I finally celebrated Chinese New Year with my whole family again after about 7 years or more celebrating it separately. No big drama, but nothing exciting happening in my hometown either. My guess is because our city mayor is not very supportive of the celebration (just a random political opinion).
Anyway, since we were together, we were planning for a trip. Our ( or my dad’s and my) first choice went to China, particularly Beijing area. We were dying to see the Great Wall with our own eyes. And somehow before I went back, I happened to watch some videos taking place there, like thepianoguys and an old episode of running man. I told myself that I was gonna be there soon.
After researching and pondering, going to China during Chinese New Year didn’t seem to a good idea. Not to mention that my family has very little exposure to real winter, except one of my younger brothers who had lived in the upper state before. I was not sure if we could survive and enjoy the trip.
Then other places that popped out in my mind were Japan, South Korea, and Indochina. The best time to visit Japan is when the cherry blossoms are blooming although I know that every season always has different things to offer. But then, my parents are not a big fan of Japanese food. It would be a waste to go there without indulging in delicious, traditional food. So, I had to cross Japan out and save it for a trip with friends with similar minds.
I also then crossed out Indochina very soon because we couldn’t afford to much time spent on the road moving from one place to another. The only thing left now is South Korea. I was never that interested in South Korea until I watched running man when they went to the traditional markets. It’s also a quite popular shopping destination, especially for its cosmetics products. So Mother, I shall not disappoint you. The other determining factor is that it will be snowing there. “Wait, I know I did mention we may not survive harsh winter. But, what if that’s only for a couple of days? Mom and dad have never seen real snow anyway. When else will they have the opportunity to experience it?” It’s now or never.”
So, Korea, get ready for us!
One of places I visited
WOW… It’s already 2014. I still need to stop for a second to make myself belief that I should type that 4 instead of 3. I have not really sat down to ponder what my resolutions should be this year, but I know what I did not get to finish last year. So, those will be automatically carried over to this year. I can be a bit pessimistic, sometimes. What’s the use of thinking about resolutions if at the end we will fail, anyway? Just look at a fitness gym that is crowded in the first few weeks of the year, and then it dies out after that. It really does not take long to quit because that’s the direction of the gravity.
But I’ll encourage having your resolutions (and mine) down. It is good to know what we are lacking, and to continuously challenge ourselves to be better. It is also to let some closest people know about the your resolutions so that they can check on you from time to time. Having said that, I’d do mine ASAP.
I finally visited La Perouse in the beginning of this year. It was a sunny, hot day, and the streets were still quite empty. From the CBD to La Perouse, it took about 45 minutes by bus. When I got there, I did not press the STOP button because I thought that the bus would stop because it was its last. Wrong.. The bus driver automatically turned and almost took me back to the city because she did not realize I was there. (Maybe one of my resolutions will be to make myself more visible to others?) Good thing, I shouted ‘Stop, please’ immediately.
There were not many people around, so I could take time to relax and enjoy the view. I spotted a beach, and some people fishing. Then I walked crossing the bridge to Bare Island, which used to be a military fort and now open for a guided tour. I saw some steps down from the bridge, so I walked down around the island a little bit. Carefully stepping on the rocks to avoid being wet, I was subsequently laughed at by a passing scuba diver. I gave up. Brrrr…. it’s cold but refreshing at the same time. I love the sound of the water hitting the rocks and the view of little flowers spreading out in the field;. It reminds of the passage in the Bible where it mentions that God takes care of every little creation, including us. (Matthew 6: 25-34)
May 2014 be a great year for all of you! May it be a year of more giving and loving.
It’s Christmas! The joyful season never fails to make feeling warm and fuzzy although it had been quite hot lately in Sydney (Hello Summer!). This year’s Christmas Eve I got to do my first-ever caroling, and I was so blessed that I could celebrate it with my church family. It was almost like New Year’s Eve because I stayed up until 1.30 am.
I thought I should make something for Christmas. Having seen several tiramisu recipes lately, I felt motivated to make one myself. I was failed making it once, mainly because the lack of proper ingredients. But this time, I got a feeling it would work. To make it different, I changed the espresso with matcha, so I think it should be called matchamisu. I guess I was not too generous with the amount of matcha I put in. The final result did not have the intense matcha flavor that I was looking for. It nonetheless still pleased the palate of every person who tried it.
Maybe next time I’ll replace the lady finger cookies with matcha sponge cake. Anyway,
Soaked lady fingers
The final product
The cross section (sorry for the messy picture!)
Recipe from Cooking with dog
- 2 egg yolks
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 250 g mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- 300 mL heavy cream
- 8 oz lady fingers
- 200 mL unsweetened matcha
- Cake pan 13″x 7″ x 2″ (which was a bit too big for this recipe)
- Matcha powder for dusting
- In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale . (I did this while putting the bowl in warm water in case the eggs were not pasteurized)
- Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth.
- In another bowl, whip the cream until soft peak.
- Add half of the cream into the egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the rest of the cream and mix until uniform.
- Dip the lady finger in the matcha for a second and transfer into the pan.
- Repeat until the pan base is covered with a layer of lady finger.
- Top the lady finger layer with the 1/2 of cream mixture.
- Dust with matcha powder
- Repeat the layers for another time.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours, and before serving dust with matcha powder and icing sugar to make some patterns.