Thursday, 9 June 2016

世界是自己的 与他人毫无关系

杨绛是作家钱钟书的夫人,才子才女育有一女钱瑗,90年代,随着丈夫和爱女的相继去世,杨绛也曾终止过创作。一直到她92岁的时候,她才重提笔创作了《我们仨》:“现在我们三个失散了。往者不可留,逝者不可追;剩下的这个我再也找不到他们了。我只能把我们一同生活的岁月,重温一遍,和他们再聚聚。”


杨绛的《一百岁感言》

我今年一百岁,已经走到了人生的边缘,我无法确知自己还能走多远,寿命是不由自主的,但我很清楚我快「回家」了。

我得洗净这一百年沾染的污秽回家。我没有「登泰山而小天下」之感,只在自己的小天地里过平静的生活。细想至此,我心静如水,我该平和地迎接每一天,准备回家。

在这物欲横流的人世间,人生一世实在是够苦。你存心做一个与世无争的老实人吧,人家就利用你欺侮你。你稍有才德品貌,人家就嫉妒你排挤你。你大度退让,人家就侵犯你损害你。你要不与人争,就得与世无求,同时还要维持实力准备斗争。你要和别人和平共处,就先得和他们周旋,还得准备随时吃亏。

少年贪玩,青年迷恋爱情,壮年汲汲于成名成家,暮年自安于自欺欺人。

人寿几何,顽铁能炼成的精金,能有多少?但不同程度的锻炼,必有不同程度的成绩;不同程度的纵欲放肆,必积下不同程度的顽劣。

上苍不会让所有幸福集中到某个人身上,得到爱情未必拥有金钱;拥有金钱未必得到快乐;得到快乐未必拥有健康;拥有健康未必一切都会如愿以偿。

保持知足常乐的心态才是淬炼心智,净化心灵的最佳途径。一切快乐的享受都属于精神,这种快乐把忍受变为享受,是精神对于物质的胜利,这便是人生哲学。

一个人经过不同程度的锻炼,就获得不同程度的修养、不同程度的效益。好比香料,捣得愈碎,磨得愈细,香得愈浓烈。我们曾如此渴望命运的波澜,到最后才发现:人生最曼妙的风景,竟是内心的淡定与从容……我们曾如此期盼外界的认可,到最后才知道:世界是自己的,与他人毫无关系。

Saturday, 4 June 2016

SATURDAY BRUNCH


At home on a lazy Saturday.  Too hot a day for overly complicated, labour-intensive recipes. Made a simple Pasta Bake. A large pot of cooked penne. Tossed in plenty of olive oil.  Brown button mushrooms that had been stir-fried in garlic butter. Sliced hotdogs. Freshly grated cheeses, and a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs. Chilli flakes for a bit of attitude. Nothing particularly fancy about the ingredients, just an easy dish put together for family brunch.

Friday, 20 May 2016

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: PRECISE PIG PARTS

Last week I came across a recipe, written in Chinese, for Miso Pork that called for 梅花肉。It was rather perplexing not knowing which part of the pig that was!  So I did some research to learn the different cuts of pork.




This evening I asked Mom if she could help me buy 300 grams of 梅花肉 when she goes to the wet market tomorrow.  "There isn't such a thing!" she scoffed.  "You really mean 五花肉, don't you?"  

"No, no!  Certainly not!" I protested.  "五花肉 is the belly.  I don't want the belly."

"Describe it to me," she demanded.  I tried to indicate the part I meant by placing my right hand on my left shoulder, turning my body to show her.

My pig impersonation must've been weak because Mom still didn't get it.  (Perhaps it'd help if I had stood on all fours.)  The truth of the matter was, she laughed out loud and cried, "You don't really expect me to perform a charade in front of the butcher do you?"

