How cool is to have a ceramist as our neighbor? Yes, the husband is a poet and the Mrs. is now a ceramist (and a retired English teacher!) The boys help them with little things (pick up newspapers when they travel, water plants, etc.) and in exchange, she invited the boys to come over her studio working with clay. They spend a some time with her today and had a blast. Thank goodness she lives so close (totally save on the travel time *wink*)

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This time, I bought the lotus paste and the salted duck yolk. The store paste was so much different from the ones I made. These were much easier to work with. Because the colors of the dough and filling had so much contrast, I was able to wrap them nicely. Untitled.jpgHere are the finished products. I couldn’t get it to brown (yes, with egg wash) like it should be. I’m guessing it was my temperature? However, these moon cakes look and taste a lot like the store bought ones. So I’m happy to share them!IMG_0058IMG_0060

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}IMG_0131

 

My second attempt in making mooncakes. Yes, I know the mid-autumn festival is over, but I want to get this right. One more time. Like last time, I made the golden syrup, and perfect it! However, when mixing the dough, I might have added a bit too much of the akaline water (a little over 1 tsp). I had to toss the entire dough because of the smell. This is my second try of the golden syrup.IMG_0024

Happy mid-autumn festival! Though it’s a bit rushed (because of Ah Lo’s basketball practice), we found the time to sip some tea and enjoy the (store bought) moon cakes.IMG_0012

Tomorrow is mid-autumn festival, so I invited my inlaws to come over for dinner. Back in the days, my MIL would cook up a storm and make sure the entire family comes home. Knowing how much of a pain for her daughters (and their significant others) to come to the city during weeknights, my MIL is a lot more casual about special occasions like these. That’s why I cooked an extra dish or two and invited them over.

These are not something you’ll see on their table. My MIL will make the exact same dishes for all the Chinese holidays. So I thought to make something besides the usual so they can try out something different – ha! Big mistake! I can’t say they enjoyed this meal much. Normally they would have two bowls of rice, but tonight they only had one. They hardly picked on the food. They are so set in their ways, even when it comes to food…LOL That’s ok. I have accepted that’s the way they are.

We (my boys and I) loved it and cleared most of it. IMG_0009

Skipping our meatless Monday today and made Hainanese chicken rice for the first time using the new toy – sous vide. Mr. Piggy bought this new tool almost a year and I’ve never gotten a chance to use it. He raved about it when he brought it home, but never touch it. Of course, he was waiting for me to do something with it. Finally today using the sous vide, we tried making the Hainanese chicken. Luckily he’s working from home so I can cook “remotely.” I prepped all the stuff last night and gave specific instructions for Mr. Piggy. Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry (they’re from Mr. Piggy’s phone). There’s not much cooking involved. Instead, just need someone to get it in the pot and remove it.

Chicken is cooked 3 hours at 75 degrees C using the sous vide.

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When done, give the chicken an ice bath and then air dry it for a good 3 hours.

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Voila! When I came home, I just need to cook the rice (using the chicken stock) and stir fry some greens. Dinner is served! The chicken is tender and juicy. My boys gave it two thumbs up and they claimed this to be ‘one of the better dinners.’

IMG_0001Though this doesn’t require much attention as the tool will cook to precision, however, you still need someone to “do the work.”

Every tournament, Ah Lo’s teammates vote for the two kids to be the team captain for the team. This week, Ah Lo is the team captain. At the end of the tournament, he would give out a line or two to motivate the team.  He’s not the best player in the team, but he took the job seriously and kept the team upbeat and positive during this tournament. The team came back with a 2 wins and 1 loss.

Good job, Ah Lo. I’m so proud of you!

Attempted my first batch of the traditional mooncakes from scratch (and bombed it). There are many steps to it and it’s a great test of patience. Though I made some of the ingredients a head of time (golden syrup, the lotus paste and the dough), I was in and out of the house this weekend because of Ah Lo’s basketball tournament. It was hard for me to get this done correctly (with the time constraints). I am too embarrassed to show the end result. I won’t give up that easily. I will keep trying…

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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