Monday, June 29, 2020

Cavalock and The Home Food Plating Phase

Looks like someone is really into plating our meals these days. Yes, one picks up new hobbies during a Lockdown and the Baker-at-Home is no exception. She prepared the cold Japanese somen, whirled it and dropped a generous dollop of yummy uni on top of it for our lunch. Somen! Or what I like to call it, cold ramen's lesser known cousin but yah, we love cousin somen's slightly smoother texture and equally tasty noodles. Although there's less cooking at home now, we are still having a lot of our meals delivered despite the Lockdown (sorta) ending as well as takeaways at whatever neighbourhood food stalls are open. 

Speaking of noodles, check this out! Spotted a gazillion packs of Filipino spaghetti sauce on sale at Cold Storage Bugis. Really curious how they taste .... well, ok maybe not that curious. Man, that is one crazy huge pack of sauce.

Been like four long months since I been to the gym. So after me at home, wearing out the old exercise mat on a daily basis, we finally got a new one last week! Had enough of the older one flaking off blue bits all over the living room floor. Yah, I'm still not going to the gym even though it's open now. I would like to go maybe next month but just not yet. No rush really. I have kinda gotten used to working out at home in the morning and I feel like I gotta make full of the new mat considering how much it costs. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Cavalock and The Plight of The Housework Illiterate

The Lockdown's over but we are still ordering in for most of our meals. The Baker-at-Home's friend managed to score another dinner for all four of us from popular local restaurant Mustard Seed. This would be the third time we are ordering from them and we weren't disappointed.  This week's menu is pretty good too and I gotta say, the habei hiam slider is a delicious east-meets-west combo that made me wishing for more. Unfortunately I didn't managed to get a good shot of it, that top view doesn't do justice to it. The opening grilled pork neck salad was another winning and the fact that we started the course with it really set us up for the rest of the meal.

So the Lockdown's is (kinda) over and I'm glad to say that the Baker-at-Home and I had a relatively smooth time during the last couple months. No arguments, we worked out almost every day, half hour at least. Ordered a ton of food deliveries and she cooked as well as baked oh, so many dishes too. Now we heard from some friends of how helpless they were when their part-time maids weren't around. I was really surprised cos these are intelligent people in upper management, team leaders in the workplace, folks who do stuff way above my pay grade and who now don't know or just too lazy or sloppy to do laundry or dishes or any kind of housework. Some reduced to squabbling with their spouses cos neither of them wanted to do any minor housework. For reasons I can't fathom, they don't want to turn on their washing machines, they leave dishes in the sink for weeks etc. I mean, seriously? One said he or she didn't want to leave the house during this period cos that would mean having to wear clean clothes. 

I had planned to do more writing during the Lockdown but now that it's (sorta) over, I actually did way more painting than writing. There was a short writing submission thingy but I didn't really got to that and the deadline's over. Anyway, the latest miniature I painted was this Dreadnaught I bought about 2 years ago. I don't see myself playing it cos it's from Warhammer 40K game and I'm currently playing Warhammer: Age of Sigmar but it was a joy to paint. I even managed to transfer some decals on it. Well, when I say 'currently playing', it has been months since I played Warhammer with anyone.😣

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Cavalock and The Baker's Helper's Quest

It's no surprise that the Baker-at-Home did her fair share of baking during the Lockdown. I guess since most of our breakfasts (not the cookie!) are now homemade, they are healthier cos of the lack of preservatives etc. Maybe, I hope. As her Japanese baking is her forte, we were left with a very limited supply of Japanese bread flour very early in the Lockdown. And so began the quest for the elusive Japanese bread flour. It was a quest that brought me to baking supply shops in the West, only to be turned away as I lacked the necessary documents needed to enter the establishments, then to further parts unknown across the island where tales of such arcane ingredients were whispered among the native bakers.

I found it! I finally found it! Japanese bread flour for the Baker-at-Home, over at Isetan supermarket but they were all gone a week later. Hah!

Hey, more wildlife pix from Seletar by my 85-year-old Dad. Hope you guys enjoy them.