I then informed her that the pork was to be used in a stir-fry.  She answered, "Oh, you mean 枚肉!" Some light (though dim) at the end of the tunnel at last.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

到香港公干


四月十八日到香港公干几天,其实最放心不下得是家中的长辈。还好有Naw在家。Naw是我们请来的帮佣,已住进我们家5个月,母亲也逐渐把厨房里的大小事务交给她。今天午餐一桌菜都是Naw煮的。回国后在家好好与家人吃一顿饭,也是种简单的的幸福。

在香港W酒店做conference,一切都非常顺利。酒店的员工都很专业。多年来在新加坡、曼谷、河内、巴厘岛都host过conference, 我对曼谷的Mandarin Oriental服务的评价是最高的。目前觉得W Hong Kong可以媲美。

在conference的前一天抵达香港,中午checkin 后便一直呆在房间里工作到下午三点多,忽然觉得好饿哦!酒店楼下是圆方(Elements Mall), 便下去”正斗“吃了碗云吞面。我点的云吞面是小份的:半个面+4颗云吞。那样的话,还可以尝尝蛋挞仔。大份的云吞面则是整个面+6颗云吞。


明晚的晚饭定在丽思卡尔頓酒店(Ritz Carlton Hong Kong)102楼的天龙轩(Tin Long Heen),所以务必先探索一下。金碧辉煌的米其林二星餐厅。 我们定了三间private room。 Minimum spending 是HKD30,000。


空前绝后的view。


然后回到W继续苦干。从房间内可以欣赏夕阳。





晚餐也在圆方里解决了。独自享受了一整只“桃花源”(Tim's Kitchen)的烧鹅脾,够奢侈吧?



开会咯!我为同事们安排了好多好吃的。



Conference的最后一天,眼看还有一小时便要结束了,心想这几天都过得还蛮写意的 (暗地里偷笑)。不料我们的Global CEO这时才给我发了个难题:要我在会议结束以前弄来24只招财猫!

我临危不乱,使命必达(握拳)


一切都归功于W 的Concierge。年轻的职员为我上網查询,写了地址,还打印了地图。我迅速地搭德士前往,然后又迅速地把猫儿们带回会议室。All done in under an hour.

会议结束了,告别甲级的W,搬进油麻地的Cityview Hotel。缺了WIFI, 多了点私人空间。好好享受下午茶:花园街兰亭咖啡阁新鮮出炉鸡批 and 无敌蛋挞。


因为时间的关系,都没跟在香港的朋友联系。抱歉呐!下次一定约你们出来吃饭。

Saturday, 23 April 2016

BROWNIE POINTS



Everyone is so busy these days but my cousins made a special effort to visit us this morning, definitely scoring brownie points with my parents.

When your most favourite people in the universe is coming around, serving them something home-baked seems like a hospitable thing to do. Something like these Walnut and Double Chocolate Chip Brownies. 

I baked a tin of this classic brownie last night and once it's cooled, I put it in the fridge to chill.  This morning, it's nicely firmed up and so much the easier to cut.  I placed a few slices into the oven to be warmed up just before my guests arrived. They're rich, chocolatey, and moist without being overly dense.  I wish I remembered to buy some ice-cream!

ONE-PAN WALNUT AND DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIES
Adapted from a recipe by Belinda Jeffery in the March 2007 issue of delicious magazine 

Makes one 23-cm square pan

250 grams salted butter
180 grams good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
385 grams caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 eggs 150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams walnuts, roughy chopped
50 grams milk chocolate chips
50 grams dark chocolate buttons

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees C. Line a 23-cm square cake tin with foil. Butter the foil lightly. 

Put butter and chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan over very low heat. Melt them, stirring from time to time. Take the pan off the heat when the butter is nearly melted and give it a good stir so the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool for about 8 minutes. 

Add sugar and vanilla to chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to mix well for 20 seconds or so. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one is added so it is completely incorporated before you add the next. 

Tip in the flour and stir until just combined. The mixture will look lumpy. 

Don’t overdo the mixing or the brownie will toughen as it cooks. Gently fold in the nuts and chocolate chips and buttons. Scrape the batter into prepared tin. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. 

Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Once it’s cool, chill the brownie in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so to firm it up so it’s easier to slice. When you’re ready to cut it, grasp the foil and carefully ease the whole brownie out of the tin. Invert onto a chopping board and gently peel away the foil.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, 1 March 2016