What Goes Well With Tea?

Have you ever thought of that? What goes well with tea?

I started to think about that after my husband introduced me to one of the best British delicacy called Rich Tea biscuit. I mean, the name says it all, doesn’t it? Rich Tea… the biscuit that makes tea drinking experience even richer? Am I pushing it?

IMG_4255[1]

The traditional Cream Tea — Tea, scone, cream and jam

Then of course, along came Cream Tea. Scone is probably one of the best thing that can happen to tea. Those are new to me, because in Indonesia, and in my Chinese culture, tea is not enjoyed the way people do here in the UK. Completely different.

For example, in Indonesia we don’t need to drink tea from a cup. We enjoy it hot or cold, with or without sugar. But never… with milk or any whitener. Or lemon, as lemon is not widely accessible in Indonesia — expensive because it is an imported fruit.

img_2594

Chinese Tea in a Bakutteh Restaurant in Malaysia. Definitely a must try… 

While my mum is a coffee drinker, my dad is a tea drinker. He enjoys a good tea, and only drink it black. I think I learn it from him. The difference is, while I am not too fussy with my tea, my father could be a mini pain in the neck when he started making comments about what tea should be. Come to think of it.. almost all his siblings are pretty fussy about tea.

Whenever I come back from Indonesia, I always bring some boxes of tea for me and my sister in law. Indonesian tea (especially the jasmine tea version) is generally more fragrant than tea in the UK, which was imported from India. I am not saying they’re better, but I am used to tea from the other part of the world, and processed differently too. I mean, there are hundreds or thousands of tea variety in the world, in the end it is all about your preference, isn’t it?

Right… while in that part of Asia we enjoy tea with almost everything — including savoury food, here we have a special kind of tea drinking experience called Afternoon Tea, or High Tea.

IMG_4293[1]

High Tea or Afternoon Tea… Three Tiered Yums

I was finally able to convince my DH to go with me to enjoy an Afternoon Tea in the city. He is a coffee drinker, so he swapped his tea with coffee — don’t mind the heathen. He thought Afternoon Tea is an overpriced cake eating experience. I beg to differ…

I believe that afternoon tea is not just about eating cake and sandwich while drinking tea. For me it is a way for us to allocate a time for just us, enjoying the finer things in life without distraction from computer games, or mobile phone apps, or tv show. It is a great way to go on a date as a couple.

Seriously.

And you know what? When we finished the afternoon tea (we were allowed to bring the leftover home, so… bonus), he admitted that he quite enjoyed the whole experience. See?

Anyway… what else goes well with tea? You guessed it…

IMG_4334[1]

Knitting.

x ❤ x

 

Advertisements

Bake Off is On (Again)

Despite feeling utterly devastated last year, knowing that The Great British Bake Off is no longer broadcasted on BBC, I can’t help feeling excited to know that it is back on telly last night. Of course it is not the same without Queen Mary (Berry), but hey… change could be good. It did not work with Top Gear, but QI is doing okay without Mr. Fry.

The adverts, though… We could all do without them. But being a positive me, I think adverts time is the best time to count stitches.

IMG_4298[1]

 

Anyway… I warned my husband that with Bake Off on telly, it means there would be a massive amount of baked goods coming out of the kitchen. When I heard him grumping, I told him that if he did not like what I bake, he could always share with the colleagues. Apparently he was grumping because he knew he had to share with the colleagues.

He really is extra-possessive to his cakes.

So, I did some midnight baking. Not necessarily because of Bake Off, but because I couldn’t sleep. Last night was BAKING hot — heh heh… sorry, can’t help myself, and it was too uncomfortable to go to bed, or knitting — gasp.

IMG_4371[1]

This week signature dishes is fruity cake. Or cake with fruit. Uhm… not really understand the challenge yet, so I made my upside down apple caramel spiced cake. I mean… it’s cake with fruit, isn’t it?

x ❤ x

P.S. In the morning, only half of it is left in the kitchen.

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:

img_2993

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!

img_2985

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…

img_2986

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…

img_2435

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.

img_2448

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…

img_2446

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.

img_1591

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.

img_1557

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.

img_1558

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.

img_1567

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.

From Farm To Fork…

Well.. in my case it is actually from Garden to Gut, but that doesn’t sound pretty, does it? I harvested the young leaves of my Bok Choy, or Pak Choi — I am of Chinese descent but I still am not sure how to pronounce this Asian themed vegetable.

Some of the leaves were munched by something, and I am not sure what has munched my leaves. Some said that slightly munched vegetable leaves means it is free from pesticides. But… still I am not happy about my something eating my veggies without my permission. That’s thievery…

IMG_0662

After washing them out, I am left with beautiful fresh looking baby Pak Choi leaves. Not a lot to start with, but I wish it will change in the future (next harvest). I decided to make something out of it.

Tada…

IMG_0661

Stir fry is one of the most common way to cook things in our culture. My grandmother basically stir fry everything. I think she believes that stir frying things is the best way to keep the nutrients in the food, because the meat — in this case I had chicken, will be cooked first, and the vegetables would be flash cooked (so quick, it didn’t even realise that it’s actually being cooked).

Sooo excited. Especially because of my courgette is start flowering too. Really can’t wait to harvest this one too. Eek!!

img_0718

x ❤ x