So recent worldwide protests got me reminiscing bout growing up in the old family home. Back in those days, decades ago, the word 'Negro' was how my uncles and aunts call Black folks on TV or on the radio cos really why else would Singaporeans talk about Black folks back then? I think it's fairly accurate to say that during those days unless one has some kind of direct personal connection wth a Black individual, we saw them mostly as entertainers. We watched a ton of TV shows from the west and listened to a lot of Motown too. Now we never ever used the other 'N'-word nor did we call them 'Black', coloured or African Americans. It was the only word I knew that described Black people I see on TV. These days I don't see, read or hear 'Negro' being used in media (or at least in mainstream media) which lends me to believe it's either an outdated term or perhaps it's deemed just as offensive as the other 'N'-word. So I did quick online check.

According to Wiki: In the English language, Negro (plural Negroes) is a term historically used to denote persons considered to be of Negroid heritage. The term can be construed as offensive, inoffensive, or completely neutral, largely depending on the region or country where it is used. It has various equivalents in other languages of Europe.

The term Negro is still used in some historical contexts, such as the songs known as Negro spirituals, the Negro Leagues of sports in the early and mid-20th century, and organizations such as the United Negro College Fund. The academic journal published by Howard University since 1932 still bears the title Journal of Negro Education, but others have changed: e.g. the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (founded 1915) became the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History in 1973, and is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; its publication The Journal of Negro History became The Journal of African American History in 2001. Margo Jefferson titled her 2015 book Negroland: A Memoir to evoke growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in the African-American upper class.

The United States Census Bureau included Negro on the 2010 Census, alongside Black and African-American, because some older black Americans still self-identify with the term. The U.S. Census now uses the grouping "Black, African-American, or Negro". Negro is used in efforts to include older African Americans who more closely associate with the term. On the other hand, the term has been censored by some newspaper archives.

For the older folks like my late uncles and aunts, it’s a term that was commonly used by their generation.

I also remember as a little kid when we were watching a British show and I was really surprised to see a minor Black actor appear. I asked how come there are Negroes in London cos like I said earlier, the word 'Negro' was pretty common in our household. I can't recall which show it was but you just don't see a lot of that kind of representation on British TV 30 years ago or at least on shows that our TV stations were showing. Black characters we saw a lot on American TV but they were a rare breed on the BBC. Plus the British history books I grew up reading never mentioned anything about Black history in the UK.

Yah, my mind tends to wonder like that when in Lockdown ...

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Cavalock and The Birthday Delivery Hot Pot

So for the Baker-at-Home's birthday last week, her friends got a sukiyaki set from The Gyu Bar delivered to our tiny little apartment. Fortunately we still have this huge and heavy cast-iron pot that yours truly hauled all the way from Japan back in 2017. And it was just perfect for the hot pot! Hah! Everything came in convenient packs like the dashi and sukiyaki sauce, and putting it all together in the Vermicular pot was a breeze for the Baker-at-Home. We loved it and the whole dinner reminded her of the hot pot meals we had in Japan. In fact, we been binge watching Japanese travel shows on cable and whenever the episode focuses on the local cuisine, we start reminiscing bout our previous trips to Japan and the fabulous food that we probably won't ever get to enjoy again until gawd know when.

Been too long since I posted any of me Dad's wildlife pix here. Here are some of the many shots that he snapped around his neighbourhood.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Cavalock and The Summer Somen Surprise

Well, the Lockdown is officially kinda over. But for the majority in the country, you are all still not allowed to meet up or dine out so really, er... not much has changed at my end. Anyway the Baker-at-Home and I did managed to hop on the bus for an early morning raid at Meidi-Ya supermarket. As expected, there be new groceries. Never got into ice-cream sandwiches, a little too messy for me but this caught my eye. Now the Machimura Cream Cheese Blueberry is interesting for a couple reasons, it reminded us of our little dessert break at their cafe near Tokyo Station. And cream cheese blueberry just sounds too damn good. Unfortunately that price tag was a little too rich for my blood.

But we did pick up this tantalising piece of tako at the supermarket and made it part of a very delicious somen lunch at home. A first time preparing the cold wheat noodles and the Baker-at-Home passed it with flying colours.


With the epidermic and lockdown across the globe, game publishers have been coming up with solo game rules for their popular boardgames. Games that are normally played by at least two players can now be played solo, wth the new rules found online. So I have been delightfully busy playing Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North solo these last couple days, with their new rules. It made for such as a wonderful afternoon just sitting there and lost in that zone where you just ponder over the next best strategic move. It's a resource management game where you need to trade resources like wood, fish and stone to build stuff and score points. In the solo game, you got four turns to hit a certain high score otherwise you lose.