Sunday, January 28, 2007
It has been really busy at work. Not to mention the stress of finishing up the work.
But in the midst of the busyness, I popped into Warwick to watch the OWW Fashion Show. It was strange to be back. The fashion show was alright. Not as good as last year. Maybe because Fel was in there last year. Maybe because Joanne was there last year.
It was a 12 hour short stay at Claycroft and the highlight of course was to have dinner prepared by Chef Ef. It was my first proper dinner in ages. Thanks Ef! It was the best dinner ever.
There is always this general perception that people of a certain age if still single are weird. Something must not be quite right with them. For example a 30 something successful career woman who is still single will be thought of as having no life, a workaholic, with probably some behavioural problems. There must be something wrong with her that’s why she is still single. She is probably a bitch. Maybe she is. But to be fair who isn’t?
It feels so wrong to have all these pre-conceptions. I was really touched to hear of a story of a 40 year old gentleman who remained single to care for his sick father. That is selfless love.
We should stop having these pre-conceived ideas. If we open up our minds a bit, there is a whole list of possible reasons why some people are still single at a certain age and more importantly not everyone is lucky to find love.
Sometimes I could actually picture myself being that 30 something single woman. I know it is such a pessimistic thought but I can’t help it sometimes. People always assume that I am attached. There is even the assumption that I am living with my boyfriend, which is non-existent at the moment. I don’t know if I should feel flattered by these assumptions. The irony of this is that I actually pretended that I have a partner to strangers (most of the time these are guys who are brave (or drunk) enough to chat me up randomly). But when you are honest with people that you are single, sometimes people get wild thoughts that you are a lesbian!
What the fuck is with all these pre-conceptions and assumptions.
Actually I am just as guilty of making pre-conceptions and assumptions but recently I realised that I should stop doing it and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
Who are we to say that people are weird?
Just like the mad people think we are weird.
Perhaps it is us who are mad and not them.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I don’t remember from where it was…
That I started to keep thinking about you…
The thoughts would appear about twice…
They kept expanding and I felt a bit surprised…
I kept thinking to myself it was nothing…
But it was awkward when I talk to you…
Is it Love?If you are thinking the same, is it a start for us?
My heart keeps loving you…
It’s screaming for the whole world to know…
Why is it that I hear it now?
I’ve found love now that I found you.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It was my first night out in Birmingham.
I have been to Ikon in Coventry when I was at uni but Ikon is really a students’ club.
It was kind of weird at Oceana, to see people my mum and dad’s age dancing through the night. Can’t help but imagine my dad and mum on the dance floor. Oh, I think my dad’s gonna rock on the dance floor. Maybe I will bring them on a night out to Oceana when they come visit. That will be wickedy!
Glad I changed my mind and went out last Friday. It was fun and I actually felt quite young when I see people my parents age dancing the night away and mind you they were grooving the night away.
Its only Tuesday and I am absolutely knackered. Welcome back to the real world PJ!
Friday, January 05, 2007
I fantasize doing it all the time.
I always dream about me being a waitress in a funky café.
I know it is strange.
There is something about those white tops and the black aprons.
I know this probably sounds crazy.
Maybe I have been eating too much at the business café which serve over-priced burgers.
I can actually picture myself being a waitress but I don’t want to be just a waitress.
I want to be The Boss-tress.
Now I sound even crazier.
Maybe once I saved enough money to not worry about money I will change profession.
Till that day comes I will just have to be content at being a boring office worker.
Made some cookies for my kind land lady. Recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Absolutely gorgeous cookies.
Great Chocolate Chip Cookies from David Lebovitz's Great Book of Chocolate
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips1 cup(130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
Adjust the oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Make about 20 cookies.
Can’t get enough of savoury rice after the paella. So I made cheesy baked rice with carrots and beans for dinner yesterday. This dish is dedicated to KH who made this dish at Kensington Road. When I took out the hot ramekins, melting with cheese from the oven, I could feel a fuzzy, fuzzy feeling of warmth in the cold winter night.
I love telling people about my brother. I could feel this sense of pride in me when people ask me about my brother. It is an amazing feeling which lights up my eyes. I am so proud of him.
Who Moved My Cheese?
Life is no straight and easy corridor along
which we travel free and unhampered
but a maze of passages,
through which we must seek our way,
lost and confused, now and again
checked in a blind alley.
But always, if we have faith,
a door will open for us,
not perhaps one that we ourselves
would ever have thought of
but one that will ultimately
prove good for us. - A J Cronin
This book is a best seller by Dr Spencer Johnson.
The story is predictable and nothing new really.
But it is a great reminder to everyone that changes in life is nothing to be afraid of.
