you scream i scream we all scream for…

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…homemade banana ice cream.  Read about it here and it is so gobsmackingly simple that I had to make it.  Bought a bunch of bananas, chopped them up, tossed them into the freezer and one night, when I really needed something sweet, busted them out and blitzed them in the food processor with some Nutella.  It is so yummy.  I licked the spatula I used to scoop the ice cream out of the food processor clean.

Mini Magnums are so cheap here (around €3.50  for a box of six) compared to back home (saw a box going for S$11 at NTUC) so we give in to temptation and buy a box from time to time.  This homemade ice cream tastes so much fresher and better that I think we can break our Magnum habit.  Really looking forward to trying out new combinations of flavour and hmm, I think I can put my jar of salted caramel sauce to good use.

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Book Count 2012

It’s been a long time.

I would like to re-visit this space some time soon but am still mulling over it for various reasons.  I do miss writing and given how porous my memory has been lately, I am sure written evidence of this period in my life would be much appreciated when I look back upon it further down the road.

While I spend a bit more time vacillating, here’s the book count for 2012:

1. Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance
2. A.J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically
3. Lionel Shriver, So Much For That
4. Zoe Heller, The Believers
5. Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
6. Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
7. Joshua Ferris, The Unnamed
8. DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
9. Yann Martel, Life of Pi
10. Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
11. Julian Barnes, Letters from London
12. Paul Torday, The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers
13. Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
14. Arthur Conan Doyle, Hound of the Baskervilles
15. Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
16. Kathryn Stockett, The Help
17. Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
18. Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire
19. Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
20. EL James, Fifty Shades of Grey
21. Randy Frost and Gail Steketee, Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
22. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
23. Carol Shields & Blanche Howard, A celibate Season
24. Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck
25. David Nicholls, One Day
26. Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers
27.Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
28. Carol Shields, Unless
29. Ken Follett, Fall of Giants

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perfect space

Would love to return to the MoMA some day.  So many fun and wonderful art pieces and such a lovely space.

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hello, technology-assisted dishwashing

We finally took the leap and ordered the dishwasher that J. picked out after quite a bit of research.  I am so glad he is into techie stuff and is happy to spend hours comparing electricity consumption, water consumption, noise level etc.  I would have just looked at price and aesthetics (not that there is anything remotely design-y about dishwashers) and made my pick per gut feel.

I told my colleagues I would be working from home on the day on which the dishwasher was scheduled to be delivered (this is Germany, folks.  No delivery on non-work days).  Everyone had the same question: do you know if it would get delivered to your apartment?  Apparently, this is not something to be taken for granted and most of the time, delivery men will drop off large bulky items at the door of your building and that would constitute “delivery”.  This has to be some kind of cruel Teutonic joke.  A colleague reassured me that greasing the palm of the deliveryman will definitely ensure door-to-door delivery.  My plan was to play the ignorant foreigner card and point at the lift (which many apartments here do not have), hoping that the convenience of the lift plus the desire not to enter into a conversation with an obvious foreigner who may or may not speak the language would prompt the nice delivery man to do it.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to put any plan in place as the delivery guys happily carted the dishwasher into the lift and all the way into the kitchen.  It then proceeded to sit in the kitchen for a couple of days until J. returned from his business trip and did up the plumbing.

We have used it twice since then.  Has it changed our lives?  Well, it certainly has changed J., who has since developed an incredible enthusiasm when it comes to clearing the table.  He jumps up after each meal and practically makes a run to the kitchen to load the dishwasher.  Must be some kind of geek game to figure out the best way of fitting the most number of items into the dishwasher.  I’m not complaining.

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it’s all peachy

I think summer is coming to an end.

We had a true summer day yesterday, an azure blue sky, everyone in summery dresses and sunnies kind of day.  Possibly the last hurrah before the weather turns wet and chilly and the leaves turn a lovely shade of burnt orange.  People around me are already starting to moan the passing of summer but I don’t really mind since I am not a big fan of sitting out in the sun or having to slather on sun screen before heading out.  But I will miss the dry sunny days that make running so easy.  Just strap on your shoes and head out the door.  No need to constantly check the weather forecast or run with various layers plus gloves.

What I will miss most about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits from the farmers’ market.  We must have been living under a rock the last two summers as we never did discover the market although it is only one train stop away.  For some reason, we never did venture to that part of town on a Saturday morning.  This summer, I am taking full advantage of its proximity to get my fill of summer fruits, in particular, the donut peaches.  The ones at the market cost three times as much as the ones in the supermarket but having tasted them, I never want to go back to the supermarket variety.

Biting into a sweet, juicy and fragrant peach is my 2012 taste of summer.

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pour some sugar and salt

We were at a fancy work do some time ago and the food, catered from a really good restaurant, was the star of the show.  The food was served posh canape-style, with bite-sized morsels of on-the-spot-prepared food served to us on porcelain plates and pretty glass containers.  We had the most tender of braised beef cheeks, slivers of raw fish, playful mini ice-cream cones filled with a slightly salty tomato paste, vitello tonnato, a small piece of fish served in a light broth and many other scrumptious bites.

A colleague commented that he grew up eating food with straightforward flavours (either savoury or sweet but not both at the same time) and found that the food had too many flavours mixed together and it was too complex to be enjoyable.  In my head, I was violently disagreeing.  I love complex mixed-up flavours.  Sweet and savoury.  Bittersweet.  Spicy and sweet.  One of my favourite combinations is that of sweet and savoury.  As a kid, I loved dipping MacDonald’s fries (the slightly limp ones were my favourite) into the chocolate fudge sundae.  Now that my palate has grown up a little (not that I don’t still love the fries and sundae combo), I have graduated to salted caramel.  I still think about the salted caramel macarons from Pierre Herme that we had in Tokyo.  And the salty oat chocolate chip cookie I had in DC.  I am also still kicking myself over not buying that bottle of salted caramel at Borough Market.

I have already eaten the last square of my Ghiradelli sea salt dark chocolate and have yet to come across a replacement here.  I was at the supermarket at the basement of the shopping centre (and you can totally say “the shopping centre” and everyone will understand you because there is only one here) today and noticed that it has been all spruced up.  They even added a sushi counter.  The Hamlet is going cosmopolitan!  The chocolate aisle had Lindt dark chocolate with chilli, which is promising, but no sign of sea salt chocolate.  Some day soon, I hope.

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hmph

Lovin’ this print from MH Jeeves.  And the name is so perfect – Grumpy Love.

 

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