Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Mother is better today

Some good news today, infection gone down but still very sick. Jia you. You can do it. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Mother, fight!

I know this is the worst you have ever felt. But you are a fighter, you are the strongest woman I ever know. It's a mind over body game. You can win this, mother. It may feel impossible now, but you can do it. Fight on, win it! We are all not giving up on you! 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

My mother's famous steamed yam cake

Finally I made the effort to learn how to make it. So two days before CNY in 2015, I took half day leave and requested my mother to show me how. It doesn't look good in the photo, I didn't do it justice. But with fried onion and shrimps, it is soooo damn gooood. 
In this photo you see little craters, that's because Lucas ate all the sausages that were on top of it!

Makes 1 rectangular aluminium tin foil roughly 30 x 15 cm (the type commonly sold in ntuc). Super huge! 

These are my agar-ations because my mother is never specific when it comes to cooking. 

- Yam, diced, roughly 1kg +/- 200g (1 whole or 3/4 of a big one)
- Mushroom, soaked till soft then diced, 1 rice bowl
- Dried shrimps, 1 rice bowl
- Rice flour, 600g (1 packet)
- Potato starch, 6 soup spoons?
- Garlic, diced, half a rice bowl
- Onion, diced, half a rice bowl
- Salt, 1 soup spoon (yes!)
- Sugar, 1 soup spoon
- MSG, 1 tablespoon (yes!)
- Roughly 3 soup spoons of oil

For garnish and to go with yam cake:
- 1 sausage
- Fried onion and oil
- Fried shrimps

1) Heat a very big wok with medium fire, put oil in, fry the following in order (add in one on top of the other, not fry each separately), each one for roughly 30 sec. 
  a) Garlic
  b) Onion
  c) Mushroom
  d) Dried shrimps
  e) Yam

2) Add enough water to cover the ingredients. 

3) Add half a soup spoon of salt, half a soup spoon of sugar and half a tablespoon of MSG. Stir fry some more to mix it. 

4) Cover the wok with the lid and let it simmer on low-med heat. 

5) Using another large bowl, add rice flour, potato starch and half a tablespoon of MSG into it. 

6) Add 7 rice bowls of water. 

7) Mix flour mixture with hand till there are no lumps. Remove sediments if any. 

8) Uncover the wok lid. It should look like this now. Yam should be soft - I.e. can cut with wok ladle. 

9) Add the flour mixture to the wok and mix. 

10) Time to bring out your muscles and mix till you get this. 

11) Switch off the fire. Oil the tin foil and scoop the mixture in. At the top or anywhere in between if it feels too sticky or too difficult to smooth out, add oil. You can be generous with it, cos my mum says 芋头糕没油不好吃的。

12) Garnish with sausages if desired and steam for about 1 hour. 

13) After 1 hour insert a chopstick in. It will be soft but don't worry, it will harden when it cools down. As long as it's not sticky as if it's uncooked it will be fine. 

You can eat it with fried onion, shrimps and sambal shrimp chilli, or you can fry it neat, with egg or with black soya sauce (like frying carrot cake), whatever fancies you. 

Monday, 9 February 2015


Today my colleague had a farewell session as she's going to the U.S. to work. During her farewell it got me thinking about how my farewell will be if I should leave one day. Something like other people's mortality makes you think of your own mortality but less morbid. 

This colleague has friends in the office. She has two friends who are really close to her, who cried during the farewell and I'm sure again later when they bid their personal farewells. There were others who had good things to say about her. She's not close to everyone, but she's close to some.

I'm envious. I do not have such friends at work. I'm not even sure if someone will bother to hold a farewell for me when I leave. I'm simply not the type who cares enough about people or reveal myself enough to form friendships with people at work. In the past I have been closest to Jesselin. I don't have such friends anymore at work. Simon is not the same as Jesselin. In the past at one point I felt lonely at work. Over time I've learnt to accept it. When you are a manager you have no friends. The people you work closest with cannot be your friends.  Unless you are friends with other managers, in this case it's difficult to find someone who will click with me. That's one reason if I get to land another job I would like not to be a manager anymore. 

Anyhow I got a little sad, that's unfortunately how I am. What to do...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Conversations with Lucas

About Bobby playing fetch
Me: Bobby is old now so he doesn't play with the ball anymore.
Lucas: Does Bobby play with the ball when he was new?
ah... opposite of 'old' is 'new'...

Lucas, 4.5 years

Bobby in hospital - 2015 Jan
Bobby had a seizure on a day that I had to fly to UK for a CLT. Before going to the airport we dropped by to visit him. I cried a lot again, then went for dinner then went back to the car which was parked outside the hospital. 

As we walked past the hospital:
Lucas: Mummy do you miss Bobby?
Me: Yes. 
Silence... Thought he will say more...
Me: Why do you think mummy will miss Bobby?
Lucas: Because you don't want him to stay in the hospital. 

Lucas, 4.5 years old

100 French fries - 2015 Feb
Lucas likes to use '100' in his sentences. 

Me: Did you finish the ice-cream today?
Lucas: Yes!
Me: Whaattt?
Lucas: I also ate 100 French fries. 姑姑 took the chilli and I took the chetchkup ("ketchup"). (Ok it wasn't said so nicely but I can't remember the long gibberish words that were used.)

Lucas, 4.5 years old

Toys do not equate love
This is actually told to my husband.

Well done baby. 

Lucas, 4.5 years old

Wearing socks
I was in the shower and Lucas came outside the door and called me:
Lucas: Mummy
Me: Yes baby
Lucas: I wore one sock on my own. 
Me: Very good baby. 
And then he was gone, wearing the second sock probably. 

Sometimes it's necessary to remind yourself that these seemingly little things are considered milestones for children. I record it here not because he wore a sock on his own but because I could lead feel he was very proud and wanted to quickly share it with me. 

Lucas, 4 years 11 months
2015 July 11

Massage chair for mommy
Lucas' birthday was coming soon.
Ah Ma: 你的生日要什么礼物?
Lucas: 我按摩椅.
Ah Ma:  按摩椅? 为什么按摩椅?
Lucas: 因为妈妈常常背痛.

Lucas, 4 years 11 months
2015 July

I miss you mummy
I was sorting out the toys at night with the boys in Lucas' room, in an attempt to get them to give away some toys because the house is too messy. Luis went to bed after a while and Lucas was playing with some toys on the bed. I was sorting in progress when...

Lucas: Actually I missed you when you took the aeroplane to buy Hanuta.
He was referring to my business trip to Europe 2 months ago.
Lucas: When I showed you SG50 (frankly I don't remember...) and then you showed us the Hanutas and Luis said "too much Hanuta...".

Lucas is a sensitive boy, I appreciate that he expresses his feelings to me. Hopefully he will stay this way as he grows up. And of course I felt so touched.

Lucas, 4 years 11 months
2015 August 2nd, Sunday night 9.30pm