Saturday, 15 July 2017

DAD CELEBRATES 88


Dad is 88 today.  To celebrate, we went to eat chicken rice. On a normal day, he will tell you that he doesn't like chicken. But for his birthday, he'd always ask for chicken rice!  As I recall, he also requested for chicken rice on his 80th birthday


Dad's appetite was surprisingly good.  We ordered half a chicken, large portions of roasted pork belly with crispy skin and honeyed char siew, and a bowl of laksa. Dad isn't fond of spicy food, yet he polished off all the laksa gravy, leaving us with just the noodles.


In the afternoon, when he was beaming after he devoured a creamy durian crepe, I asked him, "Are you happy?" He replied, "VERY happy!"

Being bogged down by illnesses and dementia Dad sinks deeper into depression day by day.  He is rarely happy so today is a day to be cherished.


This is my mother.  She complains that I take shitty photographs of her.  "You make me look like an old woman!"

Sunday, 9 July 2017

FINALLY FOCACCIA!



Dad is in one of his foul moods - he has been so for the last five days or so.  On August 1st, he'll be seeing his doctor at the polyclinic.  I really ought to recommend that Dad be tested for dementia.  

A few weeks ago, Dad's bank passbook ran out of pages.  Since he was hard of walking and hearing he did not want to go personally to the bank to get a new passbook.  I explained to him that the bank account is in his name so it would be make sense for him to make a trip.  While we were both in the bank, I enquired if I might apply for new passbooks on Dad's behalf in the future.  Yes, was the answer.  Dad simply needs to place his thumbprint on an authorisation form.  Two bank officers explained this to him separately in Mandarin before Dad affixed his thumbprint.

This week he suddenly felt insecure about the whole thing.  He claims that he didn't sign the form out of his own free will and no one at the bank ever explained anything to him.  Then he even told my Mum that that form would allow me, his daughter, to tap into his bank account and withdraw all his cash!

Each time Dad acts crazy, I'd withdraw into my own bedroom - tormented and depressed - thereby ruining too many perfectly good weekends.  Today, I decided that life is too short to wallow in another person's misery.  Today, nothing would come between and my beloved baking. Today, I made a focaccia that is by far the best one that came out of my kitchen yet.


I keep my focaccia simple.  Light olive oil,  a hint of Italian herbs, a generous scatter of coarse sea salt on the top.  No elaborate topping that would turn it into a pizza.  


This focaccia smells incredible.  Finally, that perfect recipe.  Finally, a focaccia that's everything I wanted it to be.


Bread dough: 300 grams Blue Jacket Bread Flour, 4 grams instant yeast, 4 grams dried Italian herbs, 2 grams caster sugar, 5 grams salt, 1 tablespoon light olive oil, 220 - 240 grams water.  Topping: light olive oil and coarse sea salt

Sunday, 2 July 2017

BELGIAN PRALINES

Look what my BFF brought me all the way from Belgium!  Dark and intense.  Smooth and creamy.  Luxury chocolates of every shape and size.