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brushes and papers

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September 2013

Photo #8 – Sungei Buloh Wetland Nature Reserve Park, Singapore (雙溪布洛濕地自然保護區公園)

Pictures below were taken two weeks ago at Sungei Buloh wetland reserve park. It rained heavily the night before, wetted the ground and turned the wetland into reddish-brown color the next day. Although it was still drizzling when I visited the park, it did not dampen my mood. On the contrary, it lifted my spirit that morning. The whole place looked so beautiful with birds roaming happily everywhere and the sound of their chirping could be heard throughout. The park was empty with one or two people were seen patiently bird watching with their huge long lens camera and it felt like the place only belonged to me at that moment. The smell after rain was still very much noticeable. The stillness of the park made me want to freeze the time. Wishing that I could prolonged it for yet another hour more while I was there. But too bad, before my wish was granted, more people were trickling into the park and disturbing that peacefulness. Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe.

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Steamed Egg Custard (蒸蛋)

For years, I always wonder how to make that smooth steamed egg just like what we eat in the Chinese or Jap restaurant. Well, wonder no more. After searching the internet, I learned how to cook it the right way. It is very simple. Just use the strainer to minimize the bubble on the beaten eggs.

Here is what I did. We need 4 eggs for 3 cups of steamed egg custard. Beat all of them, add seasoning to taste and add 2 tea-spoons of sesame oil. At last add water to the eggs to make it soft and tender. The ratio of egg and water is 1:4. In this case, where I used 4 eggs, I needed 16 table-spoons of water. Mix them well.

Strain the mixture into small cups. Then bring the steamer to boil and place all the cups in. Use lids to cover those cups and steam them for 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the eggs. When done, sprinkle it with pepper and garnish with coriander. Have nice weekend everyone!

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Photo #7 – West Coast Park In The Morning, Singapore (西海岸公園的一個早晨)

Ever since I bought a camera, I promised myself that I would go out more and learn how to take pictures. I believe the more I go out taking better pictures, the more it would help improve my painting practice. It would also help me see things from different angles and perspectives. As an early riser, I mostly do everything in the morning and why I prefer to go out taking pictures in the morning. Chasing that beautiful morning light, enjoying the quietness of the place and at the same time avoiding the weekend crowd all together.

West Coast Park was empty early that morning. Next to the park there is a port (I believe) with ships, yachts and sampan docking nearby. The place was so serene and there was no apparent activities from nearby port too. I have few pictures which are in color mix with black and white to share with you all. The scenery was so beautiful that worth getting up early for. I hope you all like it. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Stir Fried Chilly Eggplant (辣椒茄子)

I don’t know about you, but I love to eat eggplant only if it is cooked with chilly. When we were young, my mom often cooked eggplant. Only once in a while we had it with chilly, because dad doesn’t eat chilly at all. When she did cook, the eggplant plate would always be emptied in an instant. It was very tasty and delicious. I guess, any food cooked with chilly will always turn out delicious. The way she cooked it was to first fry the eggplant till it was soft then stir fried them with chilly. Nowadays as we are more health conscious, we try to avoid fatty things and usually cook with less oil. Softening the eggplant by steaming it is another way we adopt right away. Here is my eggplant dish!

What you need: bay leaves. One or two long eggplants, 2 tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 shallots and 2 slices of blue ginger/galangal. Cut them all in slices. Chilly paste as much as you like. I used my own home made chilly paste. Or you can just forgo the chilly all together.

This is how you prepare the dish: in the pre-heat wok, fry the garlic, onion and galangal and bay leaves till fragrance or slightly brown. Add the chilly paste and tomatoes. Stir fry them till the tomato becomes juice like. Add sugar and salt to your taste. Keep stir fry it for ten to fifteen minutes and it slightly dries up. Then add the pre-steamed eggplants in. Mix them well and stir fry for another few minutes more till it all blend well. Alternatively, if you do not like eggplant, you may use prawns or fish. Similarly, stir fried them with chilly and tomatoes the same way. But remember to fry prawns/fish first. I hope you like my chilly eggplant dish. Enjoy!

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