Relationship Goal

It was my wedding anniversary! Again! Just like last year…

It wasn’t how I imagined, or wanted it to be though. The food didn’t come out right. I was not feeling well… And, hubby was incredibly grumpy because of work related issues.

Not that I wanted a lavish celebration or something like that. We are not used to celebrating things anyway. But I was thinking of making something for us yesterday. DIdn’t happen. Oh well…

But at least one thing came out okay:

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Mickey and Minnie gingerbread biscuit…

PS. Do you know that Mickey and Minnie have been together since 1930’s? Well that’s your new relationship goal, isn’t it?

x ❤ x

Pancake Day!

Alright. I have been in the UK for over 2 years now, but yesterday was my first ever pancake day.

I always missed it in the past, but yesterday… I did it!

Pancake in the UK is different from American pancake. This pancake is thin, and the batter is quite runny, like crepes. It is very easy to make, with very simple ingredients… yet incredibly tasty.

Especially when you eat it the traditional way (my husband taught me how to do it “properly”): squeeze the lemon, and sprinkle some sugar on it. YUM!

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However yesterday evening my husband had his overtime, so he went home a little bit later than usual. That’s why I had time to make even more pancakes… so I made mille crepe.

I made one few years ago before we had this current oven hob. In fact, it was my first ever cake made for my husband’s birthday (I didn’t know how to bake back then). But the cake was too rich for him at that time, so I made less layer, and used different filling for it too…

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Ah anyway…

I still have some of them left… Guess what I am having for lunch?

x ❤ x

The Twiglets…

I started noticing Twiglets since I am in the UK, but I am haven’t really tried it up until last year. My husband introduced it to me, after he found out that I actually enjoyed Marmite. Marmite is… I actually am not sure what it is, but it is a kind of thing people here use in their toast to make it very tasty…

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Twiglets are basically a type of crisps, taste like Marmite. If you are from Australia, my husband said that it might be something that reminds you of a stronger Vegemite.

I thought Twiglets are popular in any western country — means everywhere else that is not Indonesia. But apparently I was wrong.

Anyway, I got hooked after I tried this twiglets thing. They are much better than potato crisps, and some swears that they are even healthier. I know… I know there is no such thing as healthy crisps, but if there are any, it must be twiglets.

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However, Twiglets are rarely on sale on supermarket, so I have to be very cunning in storing them. Like — for example — when I found them in poundland (it’s like one dollar store, but in poundsterling…). Yes, I stash them. Same thing happened when I found Guinnes flavoured potato crisps…

And no… I don’t feel guilty stashing crisps at home.

Away from the nibbles… I just realised that the photo I uploaded last time was from the wrong side. How bizarre…

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Here… the right side, and a bit of progress 🙂

x ❤ x

This Little Piggy and Her New Toy

Yes, I bought a candy thermometer from Amazon. It is definitely made in China kind of product, and since it is shipped from there as well, it took ages to finally arrived to our mailbox. It is cheap though… very cheap. You can obviously find a better looking, and ones with faster delivery there, but… I wasn’t in a rush, it’s just a minor inconvenience having to wait for few weeks for that thing.

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the thing…

What for?

Well… i wasn’t sure when I bought the thermometer. It was… you know… an impulsive purchase, because it popped up in my “you might like” section, and it was really cheap. Have I mentioned that it was incredibly cheap? I mean… less than £2, it’s obviously a bargain…

Anyway, it arrived, and it’s working. So, I better make use of it.

And… I’ve decided to make my own homemade yogurt.

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First step is to pasteurise it. Some source said that if I use milk from an unopened bottle I don’t need to do this, but I found out that this is actually a very important step to guarantee a thicker, creamier yogurt…

Now I don’t have a fancy yogurt maker. I don’t fancy buying it too. Yogurt is something that people has made in the past for many many years successfully without yogurt maker, so it is a clear evidence that we don’t need yogurt maker to make yogurt.

All I needed was a pan, and a rice cooker. Yes rice cooker, the one that looks like a small slow cooker. You can use slow cooker too. We have one of those, but it was stored way back in the larder, and wasn’t going to make a big batch… so.. Rice cooker would do. But no, Sir, I’ve made my point, and am not going to be tricked to buy a yogurt maker.

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After adding the starter, the milk mixture is wrapped, and let snuggle comfortable in the pre-warmed rice cooker. See the thermometer? Yep!

Especially because you don’t need so much effort to make a good homemade yogurt too. Seriously. With bread, I can see the appeal of having a bread maker. The idea of not having to break my back kneading the dough, and the minimum mess it’s making can be quite appealing. But yogurt is much easier, you just stand and stir, and if you have an oven you can sit, and occasionally check how’s your bacteria doing…

It is really easy. Especially if you have a thermometer… like me 😀

A quick google search and I was in the kitchen making yogurt.

Okay… I lied. I tried to make yogurt BEFORE i had the thermometer. So, making yogurt without thermometer is definitely possible. You would have to rely on your sense of touch, and visual clue. My yogurt turned out okay, albeit slightly slimy and runny. And this is why i believe thermometer would make a difference.

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it is very thick… you can see how it makes lumps when it is moved to a jar. If you want greek yogurt though… you can strain it and remove the whey. I use the whey to make bread 😀 Waste not!

