& I would walk 2.5 km & I would walk a 100 more

 

Singapore isn’t really known for its athletes or it’s athleticism. You can’t get us to walk, not often, not much. It’s too hot, too muggy, too humid, we say but we’ll walk miles for a particular dish that we’re hankering after. I had no such hankerings, I wasn’t even homesick, I was simply lucky! I live in Dusseldorf and there’s simply no where else better to live when it comes to food.

If you have the time and money, you could eat out in Dusseldorf every day, 365 days a year, 366 in any leap year & you still wouldn’t have discovered all that is to discover.

Guess what I discovered recently? FUYU in Immermanstraße has a tiny, little hole-in-the-wall bistro with great food and a very content-looking,  manly “large-size” chef. The food is great. I had the hot, sweet soya bean milk, with fried chicken, braised pork with rice and spring rolls. I know how bla the latter sounds, but this wasn’t bland or boring. When you bite into it you get this wonderful waft of sesame oil and there are thin strips of cooked, shredded chicken it. 🙂 Yum…

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What Do You Do with Leftover Pie Dough?

Have you ever made too much dough? I have, I often do, I attribute this to my Singaporean “kiasu“, you-never-know, it-might-not-be-enough, nature. So there you have it; I always wind up with a little extra dough on my hands. Hm…I just re-read that sentence and had to laugh…a little. Ok, I’m talking about pie dough, just to set the record straight. My pecuniary affairs are such that I’d never talk about extra dough.

So, last night chubby hubby and I sat down to dinner. We had a potato, pea & bacon pie. If you can spot the deer in the photo, good for you. I have no idea what he’s doing in our kitchen. He just pops up around X’mas and stares us down the whole time, meal after meal. He disappears in spring.

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We had a semi-sweet Italian white wine, which wasn’t what I was aiming for, really. The label said dry, the contents were, unfortunately, not but it did go surprisingly well with the pie.

I used the leftover dough to make a mini apple pie. I didn’t have a mini pie dish, so I used a creme brulee dish. I lined it with the pastry. I didn’t blind bake the case but you can do that if you want to. I’d aim for about 7-10 minutes. I then gently fried some apple slices in butter, added brown sugar to it and a dash of whiskey. Finally, I added some raisins and a handful of crushed organic lavender. It smelled good.

mini_apple_lavender_pieYes it was that tiny!

IMG_0336Here it is, up close…I wish you could smell the caramelized apple, whisky, lavender flavor.

When Homesick; Make Char Siew

I was born and raised in Singapore. I grew up with these national dishes, which are close to my heart:

  1. Char Siew
  2. Char Kway Teow
  3. Carrot Cake (if you’re from SG you know this ain’t no dessert.
  4. Chicken Rice
  5. & the list goes on & if it seems I’m a little focused on the dishes starting with c, I can only say it is a coincident. 🙂

So, recently, someone else who had a craving for char siew challenged me to make this at home because he didn’t want his apartment sullied . I had to air the flat for days. I made this dish in autumn, so no it was not fun running outside to allow the flat to “cool down”, but I digress.  I made or tried to make char siew. It was a lot of fun! I didn’t expect that & the result was quite satisfying too. 🙂

Round about the cauldron go;
In the pork belly fat throw.
Brown sugar, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd sweetness sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

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The caramelizing stage…

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The Char Siew “loaf” is now ready to be sliced. Get your chopsticks ready!

Going out of Your Way to Find Food Temples

If you get to Singapore, skip the museums, cathedrals & temples (just kidding). Of course you should add all that to your travel itinerary but trust me, you won’t need to dedicate numerous days to it. It’s a very tiny, little red dot of an island.

However, you really shouldn’t leave without praying (eating is after all a meditative exercise, or it should be) at Singapore’s food temple, the Lau Pa Sat:

My Pie Affair

I love pie, I like the effort that goes into pie making & pie baking. It starts with making the dough. I use a huge stoneware bowl, the kind you use to bake loafs of bread.

my_pie_case

I like  kneading the dough & rolling it out to shape for a pie dish. Then going back to the stove to check on the sweet or savory filling. Waiting for it to cool. Filling the pie base. Making a pretty lattice pattern for the pie top and then putting it into the oven to bake & watching the colors & smells that ensue from the oven.

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Soothing, isn’t it? There’s something homey & meditative about it, which is why I in 2015 I’ve taken to baking pies a lot more often. I can “coerce” family, friends and acquaintances into partaking in my pie feast, which may include sweet and savory pies throughout a single day. Just before they make their escape and head for the door, I always manage to press a Tupperware with a piece of pie in it.

Yup, I dedicate my 2015 personal journey to the patience and comfort that I’ve garnered from making pie!