Saturday, June 07, 2014

What I Love In HK

One of the best things I love about Hong Kong is their herbal drinks. There's a variety of them sold almost everywhere you go.

Am actually blogging this from our rented apartment in Jordan (thank God for the high speed wifi) so this is definitely a first for me - blogging on the go, that is.

I got a fever two days before I got on the plane to HK and I was so worried I would literally freak out in the plane for the 4 hours of flight. Thankfully Ho Yan Hor saved me and i actually was quite OK for travel except that my throat was sore.

It's my 2nd day in HK and I decided that I had to drink something to cool down my heaty body.

This brand of herbal drinks is easy to find at MTR stations across HK. At HK$24 it's not exactly cheap but it is great for people like me. 

This one is made of lotus leaf, winter melon and coix seeds and i had mine warm. It clears heat and relieves summer heat. 

All i want is to have my throat back to normal again so i can taste all the yummy food here in HK! 

Despite the sore throat I still managed to visit my uni mate whom I haven't seen for 16 years at the APC Mall in Kwun Tong today. We had some dessert from Honeymoon Dessert, apparently a super famous dessert chain in HK. I went for the papaya and white fungus dessert hoping that i could cool my body down. 

And after that off I went to the largest Taoist temple in HK - Wong Tai Sin. It was supposed to be unbearably warm in HK now but today the weather was kind. It rained just before so the temple jaunt was pleasant and cool. 

Wong Tai Sin is famous for granting wishes and many people visit this temple for this reason. The other attraction is the rows of fortune tellers who will tell your fortune for a fee. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Wishing For Cooking Utensils....A True Story

I have been missing in action for sometime. I actually have a bunch of drafts waiting to be edited and posted up but things have gotten super busy plus I have had a nice little TCM adventure two weeks ago.

It involved an Australian artist, Little India, a young TCM herbalist who is a woman no less (and one who speaks English) and a 200+ year old legacy from Penang's oldest medical halls (started in 1796!). But that is one story that must be told properly - not in some sloppy way so I shall have to keep you in suspense just a little longer. ;-)

Anyway, I have not abandoned this blog. In fact, I missed making soups.

Now that I have a slow cooker given to me by a Canadian friend who was leaving Penang for Newfoundland, I have found soup-making to be lots easier!

I no longer have to watch the stove like an eagle (and worried that the wind from the kitchen window will blow out my stove flames). I no longer have to be at home when I am making soup.

All I need to do is rinse the herbs, blanch the pork bones and boil some water in the electric jug kettle. Put all 3 ingredients into the slow cooker, switch it onto AUTO and let it simmer merrily for the next 4 - 5 hours. When the time is up, add salt to taste. Let the soup "rest" and switch off the slow cooker.

What I have found is that soup made in the slow cooker retains a lot of flavour. The soup is tastier and has more depth, perhaps because it does not lose water due to all that simmering over the direct heat.

I was wanting to buy a slow cooker for the longest time but I never really got around to buying one. Maybe I was too lazy to make a decision. The supermarket is full of crazy choices!

And then this Canadian friend told me she was packing up and going home to Canada and she had a slow cooker for sale. It was only RM40 and I jumped at the chance to buy it from her. In the end, she gifted it to me!

And so each time I make soup in the slow cooker, I remember Tyra! The slow cooker is now cooking Chinese soups as opposed to Western stews and such. It has been given a second lease on life.

Funnily I had wished for a slow cooker and it came to me. So never discount the power of wishing for something good that you like. I have had lots of stuff come to me this way, believe it or not. It sounds a bit wooowooo and New Age but in my case, it brought me lots of stuff that I wanted.

Recently I was telling some friends that I wanted a double-sided pan - the HappyCall pan came to mind. I was hemming and hawing at the mall because I didn't really know if I would use it.

Then Nic says we'd buy it once the HappyCall was on sale. My husband always prefers the real deal to copycats - there was one such pan on Groupon but Nic hates Groupon you see so buying it on Groupon was out of the question. That meant eyeing it at the mall but even so, I wasn't exactly sure I would use it.

And then, a few weeks after that, a friend won a double-sided pan in a lucky draw and she gave the pan to me! She says she had a Thermomix and that was all she needed to cook.

So there you have it. Wish hard enough and the right cooking utensil comes into your kitchen.

This isn't much of a soup post but just to get you up to speed that I am happy, albeit too damn busy but I will be right back with regular programming.

Until then, you tell me - what's your favourite kitchen tool or utensil? And it doesn't even have to be soup-related. I couldn't live without my Faber slow cooker, Philips juicer and Lebenstill bread machine.