Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

A Glimpse At The Barn

The medical facility I am incacerated in is what I call, The Barn.

It pales in comparison to Bates Motel but I managed to find warm hearted nurses. They try their best and for which, I am grateful. The Barn is a more than 150 year old facility and its antiquated buildings still stand as conservation of during the British Occupancy serving the Sepoy Lines.

Massive new buildings have sprouted around the lower buildings and these high rise are to cater to increasing Cancer, Heart and Community Care cases.

Nestled amongst trees, the Barn’s medical care is cookie cutter style. They do not treat anomalies and are at a loss to think creatively.

My White Coat is bothered as she now sees for herself, my wound breaking down.

Aahh well her nightmare now begins for me as post operation wound issues usually rears its ugliness. I got to fight this….

Meanwhile this is a sampling of my breakfast and lunch. Simple but edible and am not complaining.

Breakfast – antiquated choc swirl bread
Lunch
Dinner…for good behaviour I got an extra side of ginger pork.
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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 21 November To 27 November 21

21 November…Sunday is usually kitchen closed days for Neighbor. But she whipped up a nice lunch of home made pumpkin soup with I enjoyed with left over home made pizza she gave me, which I froze. She gave me some romaine lettuce and tomatoes too.

22 November 21 – Lunch

22 November 21 Dinner

23 November Lunch was curry chicken with a side of rice.

23 November dinner was corn and carrot soup with braised belly pork and veggies with rice.

25 November – Lunch was delicious with 2 red bream fish heads steamed with a side of veggies. The fish heads were stuffed with tomatoes and ginger, garlic & a nice vegetarian bun for Tea Break.

Vegetarian Bao (包) filled with delicious mushrooms and vegetable filling.

25 November Dinner was fried black pomfret fish head (by now you will have guessed that I love fish heads) with rice and steamed egg with minced pork. A side of spinach and fish ball soup was also served.

26 November meals are Japanese themed – Lunch was udon noodles with miso soup. Light and delicious – I loved it!

26 November Dinner was salmon with cabbage rice with miso soup.

27 November Lunch was Empress Place Nasi Lemak that Neighbor bought for me. She added fishcakes and a hard boiled egg.

She made a side of pickles with cucumber, dried tofu skin and black moss fungus in garlic, vinegar and light soya sauce.

27 November Dinner was porridge with chia seeds and chives with a side of pickled lettuce, braised peanuts and chye sim fried with canned braised pork.

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Tropical Fruit – Jambu Ayer

I love this fruit.

My parents had 2 Jambu Ayer fruit trees in our home and it gave us an abundance of Jambu Ayer fruits.

Also known as Water Apple or from the family name Myrtaceae, this fruit is juicy but tasteless – meaning it is not sweet like an apple.

The best way to eat Jambu Ayer is to use it as a fruit for Fruit Rojak that is marinaded with shrimp paste, assam, grounded peanuts, pineapple, mangoes and apples with turnip, chinese croissant.

I used to eat this by dipping into a bowl of sugar with dark soya sauce and chilli.

It is delicious and it becomes a main meal as it is light and refreshing.

This humble fruit was cheap in the old days as shared by my mum. But these days 6 fruits can cost me $2.50.

My late Dobermann used to stand on her hind legs to pluck this fruit as she found it a refreshing treat on hot humid days.

If you are ever in the tropics do buy this fruit to have a taste!

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Neighbor’s Cooking 31 October To 4 November 21

31 October 21 – Lunch was home made mee rebus.

Mee Rebus is a Malay dish that is commonly sold at hawker centers. It is a simple dish comprising 1 hard boiled egg, bean sprouts and fried beancurd. It is not expensive to buy and eat it ready cooked – $3 to $5 depending on if it is sold as a street food or food court dish. Restaurants will sell this ranging from $12 to $15 per plate and sometimes add a potato Pattie with it.
Calamansi lime juice is usually squeezed into the Mee Rebus to give it that tangy taste and a bit of spiciness from cut fresh green chillis.
This is the gravy or sauce that is poured into the noodles. I guess Mee Rebus is the Malay version of spaghetti bolognese except that the gravy is made from a sweet potato base and other spices.

