Foodie Alchemist

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

It has been a long while…

I have been baking on and off, but I just don’t feel like taking pictures as my bakes were always not as nice as I hope they would be. Also, my old laptop died and I didn’t get a new one recently.

I was just trying out the recent ogura cake craze recipes but somehow, the cakes always collapse when I lower temperature as instructed. I tried it again using paper cups and it became hokkaido chiffon, minus the cream. Any idea why, anyone? Oh well, must be losing my touch. Gone were the days when I had the whole day to myself and could experiment with different recipes.

Here’s my ugly cakes. Ok for home consumption, but just not so pretty.

cake in paper cups


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Wholemeal Bread

This post exists to help me keep track of a recent bake which I shall be using again.

It has been 5 months since my last post and it is not because I was MIA. The reason for my not-so-brief hiatus was because I had moved out of my place and the current kitchen just doesn’t work for me. (Sorry Mum) My tools are either packed in boxes or lying around, somewhere. The thought of setting up the stuff for baking in this hot and humid weather just sap me of whatever little energy I have left.

And so, I spend a lot of my resting time looking in envy at food blogs, saving those recipes for some other day. I know, I’m lucky. =)

Over the weekend, I finally managed to get someone to volunteer to wash up after I’m done. So, I baked some wholemeal bread using this recipe from Christine’s Recipes. I did not take any pictures (too lazy to set up) but I can tell you this recipe works. Tried and tested. It can be sweeter as I replaced the caster sugar with brown sugar, and milk with water. As of now (day 3), there’s only 2 slices of it left.

I think I shall make it again soon. I’ll add some honey this time round, use milk and bake for at least 35 minutes. Oh, and I read that you should let the dry ingredients soak in the wet ingredients for 10 minutes before kneading.

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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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