Foodie Alchemist

My inspirations from flipping through recipes and tinkering with the ingredients in my pantry

Why I became a SAHW

The story goes like this: On a weekday at 10.30am, I took a cab home after doing some grocery shopping. The taxi driver was relatively young (early 30s?) as compared to taxi uncles in their 50s.

And so, the conversation goes like this…

Him: 去买菜啊?

Me: Ya

Him: 今天不用做工?

Me: 不用

Him: 照顾baby ah?

Me: 我没有小孩

Him: Wah, 很好 leh…我也想这样leh

Me: 还好la…你跟你老婆讲你在家煮饭做家务,她去做工loh

Him: Huh, 我还想有人叫我老婆leh

Me: ??? (I don’t know what he meant, so I just gave a small laugh)

Him: 你在家里不会闷meh?

Me: 自己找事情做loh,看书、做家务、煮饭…要有hobby

Him: 是loh。不然很闷的leh. 我礼拜天没有开车,想叫朋友出去,他们都有family. 我在家里也不知道要做什么

Me:… (I didn’t know how to answer him, so I kept quiet)

We also chat about whether Cold Storage or Fairprice is a better place to shop for groceries on my short ride home.

When friends found out I’m not working and staying at home with no kids, 99.9% of the time, I will get the questions in the following order:

1)      Wah, so good leh!

2)      Won’t you be bored at home?

3)      So what do you do at home huh?

For answers to the above, see the above conversation with the taxi lad.

You only hear of SAHM (StayAtHomeMum), so the concept of SAHW (StayAtHomeWife) is pretty unconventional and hard to comprehend in our current society. The thing is, for me to be a SAHW is a joint decision between my hubby and me. He’s not a  MCP and I’m definitely not a submissive lamb. I did consider going back to work after a 2 years break (for the sake of money $$$), but I’m so glad I didn’t after hearing my ex-colleagues’ horror stories. The stress is just not worth it.

To that end, what was it like for me as a SAHW?

Money, money, money, it’s never enough, what with rising costs and inflation. The good thing is, we only have our housing loan which we pay off using our CPF. We do not own a car, and we do not have unpaid credit card bills or monthly installments. Even when I was still holding a job, we always try to live off one person’s income. We have enough to get by comfortably. Oh, and I don’t go for branded goods. (No offence to my friends out there who loves the big brands, but it’s just not me.) My only weakness is travelling and my hubby is contented with his gaming hobby. Yes, we do indulge in movies and restaurant meals, just not in excessive.

Except for that certain period of the month when I get crappy, I have not gotten major sick for the past 2 years. Self medication and a good sleep usually helps. And having home-cooked meals 70% of the time also plays a role.

I finally have the time to pursue my own interests, old and new. I love reading, and I enjoy baking. Simple pleasure of visiting the library during off-peak hours is an amazing experience. My Kindle is my constant companion. I baked the bread, cakes and cookies I want to eat 50% of the time, which saves a lot of money.

It’s in my character. I can stay at home for a week and not get bored. Beside the usual housekeeping duties, I can usually think of a million other things to keep myself occupied. True, the majority of the housework falls on me, but my hubby appreciates it and still helps out when I ask. Think of it as each of us performing to one’s strengths – his is to do a good job of bringing home the moolah, and mine is to aspire to become a domestic goddess. Haha…

Just saying, I’m not a tai-tai who only goes shopping, drink high-teas, do mani-pedi and watch K-dramas everyday. In fact, I don’t even shop nowadays (grocery shopping doesn’t count), I take my afternoon tea in the comfort of my own house with my homebaked goodies, the only time I did mani-pedi was 7 years ago during my wedding, and I don’t even know who’s who in the K-dramas.

And just so that this post has something about food, I think I shall make an avocado salad for lunch later.

Afterthoughts: From a DINK (DoubleIncomeNoKids) to a SAHW, I think I am the one that the government shakes its head and fingers at: You, are the cause of the falling birthrate, and now You, are not doing what a good citizen will do – contribute to the workforce! (thanks to you, we now have to hire FTs. Happy?) But at the end of the day, we still love you we still have to tax you. LOL

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Chocolate Banana Cake (and a whole lot of nuts)

This one is for you, birthday boy man!

chocolatebananawalnut.jpg

I adapted the recipe for Easy brownies from Anncoo Journal. The first time I tried it, it tasted more like chocolate cake than brownie to me. I guess it really depends on how you like your brownies – rich and dense or more cake-like. I prefer the latter, though I’m not sure if it can still be called a brownie.

This is recipe is easily adaptable. Feel free to add more bananas, choc chips, nuts etc.

Chocolate crumble:

20g plain flour

1 tbsp cocoa powder

10g sugar

15g soft butter

Cake batter:

65g soft butter

60g brown sugar

2 egg yolks

¼ tsp vanilla extract

2 egg whites

65g melted chocolate

75g chopped walnuts

30g chocolate chips

2 bananas, mashed

*sift the following together

70g cake flour

2tbsp cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Chocolate crumble:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together until it resembles bread crumbs.

 

Cake batter:

  1. Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Mix well.
  3. Mix in vanilla extract.
  4. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg white.
  6. Fold the egg yolk batter into the egg white mixture.
  7. Add the chopped walnuts, chocolate chips and mashed banana. Mix well.
  8. Add the sifted flour mixture with 2 tbsp fresh milk. Fold well.
  9. Pour mixture into lined pan and sprinkle the chocolate crumble on top.
  10. Bake at preheated 170°C for about 30 minutes.

I thought the cake will look too boring and “browny” in the picture, and I have no interest nor decent skills in cream or fondant decoration. I opened my pantry and fridge and realized I have nothing colourful that I can use. But I do have a lot of nuts…And so I sprinkled some chopped pumpkin seeds and peanuts in an attempt to add some colour.  The crumble and nuts add a nice crunch to the otherwise fluffy cake.

Oh, and how can I forget  the amateur chocolate heart that even I am too embarrassed to mention how I made it.

P.S. If you observed closely, there is a crack in the cake. It happened when I was in the midst of transferring the cake.

Now,you know the secret of this nutty cake.

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Chocolate chip cookies

I made some tweaks to a cookie recipe and I am glad that it didn’t burn turned out pretty well. The cookies are not too dry, but also not soft like the Subway cookies. And I believe you can add other ingredients like raisins to the cookie dough if you like your cookies that way.

ChocolateChipCookie.jpg

Chocolate chip cookies are my favourite. Better if it’s double chocolate.

Cookie Dough

(Makes about 25 cookies)

Cake flour 80g

Cocoa powder 10g

Baking powder 1/8 tsp

*sift the above 3 ingredients

Oat 30g

Butter (softened)  60g

Brown sugar 30g

Fine caster sugar 15g

Egg (beaten) 25g

Chopped walnuts 40g

Chopped almond 20g

Chocolate chips 50g

Salt ¼ tsp

Vanilla essence ¼ tsp

  1. Beat butter with brown sugar, fine caster sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg in 2 batches. Mix well each time.
  3. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
  4. Using a spatula, mix in the sifted flour.
  5. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookies onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 190°C for 12-13 minutes.
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