31 October 21 – Dinner

Japanese Miso Soup
Baked salmon, Mackerel fish head and Mackerel meat.
A side of rice was also served.
Pork Rib soup was given to me by my mother’s Neighbor. This was bought from the regular hawker center. Not cheap as it would probably cost $5 to $8 a bowl,

1 November 21 – lunch was not served because I had to run medical appointments for my parents.

1 November 21 – dinner comprised kimchi, Korean styles chicken soup and a side of rice.

3 November 21 – Lunch was yong tau hoo with noodles

3 November 21 – Dinner was quinoa rice with mixed veggies stir fried

4 November 21 – Lunch was mee rebus but using thinner noodles. Bitter chicken soup with red beans was served.

Bitter chicken soup with red beans
Mee Rebus with instant noodles, hard boiled egg and sausages

4 Nov 21 Dinner was barbeque sting ray in chilli sauce and tom yum pork soup

Tom Yum pork and mushroom soup
A top view of BBQ sting ray with chilli served with a side of chinese greens and calamasi limes

How I served it on a plate for self

Curry for breakfast tomorrow. Neighbor would like me to have toast dipped in curry gravy or eat it with roti prata ie flat bread

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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 25 October To 29 October 21

25 October 21 – Dinner menu was brown rice with french beans stir fried with garlic with a side of soya sauce pork with shitake mushrooms.

View of the juicy plump shitake mushrooms

25 October 21- Dinner menu comprised nonya achar of long beans, cabbage, pineapple and cucumbers. Rice with minced pork steamed with salted egg with chinese veggies. For dessert I was given fresh dates. This is my first time eating fresh dates. Crunchy and not sweet as compared to the sweetened dates. I supposed the sweetened dates are deliberate as it is often eaten by Muslims breaking fast during Hari Raya Puasa. The sugars help the body adapt after fasting from 5am thereabouts depending on the calendar till around 7pm to 7.30pm.

26 October Dinner menu was rice with quinoa, cauliflower, sprinklings of silver white bait that we locally call it ‘silverfish’ and slices of beef (*told Neighbor to serve me minimal beef

dishes)

Red beans boiled with Japanese yams and pork was delicious.

A side of zucchinni marinaded with sesame seeds and Neighbor’s home made sauce was refreshingly tasty.

A small serving of kimchi soup with pork was also included in this buffet meal.

Another Korean chicken soup was also served to me.

Last dish in this buffet was mee sua egg pancake. I was amazed how Neighbor successfully made this interesting dish that accompanied the soups.

27 October 21 Lunch was rice vermicelli with fried shallots for flavoring. The piping hot spinach soup with fishcake is then poured over the rice vermicelli to create “bi hoon soup” it was so – yummy!

27 October 21 Dinner was kale and tomato salad with bacon and saba mackerel with rice served with a slice of lemon.

28 October 21 – lunch was fried bi hoon with pork and veggies.

28 October 21 dinner was lotus root soup, a favorite soup of mine with pork and a side of french beans with belly pork and rice.

29 October 21 Lunch was bi hoon soup and a side of nonya achar.

29 October 21 dinner was bak kut teh or pork rib tea soup with tang oh veggie and rice with unique rich thick black sauce for dipping with cut red chilli padi.

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Food Galore For Mum & Dad – They Are So Blessed!

23 October 21 was my dad’s 2nd covax appointment. I was on tenterhooks, especially after my mum’s reaction to the first jab with transient high blood pressure readings.

I was glad that the clinic I went to have some improvements after I sent a stinky note to the Dukes of Yore on how arrogant and non chalant the young turk of a doctor was when he did not bother to attend to my mum when she was unwell, whilst waiting for the 30 minutes.

People can and will change for the better, only if they choose to do so.

So, to prepare my dad for the injections, I had to make sure he was fed and that there would be alot of food on the table for him if post vaccination made him hungry. There were all sorts of side effects that I heard from friends and just to be safe, I ensured those that were within my means to help, I can do so.

