Sunday, February 05, 2012
having a gem of a friend. :)
The Youth Olympic Games were indeed Games like no other. It was a memorable time spent in the Protocol Division of Toa Payoh Sports Hall. The adrenaline rush, the heartache and tears of the fallen, the rise and victory of the winners, the pain of losing, the love of the Games. All that and more.
And I was blessed with a friend in Auntie Alice. Never have I met a woman who loves life more than life itself. She's not a youth but unafraid to chase her dreams. She took leave from her work to volunteer at the Games, even when her boss saw no reason for her to take part in something that was for youths. As a protocol officer, she took her role seriously, never too far from her work at hand. Shortly after the Games came to an end, I thought we'd have to part our ways and say our farewells.
But a Volunteer Day out at Universal Studios saw us back together again, from 7pm to 11pm, we played our hearts out on all the rides! She was fearless and game for everything. Even when we were soaked from the Jurassic Park ride. "I have an extra tee!" she chirps. :) She didn't want her meal and gave it up for me to bring home for my brothers. We signed up for the F1 race together, being the last two on the list to get complimentary passes and planned to meet again. But of course the organizers screwed up and we missed out on that.
Last year, I was over at her place on the last day of the Lunar New Year, well fed with a home cooked meal, good conversation with her family and even went with them to a temple at Loyang for them to pray for blessings for the year ahead. In the course of the year, events in our lives kept us from meeting up. But as life would have it, just as I was frantically looking for her contact number, I finally found her house number and called but was disappointed with the engaged tone. :(
Who knew, at that moment, I received a text from someone whose number I did not have records of and it had to be her! :)
So this year, she generously invited me over to her house again and whipped up some awesome culinary delights for me. Never stinging on quality and taste, she humbly serves up heartwarming homecooked food for her family and shares it with me. :)
Marrying a husband who's of the Cantonese dialect is the reason for these double boiled nourishing soups. :)
A light tasting seafood broth chock full of ingredients.
After a long day at school/ work, there's nothing like soup for the soul.
If I were her kids, I'd be home for dinner every night! :p
These baby abalones are unbelievably tender and of good bite. At prices of 3 cans for a hundred, they don't come cheap either but the big pieces of abalones are no comparison to these little babies on taste! These were cooked in thickened oyster sauce gravy and immediately taken off the heat when it comes to a gentle boil. Blanched baby bok choy drizzled with gravy and topped with baby abalones. Never knew a simple dish with expensive ingredients could taste this good. Worth a shot for kids who don't like their greens maybe? :)
Leave some eggplants to boil and use a fork to gently shred them up into long strips. Served with thickened gravy. Ohyum. :)
Stir fried jumbo sized fresh gray prawns that are coated with a dollop of ketchup to add flavour and another layer of taste. Lick those shells clean!
What a sumptuous dinner. Shared with Auntie Alice and her husband.
A delightfully cute couple. A vision of married life to behold.
Of course it takes work on a daily basis but life's pretty good when you have a partner to share it with like the both of them :)
Now this, was a star. Eaten with eggplant or anything you like really. This was appetizing and fiery delish!
And with all the love in the world, she packs a little container for me to bring home.
And because new year with Auntie Alice is always something to be remembered-
this year, post dinner, we waited for her youngest son to come home with a whole group of his lion dance troupe members from Thailand. All 15 of them. And everything else you could imagine to be entirely Singaporean from the Toa Payoh Lorong 5 market. There was carrot cake, hokkien mee, satay, laksa, ban mian, claypot rice, oyster omelette to be shared while playing dance on the Wii/ Kinect?
And of course, lo hei. With freshly shredded vegetables from Auntie Alice and well wishes for Singapore and Thailand, this was a crazy mixing, not tossing of the salad. Sharing traditions, building relations, bridging nations in small ways. :)
This was awesome fun!
And just reminds me again, how fortunate I am to have a gem of a friend in her! :)