was described as a crusty, perfect crumb) and garlic sausage for B1. I decided that a good English fry-up would do for a splendid Saturday brunch, and so made two plates last Saturday.

B1 wanted soft-boiled eggs (not pictured here), but being a paranoid egg-eater, I hated soft-boiled and didn't know how to make a nice Yakun egg. I forgot to lift out the egg after I turned off the fire. There they sad in the still boiling water, while I busied myself with frying. Ironically, they became the best hard-boiled eggs I ever made, yellow circumferences with perfect orange centres. I do apologise for the imperfect looking fried egg, but I was starved by the time I cooked the egg, and couldn't be bothered to fry a perfect sunny-side-up. Btw Swiss Bread also doesn't know how to do a nice Pain de Campagne. Theirs was one hard block.

How much will you pay for my brunch? Can fight Jones the Grocer (~S$20)?

Different take on メンチの哀愁のボレロ

I hate Excel Saga. I only like メンチの哀愁のボレロ, which I always watch for at the end of that stupid anime. I especially love that long-suffering dog (that looks like a cat), メンチ(which means mince in English).

Mimolette - Déjà vu of an expensive nightmare

Went for dinner at Mimolette yesterday night. Read about it in theHungryCow.

Service was terrible, the wait staff acted like they were damn atas (NOT). Someone should tell them that no matter how a customer is dressed, they should behave professionally and friendly. The only male wait staff last night was also the only one to demonstrate the redeeming qualities of an excellent service.

When we arrived without reservation (I was hesitant on going once I realised that it was next to the Bukit Timah Saddle Club. No car, long walk), the waitress immediately sized us up and declared that we were only good enough for sitting outside on the veranda. We discovered that there were many empty tables inside the air-conditioned dining room, and that the staff often chose to chuck people outside. Only when one table of expensive-looking taitais arrived and declared that they did not want to sit under the veranda fan because it was too cold (WTF???), did the wait staff deigned to offer them the indoor table. This has to be the first time I heard of air con being warmer than a fan. Yet they knew something we didn't. One of the perils of sitting outside? Insects wanting to leap into your expensive water, and then discovering they don't know how to swim.

I should have known that this meal was going to be as terrible as White Rabbit. After all, all the signs of disaster were there.

"Would Sir prefer Sparkling or Still water?"

Scheiss... Not again. This time it is Fiji water. Not that Panna 75 shit. Deadpan, I read out the label to B1. Taken from Fiji but bottled in the UK. Basically we are drinking British Tap Water. Fantastic. Since I am on an entrepreneurial bent this year, I drolly suggested to B1 that I should bottle the Merlion water, taken from Malaysia's spring (if any? Or river water. I am not fussy), transferred via causeway pipe and bottled in Singapore. Then we can sell it to all these atas establishments at the even more friendly price of S$8 a litre.

Second sign? I opened the menu and immediately saw this (circled red).

*You seriously have to read my entry on White Rabbit, in order to appreciate this experience in its full blown gory*

B1 was in a similar witty mood. After informing him that the walls next to the lavs are inundated with bunny images, he remarked that we were down the Rabbit Hole once again. An immediately wiser me chose the pasta aglio olio, angel food cake. B1 ordered two clam chowders, one quail dish (I forgot the name, but didn't forget the taste), and a merlot. I wasn't going to order any of their crap table wine.

The chef obviously scrapped off the same Dead Sea salt block for the clam chowder. The quail was stuffed with ham I think (couldn't see in the dark), and tasted like a bizarre mix of hammy and gamy. The risotto that accompanied the quail had hard rice bits and was definitely not creamy. Horrific, even the more positive B1 was turned off and refused to finish the dish. I was annoyed by the pasta, because in the menu it said that it was crab + tomato jam, and when it came, it had a distinctive PRAWN-like fragrance, which I absolutely hate. First of all, it is not supposed to be wet, and I am pretty sure it was cooked with some seafood broth. The supposed Pièce de résistance (declared by the waiter as the most popular dish) was absolutely yucky. It was an incoherent mix of way too much cream, fresh and preserved fruit, some odd macarons-like biscuits (which B1 pronounced as an Ang mo abbrieviation of the white Chinese biscuit), a custard sauce and an incredibly dry sponge. Just look at the image below and you will weep. In retaliation, I created an impression of what I thought of the meal with the leftover cream.

I know of a certain cow that needs to be hauled out to the barn and shot between the eyes. I should have known from his entry on Saizeriya that he is either the type to write optimistically, or wants to sabotage others into eating the same crap so he wouldn't feel bad for having done so.


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