Monday, July 28, 2014

The One About The Summer That Was

As I write this blog entry, I am taking a break from unboxing my stuff from last school year in preparation for the advent of a new one.  I am slowly willing myself to get back into the teaching groove given that I have one more week before classes start.  However, it is proving to be more challenging than it used to be given the kind of summer vacation that I just had.

The summer that was was nothing short of wonderful.  Apart from a quick trip to Hong Kong, it was really nothing grand but every minute of it was well-spent and none of the I-just-lazed-around-and-watched-TV-and-slept-all-day kind.

I still woke up at around 5 o'clock in the morning to prepare my husband's baon.  Once he is off to work, I would steal a few more minutes of sweet slumber before finally waking up and preparing myself a light breakfast of either yogurt or omelette.  And I then I would clean the house until it is spic and span.  Twice a week, I would attend Zumba classes in a nearby gym which would send my endorphins singing well until the end of the day.  No need for coffee -- at least for two days a week. :)

Upon coming home and taking a shower, I would devote the rest of the day to either sewing, knitting, reading, trying out new recipes, or drawing up plans for my passion projects.  It would involve me sitting with Miss Gertie (my sewing machine and, yes, she has a name because, why not?) as she hums away happily as we churn out a new soft toy or an article of clothing.  It would involve me catching a good movie on TV with my knitting needles and a ball of yarn in my new attempt to make Waldorf balls for my new niece.  It would involve me curling up with a good book as I attempt to make my bedside pile shorter.  It would involve taking a quick trip to the grocery, picking out ingredients for a new recipe.  It would involve taking trips downtown, scouring for materials and supplies for future projects or sitting in a cafe with my laptop or notebook of ideas, mapping out the steps I will soon take for the things I am passionate about.  At times, I would catch up with friends I have not seen in a while.

More on this kimono soon!

Took an online workshop that fit right in my passion project plans!

At the end of each day, I have never felt more productive.  My husband has never felt more cared for.

At the end of each week - Fridays - to celebrate accomplishments no matter how small, I would treat myself to breakfast or lunch at some place as a way of indulging myself after a productive week.  It did not need to be expensive but I ate what made me happy.

Breakfast as Third Cup Cafe

Lunch at The Royal Picadilly Restaurant

 Breakfast at The Breakfast Table

On my last day of summer, I simply unplugged myself from my "work" schedule and took things easy.

And so, the summer that was.  There was no opportunity to be bored simply because I did not let myself be.  Poor TV was seldom turned on because there was always something "more important" to do.  The days were simple; the moments were all lovely.  :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

The One Who Cooked Chinese Fare

A couple of months ago, I wrote about attending a Chinese dimsum and dumpling class at 25 Mushrooms Kitchen (see blog post here).  It may have taken a while but this summer vacation has witnessed me finally buckling down to sourcing authentic Chinese ingredients and preparing some of the dishes I have learned to make from that class.

And I couldn’t be happier with the results...

 Radish cake

Steamed spareribs (didn't add black beans because Hon-some's not a fan)

 Hefty bundles of pork and shrimp siomai

My tummy can attest to the pleasant results of my Chinese cooking attempts!  And while they are not part of the cooking class repertoire, I went further and made...

Salt and pepper squid

Hong Kong-style fried noodles

I have yet to try out the other recipes (the hakaw, in particular, overwhelms me) but at this stage, I feel pretty strongly that the P1,100 I spent for that cooking class was the best P1,100 I ever let go of!