I especially love the phrase ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’
A lot have changed in my life. I also realised that I am not as content as I used to be. I miss my old me and I hate it that the environment is taking me further and further away from the person that I am. But I also realised that I have the power to be stay true. It won’t be easy but I hope I am strong enough to stay true and if I ever do change, I hope it is to become a better me.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
When midnight stroke, I heard fireworks and I looked out of my window. There it was. Fireworks right above my roof. It was amazing feeling to watch the fireworks as I finished off my last glass of red wine for 2006 or the first of 2007. Cheers to a fresh new start.
Crap pic of the fireworks that I took. I can never capture the moment of fireworks. I gave up trying and took a picture of the amazing colours in my tiny brain. I can still see the fireworks now when I close my eyes.
It was nice to have a warm plate of paella for a cold winter’s night. I reckon it would have been better with pumpkins. I made the mistake of not uncovering it when I added the mushroom which resulted in the rice being a wee bit wet. But I actually like it that it is kinda saucy and not too dry.
Golden Vegetable Paella (modified recipe from a vegetarian cookbook from Miss Stella.)
1tsp of tumeric
1.5 pints of vegetable stock
6 tbsp of olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups rice
6oz carrots cut in matchsticks
1 yellow pepper seeded and diced.
4 tomatoes peeled and chopped
4oz oyster mushroom
Salt and black pepper
Heat oil in frying pan and fry onions and garlic gently until softening.
Add the rice and toss for 2-3 mins until coated in oil.
Add stock and stir till it boils and reduce heat.
Cover pan with lid for 15 mins.
Add vegetables and seasoning.
Leave anc cover for another 5 mins or until rice almost tender.
Add mushrooms. Check seasoning and cook uncovered for just enough time to soften the mushrooms without letting the paella stick. Serve immediately.
Parsnip Crisps. This is absolutely yummy cause it is so bloody unhealthy. Deep fried parsnips with red wine. Absolutely delish. Looks a bit like bacon in the picture.
‘Kaya’ with toast to start the new year. Hopefully I will be ‘kaya’ (rich in Malay) one day! Dream PJ dream..
I have been craving for ‘kaya’ for ages. They don’t sell it at the Chinese shops in Birmingham. So I had no choice but to make my own. It is hard work stirring it for almost an hour but it was worth it. Have a go at making ‘kaya’ if you have lots of time and patience.
Have a little patience…(for those of you who have not heard Take That’s new song, you guys have to give it a chance. It is pretty good. )
‘Kaya’ (Traditional Coconut Custard/Jam)
1 can coconut milk
400 g sugar
(Of course I didn’t make it with 1 can of coconut milk. I used 1 egg and approximately 1/10 can of coconut milk. I was really worried that it might not work but hey it did work.)
Beat eggs at medium speed.
Add sugar and beat at high speed.
Add coconut milk and mix at high speed.
Once sugar has dissolved pour mixture into pot and cook over low heat.
Constant stirring until mixture thickens and looks like jam.
Take off stove and cool and store in sterilized jar (use hot water to sterilize the jar.).
Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne (VCCC)…
Saw this on Anthony Walsall’s Christmas Cook. It wasn’t vegetarian but I thought I will try it out with mince soya to replace the bacon and mince beef that he used. Apparently this dish used to be quite a savage dish that the Mexicans cooked with lots of meat. The thing that surprised me most is the secret ingredient - Cocoa or chocolate. Shocking! I told myself I had to try this out.
The recipe didn’t seem too hard except that I had to put celery which I didn’t like. But then I thought of Stella’s constant reminder that celery is good for health. Want to start the New Year with good health! So I bought a packet of celery. I hope I can finish them off. It feels too healthy for me.
VCCC is a simple dish that you can cook loads and store them in the fridge. Eat it with rice, pita, potatoes, nachos, spaghetti or even parsnips crisps. Top it with cheese and melt it in the grill if you like cheese. This dish is so versatile and flavourful.
VCCC (PJ’s modified recipe)
1 tbsp of oil (the recipe used much more oil than this.)
1 carrot cut in cubes
1 tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of chilli powder ( can add more if you want it to be spicy)
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
2 stalks of celery cut in cubes
8 oz of kidney beans
4 oz of mince soya (dehydrate in hot water. Cool and lightly fry in 1 tsp of butter.)
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
½ cup vegetable stock
½ can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato puree
Heat oil in pan/casserole dish. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 mins until onions are soft.
Stir in cumin, chilli powder, cocoa powder, tomatoes, stock, and a dash of mixed herbs. Cook for 15 mins uncovered (slightly increase the heat.)
Add in kidney beans and mince soya and cook for 10 mins uncovered. Check seasoning. Add pepper and salt to taste. And it is ready to be served. Only 3 steps! It is so easy to make.
So what’s everyone’s resolution for the year? Just wondering if people still make New Year’s resolutions. I am not gonna make any this year cause I never keep any of my New Year’s resolution. Just hope 2007 will be a fresh start for me. Good or bad that 2007 has in stored for me just bring it on. I am ready.