Friday, April 25, 2008

Lest We Forget

This is the second ANZAC Day dawn service my husband and I attended.
Being Asians, we found ourselves the minority at the dawn service which is perfectly reasonable given that ANZAC Day is commemorated by Australia and New Zealand on 25 April every year to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

However, what motivated us was the sense of belongingness. As migrants to Australia for more than 15 years, we have adopted this beautiful country as our own. I felt almost compelled and obligated to know more about ANZAC Day and as understanding increases, so is the sense of gratitude towards those men/women who served the country to protect the freedom we enjoy today.
We attended the dawn service held at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne (Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial and is probably Melbourne’s most recognised landmark). Departing home about 3:30am, the air was cold but the walk to the Shrine from Fawkner Park (there's where we parked the car) warmed us up very quickly and the sense of anticipation quicken our footsteps as we met many others walking towards the same direction on the way.
As we reached the Shrine, there was already a big crowd. The crowd huddled together and rugged up in scarfs, hats and gloves. Some smoked, some even laid out a picnic rug and brought foldable chairs, determined to get a good "seat" to hear the speech.
It was later reported that an estimated 35,000 people braving the cold to mark the 93rd anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops landing at Gallipoli at the Shrine of Remembrance. What is even more encouraging is the fact that it was attended by veterans, as well as young families and children of all ages.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scone for jam or jam for scones?

On a sunny glorious autumn day, what better place could one go other than the Dandenong? I am so glad Esther suggested the wonderful idea of a visit to Mount Dandenong and the famous Miss Marples Tea Room. (
The last time I visited the tea room was in summer when my mum and sister were visiting melbourne. The cozy tea room is famous for its scone and jam and generous serve of cream :)
We also tried for the 1st time -

Welsh Rarebit Fingers (with mature english cheddar, eggs, guinness, mustard and spices)

Next to the tea room is a tea shop (how appropriate!) which sells all sorts of tea pots, tea cups, large selection of tea and coffee beans. We found something interesting - mug with a cow inside :) of course not literally.

Wonder how practical it is - how do you stir your coffee when the cow gets in the way. Anyway, it is cute and i think it would still make a nice birthday gift or even just to display at home. But after distracted by other nice mugs and tea cups in the shop, we lost interest and ended up getting something more practical - chocolate with coffee beans inside! yum yum.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Results .....

Looking back at what I ended up making for the lovely couple, I have mixed feelings .... The main dish - Grilled Chicken with Dukkah coating turned out great, but the same cannot be said about the garlic bread and the dessert. What could go wrong with garlic bread you may ask - it's so simple! Yes I know but what would go wrong would go wrong *sigh :(

Alright, let's start with the disasters then to the good story:

Don't get me wrong the garlic bread tasted good but maybe somehow the lemon zest i added to the garlic bread (as per the recipe given), actually turned light green on the bread and it looked kinda of weird - green garlic bread urghh! Anyway the guests were very gracious and ate the garlic bread without complaining or expressing fear of being poisoned, so I am grateful to them hehe. Unfortunately i forgot to take a picture of the garlic bread so it's up to your imagination!

As for the dessert (marbled choc cheese cake), all were going well - until yes, until i put the mixture into the oven and forgot to check the setting is on "bottom filament". You see i have this old style oven which has 2 settings: top and bottom filament. The bottom filament should be used for baking biscuits, cake etc and the top filament is more for roast/grill. I used the top filament for my dessert and as you can imagine, the top was burnt while the cake was still cooking! Well to help your imagination, here is a picture of it! I just have to laugh when the cake was taken out of the oven - the top is so black and hard.

Thank God, I managed to salvage what is left of the unburnt part and managed somehow to serve the cake disguising the fact it was kinda of a failure. How did i do it? Simply cut off the burnt part and return the cake to the oven =)

Phew, now that we got over the disastrous garlic bread and cake, now let's talk about the success story :)
The grilled chicken coated with dukkah with apple salad was a success - thanks to the recipe posted by Su Yin.

The guests enjoyed it and it is a dish i am sure to make again ^_^

Friday, April 11, 2008

Trying out new recipes

Having a lovely couple over for dinner tonight and i was wondering what the menu should be... I was given some tips from the guest - NO PORK, NO PROCESSED FOOD and NO SEAFOOD. This poses a bit of challenge as I love pork and have to throw out many familiar recipes. But of course there many other recipes for beef/chicken/lamb to try so i am excited about what to whip up tonight as it would be something i don't normally cook. Well of course it also has to pass my one and only rule - nothing complicated. Did i tell you i hate complicated cooking before? Yes i love food but love simple cooking. Complicated cooking to me is when ingredients exceed 8 items and the cooking steps exceed 6 steps ... haha ...I find it hard to use up all the ingredients, especially short shelf life ingredients and find it a waste if they go bad before i had a chance to use them up. If i really want to enjoy a delicious complicated cooked meal - i will head to restaurant. Found a great garlic bread recipe from Cooking 101 and the story behind it. The recipe is so simple but it is the way the story was told that adds character to it. I am going for it! Did a google on garlic and found 2 interesting quotes to share with you:

"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good!" - Alice May Brock

"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Yiddish Saying