June 16, 2014 § 4 Comments
We all wake up differently.Sometimes to dreams still lingering in our heads, the last thought before falling into deep sleep, sometimes to a crooked neck, to people we love drooling on a new pillow case or to a heavy head for there is still a little bit of alcohol in the blood.. and really just want to sleep in a little bit more.. Maybe I’ve always enjoy the way our sun slowly lights up the room, the fresh scent of a new day, the excitement of knowing you can have the freedom to undo the wrongs and have a new chance to life. Renewal. Possibilities. Growth.
I used to wake up earlier than everyone else to have a little bit of a quiet time to myself. I make a cup of tea, have some fruits and regain a little bit of consciousness. To reflect on what was done and can be better, to the hours I will be giving and the people I will spent with, to the flow of a the day and how we can meet on common grounds.
These days, I find myself doing the same routine but with a different perspective. Looking back at the days ,trying to not regret on the decisions made and how to move forward with others. These days, life is taking its own course to change and be meaningfully simple. Be in sync with people that matters, stop when they are tired, go when they can, push them when there is a chance for goodness and nurturing into something wholesome.
A timely wake up call for a new shift.
I used to believe we need to be on the same page or shoes to feel each others. But I am starting to think that we need to stop to try to be in sync, it’s nice to be in sync, but we are individuals. Individuals who try to be happy on our own, but come together and share the simple everyday joys just so.
Last night was exactly how it was meant to be, unadorned, honest and real. We finally got to celebrate our one year anniversary. It was perhaps the best way to enjoy an infant blossoming into something, hopefully, better. We are all silly, stubborn and eccentric. We are all a little insecure, quiet, and loud. We are all happy in our own ways, and searching for a sense of belonging.
Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning – Mitch Albom
May 21, 2014 § 2 Comments
This post is inspired by Felicia’s “the weight we carry”. Her words are always heartfelt and honest, which in this day and age, it’s hard to come by anything real like her. I live in a city where women are impossibly annoying and too cautious about their figures. The way their hips sit in a skirt, the size of their arms in a sleeveless top and the amount of food they put into their mouth. They take pride in “low-fat” food and work out regimes during lunch breaks and after work. Putting their social/family time on hold and taking heed of their looks rather than how lovely they already are inside.
I was that fat kid in the field, the last to finish, the kid who got teased at for being chubby, the one who did not want to celebrate her birthday because she knew her family members would be calling her names for eating a slice of cake. So at one point, I got tired of it all, started working out right, eating cleaner food and lost so much weight, everyone around me got worried.
At some point, I got wary of other things around me. Not the way my hips sit in a skirt, the size of my arms in a sleeveless top or the amount of food I put into my mouth. I took heed of how food fill us up inside and where our food came from. Restoring health and balance in a positive light: local ingredients, sustainable eating, cooking at home and feeding simple food.
Perhaps at one point, I lost control of myself and put a restraint on the food I enjoy. But that soon went away too. The amount of time wasted on projecting a perfect image, which could jolly well be focus on the happiness of your life.
Whatever it is, someone has something to say about the way you lead your life. Whatever it is, listen, accept or change, and just be yourself.
These days, there is no doubt to move on to bigger things. The awareness of finding balance through yoga, sustainable food, creating a holistic environment for the people I love and spreading these messages across, just like how Fel is doing. Thank you for the timely reminder, sending love to Brooklyn!
a happy kitchen crew serving simple food at afterglow
“Your life does matter. It always matters whether you reach out in friendship or lash out in anger. It always matters whether you live with compassion and awareness or whether you succumb to distractions and trivia. It always matters how you treat other people, how you treat animals, and how you treat yourself. It always matters what you do. It always matters what you say. And it always matters what you eat.”
― John Robbins, The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
Recently, we took a short break to Hong Kong, the city will still be beautiful when it is done. This time, we had too much to eat and was way over our budgets. But nothing compares to the splendid time spent with loved ones.
May 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
We go about our own ways in doing things with life. Expressing love, showing passion, baring truth and sharing trust. Though our intentions are good, they might come out the wrong way, perceived as unthought of and end up with a coagulated block in the heart.
