Easy Tom Yum Porridge= a bowl of love

At age 8, I stared down at the table while my best friend showered me with eraser dust.
5 minutes later, I was standing in front of the mirror in the toilet weeping, staring at my tear-stained face, trying to get the eraser dust out of my hair.
Later I locked myself in a cubicle and sat down to cry.

The first time I felt hopeless and betrayed.


At age 12, I pretended to be invisible as my teacher shouted accussions at me for my mum’s complaint of her ignorance to me getting bullied by my sitting partner under her watch.  I was a spectator, I thought, as I watched the girl who was me looking stunned and holding back tears, whose heart was full of anger and sadness. The teacher granted her no mercy and demanded the entire class to not befriend her.

The girl spent the rest of the year lonely and invisible.

She made her mind up never to be a  teacher when when she grows up.

The second time she felt hopeless and betrayed.

At age 14, the girl she thought was her best friend, X,  told her she thought the girl was fat, ugly and disgusting. After making use of her for homework- copying and as a tool for comparism between the two (to show X’s own superiority in terms of both appearance and skills).The girl’s mum had warned her X wasn’t any good but the girl had stubbornly ignored her, feeling good about having a good friend.

It was the third time the girl felt hopeless and betrayed once again.

It was the last straw.

The girl has never had any good friends ever since.

But whenever things go wrong, be it broken friendships, a torn heart, or tears after getting thrown down the bus after puking (due to motion sickness), my mum would always be there for me, waiting for me to calm down, to welcome me with warm cuddles, and finally, that familar bowl of porridge cooked with heart, with love… lots of love.

I will always remember the words that came with it.

 Mum’s words… “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you…” she would say, face red and heart hurting as much as mine.

“You couldn’t have prevented it…” I would say, tears flowing and heart burning.

The bowl of porridge really meaned at lot. My mum read millions of nutrition articles and finally decided on its ingredients…

Porridge because it was easier to swallow.

+

Salmon because of Omega threes (for intelligence).

+

Carrots and wolfberries for good eyesight.

Loads and loads of random vegetables for fibre.

=

A bowl of love.

My mum hasn’t cooked porridge for 3 years due to a really packed working schedule. So I went and concocted my own. My version of the bowl of love… with some spice… and without fish (simply because there’s none at home)… and no freshly made stock (because this is supposed to be easy.

Here’s the recipe. Please cook with love.

Easy Tom Yum Porridge

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

A

3/4 of 1 Knorr’s Tom Yam stock cube

3/4 bowl cooked jasmine rice

1/2 tsp salt

A dash of pepper

B

4 tbsp of frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrot and peas mix)

1 stalk of celery, sliced thinly

Some cabbage, sliced thinly

1 slice vegetarian ham, cubed

Method

Heat water till it boils

Add in stock cube and stir till it dissolves.

Add in salt and pepper.

Add in rice and frozen veggies.

Cook on high for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally.

Add in celery and cabbage. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring. Add in vegetarian ham. Stir for 1 minute and switch off heat.

Enjoy your bowl of love!

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Coco-Cinnamon Streusal Banana Chocolate-chip Cake/Bread/Cupcakes

I like to think that baking is like cycling. The way I can lose myself in baking seems very much like the way I cycle on the streets of Taiwan. Like cycling, baking elevates my happiness and eases my pain. For a moment, the deep concentration, the focus, the freedom makes everything go away, like entering a whole new dimension. Maybe that’s why I love baking so much. Seeing each ingredient contributing to the chemical reactions and eventually the deliciousness and beauty… ugly ingredients that have wound up in my hands turning out good and presentable. There’s sort of a new dimension in that.

Today, I made this simple yet delicious recipe I would love to make again and again. Its fat- free and perfect and beautiful.

I hope you’ll love it too.

Coco-Cinnamon Streusal Banana Chocolate-chip Cake/Bread/Cupcakes

adapted from Everyone Likes Sandwiches

3 EXTREMELY ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs or 2.5 small eggs
180g flour
60g sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
6 tbsp chocolate chips

STREUSAL
2 tbsp chocolate chips
2 tbsp demerara sugar mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Mix bananas with eggs and stir well. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well. Add 6tbsp chocolate chips into the

batter.


2. Pour batter into a lined square cake pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix and 2tbsp chocolate chips.

3. Bake at 190 degrees celcius for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.


 And VOILA

They turn into cupcakes!

Reminiscing about Daddy

I was eight years old, sitting in the study room, bent over a table of assignments, pencil scrawling out a word after another.

It was 8pm (late for someone who’s supposed to asleep by 9).

