I baked my grandparents an orange loaf cake (the recipe called for some Grand Marnier)today.
They have a daily habit of eating afternoon tea at 3pm – a cup of teh with biscuits, or kuehs, or cakes from the bakery and when I was still a student living with them, pancakes!
According to the recipe book Paris Sweets, the French call such cakes legoûter (how to pronounce this…?) – a little something, often sweet, to tide one between lunch and dinner, usually taken between 4 and 6 PM (basically, afternoon tea).
It is my first time trying out this recipe and I hope the cake tastes alright.
How does one choose a good pot of camelias? One that is more likely than not to bloom?
They always look so gorgeous at the nursery but nothing happens after I bring them home – basically, the buds drop off without blooming. We have no idea how to handle these plants.
Despite our numerous failures, I could not resist buying a pot this year because camelias are so beautiful (TBH disagrees – he thinks they are ugly things but this is coming from a man who thinks phallic-looking orchids are beauty personified) and I see them only during this time of the year.
I examined many pots at the nursery (in doing so, slipped on an orange peel, nearly crashed headlong into the camelias and almost dropped the camera)….and had major difficulty selecting a pot.
Firstly, I couldn’t decide on the type of bloom.
Do I get the round-shaped blooms? Or the star-shaped ones?
Next, how to tell which is a healthy plant? Practically every pot I saw had both healthy looking buds and yucky looking ones.
In the end, we picked a pot with many pretty blooms, which I know isn’t very clever.
But we figured that we will at least get the pleasure of enjoying the lovely flowers now even if the rest of the buds fail to bloom.
The vegetables look sadly wilted as they had been sitting around for a while – after I was done with cooking, I realised that I had forgotten to turn on the rice cooker……
Just like how I don’t understand why there are some people who enjoy taking macro shots of creepy-crawlies, there are also people who have no clue as to why I am crazy about taking food photos (yeah, even a mug of frothy teh tarik also must take).
Guess it is mostly because I love food (who doesn’t?) and I enjoy photography (yeah, right) and what better than to marry the two (which annoys the heck out of my husband but well, it might be good for his blood pressure to be annoyed from time to time).
Also, I think the gastronomic experience starts with the eye so I like to capture how a dish looks when it is served – whether it has been meticulously plated according to the rules of fine-dining establishments or not (think char kway teow or hokkien prawn noodles) does not really matter. Yes, even my own modest ‘everything-pile-on-the-plate’ meals, I like to take photos of. Practice (at every opportunity) makes perfect!
Does this make any sense? Even if it does not, never mind – this isn’t a Financial Times column.
So, eating with me can be quite a tiresome affair (and more often than not, embarrassing) because I like to snap photos of the food before I let anyone at the table dig into it. In whichever possible angle – aerial, side, 60 degrees or at various apertures, lighting and set up. And I balance the camera on anything on the table – wine glasses, plates, bowls, vases…
I guess my regular dining companions have gotten so used to such antics that whenever their food arrives at the table, they will automatically say “Go on, do whatever you have to do…and HURRY UP. I am frickin’ hungry.” But I always take my time with TBH’s food because it raises his heckles immediately.
Know what happens whenever I dine out and forget my camera? I start twitching.