30 January 2008

Jamie Oliver & Nigella Lawson

I've been back to Singapore since 25th January, and it's all so indescribably wonderful!! Have been gorging myself with all the local food like my favourite chicken rice, laksa, prawn mee. hokkien mee, just to name a few; and not in my favourite order. And of course, not forgetting my mom's cooking! For foreigners travelling to Singapore, I hope that you'd take time to explore and try the local dishes, which should make you return for more. However, you should be careful with ordering spicy food as the local taste can really be too hot perhaps for foreigners.

So, what have I been doing besides indulging in gluttony? Well, I've been watching TV to my greatest content! There are several channels that I can't watch in Japan and it's just ... so rejuvenating to enjoy them again. My favourite channels? Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet, and Discovery Travel & Living!!

Some faithful follow-ups are productions by Mr. Jamie Oliver and Ms. Nigella Lawson. Well, they are cooks who present western dishes, from home cooking, to season's cooking, exquisite dinner to serve guests and etc.

I enjoy Jamie's shows, those he cooks in his country kitchen, shares tips on growing vegetables and sometimes; cracking hilarious jokes. I think the camera man does a fine job by giving a soft touch to make the scenes look warm and ' homely '.

Today I learnt that growing basil helps keeping harmful insects away from tomatoes so it will be splendid if they can be planted close. The aroma of basil seems somewhat unpleasant to insects, thus keeping them way off.

I look forward to the day of planting my own vegetables and herbs. I think Jamie can teach me a lot on that =)

As for Nigella, she is absolutely beautiful and her presentation tells me that she loves cooking in her womanly way. Am I actually watching her making eyes, or watching her cook?? I can't decide... Note, I'm not a lesbian and married to a wonderful husband, and I admire anything beautiful. I love her kitchen no less: white, spick and span, no nonsense. There's something similar between Jamie and Nigella perhaps: a full body that speaks the volume of love they have towards food.

Both Jamie and Nigella are bold in their cooking, using generous portion of olive oil, great experiment with herbs, various cooking methods, emphasis on colors and presentation. I've yet tried their mouth-watering recipes thus unable to vouch anything yet, but their passion for cooking inspires me. Just a few episodes make my day and get my imagination running wild. Should I try that chicken using X, or maybe I should quit Y and try Z instead..? Oh, my hands are itching and strangely, I'm eager to go back to Japan and play in my kitchen again.

21 January 2008

The Holiday

Movie Review is a little corner to share the films I've watched. Be it I recommend, or discourage the viewing, it is just a personal opinion from a ' less than or never ' movie critic.

It is one of the most sensitive, touching and vivid potray of 4 individuals' struggles over love relationship. The early part of the film may seem somewhat superficial, but it rolls on to a good plot tenderly. Gorgeous looking Cameron Diaz and Jude Law are the main attraction perhaps, but Kate Winslet and Jack Black lose out no further by their great acting too! I love the wonderful ending especially, not forgetting the great scores that really whip up a good mood for various scenes. Absolutely great film!

10 January 2008

Not alone in the valley

Most Christians would know what ' Our Daily Bread ' is. ' My Daily Bread ' is a personal devotion, thoughts about my faith in Christ, and a journal of my walk with the Lord. Sorry folks, if I can't write ' daily ' ( Smile ). Nevertheless, God bless...

The ' fertilizer ' that helps us grow is in those valleys, not on the mountain tops.

2008 did not start off well for me, as something unpleasant has happened very undesirably. The problem snowballed into an ugly situation, and threw me into total confusion. A friend who knew too well my predictament, took time to comfort me. He shared something he received from another friend, and it really spoke to my heart:

We all find ourselves in the valley of despair sometimes. It may sometimes seem that we are forever worrying, suffering pain, and facing challenges. But we must try to remember that the fertilizer that helps us "grow" is in those valleys, not on the mountain tops.

During the times that we feel scared and confused, we will always end up wiser and we will grow more from the experiences. We will understand more about people and life, become more sensitive, and we'll be able to enjoy life more after we go through the hard times.

We have to experience sadness so that we may better measure joy. Life has a way of balancing the sorrow with the joy, the disappointments with the hope, and the emptiness with the meaning.

Oh yes, I should also remember too that though I may be walking through the valley, I am not alone. Jesus is holding my hand along the way and guiding me, showing me also important lessons 'through the valley'

Another sister who also ' walks through the valley ', encouraged me to be strong in the Lord, and reminded me of something also important : forgiveness.
It is painful and if you ask me, I do not know, even how to look into the eye of party that decides to hurt me so without hesitancy. I only wish to be left alone and be spared. Yet I know that it is the Lord's desire that I first resolve this issue within my heart. Forgiveness...

It may be another ' walk through the valley ', but I am thankful that I need not walk alone to face everything by myself, for the Lord is always by my side. Thank you also Father, for sending my dear friends to me during needy times. Please give me the strength and wisdom to deal with things that are necessary to walk out of the valley. Amen.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

02 January 2008

Happy 2008!

Japan celebrates their traditional New Year ( お正月)on the 1st Jan. It is of no exception to us as we welcome 2008 with a brand new mood. It is the Year of the Rat according to the Japanese Zodiac Calendar, so it is quite common to see decoration accompanied with the ' Rat ' symbol.
My husband made some buckwheat noodles (蕎麦)on the eve, to consume before the clock striked 12 on the New Year. The Japanese eat the buckwheat noodle, which is long and slender (長細い). It bears the meaning of longevity, by staying slim for health reason.

The handmade buckwheat noodle isn't very long compared to those available in marketplace, but it is afterall my husband's effort of trying to preserve some Japanese tradition.

Most of the Japanese would visit a nearby shrine to offer incense and pray. As Christians, we refrain from this religious act politely. Nevertheless, it is our prayer to Lord Jesus for good health, peace, love and blessings for this new year to start. May our families be abundantly blessed too.

New Girl on the Blog!

Hello there, it is the new girl on the Blog! Taking chance to greet readers out there...I look forward to further exchange with you.

Hope you'll like my humble presentation.