Interestingly, every time when it comes to planning for CNY visitation, as in whose home is next, a form of identification that my family uses is the food best associated with the home visiting.
Conversations will go along the lines of “Ok, next we will visit the grand aunt with the nice pai tee then after swing by my cousin’s who always serves freshly fried curry puffs” or “Who are we visiting next? Oh the grand aunt with the yummy porridge and sugee cake!
does not get eliminated but instead gets a private lesson with the Master on honing his/her skills. Hence the title ‘School of Chocolate’. Such a positive teaching approach is a refreshing change in the world of cutthroat reality baking shows. And this teaching-learning direction actually sees contestants growing, supporting and helping each other complete their tasks, which is quite unheard of in other reality shows.
I usually celebrate Christmas with good food. After the season of fasting in Advent, finally being able to eat all sorts of food, like a good roasted chicken with root vegetables with the family after Christmas Mass. We have a Christmas tradition in my family of having a good meal together and giving each other presents. One of the gifts that we enjoy giving are Christmas crackers. I suggest getting the ones from L’Occitane en Provence and it makes a good secret santa gift or a gift to give friends and family.
As we all know, due to circumstances, we became more homebound than usual. As more and more people started growing plants at home, I jumped on the bandwagon too wanting to put my green thumb to use. Unfortunately, as I came to realise, I did not possess a green thumb at all! Every plant that I tried to grow from seeds and even Ikea-bought succulents died under my watch! After going through a few pots of dead plants…I had an “Aha” moment…..I went out to the nearest florist and bought myself a ready grown mint plant.
I chanced upon this book at my neighbourhood library while searching for resources for my 14 year old. Being the only “arts management” book on the shelf, I borrowed it without much thought. However once I started reading, things began to fall in place. The people who dreamed/envisioned/created policies and places during the period that Singapore’s art scene was touted to be the “Renaissance City” actually had a direct impact on me.
Before Spotify and YouTube Music, I used to spend quite a fair bit of money purchasing CDs. Being quite a movie buff too, each time a particular soundtrack caught my attention, I would head out to Music Power House (MPH) or to Gramaphone to buy the OST of that movie. I always appreciated how the composer scored the movie or how/why a particular song was selected for that particular scene. The Soundtrack drives the movie and sometimes the importance of it is overlooked. As such, the next time you watch a movie, do pay attention to the soundtrack and experience how it carries you along on an emotional journey.
Being reliant on technology has sometimes led me to be scared of forgetting information. The mobile phone has become our second brain to store to-do list, birthdays, and mobile numbers. But with the mass of information in the world, are we able to retain everything? Thankfully, it is possible and can be fun at the same time. Reading Memory Craft by Lynne Kelly has allowed me to perceive memory training in an engaging way, rather than the traditional repetitive method. So who said remembering is boring? Well, that’s what I used to think.
Sometimes life is not just about all the mundane things, but the connections and meaning that you create out of what you have – little things like having a conversation about what matters most to you, how a stranger held the door for you, or how you were able to indulge in your favourite dish this afternoon, are things that many people tend to overlook. But the amalgamation of all these little things will then serve their purpose of grounding us, and will remind us the true bliss of living life despite all the challenges we face. I’d like to quote from the Dead Poets’ Society, “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”
Initially, this book was a reading material for a university class, but it wasn’t like any other textbooks. It was a coffee table-esque book with interesting copy and graphics. I loved this book for the bold illustrations and for the message it sends. The main message for this book is to “ACT NOW” because we are always procrastinating or waiting for the perfect time to do something (or at least, I am) and here’s the thing, there is never a good time.
“To market, to market to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig”
I have a love-hate relationship with wet markets….the chunks of bloody raw meat, an ear here and a tail there coupled with raw fish smell and the wet floor is really not very appealing. However, one can’t deny that somehow the meat tastes sweeter, the vegetables crunchier and the fruits fresher. But what I really enjoy about wet markets is that I get to become a “Toa Payoh Auntie”. Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations while waiting in line to buy my pork, taking in the array of colours from the fruit stores or peeking into other people’s plastic baskets and asking them where they got it from. And I am always fascinated by how the butcher effortlessly switches from Cantonese to Mandarin to English and then back to Cantonese again all while chopping up his pork orders. The cacophony of sounds and promise of fresh food brings me back once in a while as these are experiences one can’t find in an air conditioned supermarket.
Go visit one now!