I trudged more than 6,000 steps to get my folks their special choice of foods – rojak (mixed vegetables in a special prawn paste sauce that is not in below pictures, oyster omelette, satay and a friend of my mum’s popped by with Hokkien noodles for them.

Oyster Omelette that I tried for the first time from a new hawker stall. I usually buy from Newton Hawker Center and the Lady that is the chef there does a good job. This version from another hawker at Clementi Hawker center was not magnificent – it was terribly oily, oysters overcooked and lacked parsley for garnishing and the chilli sauce was not thick or heavier in taste. At $10 a plate, this is a premium dish for hawker fare.
Satay skewers at $0.50 a stick is cheaper than a double sized stick at $0.80. I realise that this hawker is smart to use the odds and ends of Bak Kwa (pork slices) that he retails so as to reduce his food waste and still make money out from it. I did not quite like it as it was too dry and tasted like Bak Kwa (high sugar content)
Hokkien Mee or Hokkien Noodles was a potluck bring of my mum’s friend.

We ended up with too much food as my mum’s neighnor also brough 2 packets of fried HOR FUN or friend flat noodles.

I think my mum and I are blessed in that we have friends or neighbors caring for us and bringing us food always. They help me a lot as I know my mum and dad are not starved as people are helping me look out for them.

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Neighbor’s Cooking – 19 July To 21 July

19 July Lunch – I was still reeling from the side effects of Covax and my Neighbor stopped sending me juice till my body recovered. She is quite a believer of Ying and Yang of the meridians of the body and felt that I need porridge to invigorate myself.

I received a nice bowl of steaming hot mince pork porridge cooked with gingko nuts. I love gingko nuts but never knew it could be used as an ingredient for a savory dish as I usually have it with dried longans as a dessert. It was delicious and I licked the bowl clean.

She also provided me with sides – Korean side dishes of kimchi, pickled radish and Japanese anchovies that I liked a lot. By now, I realise that Neighbor makes big jars of these and when I feel the need for it to whet my appetite when ill, she will send me portions of these treats.

19 July Dinner – although Neighbor had wanted to go out and grab some burgers from Burger King and asked if I wanted any, I said not to worry, I can rummage my own dinner. Her kindness knew no bounds as she stopped to say that she will make my dinner and send it up by 4pm so that I can eat. She asked if I mind eating leftovers from last night’s kimchi’s hot pot and I told her no. She added rice cakes and more radish and voila a tasty dinner appeared before me. It sure beats lugging self out of bed and struggling to make dinner!

It came with my favorite side dish of pickled black fungus with garlic bits. This is indeed a pick me up for the sandpaper tongue and I ate every single piece. It was crunchy, with hues of vinegar and salt with the zing from garlic.

20 July Breakfast returned with melon juices and yoghurt.

20 July lunch was another type of porridge. This is 养生粥! jasmine rice , millet , quinoa , lotus seed , Lily buds and raw barley, with green peas , corn , mince pork and silver fish. I cannot believe the types of ingredients that went into this bowl of porridge. Her meticulous selection of items with nutritional value is indeed appreciated.

Served with 5 types of Korean side dishes; Japanese achovies, pickled radish (different taste than kimchi), kimchi, lily stalks and pickled garlic in Korean sauce.

20 July Dinner – steamed Snapperfish head with black bean dace and chilli, mixed stir fried veggies of cabbage, chye sim, lily flower and mushrooms. Carrots and fig soup with pork bones and a potato salad.

21 July 21 – Fried rice vermicelli or bi hoon with veggies and canned meat. This is a literally local home delight and Neighbor did a fantastic job of it. Topped with fried egg and chilli, it was scrumptious.

21 July dinner was chicken rice with a side of spinach and fish cake. Green bean soup or mung beans with barley was served as dessert.

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Mother Of All Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Today, I pigged out.

I woke up with a craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

My freezer had a loaf of wholemeal bread and a left over of 3 slices from another loaf.

So as not to waste that extra slice, given I only had a 2 slot pop up toaster, I did a quick toast of all 3 slices and decided to stack the 3 slices with peanut butter and jelly.

I prefer either Planter’s or Skippy brand of crunchy peanut butter instead of Peter Pan or Adam’s brands.

