Beautiful Mistake

I don't know what to call this cake. So for the first time, I'm giving a name to a cake - Beautiful Mistake. Sounds unbelievably cliche, I know, but that's exactly what this cake is.

The initial intention was not to make this. In fact, I wasn't intending to make anything at 10pm after my GP common test and Nando's Extra Hot Peri Chicken which was quite metabolic. (Meat for the first time in months, I'm quite proud of myself!) But then our welfare rep was fretting over a birthday cake to mark the last day of term and our customary birthday month celebrations. So, like Siying said:
"When Fiona sets her mind, don't waste your saliva trying to persuade her otherwise. Just save it for tomorrow."

But the initial idea was a Savarin cake, inspired by the article on French food in Sunday Times. The French's passion for food and life is very alluring, it's a community I would like to be part of. Forget US or UK, if I could, I'll fly to Paris. The chef said, "Once this guy I was dating said, 'Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to bother with all this eating and you could just take a pill?' I think we broke up after that night." And that's life!

Ok, so I screwed up Savarin really bad, so at 3am, I was at a loss. Like I said, the only thing fionainthekitchen breaks is eggs. So feeling despondent, I said in a phone conversation, (some people just don't sleep),
"I'm just a girl... I'm not the god of baking."
"In Initial D, the guy said' 神也是人,只是神做到人做不到的事,所以才叫神。' You can bake, I can't, so to me, you are the god of baking."

Amazingly, I think I work really well under stress. I wanted a green tea souffle roll, but I forgot the green tea powder, so after panicking for about 0.17683862 seconds, I melted some chocolate and incorporated it into the mixture. In half an hour, my cake was born. Added chocolate chips to the whipped cream and rolled the cake. And the artistic talent I always secretly thought I had, (even though I can't draw to save my life, or even colour for that matter), saved my reputation. Hohoho, at 5am, fiona left the kitchen for bed. And woke up late for school.

But you see my dears, this is what I live for.

At SWAMI, I've been inspired in more ways that I could count. I listen to the stories of the abandoned, people who loved, but whom love forgot. The social worker there told me,
"Until you find something that makes you want to wake up every morning, you'll never be truly happy."
Live to remember, remember to live.


Orange chiffon cake

Job well done! Chiffon cake took me so long to learn how to make. Simply because if you can't get the technique of folding right, say goodbye to the beautiful spongelike springy texture. The smell of the orange, especially when it is in the oven, is literally breathtaking...

The story behind the chiffon cake is one of friendship and a hell lot of perseverance. In short, I promised my friend I'll bake her a pandan chiffon cake, because it was one of the few food that she eats, on the rare times that she does eat. So I tried a grand total of 5 times, before finally succeeding into a reasonably acceptable one. All in one sitting.
That is how I can now make a decent tasty chiffon cake 2 years on. As Thomas Edison puts it,
"I've not failed, I've succeeded in finding out 100 different ways in which it will not work."
something very exciting might be happening. i might be given a chance to bake for the old folks at the SWAMI home. if that does happen, i think i finally found a purpose. it would make me veryveryvery happy...

Fried Mee Tai Mak

Baby, I'm on a roll.


Fried Beehoon

I had a sudden urge to do this and the first attempt screwed up really bad. Which made the success of the second attempt so much sweeter!

I just dumped in chye xin, fishball, carrot(shredded), clams and fried omellete (cooked separately). This dish looks simple, but before adding in the beehoon, the right amount of water must be present in the wok. I didn't get that as well as I could, so my beehoon turned out a little too dry. But I would take dry over wet anytime, as my first attempt went. Mum said "long" ingredients should be used, to go with noodles and if rice, then ingredients that can be spooned should be used. Makes sense.

Finally, some canned meat would add a whole load of taste to fried beehoon. But I've decided to give up meat altogether now, so yes, fiona is now a pescetarian, i.e. pesco-vegetarian.

I wish the headaches would stop, does anyone know how to make them stop? It's been ongoing for about a week, I'm almost going insane. Even frying beehoon is not helping!


This is the hardest story that I've ever told

Now that all's said and done, this is for closure.
You know, I think we fought so hard, we lost the energy to continue fighting at the end. This journey has been tough, almost impossible to finish, but we've all lived to tell. For all the shit we've been through, I would say we're ultimately winners.

It has never been easy, right from the beginning. Remember, our seniors weren't exactly fond of us? Remember how we felt so lost and no one told us what we were in for? Remember all the drama with coach, the teachers, the boys and all the screwed up rainy days? I remember. the sms that went along the lines of:
"If your school is unhappy with my schedule, they can go get a new coach."
I remember the conversation that left me down for days, when he presented a reality I refused to accept:
"I know the standard of teams that make it, and to be honest, you all try hard, but you cannot reach that standard."
I remember the fights with the teachers, the bitching they did because we simply wanted to train. They didn't care, the seniors didn't care, the guys thought nothing of us. Some days, I have never felt so alone.
We all cried didn't we? Almost all of us. Be it pain, disappointment, late trainings, scoldings, mistakes ad anything else. We all had those days, when we wanted to give it all up, because nobody believed in us anyway and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get it. I remember. Days when I let everyone down because I couldn't set properly. Days when I didn't think I could ever get it. Those days were impossible.
The courts have our sweat, blood and tears. Sometimes, I wish things were different. I wish H1N1 didn't happen. I wish we didn't have to fight to train. I wish there was someone fighting for us. I wish things were easier.
Yet, we smiled when we played in the rain and fell sick the next day. We laughed when coach's car broke down and about how the teacher had to rush home to hang her clothes/feed her dog/do something that doesnt require staying back for volleyball. We screwed up, but we kept going because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we can do it. We stayed together.
The last month's just been insane. It hurt so much, I couldn't breathe, literally. I thought I was going to die. Reality came and slapped me in the face. When the drama came, and all the mistake I've made, all the friends I thought I lost, I didn't know how to be captain anymore. But I'm forgiven. For the first time, I thought coach finally believed in us, and I liked to think he really did. But we weren't ready mentally. A year is too short. Our skills weren't that bad, but we lost in experience and mental strength. I think the JJC and MJC matches proved my point.
I gave it my all. Times when I've tried to change things, talking to HODs, teachers, coach, seniors, the guys and to the team. But things didn't really change. I served so many times, my shoulder gave, and I couldn't serve since the year begun. Dumb. But I think for setting, all the work did pay off.
But there were moments I would never trade. When you told me you weren't going to give up, I realised I couldn't as well. When we compared our bruises, scraps, tanlines, fat thighs, ate dinner talking shit, put on insane amounts of sunblock and deep heat, bathed for hours, bitched about life, had our catfight, swooned over guys, pissed each other off but we forgive anyway.
For the guys that came and helped, we're all really grateful. You all were an inspiration, and we were lucky to have our paths crossed, however brief a time. Some memories I can never forget, some words I hold close to the heart.
We lost, but we were happier than the team that won. They went home, we went for team dinner. You know what we won? Tenacity, friendship, memories. And of course, team bag/shoes/shirt/kneepads. This is the experience, it's a struggle, somedays you get lucky, other days, you pray for lucky days.
Now that all's said and done, I'll let exhaustion take over. Never knew I could feel so much. I'm tired from talking, from fighting, from feeling. Tired of drama. So tired, I pushed everyone away. It's so scary to look into the mirror one day and realise that this is not the girl you recognise. It's worse when your friends don't recognise you anymore too.

Wrote this the night after our last game and there shall be no more depressing posts after this.
Time to say goodbye. No more sad songs, no more drama, no more headaches. Come back to life baby, I'm taking the last flight out tonight!