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

It Means… Food!

Horrible flight, finally arrived at my hometown. Mum set up a small welcome celebration… It means FOOD!

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Going to visit my friend in Malaysia, and at the same time having a long awaited holiday there. She thought it would be a wonderful idea to introduce me to the local culture. It means… FOOD!!

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Coming home from Malaysia with a feverish cold, and my aunt thinks the only way to get me recovered from this is by giving me a good nutrition. It means… FOOD!!

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Chinese New Year is coming. And in the CNY Eve, the whole family gathered in my aunt’s home. We had fun and celebration. It means… MORE FOOD!!

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The next day, the CNY day… gave red envelopes to little nieces and nephews. More people coming, and now wishing each other health, happiness, and abundance. I know what is abundant… FOOD!!

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Seriously, I haven’t gone to see my scale now. I don’t dare to look at the current number lol. But meh… who cares? Not me. Not now.

x ❤ x

One Little Ducky

Modifying the hat to make a completely different hat is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Maybe because I have done some amigurumis in the past, so it might be helpful to know the basic crochet technique to make half a sphere shape.

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Making the beak, however is a complete try and error process. While I used treble crochet to do the hat, I used double crochet (UK term) for the beak. I found it easier to shape, and I also found it sturdier with DC, I need it to be sturdy, because the beak would serve as the hat’s brim too.

I made two of them with the lower part of the beak to be slightly smaller to imitate real beak, and I think it does look alright.

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I wasn’t really sure how I would like to do the eyes. I mean, I have seen some projects on ravelry to get inspiration, but I really didn’t want to use buttons nor safety eyes, because it would be slightly uncomfortable to wear. And it could be slightly dangerous too, just in case it got loose and got eaten by the baby.

So I decided to go back to basic, and made crocheted two circles using black yarn. I did try to use it together with white yarn to make them look more like an eye, but DH said just the black would give more cute effect. So I did what he suggested.

Tada!

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Let’s hope it fits…

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.

I Am Officially An Auntie :D

Well… I was an auntie before this, because my DH has a nephew, but you know what I mean…

My sister just gave birth to a beautiful little daughter — the first in my family. Both the mother and the baby are healthy, and in an excellent condition. My parents are over the moon for their first grandchild.

I am so overjoyed, but at the same time feel a bit sad that I am not the only one who are not there with my sister to give support. Seems like I am the only one missing the celebration in Indonesia 😦 Not happy about it 😦

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Anyway…

So, I decided to just celebrate it myself here with my husband, by baking a cake 🙂 Obviously we don’t need any reason to bake a cake, but it feels slightly more special when you attach story behind a bake…

And here you go…

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Whoopsie… Forgot to take photo before sliced it :p

 

Cocopandan Cake with Gula Melaka topping.

Yes it sounds foreign, I know. But I feel like I want to make this one because it reminds me so much of home. Cocopandan is basically coconut and pandan (fragrant leaves, very popular in Indonesian desserts and beverages), and gula melaka or gula merah is how we call palm sugar in that part of the world.

It tastes wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day 🙂

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

 

More! More Flowers!!

My garden is doing well lately. Especially after few sunny days, it seems like everything is blooming, or at least budding. The chamomiles which has bloomed last week, is now going crazy. I had to make a prop from barbecue skewer to keep them growing upwards instead of.. everywhere else.

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And then, the violets. Viola? Violet?

What do you call this? I was told that it is called violet, but when I googled a bit, some call it viola. Viola tricolour. And apparently it is edible.

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I have eaten so many things — coming from Indonesia where everything could be magically made into food, not much food-wise could surprise me. But eating flower? I have never done it. Extract? Yes, a bit of lavender or rose, and it gave a nice touch to desserts, but not munching the whole flower.

Is it safe? It seems too cute to be eaten.

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Oh… Do you know what else is cute? Bok Choy‘s flower! I didn’t know that they would look like that. It is quite decorative apparently. I thought they were just all about edible leaves — never expected anything quite that beautiful.

You know what?

The first time I decided to garden, all I could think of is something to keep me busy, and at the same time could help with the groceries. You know, when you have a vegetable garden you could grow your own food, and… unlimited salad. But, now that I have seen flowers, I kind of understand what my dad told me earlier this month…

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“It is a good thing [gardening]. It makes you happy when you see that your hard work pays…”

x ❤ x