He walked in quietly, with heavy footsteps that went ‘thump… thump… thump’. His shadow casted over me and I sensed his presence. My heart jerked.

‘Qiqi, Daddy loves you.’

My pencil dropped. Tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t turn around to face him.

‘Qiqi, Daddy’s going to Taiwan tomorrow…’

The tears flowed out of my eyes like an unclogged sink, like a running tap, like a river with no end.

In between the wheezing and the sniffing and the wet sticky thing that was my face, I faced him and whispered

‘Daddy, when will you be back?’

He looked backed at me sadly, his face red, with tears almost breaking out. It was the first time I had ever seen him so close to tears.

‘I don’t know, Qiqi… But I’ll come back to visit you. And you can come to find me too…’

‘Really, daddy?’

He nodded and folded me into his arms.

‘Don’t forget daddy okay?’

‘I will never forget you daddy. I love you…’ I whimpered.

That night I fell asleep in his arms, and the next morning, he was gone.

A year later

That night my mum had to persuade, beg, threaten, bribe, scold, to make me get into bed for sleep.

I fell asleep eventually. Excitement had worn me out.

Woken up the next morning by my body’s innate body alarm, I found myself hugging a small new pillow. It was blue and had a ‘Hello Kitty’ picture sewed on it. I jumped out of bed and shouted ‘Daddy!’

He was back with tons of stuff he thought I would love. He, who would rather hang out around some bookshop, had spent all his weekends circling shopping centres, day markets and night markets buying things he knew I would love. He, a man, patroned shops selling things meant for little girls like me, alone, looking for things I like.

My father rarely expressed his love though words. Instead, his actions meant much more. He had never wanted children. But when I was born, he put in his heart and soul to love me, to make me happy, but to make me strong and independent and… to be a father, a daddy to turn to , to receive love and to show love to. He is the best father I could ever wish for. Yes, he may not be a perfect person. He may not be the best husband or the most responsible breadwinner. But he is my father.

Today, daddy tugged my ponytail. He gave me that smile that is only for me, not for my mum, not for my brother. That smile, that warm, loving smile, that beautiful smile, that softens me, that momentarily helps me forget all my problems.

Daddy, I’ll love you and I’d loved you forever.

In life, we are father and daughter.

In heaven, so will we be.

Thank You God, for giving me this earthly father. Thank you that I have two fathers who love me so unconditionally.

Thank You.

Vegan Chillimato Stew(?)

There’s going to very little of me in the blogosphere this year. Though I really do love baking, there’s really something more important called studying. I don’t particularly enjoy studying but I guess if you have a dream, the only way to achieve it in this meritocratic society is good results and a damn good portfolio (mine,  by the way is characterised by big empty spaces summed up on one sheet of paper) which means I better do darn good for the ‘A’ levels. Please forgive my cursing.

the worst thing about studying is the memorising part. Kudos to you if you have a really good memory.I have a really difficult time doing that. I’m not a pro, like my brother who repurges essays he pre-memorised for his exams. Urgh I hate him! (Sorry bro. I don’t mean that)

Math, Bio, Chem, China Studies, General Paper… I’M COMING!!!!!!!!!!

Riiiiigggghhht after I finish this post!

Vegan Chillimato Stew(?)

Ingredients:

1 can of tomato sauce

2 large onions (cubed)

2 medium potatoes (cubed)

1 head garlic (wash and peel off skin)

4 tbs mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn)

40g mock ham (cubed)

1 tsp chilli powder

400ml water

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp curry powder

Add tomato sauce to the pot. then add the curry powder, salt, water, chilli powder. Stir. Add remaining ingredients and stew for 30 minutes on medium heat.

EAT UP!!!

Pancake Hearts (for a fat-free Valentine)

I was just looking for a super quick breakfast that was both nutritious and looks and tastes delicious. Something that I love.

In the form of these delicious pancakes.

 

yeah I’m a fan of President Obama

Healthy Apple/Banana Pancakes

Adapted from Green Light Bites

SERVES 1 (for a lonely Valentine’s d)

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp applesauce/mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 tbsp egg
  • 4 tbsp skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 45g whole wheat flour

Method

Mix all liquid ingredients together.

In a smaller bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Sift into the liquid mixture. Mix until just blended.

Pour batter on a non-stick pan over medium heat . Cook about 1-2 minutes a side, small bubbles will form but not as many as traditional pancakes. Flip once per pancake and its DONE.

Time to eat…!

LOOK HERE!

I’m submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air (Feb 2011)!!!!

YAY! Thank you Ellena for hosting the event!