Showing posts from January, 2007

More food!

For some reason, I suddenly had a craving for delicate, trembly steamed egg. Made a batch to go with a bak kut teh dinner I had at Marianne's house a couple of weeks ago, but it turned out too fluffy- not the clear, unblemished surface I wanted, so tried again at home, this time using my bowl in a saucepan of hot water!

Still not as flat as I would have liked, and the mushrooms refused to sink down to the bottom of the bowl, but not bad! It was just barely cooked, and still nice and trembly!

Next up was baked pasta with spinach. The cooked pasta was mixed with tomato-based sauce, half a bottle of creamy alfredo, and half a packet of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle more cheese on top and bake till everything sets together! Good for freezing!

Then I went and bought myself a big bag of dried black eyed peas...I tried some canned ones before and they were really delicious! Made some minestrone with them (ate it all before I took photos! haha), but I still had 3/4 of the bag left. So some wen…

Rotavap Blues

It's Friday night and I'm planning to go
Heading downtown, with my bros
But it just so happens, just you see
I hear something a-calling to me

I got too many samples sitting in the lab
So instead of the show, I head on back
Pour and measure, mash and squeeze
Pass the solvent, if you please
Oh-ohoh-ohhhh...What can I do?
I've got the rotavap blues...

Turned on the machines, put on the flask
Busied myself with the mundane tasks
The hum of the vacuum, soaked in the sound
Watched the round bottom spin round and around

Just when I thought it's the break I deserve
The solvent bumped into the bulb above
Oh-ohoh-ohhhh...Too much to do
I've got the rotavap blues...

Manning the vacuum has made my thumb sore
Watching paint dry, is less of a chore
Methanol, chloroform, dichloromethane
Are the only friends sharing my pain

Now I'm down to my second last
But the damned bulb is stuck to the flask
Oh-ohoh-ohhhh...It's so cruel
I've got the rotavap blues...


It appears that I'm going for my grading soon too! Keith and Debbie Sensei informed me yesterday that I should start preparing for my green belt test (too bad it's a colour I don't already have, hehe...maybe I could dye my blue belt with a yellow colour...). It's 10 kneeling techniques, and 10 standing ones. I get to choose my own, and no randori (phew). I'm not sure if the positive and negative versions of the same technique count as 2 out of the 10, so I'm taking suggestions on what I should do!

Let water flow over you like a rock in a stream

We've been doing a lot of randori during aikido these days, maybe cos some of us (in the dojo, not me lah) are going for grading soon. And it's not the one-on-one or two-on-one type, it's typically five or six attackers at a time! Can't really do much fancy stuff in this kind of situation. Keith Sensei says that we have to 'swim through' our attackers, blend in and flow with their direction, rather than block them, or stop them by trying to do some pre-determined technique. And of course, it's a lot harder than it sounds. My first instinct is still to try and intercept my attackers, rather than let them bring themselves past me. It's tiring and back-breaking for this number of people involved! In fact, I did a lot better when I was forced to evade attacks with one hand behind my back (and having both behind was pretty stressful, I can tell you).

Is it something I do off the mat as well? Try to meet obstacles head-on rather than observe the flow of the si…

Goodbye jo...

It had to happen sooner or later. After enduring a 23 hour flight from Singapore to the promised land of the United States, my jo was happy to finally come out of the bag and and be used for practise in various jo katas. Oh the joy of being handled and swinging freely the last two Thursdays instead of the occasional weapon seminar. Last night, as Mike swung up to block my kesa strike (diagonal strike), I heard that unmistakable splintering sound as a small reddish projectile shot off into the distance.

Well, on the bright side, I now have two fearsome, sharp and pointy weapons, plus, no-one was accidentally stabbed by any flying object. And with a bit of duct tape, I got myself a spare training jo for one person katas!

Food series- Honey paste chicken

Yup, since I'm back to living on my own, it's back to fending for myself in the culinary arena again....I miss my mum's cooking :( ...

So this recipe calls for the chicken to be deep fried first, but I wasn't going to waste all that oil, so I seasoned them with sesame oil, soy sauce and magarine and grilled them at 450degF for 40min. One effect of that was that the chicken got so tender you could crunch through the bones :O. While the packet is labelled as Honey Paste, I couldn't find any honey in the ingredient list at all, while sugar is the first ingredient :). You could probably get the same taste with sugar, tomato paste and soy sauce. Stir fry together with onions, and if you have it, fresh ginger slices!

First Flowers

The joys of spring weather in the middle of winter :)

This is pretty. I wonder what flower it is?

With a busy visitor
Comes in this pretty shade too.

Meanwhile, next to Westside Hall, two trees are a-blooming...

Who needs sakura viewing in Japan? ;)

The Squirrel Galleries Part I

As promised, here's the first in the series (hopefully) of the squirrel diaries! This individual was captured (on CCD) outside my apartment one winter day in all its full fatty glory...

Florida's folks

Okay, after introducing everyone to my field sites and the marine life of Key Largo, shall take this moment to introduce my labmates and companions for the Florida fieldtrip!

My buddies for the first few days- Sven in the center was visiting from Kiel, Germany, and Tim to the right.

Food figures very much in our field trip. After a whole day of diving in frigid waters, you get a hungry horde! Somehow, Sven got conned into BBQ-ing our dinner of chicken thighs, while the rest of us did stuff like this to help out:

Steve is the other 'helper' on the left

Okay...some people were genuinely working, like Tim and Susanna cooking the rice here

BBQ was really popular, we grilled dinner thrice in a fortnight! Apparently, in US, BBQ is a guy's thing, and they handle all aspects from marinating, lighting the fire to cooking (smoking) the food! Which is really sweeeet....hehehe

Cheeseburgers in paradise

Sometimes we go out, like for my birthday dinner!

Yeah! We had sushi and sake! Check out th…