Creamy peanut butter does not cut it for me and I used a fruity berry jam that was made by a local deli which had more berry fruits and zing! Adding the crunchy peanut butter, it became a delicious treat.

Presentation wise, I failed as the knife I used was not sharp enough to slice through.

Hence it looked like a monster of a sandwich. Aah well so much for my culinary skills. But at least it is edible and I give it a thumb’s up.

Heheh…thick skinned me fishing for compliments here!🤭🤭

So tell me…it does truly look like a monster gnawed through it right?

😆😆😆

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Neighbor’s Cooking 6 June to 8 June 21 – Parents Stayed With Me

Sunday morning and Neighbor cooked a unique dish translated to be “Shanghai Rice” or in Mandarin it is written as “上海饭“

Neighbor was kind to segregate my parents’ and mine as I have allergies to shrimps. So my parents’ serving includes shrimps whilst mine does not. Both servings are the same except mine had more sliced pieces of fish whilst my parents have both sliced fish as well as shrimps.

This is the first time tasting this unique dish and it was chokeful of chopped veggies, shitake mushrooms, bits of eggs, pork and fish. Healthy really and surprisingly, it tasted very good without the MSG (monosodium glutamate).

My parent’s serving with prawns or shrimps (depending on country one is living in, we call it prawns in Singapore or Lil Red Dot)
This is my serving with more pork and fish plus veggies.

Neighbor has also begun to serve us a daily mug of natural juices with probiotic yoghurt. Below is a sampling of the type of fruits that she will use for our morning juices. It is really delicious and refreshingly thick, like a berry yoghurt except her recipe uses, bananas, fresh pineapple, apples or berries and cherry tomatoes.

Sunday night dinner was a healthy popiah dish. Below is the image of the “popiah” skin (for those not familiar with “popiah” or we call Spring Rolls. However, this time round, she purchased vegetarian skins and sadly, it cracked when we tried to roll up the veggies and fillings for the spring rolls.

Fried egg with “Ku Chye” is used as a unique ingredient as vendors selling this spring roll uses hard boiled eggs with no added “Ku Chye” – green colored veggie you see in the dish.

The additional condiments that is used for the base to put in the main veggie filling. Top Left: chopped parsley and blanched bean sprouts. Bottom Left: Sweet black soya sauce to be spread onto the skin and for those who love chilli, can apply it with the sweet sauce.

Bottom Left is grounded almond powder. Neighbor ups the ante and uses almond nuts to grind into a powder form to sprinkle onto the base of sweet sauce and or chilli paste. Finely chopped garlic is also added to the skin. Normal hawkers will use ground peanuts as sprinkle as their cost to sell per roll at $1.80 will not give them good margins of profit if they use almonds as almond nuts cost a lot per 100gm.

Below is the main ingredient – finely hand chopped Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, turnip, bamboo shoots and Chinese Leeks that is then stewed with the seasonings.

Below is how the base looks like before the main ingredient is put onto the skin to be rolled up.

Below is a photo from Neighbor that shows the entire lot of ingriedients that go into the Spring Roll or popiah.

For dessert, Neighbor purchased Ki Chang (plain dumplings) from the market. These are very cute mini Ki Chang dumplings that provides 2 mouthfuls per unit. Well, if one has to be dainty when eating, then 3 mouthfuls haha…not big ones!

Below if the Gula Melaka sauce that is used for dipping or soaking the Ki Chang before eating it. Gula Melaka is a type of palm sugar that is pivotal for nonya or peranakan cooking. Widely also used for Malay cuisine for desserts and is supposedly healthier than white sugar. Her sauce was prepared so well that it was fantastic, better than ones I have ever tried and her secret which she shared with me is that she used 3 types of sugar; Gula Melaka, white sugar and brown sugar to concoct this mixture. Pandan leave is then added to boiled the sugars and leaves it really fragrant and appetising!

Monday lunch was a reprise of popiah. But dessert was special as her helper from Philippines made the traditional steamed glutinous rice with the sauce. In Malay, this is called “Lopez” but Lopez comes with shaved coconut whereas this manner of service is without it.

