Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Only 9 days until I go back to Exeter...

I'm not going to write much. I will when I get back. Or not. I have exams 2 weeks after and may be quite busy. Anyway, these are a couple of photos worth sharing.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Subtle clues when a party is lame

After preparing the bread dough, I went to an "international party" which took place at the university club. I only went because I got a free ticket after answering a questionnaire. I should have known that was the first clue...
When I arrived there at 11pm, there was the security in front of the building chatting, I went past them, went to the counter and handed my free ticket, and the girl said to who appeared to be hosting the party, "what do I do with this?" Second clue. I was like "why doesn't she know...?" and I asked if there is anyone in the place. The host said, "yeah there's plenty of people in there!!" He escorted me in there. There were two men drinking. Three women sort of dancing on the floor. One DJ miserably providing music. On the flier, I remembered the DJ was a London DJ. When I saw the state of the party, I stopped and thought what exactly was a London DJ... He's probably a regular DJ who just happens to come from London.

Anyway, this is the short conversation between me and the host.
Me "there's no one here..."
Host "People will come in 20 minutes! It's only 10 o'clock. Just wait and see!"
Me "It's not 10. It's already 11."
Host "Well, people are coming in 20 minutes. Do you want anything to drink?"
Me "No, I think I'll go to Arena (biggest club in the city.). My classmates will be there. (I knew this because they asked me if I was coming earlier, to which I answered "I'm going to another party.")"
Host "You'll have a better time here than at Arena. Here, I'll buy you a drink. (You know he's desperate if the host buys you a drink)"
Me "uhhh ok..."

So I sat there awkwardly with the two men drinking alchopop. Finished the bottle, walked out ASAP. Went directly to Arena. Met my classmates and had an awesome time until I came home at 4am. I love the Singaporean girls so much. They are sooo hot... *drools*

Olive Bread

Last night, I made oilive bread. Well, not until the baking part. I had to leave it in the fridge to rise overnight. I baked it this morning and look how it turned out!

I'm really satisfied with this. I put 50ml of vegetable oil which wasn't in the recipe because I asked my mum why my bread was always crumbly and she suggested to add oil. The texture turned out professiounal. The only thing with this is that, because it already has the olive taste, it doesn't go well with jam.

Slow food: Fish Pie and Chicolate tart!!!

Thursday night, I went to the fish night at the slow food society for the first time. It was actually at one of the member(Lauren)'s house. Their kitchen was sooooo clean and tidy... I envy her!!! The impression of the society was I feel more at ease than in the LGBTQ. We have a common interest:food. Whereas in LGBTQ, it's more like common characteristic. The people at LGBTQ and slow food are both really nice but I feel I can get into the conversation with the slow food people.

The menu was Fish Pie and Bitter Chocolate Tart. Both were superbly delish!!
I arrived at Lauren's house at 6pm right after my class. Lauren and the chef (James isn't a university student. He owns a restaurant, I think. I don't know how come he's involved in this society but he's a really nice person.) as talking in the kitchen. Them and 2 other people had gone to the fish market that morning to buy fish for the dinner. It turned out that they got the fish for free!! They got 4 types of fish (salmon and I don't remember the name of the others but they were white fish.)

First of all James cut off the skin of the fish. I wanted to fry the skin but I just kept quiet. Shoulda said something. Throwing away that much skin was such a waste!! They took turns to cut it. I didn't cut any because the patch on my hand that I burnt while I was baking bread last week was getting white and gross and I had band-aid on. (What an excuse! It still hasn't healed but is getting better.)

Then more people arrived at the house. Steph made white sauce which I helped to stir. Then we added the fish into the white sauce and I stirred until the fish was cooked. James put lime zest and lemon juice into this sauce which made the taste so much better. The sauce was put out into a dish and was left to cool.

Vish, an Indian guy, peeled potatoes and this was made into a mash. Technique I learnt from James was that if you whisk the mash, it will taste lighter. After the mash was ready, it was put in top of the fish white sauce.
Meanwhile, Lauren was preparing the chocolate tart. 70% cacao chocolate 400g!!!!Super rich and super yummy!

Lauren or James had already prepared the pie dough and it was in the fridge in plastic wrap. Lauren spread this out and put it on the pie tin. This was baked in the oven for a shirt while. Another technique from Vish is if you put egg yolk in the pie crust, it won't get soggy after you pour the filling.
Chocolate, butter and 2 eggs were combined in a pot and this was poured into the crust. The crust came out with the side of it melting to the bottom. Lauren is trying to master making pies because she wants to make it when she goes home for Christmas. Another failure for her!
Now both the fish pie and chocolate tart were in the oven. So now it was time for veg. James cut cauliflowers and cabbage and boiled it. Simple.
And this is what it looked like when everything was finished. Magnificent!

I want to try making the chocolate tart when I have a pie tin!!! Or maybe I could make it with my cake tin.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Chocolate Cake success!!! and choir

On Sunday, Nancy and I made the same chocolate cake that I'd already made twice. And it was an absolute success. It was better than the previous two. The sponge was not dry, not too sweet, not too thin. Just right. With the whipped cream and chocolate leafs, the sweetness was just perfect.

The chocolate leafs were very good too. I'd found a type of leaf that had a similar smell to sansho (Japanese pepper) and that gave the chocolate a good smell. And they all peeled off from the real leafs so I was glad.

There was an accident while trying to make the choco leafs, though. I put the cooking chocolate in the bowl and made a water bath. That part was fine. Then Nancy started to show off her iPad and we started to play with it. Which you shouldn't keep your mind off the food while you are cooking. And when I noticed the sound of water boiling, it was too late. Nancy had, for some unknown reason, put a lid on the water bath and water had filled up the bowl of chocolate!
The problem was solved by pouring out the water and leaving the excess water to evaporate. But lesson learnt: concentrate when you are cooking.
Me looking really satisfied (which I was).

I just came back from a concert (free of course, I wouldn't pay money just to listen to choir). Someone in the LGBTQ promoted it on their facebook page because it was something to do with AIDS. The place it was held was literally 1 minute's walk from my room so I went, although it started at 11pm.
It was like waiting at the dermatologist and listening to the BGM. It didn't give me goosebumps at all. That's my standard for determining if classical music (or any other boring music) is good: whether or not it gives me goosebumps. This time, it didn't.
And I know I'm not the only person who thought so because the old man who left first (I left second) when the concert finished said "That was horrible."
I could have said, "I know, right!?" But I didn't. :P