Thursday, June 27, 2013


I'm guilty of yelling at my kids... it's usually when I'm in a hurry, or tired, or frustrated.  Sometimes, the anger just rises until I explode.  Big one will stop in his tracks, eyes fixed on me while i have a meltdown.  It's usually not big one's actions that made me so angry, it was just a trigger that released all the pent up frustrations for stuff that were not caused by him.

After all that yelling, big one doesn't feel good and I don't feel good... sometimes, I have another meltdown after the first.  That's when I feel like I'm a lousy Mummy for yelling, that big one doesn't love me any more... then this came up on my Facebook feed:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Steamed Fish

Steaming fish is THE easiest way to cook a nutritious meal.  Wait.... can this even be considered as cooking?  All you need to do is:

1) Place fish (I used Sea Bass here) in a plate and top with lots of ginger.
2) Season with some light and dark soya sauce and a dash of white pepper
3) Add a little water and steam till just cooked, about 5-10 minutes depending on the size and cut of your fish.  (I usually add a little water so that I have some gravy to pour over my rice)
4)  Enjoy the fish with a bowl of rice!

Steamed Fish with Rice
From the washing point of view, there's only 1 plate for the fish!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Treasure the Blue Sky

This is not the bluest of skies I've ever seen BUT it's blue enough for many people in Singapore.  Blue enough to take an outdoor morning walk.  Blue enough for many Facebook contacts to post photographs of the bluest skies they've seen in the past week and celebrate and appreciate what we take for granted every day - the blue skies that we don't even look at in our daily rush.

Over the past week or so, Singapore was affected by the worst bout of haze in history, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hitting a high of 401 on 21 Jun 2013 - hazardous level.  While such haze episodes affect Singapore every year, this was the worst, surpassing unhealthy levels in the 1997/1998 haze episode.

Image from NASA - This image shows the pollution over Indonesia and the Indian Ocean on October 22, 1997. White represents the aerosols (smoke) that remained in the vicinity of the fires. Green, yellow, and red pixels represent increasing amounts of tropospheric ozone

This current haze episode saddened me... some businesses marked up the prices of N95 masks as people scrambled to get masks to protect their families.  Some took the chance to add oil to fire, fanning popular but hostile opinions about everything and anything that they were unhappy about. If in a simple crisis like this, people can't band together to make things better for each other, what hope do we have when worse things happen?  It's crisis time, THE time to help each other and try to collectively make things better first, we can all complain and apportion blame when the crisis is over!

Luckily, there's always a silver lining... Friends shared their stash of masks. Families got together to make sure everyone was alright.  Lots of Wastapp-ing for those overseas to try to bring some masks back (apparently Singapore was not the only place that's out of N95 masks... supply was also short in Turkey with all the protests going on there).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

White Fungus Dessert

My mum told me that white fungus is good for the lungs, that it's the poor man's bird's nest alternative.  With the haze getting really bad in Singapore with a PSI in the hazardous region, I quickly whipped up a pot of this simple dessert in hope that it'll save our lungs from the thick haze.

White fungus dessert
dried red dates
dried longans
dried wolfberries
dried white fungus

1) Wash all ingredients and drain.
2) Soak white fungus in water until soft, then cut into small pieces
3) Add all ingredients except sugar to a pot of boiling water and boil for about 20-30 minutes
4) Add sugar to taste and serve either hot or cold.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Archaeology in Singapore

Ever since primary school, we were told that Sir Stamford Raffles was the founder of modern Singapore in 1819.  Even though 1819 seems like a long way back, I've never thought of Singapore as an old country.  And being so young, I've never thought about archaeology in Singapore.  Looking around, what I see is an urban jungle.  How can there be anything "old" to find?

I'm currently taking a course on Coursera -- Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets.  This was meant to be a fun course, meaning that I'll view the video lectures IF I have the time and most probably not  touch the assignments.  Purely for interests sake.  But after viewing the first lecture, I was hooked!

So this led me to reading up a little about archaeology in Singapore and I was surprised that an array of artifacts were found in a test site on the Padang: indigenously made earthenware, imported Chinese trade ceramics, Tang, Song and even Jin Dynasty coinages, to metal slag and glass beads and bangles!  Check out the Southeast Asian Archaeology website for more information.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Slicing Onions with my Bosch

My darling Bosch cake mixer is not just a cake mixer, It also comes with an attachment to slice/grate food.  I'm totally new to such a device, so I tested it out with onions, slicing them coarsely:

Sliced onions