Monday Dinner comprised fried Mackerel and stir fried mixture of veggies such as asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms. 2 portions as one is with prawns for my parents and the other is without prawns for me. Mine was stir fried with lots of garlic and I loved it.

Monday night dinner also had a unique soup – “Sharksfin” Melon Soup with doufu, mushrooms and other ingredients seasoned to taste plus using black vinegar to stir into this soup. The vinegar is what makes this dish superb in taste.

No Sharks were killed for this dish as there is a special melon that allows the melon to be stripped like as if it is a Sharksfin effect. The taste is the same, though not as chewy like the real McCoy but I am not complaining as Sharksfin is overrated to me and not worth murdering sharks for I guess.

The soup seen in a deep pot that came to me in a thermos flask
The soup served in a bowl for serving

I love this main dish and so did my parents. Braised belly pork with bamboo shoots in soya sauce. It was stewed beautifully and went very well with plain steamed rice. My parents ate it with relish, leaving no left overs. I was very glad. This main was accompanied by a side of Chinese greens we call “Chye Sim” which was stir fried with garlic.

Chinese Herbal Chicken soup was served and it was another fantastic soup. Neighbor’s soups are really made well as she uses a pressure cooker to get the flavours out and her additional use of figs and or turnips to naturally sweeten or add to the taste, making each soup her signature dish.

Pork Belly Dish with Bamboo shoots
Stir fried Chye Sim in garlic

Chicken Herbal Soup with Chicken drumstick for dad, Chicken Wings for mum and I including drummets. Neighbor uses Kampong Chicken or “free range” chickens without the hormones or antibiotics that chickens are usually fed or injected with.

As an additional side, Neighbor made a beef salad with kale and cherry tomatoes. The Beef is from the muscle cut and it makes a great filling for sandwiches or salads.

For tea break, Neighbor made cup cakes and it went very well with a cuppa tea!

My parents have returned to her own home and I am sure my mum is regretting the food she is missing out as she needs to do her own cooking. It is nice to have someone prepare meals with heart and it is served piping hot to my door step each day.

I must never forget the graciousness of Neighbor, nor her generosity and kindness.

After I drove mum and dad home, I went to the bakery and bought 6 giant croissants to share with Neighbor. I know that Neighbor does not eat sweets as in chocolates and instead, I got her some McVities Digestives, McVities Marie biscuits and Fox chocolate cookies to share with her and her helper.

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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 4 June To 5 June 21 – Parents Still Staying With Me & Included

Neighbor cooked up a storm on Friday 4 June 21.

She made Hakka Yong Dou Fu for my parents and I. This is not an easy dish to make but she did it superbly well.

1 portion of Hakka Yong Doufu

Bean curd stuffed with pork, minced pork rolled in in bean curd skin and bean curd puffs served with Hokkien Mee noodles and rice vermicelli with bean sprouts and sprinkling of minced pork.

Hokkien mee noodles are thick yellow noodles that are locally made and used in another hawker dish called Hokkien mee with squids and prawns stir fried.

3 Portions of Hakka yong doufu

At 2pm Neighbor popped by with freshly baked scones and black sesame drink.

Sesame is touted to nourish hair growth and skin.

Friday dinner comprised stir fried beef in a special sauce Neighbor made.

As mum did not take beef, Neighbor specially made shelled king size prawns for her in the same sauce with sweet onions.

Side of stir fried mushroms with cauliflower, Kai Lan, Broccoli and asparagus spears. All these accompanied with rice.

5th June was another day of Korean meals. Korean “Tang Hoon” or glass noodles cooked in kimchi style with corned beef and doufu.

Cucumber salad done in Korean style was served as a side together with Quail eggs in a specially blended sauce with sliced onions and garlic.

I served these as lunch for my parents with calamansi juice that I bought at the supermarket that morning.

Saturday dinner was a unique Hakka dish of pork trotters in soya sauce, lime and chilli. It was pressure cooker cooked and it left loads of collagen for my mum to enjoy nibbling it with yam rice.

Two Korean sides of spinach and kimchi styled radiah was served as veggies and dinner was scrumptious.

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