Thursday, June 16, 2011

The trip home

I can't believe that it was just last month that I was home for the total of 4 weeks! And it was just Sunday that we touched down at Geneva... I'm missing home already! :)
This time around home was super HOT! Thank goodness it rained a few days after the boys and I arrived. They (the boys) seems to take in the heat well. I was really worried that with so much difference in temperature (it was about 20°C when we left), they'll end up with a fever or something. We had to shave their heads due to the hot weather here. BUT they look oh so cute! Like little monks! LOL!

The flight over to KL was OK. They did not give me back my stroller when we arrived at Heathrow, which was BAD. I had to carry Kevin (who is nearly 8kgs) throughout the vast airport! We did not have enough time, contrary to popular beliefs AKA hubs's thinking. The 2 hours of transit time just flew us by! On flight, we managed to change to a row of 4 empty seats (YAY!!). So Owen, Kevin (the ONLY lucky devil who gets the bassinet for the entire return flight!) and I get some much needed rest. Despite getting some shut eye on flight, we still feel like SHIT once arrived at my parents place.
Fry squid...

Marmite crab. One of the must have food on the list I made myself for this trip! LOL!
So I really thank my lucky stars that I made plans to meet up with friends after several days of lazing around at home. This trip I can say that I managed to meet up with most of my friends from collage, secondary school, my crafty group (TWICE!) and some of my family members.

Melaka trip. Mini Malaysia. Owen didn't seem too happy here... :p

After about 10 minutes, he's still deciding which one of the crêpe cake to attack 1st.... :p

I'm happy to say that I've spent some quality time really talking with lots of friends during these meet ups. This is a huge bonus for me as I don't get to see them very often and I want to know what's up in their lives.

And I've also learned to make a bag for my mum from Josephine Yap of NNC. It was really nice of her to take time to teach me and let me use her sewing machine. I really enjoy our sewing session and I wonder if I can have sewing sessions next time when I come back? Perhaps to make a dress? OR another bag? LOL! I know, I'm pushing my luck here!

It was one of my 1st bags that I actually make WITHOUT a print out instructions or a pattern to follow. So I'm kinda proud that its a finish product! I hope mum will use it often. I told her that if its worn out or nearly worn out, I'll make another improved version as a replacement. Here is a photo of it and here as well. The zippers seems complicated at first but after having done it 3 times - the bag has 3 zippers, I'm more confident now to face this "situation" in the future. :)

As for shopping, I did mainly on books, fabrics and other crafty items. Not so munch of clothing this time; a dress, 4 tops and a pair of dressy shoes which I'll have to improve on the looks later.  And not so much on food either! I didn't get my dose of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and some prepared mixes. Which I'm regretting it now: how to face another 24 months or so minus my comfort food?!?!? I think when I'm desperate, I'll have someone mail them over! Muahahahhaha.....

So that's the report for the moment. More on our little trip to Vietnam on my next post.

Just lemony!

Lemon buttermilk cake
This is a back post. Was supposed to publish this BEFORE our trip home... Oh well!

What do you normally do with buttermilk? This 500ml of buttermilk that I decide to get has been sitting in my fridge for the past week! So since this week I'm on OFCO (Operation Fridge Clean Out), I have to use up at least half of the buttermilk by today.

So made some searches and came up with Lemon Buttermilk Cake from I happen to have some lemons sitting around on my fruit basket, so this is a good way to use them up. We love bio lemons here and I tend to get them by bags of 4s. Ever tried drinking lemon juice in the morning? It'll sure wake you up! LOL!
Owen hard at work! :)
The ingredients are pretty easy to find and its rather a straightforward recipe to follow as well. If there are certain key items that isn't available, its easy to make your own as well.

Proud little pastry chef with his cake! :D
1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice + under 1 cup or 240ml (or around abouts to bring it under 250ml) = 1 cup or 250ml buttermilk. Just make sure to let it stand for 5 minutes before using.

There's no such thing as self-rising flour here in Switzerland. So I made my own by mixing flour, baking powder and salt together.

This cake is just so moist! To delicious for words...
Here's the cake recipe to try out. It came out PERFECT for me.

250 g butter
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
250 g self-rising flour *250 g plain flour + 3 tbsp baking powder + 1 tbsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

Lemon syrup
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

  1. Grease and lightly flour a 20 cm ring tin.
  2. Cream butter, lemon rind and sugar
  3. Beat in egg yolks one at a time until combined.
  4. Shift in half the sifted flour and half the buttermilk.
  5. Add remaining flour and buttermilk.
  6. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold lightly into the cake mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into pan and bake at 180°C for and hour.
  8. Pour HOT lemon syrup over the HOT cake.
So that's half of it gone, the other half to go. So what shall I make? Red velvet cake? Buttermilk pancakes? Hmm....