Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

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 ε…»η”Ÿη²₯! 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?

πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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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 “上桷ι₯­β€œ

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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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 24 April To 30 April 21

Saturday breakfast – fruit wraps with seaweed
Saturday dinner: Sorry I messed up my neighbor’s plating for dinner – free range chicken with leeks
Side: steam fish with salted mustard veggies
Saturday spinach soup with egg
Monday: fish soup with veggies
Rice with canned bamboo shoots
Tuesday soup, pork and veggies
Side of rice
Wednesday dinner: brown rice with black fungus, kailan, white cabbage and sliced beef
Wednesday’s soup: Lotus root with pork and corn on cob
Thursday’s soup: Melon shredded with mince pork
Steamed cod in Neighbor’s home made sauce of mirin, sake and soy sauce boiled with garlic and ginger. Very delicious!
Thursday’s main: Thai basil pork with fried brown rice
Friday’s soup: corn on cob boiled with pork, raw figs, carrots, marrow and sweet potato. An unusual but very tasty combination.
Fried fish
Egg omelette with rice

A wonderful week of meals for meπŸ˜ƒ

I found these treats to share with Neighbor’s family.

The nutty filling of the tart is delicious, chokeful of nuts that sits on a cup of pie crust. The golden cake, shaped like a ball is so soft, fluffy and envelops a light blueberry jam

Happy Friday folks

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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 10 April To 16 April 21

Saturday’s lunch
Saturday’s lunch came with a box of salad
Saturday’s dinner fried zuchini with pork
Sunday’s Bittergourd soup with pork and doufu
Sunday’s dinner – curry fish head with veggies and a hard boiled egg
Boiled rice to go with fish head curry
A jar of home made chicken rice chilli
Monday’s soup…vegetarian – corn, carrots from Taiwan, figs, red beans, cashew nuts- absolutely delicious and tasty
Monday’s main – Japanese pork don on a bed of veggies and white rice. Really yummy!
Tuesday dinner of pasta with minced beef and chopped carrots.
Wednesday Korean extravaganza – Kimchi soup with chicken
Served with white rice
Friday’s lotus root soup with corn on cob and carrots – vegetarian soup cooked with cashews, red beans and figs
Rice with stir fried pork and veggies
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Candlenut At Como – 17 Dempsey

Chef Malcolm Lee personally created the menus and dishes. Mr Nice and I were lucky that he was the chef tonight and served up our tasting menu we selected at SGD98+ 7% GST +10% service per pax.

Click on the menu to see it at 100% readable.

I chose Limau Assam Boi at SGD9 a glass. Mr Nice had a white wine spritzer.

Our dinner menu begins…

Kueh Pie Tee with free range chicken for me and boston lobster for Mr Nice.
Appetizer #2 – morsels of rice with spices
Roti Jalal
A close up of roti jalal
White Bait soup with doufu, seaweed and mushroom. Very tasty!

Pork buah keluak…a signature dish that was served with white rice
Fish curry
Fruit rojak served in pockets
Belly pork with runny egg yolk which I did not like the runny egg yolk. I should have asked the eggs to be fried without runny yolks.
Best dessert platter. Starting from my left, clockwise…coffee caramel, tempeh cookie, Ubi Ketuk or tapioca steamed and sprinkled with coconut flakes. Last, in a bowl…mamgo bits, with aloe vera and chia seeds.

Worth every penny! It earned One Michelin star! Well done Chef Malcolm Lee.

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Oodles Of Food Fun In Lil Red Dot

For those who are just stumbling onto my blog site – welcome and thank you for reading.

For my good blog friends and followers, you will know that Lil Red Dot (fond nickname of Singapore) is a foodie paradise. Singaporeans love to eat and complain. This is our Singaporean trait and uniquely defines us.

So much so that our quest to be UNESCO heritage site to make Lil Red a place for hawker trade was successful in 2020!

The flavors of our food are unique and we are a melting pot of cuisines from all over the world. As our Lil Red Dot has 4 major ethnic groups, we have terrific Malay cuisine that is chock full of spices, flavors that tinscillates any discerning palate.

Salty, spicy, coconutty creamy and interwoven with chillies and condiments, fish, meats and poultry or veggies are transformed into dishes that westerners find exciting.

Our Chinese cuisine has hues of Szechuan peppers, plain Teochew styled dishes, Hokkien noodles such as Hokkien Mee or Hakka’s thunder tea rice that is totally vegetarian.

The Eurasian culture or Portuguese curries such as Devil’s curry and a mix of western and eastern flavors makes it delectable too.

What is even more unique is that we have residents from Japan, S Korea, Turkey etc and with them, come their unique cultural blend of foods. Plenty of sushi, sashimi, udon, kebabs and the list goes on.

I find that over the years, the traditional dishes get reinvented by young aspiring chefs and especially with the Master Chef series and prominent chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Jaime Oliver and others, many have decided to throw their pens or laptops to be a chef.

