Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A time to let go...

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I'm in a reflective mood for the past few days. This was largely brought on by my son's first venture into travel by himself.

And I'm not referring to commuting from home to school. He's travelling farther away albeit in his school uniform.

Part of the curriculum this year is a visit to Canberra (a 3-hour flight from our home base) and a side trip to Sydney. It's quite an auspicious time to be in the country's capital with the federal election happening in a few weeks time. It adds more excitement to the otherwise sedate metropolis.

Kiko is 11 and the air travels he's been on were always with the whole family. I guess it's just natural (especially for my dear wife) to be a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Kiko must have had an information/instruction/reminder overload courtesy of his anxious parents dumped on him as we got closer to the airport.

He's normally quiet but the house feels especially still now that he's not home. We miss him. And by "we" I mean all of us including his "annoying" sisters. Chichay, my oldest daughter, expressed this by offering food to an empty chair while we were having dinner. Cute...and very touching.

The season of letting go has begun for us...

But I'm glad that there is also a time to embrace (Ecclesiastes 3:5)... We're all looking forward to his return tomorrow!

Friday, July 16, 2010

French Toast Sandwich

The dilemma of figuring out what to put in the kids' lunch boxes has now turned into what to feed them while they are enjoying their short winter break.

Pancakes are great and all but there's only so much the kids could handle before they start loathing the stuff. Solution - French toast! And to make it a bit more exciting - French toast sandwich!

It's easier to cook than ye old griddle cakes but is by no means less tasty. Although the one I made for this blog is ham & cheese this should not limit you from trying other combinations be it savoury or sweet (peanut butter, nuttela & banana anyone?!?!?!?!)

Essential to my French toast is good sliced white bread. Yes, I said white! it has to be thick enough to handle being soaked in the egg mixture. The other important ingredient is butter. Yes, butter! Full fat yummy butter!

Ham & Cheese French Toast

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Ham slices
Cheese slices
4 slices of white bread
Salt (optional)
Real butter

1. In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk together. Season with salt (if you like).
2 Prepare your ham & cheese sandwiches as per usual. Add whatever sauces/seasonings you prefer.
3 . Soak your sandwiches in the egg mixture making sure all sides are well coated.
4. Heat up a large pan using low to medium heat. Melt the butter (enough to cover the pan) and wait for it to bubble.
5. Fry your soaked ham & cheese sandwiches in the butter. You probably need 5 minutes on each side or until the cheese starts to ooze.
6. Slice your French toast sandwiches in half and serve hot for breakfast (or any time of the day!).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ron Mueck's Works at the GoMA

Done the theme parks!

Watched the requisite school holiday movies!

For something more cerebral the kids will also enjoy this winter break I suggest you drop by Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).

The highlight of GoMA's 2010 winter program is an exibition of works by Australian-born, London-based sculptor Ron Mueck.

A bit of a warning though, the exhibit features some graphic materials some audience might find offensive.

One of my kids described the displays as "creepy" but enjoyed the visit nonetheless.

You be the judge. Don't miss the event if ever his works are in your area.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cherry's Cake

This is a shout out for my dear wife who created the most beautiful cake for mom's 60th birthday.

It took a total of fourteen man hours over three days to complete the cake and it came out beautifully! Fantastic effort indeed!

Inspired by a photo from a book I actually think her creation is far better and more fitting for the occasion.

Instead of the usual dense cake as the base she managed to pull it off using a light marble sponge. The delicate nature of the cake made it difficult to ganache but she made it work with her gentle hands and technique.

This was only her second attempt at making cakes like this. She has no "formal" training to speak of.

Saying I'm impressed is a gross understatement. I salute you Cherry! You always had it in you!