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Food, London

Laduree Macarons

If there is a finer, better, more heavenly experience than sinking your teeth into Laduree macarons, I have yet to find it. I love macarons and drooling over photos of macarons others have made is one of my favourite past-times. I only tried them a couple years back, so if you haven’t had them, definitely do!

Laduree Macarons

They were chocolate, coffee, spicy berry (also called 1001 nights) and raspberry. The raspberry was my favourite. The spicy berry didn’t tickle my fancy much. They were tiny!

Apparently you’re not allowed to take photos at Laduree. Yes, I whip out my camera at all opportunities so while I was waiting in line, I was trying to take a few clicks when one of the girls there stopped me in earnest. Is there a good reason why you’re not allowed to take photos? She didn’t explain so I have no idea. In any case, I wasn’t too pleased and so I stepped further back and zoomed in for a photo (she really brought out the rebel in me).

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Misadventures

So Much For A Lazy Day

I’ve been missing in action from the blogging world for the past few days, but you’ll be glad to hear I haven’t completely fallen off the planet (or maybe not *grin*). It has just been one of those weekends where I wake up at 6:30 a.m., get home at 7:30 p.m., have dinner, shower then straight to bed at 9:00. A whole weekend of training can leave a girl feeling completely zonked out, but I shall save that story for another day.

I’m normally a bounce-out-of-bed, hum-a-good-tune, glad-that-it’s-morning person. But I decided Monday should be reserved entirely for a little R&R, considering I’ve been waking up the past couple of days looking like this.

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Miscellaneous

How To Cut Pomelo Fast

The pomelo is a great fruit, something we always eat in Asia. I’ve always loved it, ever since I was a baby.

Pomelo

Yes I know my ears stick out like a monkey. Yes I know I had a huge head almost as big as the pomelo. And yes, I probably gave my mom a hard time in labour. And yes, I know I looked like a boy! One time we were out, someone came up and asked my parents why they dressed their son in a pretty pink dress. I was SO insulted.

In any case, the pomelo is also apparently a symbol of good luck and prosperity for us Chinese. The best ones we ever ate were those ripely picked from Grandpa’s backyard. It is like a giant grapefruit, but sweet.

Best Pomelo

According to my grandparents, pomelo is also good for de-worming. De-worming?! Yup, de-worming. The thought of worms existing in my body gives me the heebie jeebies. But it’s supposed to be very effective and you can actually see the worms when they’re…ummm…excreted. That’s never happened to me though (or I would’ve never touched pomelo ever again!).

I was reading a pomelo salad recipe and the author said that it was really easy to make, but it was very tedious work cutting the pomelo because it took her one and a half hours. Boy, that would be tedious wouldn’t it? I don’t know how she did it, but it’s only ever taken me 5 minutes!

How To Cut Pomelo (and FAST!)

  1. Cut the top of the pomelo off until you can almost see the fruit inside. The bottom is the flatter end.

    Cut Top Off
  2. Cut through the skin lengthwise around the pomelo. It’s quite a thick skin so you want to cut through quite deeply. I don’t explain this well, so look at the picture.

    Cut Lengthwise Around Pomelo
  3. Peel the skin wedges apart. Pull the fruit out from the bottom part of the skin.

    Peel Away Skin Wedges
  4. Break it into wedges and serve.

    Pomelo Wedges

It’s as easy as that!

We normally just throw the skin away. Or you can do what my mom did.

Pomelo Hat

Like I didn’t already have enough problems with my enormous head.

Misadventures

A Tale of Train Travels

I do quite a bit of travelling, whether it is to visit friends or attend courses. And quite often, I have to take the train. It goes without saying that no matter how old you get or how independent you are, parents never cease worrying about you. They’ll always see it as their little 5 year-old taking the train by herself, dragging a humongous suitcase that is twice her size and impossible to lift (I’m a girl, what can I say?). To ease their worries, I always try to take an early train so I arrive at my destination in the daytime when it is still bright. But one day I had no choice but to take a later train that would arrive at night.

As usual, my parents had plenty to say.

Now make sure you keep very warm, wear many layers, don’t forget your thermals, boots, scarf, gloves and hat. (Would there be a chance I’d suffer from heatstroke in the winter?) Bring some food and water in case you get hungry on the train. (She knows her daughter eats constantly.) Make sure you pack enough clothes and don’t forget to buy good thermal socks, they’ll keep you warm. (The obsession with thermals!) Might want to buy some ear muffs too. (Bless her, she’s even worried about my ears!) Be careful and very observant because you’re arriving so late and it’s dark. (Yes, yes.) And make sure you bring a flashlight with you so you can see where you’re going. (Mom, really. A flashlight?)

Dad had a few things to say himself.

Make sure you haven’t forgotten to pack anything. (I probably have, but let’s hope it’s not important.) Do you have your tickets? (Oh wait, where are they?) Make sure you have your phone and it’s not on silent. (I know, I know – tracking device in disguise.) Remember to text when you get on the train, when the train leaves the station, when it arrives at the other end and when you get into your accomodation. (It’s almost as if I would get lost somewhere in between my journey. Clearly, he has no faith in my sense of direction.)

Parents.

Just as I was about to rush off, dad hands me a surprise. Here’s some packed food to eat on the train, it’s your favourite – duck! So sweet, I love you. I finally got on the train, which was full and I didn’t have much space in front of me. But who cares, I wanted to dive into my food!

Packed Food

YUM. Though it looks quite a lot for a packet of duck rice. I dig in anyway.

Aromatic Duck Wraps

Waaaait a minute. This is not duck rice, it’s aromatic duck wraps! When dad said ‘duck’ I thought it was an easy-to-eat pack of duck rice. No wonder he said it was my favourite because I love duck wraps. But how was I going to eat it without any space in front of me? The people who packed it had also kindly forgotten to give me a spoon, fork or chopsticks. Great.

I sat there for the entire journey, the smell of aromatic duck just taunting me until I started to feel incredibly hungry. I was slightly agitated. Why, why couldn’t it just have been a pack of whatever rice (that I could easily eat!)?

Because parents always want the best for their kids. And sometimes, they just love you too much. It’s why they pack your favourite food instead of something mediocre and tell you to take a flashlight with you. And though you will never understand what goes through a parent’s mind (until you become a parent yourself), and even though sometimes they succeed in driving you crazy without even trying, it’s why I want to keep them with me forever. In the words of the lovely Jenn Besonia, this is why I would “never swap my parents for two goldfish.” Sometimes we just have to see the humour in their ways, just like they see the humour in ours. After all, having seen the kids my parents had to put up with, they certainly deserve an award – I’m talking more about my sister here *look of innocence (followed by a cheeky grin)*.

I did get to enjoy my duck wraps later though.

Enjoying Food

See why it would be impossible to eat on the train?

Duck Wrap

Delicious. Definitely beats my own cooking.

And it turns out, the weather became a lot worse so mom was right about the thermals after all. The flashlight? Not so much.

Parents.

How can we not love them?