for dad

My dad turned 60 yesterday. There was no huge birthday bash, no noisy chit-chatter, no feast and no candles. We’re a simple family and we celebrated in our small little way – with an apple strudel and a slice of cake from Canele. No cakes came out from my oven this time. Guilt is settling in as I type this.

But I have a valid excuse. Dad has never been the one with a sweet tooth. He’s more of a savoury (very heavy-handed with the salt as well, which drives my mum nuts) person and he’s into meats. Note to self: bake dad a meat pie next year.

Three slices of apple strudel later, I felt oddly sick but some chocolate tea from TWG helped. Yes, chocolate tea, and I adore it. More about it in another post (yes I will be updating more!).

Chocolate tea, cake and strudel aside, I want to take this chance to thank my Dad for everything he’s ever done for the family. My dear father is fiercely private (as you can tell from the small birthday do). He is very much a family man. I salute him for the long and odd hours he works. What inspires me most is how he’ll lug home bags of groceries ever so often even after work to prepare a meal for the entire household. Sometimes I think I don’t thank him enough.

Like I’ve said many times, to my friends – I love it when Dad cooks. There’s always a thick air of excitement as I sprint (almost.) to the kitchen when I smell deliciousness in the air the moment I push open the front door. I also adore the fact that Dad cooks in large quantities. He never stinges. This is one reason why I have such an insatiable appetite. To him, more is always good. Our household never goes hungry.

This is where I tell you about my habit of opening the fridge the moment I come home. It is to see if there’s leftovers to bring to work or just food to feed my hungry stomach. These days, a huge pot of beef stew/curry equates to a satisfying packed lunch the next day. My colleagues are very familiar with my Dad’s cooking. They’ve tried his buah keluak, beef stew, and devil’s curry among others. I rave about Dad’s food all the time, but not without reason. I wish you were able to try some right now. I know you’d agree with me.

So why hasn’t he started a food business of his own? He has thought about it (and dabbled with it lightly, a few years ago), but there are just so many limitations. I do wish that I could somehow help with this dream of his. Dad loves to cook and I am pretty sure that he would be more than happy to do it for a living if possible. I’ve told him many times that I will help him out should he ever decide to dive into this.

As always, most plans are easier said than done. Dad, I believe in your food and I think that it’s good enough to warrant an eatery of your own. I hope that a few birthdays from now, we’ll be able to celebrate something bigger.

In the mean time, enjoy your 60s! I love you Dad!

Posted on 25th Jun 2009 in birthday, Dad  |  6 comments

Birthday ramblings; toast and poached eggs included.

So I turned 24 yesterday and although there wasn’t much fanfare, I was happy.

I believe it was more of the serenity and calm whirr of the day’s events that gave me comfort, amidst of my happiness.

I was happy not because I received pretty presents and neither was it because those who remembered my birthday sent me text messages and called me to wish me. It wasn’t because my bosses bought a lovely birthday cake for me (okay maybe that did play a part. it was after all the only cake I got and it was delightful 🙂

The happiness I felt wasn’t so much that “kick your heels in the air and whoop for joy” kind. It’s just the plain knowledge that every day that comes by is a day to celebrate and live for.

I had become a person who finds joy in plain and simple things. You of all people should know that I find something as simple as food to be a huge blessing. A bare toast (and maybe some butter with that) would suffice in making me happy. So would a soft warm scone.

29 July became a day that marked my existence and also a celebratory reminder to treat everyday special. It certainly sounds really corny and cliche but the significance I take in it is fairly strong.

My birthday is special not because it was the day I was born but because of the people around me who have loved me abundantly. I am who I am today as a happy, loud, animated 24-year old female only because of my family and friends who have been there for me at the different stages of my life. Without these people, my existence would be empty and thus lacking in anything celebratory. God gave me plenty to be thankful for and I want to also thank you. It might be your first time reading this, or you might be a friend or family or some faint acquaintance. Nevertheless, I want to thank you for being a part of my life.

Lately, through new friends I’ve made and bumped into, I realised how well planned God has made everything out to be. People like the lovely design couple Brenda and Hanson, and Lavy, a kindred spirit who’s so like me it’s scarily cool (she happens to be my junior).

There are of course other beloved people like my best friend Dot, and Alvin & Clara, oh and my beloved Eden team at Amplify. I would love to mention all of my wonderful friends but well you know who you are. There are so many who I miss and wish I had time to meet often and those whom I’ve lost touch and of course there are some who have slowly drifted away. It’s inevitable, definitely. But thank God for you and you and you.

This is the fourth time this blog has celebrated my birthday with me. Yes this blog has been with me for more than four years, it’s quite unbelievable. When I started this, I didn’t expect it to be read by anyone and to last that long.

My blog might have grown and aged but one thing’s for sure, I will keep it going for as long as my love for food never wanes. The key word in that sentence is never. Now bold and CAPS it, yes I believe you get my drift.

Now, before you get bored of my birthday revelations and ramblings, let’s talk about brunch. Sunday brunch to be precise. No, make that a pre-birthday Sunday brunch.

Yes, I had brunch.

A great one. It was memorable not only because the food and coffee was good, but also because the company was great. Put three foodies together and you get excitement amidst drools. But put three hyper foodies in Jones the Grocer and you get a bunch of madcaps chattering away in between mouthfuls, threatening to choke any time. Now I think the latter proves more accurate in this case.

One of them share the same birthday as me and the other is a precious friend who is like a little sister to me. They are none other than Alvin and Clara, my two foodie friends who never fail to make me laugh (especially Alvin!).

We wanted to celebrate mine and Alvin’s birthday so I suggested Jones the Grocer since Sunday was the only day Clara could make it.

You know it was a desision all three of us did not regret when you see the following photos:

Check those out! The Jones breakfast set includes two poached eggs, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sausages, and sourdough toast.

Clara and I couldn’t resist the scones and English muffins so we ordered that as well. In the end we ordered more toast and that sealed the deal. Oh don’t forget to top that off with a good strong Macchiato if you are ever there. It’s that good – their espresso’s phenomenal.

Note the photo of the perfect poached eggs with runny yolk? I was so excited that I had to ask Alvin to slice it open slowly so I could take a photo for you to see. Oh and in case you didn’t know, I adore runny egg yolks. They are divine.

Jones the Grocer is a great place for families and for friends who are looking for a spacious place to chill out. Here’s a few interior shots for the uninitiated:

It’s certainly very Australian and I love it. It’s the second time I’ve been there and I am honestly hooked on their toast, scones, coffee and ambience.

In the end, I bought an orange passionfruit spread from Jones. I tried it for breakfast yesterday and thought it was refreshingly delicious.

If only I could have brunch there every Sunday. Yes, if only. Right now I have to make do with kaya toast and soft boiled eggs, not that I mind!

Jones the Grocer is now my current new fixation. See how powerful a toast can be?

Perhaps before I go, I will leave you with a quote that has been rep

eating in my mind. You might find it familiar, those of you who’ve watched Batman Begins (and yes, I love The Dark Knight by the way): “It’s not who you are but what you do that defines you”.

How very true indeed.

Posted on 29th Jul 2008 in birthday  |  13 comments

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