Lawyers, dentists, doctors, office workers and housewives have now decided to be their own entrepreneurs and I am so surprised to see a local ice cream shop selling spicy ice cream made to taste like nasi lemak ( rice cooked in coconut milk served with sides of peanuts, anchovies, cucumbers, chilli paste and fried fish or chicken parts) or malay desserts like Chendol (shaved ice with fillings like palm seeds, red beans, jellies and palm sugar to taste in the coconut soupy base).

I have seen how food fusion has emerged and with it, comes new tastes.

Some flop. Others succeed but I wonder if it will be a food fad and wear off?

I can understand why visitors from Australia or USA or Europe love our food as we are a hodge podge of everything and Satay seems to be the overall favorite alongside chicken rice which even our Singapore Airlines serve in First Class or Business Class (before Covid-19)

Western food centers on BBQ, ribs and a main dish with salad, soups and breads, followed by dessert of ices, fruits or cakes. Ours is anything goes, without need for sequencing. Eyes see – stomach growls, cash paid, food is down the gullet.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, our tourism trade has grinded to a halt. Long time stalwarts of western food restauranters like Dan Ryan Chicago Grill and Tony Romas have folded. These are my 2 favorites for western dishes such as ribs or salads. I first stumbled upon Dan Ryan’s in Hong Kong’s Pacific Place.

So it is to be expected that new food entrepreneurs may open and shutter after a while as cost of service staff and rental really kills the grade if footfall disappears and no influx of tourists or pandemics such as Covid forces all to be housebound.

Such are the risks of business I guess. If you make it, you hit the jackpot till you are faced with new challenges.

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Saturday Dinner Surprise By Neighbor

Usually Neighbor’s kitchen is closed on weekends.

But I got a text from her that she will be sending me dinner for tonight.

1st Course Soup

Vegetarian soup made with carrots, mushrooms, white cabbage and lotus root.

Main Course

Korean Dish with Budok and bringjal

Sides

Cucumber pickles with garlic
Dried mushrooms

Dessert

Pineapple cake & apple cake from Taiwan

It was simply delicious!

It is very nice to be included for her daily meals…I appreciate her kindness!

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2021 In Lil Red Dot – Non Stop Rain

I am not complaining with the non stop rain in Lil Red dot as the rain water will freely water the plants everywhere in my tiny island state.

I am not in the mood to go out especially when there are 3 cases in the community (imported cases) with the new Covid-19 strain that is far virulent in terms of spread than the older version. Like as if the older version is not bad enough, it had to mutate to create a new one! Sigh!

Good news is that our contact tracing is robust and that these cases were caught and contained. The Task Force is now looking into how to contain it with the Marine sector. It is good that they are on their toes and our scientists work feverishing to identify the strain. I feel safe with our PM and his team in charge. Credit goes to Minister Lawrence Wong who leads the task force. Not easy for him, but he and his team of Ministers Gan Kim Yong and Chan Chun Sing did it. Thank you men!

So is 2021 coming in with a big bang to change things? I doubt it, as 2021 will be clouded by the ravages of 2020 and I do not expect overnight turn arounds of the economy or burgeoning new deals for the economy to grow leaps and bounds. I have budgeted 2.7% salary increment for staff around the world but I know in reality this may not happen. But I will try as factoring inflation, there must be something given 2020, all forwent any wage increment and we were lucky not to have wage cuts and or job losses.

I am happy to have a roof over my head, relatively healthy parents (for their age, this is as good as it gets), electricity, water as and when required and some pennies in the bank for use.

I was told by Mr Nice that a mutual friend we know is thriving in Cryptocurrency trading, otherwise known as Bitcoins. I only have chocolate coins and no Bitcoins, mind you LOL! MisterMuse also weighed in to remind me not to whallop all of it in one go! Stomach would have preferred all at one go!

I am chicken hearted in all things risky and am one of those that will scrimp and save pennies, thus never growing rich. I am not a gambler.

MR EX is the opposite as being the so called entrepreneur he touts to be, he will always want to be earning mega bucks and or coming with new ways to make money.

For 2021, the last 2 days did not show the sighting of MR EX and I guess he is celebrating with his Bimbo and Dogs as he has money to spend and come hounding my way when he wants more leads or thoughts on business. For a struggling man with debts ( his perennial story to me which must be discounted 100%) he can afford a personal trainer to attend to him too.

Such is life, we con or get conned. I cannot con as I do not even know where to begin. So, no Bonnie & Clyde type escapades from me. Just a simply lass, carrying a beat up inanimate furball Garfield in tow, reporting to the cold marble floor to watch soapies from Hong Kong in Cantonese.

I miss Hong Kong for its wintry foods and soups.

I miss Eugene, Oregon for its farm fresh produce or strawberry picking seasons. I remember picking free blackberries off the bushes along Willamette River.

I miss Perth, Western Australia for fishing off the piers and drinking vino as we travel from Perth down South, seeing sights as we go.

I miss Adelaide’s Kangaroo Island and the German town of Hahndorf for its German food and brew.

Delightful German Brockwurst Sausages Served With Dijon Mustard and Gravy

I truly hope that I can continue to enjoy the decent health and the coming 2 surgeries planned for this year will turn out ok, giving me full use of my hands again.

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