Saturday, 19 July 2014


What do you do when your Mom relinquishes control of the kitchen for a few hours?  I don't know about you, but I thought it would be a good time to finally make Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls from Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion!  

Mom decided that she would take a break from cooking this evening and opted to have durian for dinner.  Yup, you read correctly - durian for dinner.  For Dad and I, who shuddered at the thought of surviving on durians alone, these sausage rolls became substantial snacks before the durian party began.

These sausage rolls are superb.  I love the hints of thyme, fennel and garlic.  Though I secretly feel that they'll be even better if spiked with paprika, or dried chill flakes! The recipe says to bake them until "they are a golden brown roll of steaming, oozing goodness".  I think I've managed to do that!


Wednesday, 2 July 2014


During the last week of May, Tammy travelled from Hong Kong to celebrate my 50th birthday.  It’s hard to believe that more than a month has gone by since!

Right after Tammy returned home, Mom said it was time for a trip to the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market.  She wanted to pick up some dried seafood for my cousin Mary, who'll be visiting us from Auckland. It was a long bus ride.  Cold too.  As soon as I got home, I came down with fever and stomach flu, and spent Sunday feeling weak and nauseous. 

The weekend filled up quickly with errands to run, and a dreaded trip to the dentist. The hole is now dug - in this Friday’s diary - for wisdom tooth extraction (gulp!) 

Dad needed some sleeveless cotton vests. China’s Swan brand has stopped producing the design that he has been used to all his life. (Downright unpardonable, I tell you!) Last Saturday Mom and I finally found something similar in a small shop in Chinatown. You would think that having found something after a massive search, we’d buy it in bulk but no, we bought ONLY ONE. Only if Dad is happy with it that we are allowed to come back for more. That’s the problem with living with a bi-polar ah beh.

Dad acknowledged grudgingly the fact that all good things come to pass and he’ll now have to make do with Crocodile brand vests. So on Sunday I again trotted to Chinatown -- to buy two more vests. The shop owner was somewhat surprised that I made two trips to his shop specially to buy just three vests.  "Why don't you buy a dozen right away?" A seemingly fair question to ask of normal folks, except Dad doesn't behave normal.  Trust me,  if Dad says to buy two, you DO NOT buy three. Not unless you want to spoil what's left of your weekend (and the following week too.)

Sometimes it's so hard not to quarrel with my mother. When I left for Chinatown on Sunday she told me: Take all the time you want ... have a good lunch in Chinatown and shop around ... no need to rush home, etc. Then at 12:30PM sharp, she calls me: Are you coming home soon? Arrgh!!!  

Mom has started on physiotherapy for her leg and back problem. Every Wednesday morning I would accompany her to the hospital, wait for her to finish her session, then go to work. It’s a little bit trying I’ll admit, but as far as I can see neither of us has any choice. 

Cousin Mary is visiting from Auckland this Saturday.  At least now there's something to look forward to!