My second attempt of yogurt, I got everything… i mean everything measured. The timing, the temperature… And the result? Creamy, tasty, healthy, and cheaper yogurt (I am tight, I know)… Definitely won’t need any more yogurt from the store.

x ❤ x

P.S. I did some calorie calculation for the plain home made yogurt vs plain low-fat store bought yogurt. The homemade yogurt, made from semi skimmed milk (that’s 2% by the way) is significantly lower calorie while having a thicker and creamier texture. I suspect it is because in store bought yogurt, it was either runny and then strained (so gram per gram it is more calorific), it used cornflour as a thickening agent, or added sugar.

Pastry Week at The Great British Bake Off

Do you watch The Great British Bake Off? If you are in Britain you probably do, but if you’re not in Britain, Bake Off might sound not too familiar. You could google it, but basically it is a baking competition… clue is in the name.

However, Bake Off is a completely different cooking competition to ones I have seen before. It is not Top Chef, it is not Masterchef… it is not anything you’ve seen before. It is a very friendly, homely kind of show, with a bunch of lovely contestants, an unlikely pair of judges, and a pair of comedian as hosts. There are no hostility towards competitors, no bad mouthing, no sabotage etc — just a good old baking.

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I made croissant for bread week, not knowing that it is actually for pastry week… woops!!

So… I was flabbergasted when I heard BBC has to let GBBO go to Channel 4. Yes, ladies and gentlemen — it is a headline news in the UK.

I have been following the weekly themes and making my own stuff… A cake for cake week, biscuits on biscuit week… you got the picture. Only last week, when they released the news about GBBO move, I couldn’t make myself bake for batter week…

But I am back now… And although I am slightly disappointed that Val is going (just right after Kate! Two my favourites in a row!), I am ready to bake again.

So for this week theme: Pastry week… i present to you: Tarte Aux Pommes:

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Should have keep an eye for that slightly burnt edge 😦 And I forgot that I didn’t have apricot jam for glaze… oh well 😦

My neighbour has extra apples from her daughter’s apple tree at home, so she insisted I took it. I thought it would taste wonderful in a tart. Why not apple pie, you ask? Because… frangipane. Enough said…

Did my DH like it? Pssh! Sweet pastry with frangipane? He could scoff the lot in one sitting :0

x ❤ x

I Think Summer Is Over

Or at least, I hope so…

I know… I know how ungrateful that sounds for so many people. I realised that in this country people likes the sun, and the warmth and everything, so I know that hoping the summer to be over is not very… British — as how my DH would put it. Oh well…

But still. I am glad that the last couple of days it was cooler, even borderline chilly. I was happy that it was raining too, for so many many many reasons.

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Happy Poppies

My plants are happy with a little weather change there, my tomatoes, poppies… everything just so happy that finally they are not overheated. I am happy that with the rain, there were no football games either.

Pssh… Doesn’t matter how often my DH told them to be careful where they kick those balls… I really wish next year we can move somewhere where we could have a proper garden and better neighbour…

Anyway… I just realised I haven’t written anything for a month! And how rude of me to just barge in and rant about the weather and the neighbour and all that. Apologies.

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where are the red tomatoes?

I have to say that it had been way to warm for me to knit, but I did some progress though — in cooking, baking and especially gardening. I harvested my tomatoes, and they’re wonderful in salads and food. And boy do they taste wonderful.

Not only that they’re fresher (just picked that very morning), and pesticides free (because I don’t use any of those). It is also very satisfying to see them grow… just for YOU! Wonderful isn’t it?

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they are here! harvested, and ready to be cooked… and eaten

Since the summer is almost over, I started to collect some seeds from my flowers too. I imagine that next year, whether I will stay in the UK, or sent back to Indonesia, I would be able to grow these wonderful flowers again.

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Anyway… Does anyone know how do you harvest poppy seeds? I quite like the flowers…

 

Worries…

I was trying to compose something about my holiday in Indonesia, and I did try hard. But somehow nothing came out right.

It was definitely an exciting holiday. I remember us being so enthusiastic — preparing, packing up, getting my husband proper vaccination and malaria pills. Even with my husband personal feelings towards flying, the flight wasn’t too bad — I admit having Deadpool on the in flight entertainment did help a lot in distracting my husband from thinking about flying.

of course having red wine on our aeroplane meal helped too...

of course having red wine on our aeroplane meal helped too…

I remember the train journey and how we ended up exceedingly tired because of the delay — the engine breakdown. I remember the party, and my sisters and my brother. And my parents who were so happy about having the complete set of family members in one room — something that is rarely happen recently due to us being away from home.

But when I tried to compose them to a story. It just don’t come out right.

Once I set my feet at Norwich, the excitement is gone. The holiday feelings. The sense of adventure. They’re just gone and replaced by worries. Lots of them.

view from the train, just when the dawn broke...

view from the train, just when the dawn broke…

Since I have been shouted at on the street few days before I left for Indonesia, I could no longer feel safe. After Brexit, I could no longer feel at home, nor feel welcome as a guest in this country. My husband who is a white British born and bred tried so hard to convince me otherwise, but with so many horrible news lately… it is hard not to think about the worst.

Really.

It made me think, is it possible that I could be happier if we move somewhere else?

x ❤ x