Each individual has personal needs, a warm hug from a loved one, a handmade gift, a little note or just spending good quality time together. For me, it has always been cooking or making a meal for others and having a long dinner together. While these sort of days seem to be harder to achieve, I can only treasure the occasional time we have for one another.
This week it’s all about the curry. Assam curry made with capsicum, cabbage, carrots, tamarind, cumin seeds and curry powder & rice pilaf made with sultanas, cardamon, bay leaves and coriander seeds. My other half has been spoiling me with wholesome home cooking and putting up with the little idiosyncrasies. I tend to give in to how I feel rather than making sense out of things. So I always end up making decisions that do not seem to be thought of. But it make sense, when you contractic yourself so you can make the other person happy. After all, it is that smile of happiness you wish to see at the end of the day.
It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.
– Shauna Niequist
coconut bliss dark chocolate ice cream with homemade gluten free vegan cookie crumble
a mysterious brew at Nylon coffee roaster
February 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
Another reunion another day at the eldest folks’ place. Every year, the family grows or disappears, some leave the nest and settle into another. The girls would return back to their in-laws on the first day and visit their own parents on the second day. The rituals continue for decades and remain deeply vital to our regime.
Yet, the amount of food seems to stay the same, plenty of noodles for longevity , abalone/leek for prosperity, cabbage for luck and so much more. The Chinese simply adores “the more the merrier” and abundance of everything!
Back at home, I cannot account for the countless times, when these familiar feeling of being a child surface. That nostalgic scent of the handmade wooden shelve, the view I first witness every morning before the day break, the way dad always water the plants in the evenings, and our dog sniffing at the back door for dinner.
It’s always a sunken feeling going back to the city, but right now I can only enjoy this moment as it is and to be grateful for everyone to be around.
Happy lunar new year everyone!
January 25, 2014 § 4 Comments
Our dinner celebrated the pre-launch of Nourish. After months of contemplation, we finally have a name for it! We had prepared food using recipes from the cookbook, shared how we met, our inspirations and how we got to this point. The book entails food stories and mood recipes. It illustrates an interconnected relationship between food/mood every human being should understand and appreciate.
We cannot be more thankful for all the help we’ve got to make the evening so memorable. A big gratitude to Hjgher, the ladies from Ate, Triceratops for the gorgeous flower arrangements, Books Actually, Siew & Yang, Todd Belz, Kitt Santos & your amigas, the journalists, our beloved guests and loved ones.
This is just the beginning of something remarkably beautiful and we are so happy that you are part of it.
The images here are taken from the tags and friends. Do send us more pictures or tag #jovialgathering!
December 2, 2013 § 1 Comment
Good things come in bunches. I hope this month brings much of those delightful feelings.
Our demo yesterday went surprisingly well. Apart from me burning an entire pot of hot chocolate to not even cooking because of a malfunction induction, I had a splendid time. All that effort of cooking/baking at 5am and preparing the bread dough the night before, were well paid off. It was the first time presenting ourselves to the public and bringing the cookbook to its presence. Our cookbook is going to be one of a kind. Why you may ask? It entails daily recipes influenced from our mood and emotions. How we feel and how we cook/bake is essentially the way we are. Naturally, like seasons changing it is easy to alter our meals with how we feel in this moment.
Yesterday was fun because, my parents were there, Elodie’s family was there, we made mistakes and laughed about them, food was splendid, people were receptive and so ever supportive. Thank you so much for everyone who made it !
Spontaneous flatbread: flatbread, hummus, smoked aubergines and pomegranate; vegetable rosti (beetroot, carrots and potatoes) with yogurt and cherry tomato chutney.
November 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s a delightful morning in the sunny island. One of my fondest memory growing up here is having chwee kueh for breakfast. A local delicacy made with rice flour, sauté radishes and chili. It’s so simple yet each step is tender and essential. In U Press N°4 issue, I wrote about Mr Lee’s passion in making our breakfast count. Decades of hard work, fatherly love in raising his children and their filial piety. Thank you Underscore for publishing it! Pick up your copy at any local cafes/museums.
This Sunday (1st December, 11AM), my lovely co-writer Elodie and I will be feeding everyone at Gillman Barracks for the Singapore Art Book Fair. We will be cooking up some recipes from our cookbook. Drop by and say hi!