Friday, December 22, 2006

Seafood Paella

It was time to actualise this recipe that I had read in Rick Stein's, "Fruits of the Sea". So I experimented on a few poor souls who apparently said it was pretty ok. Couldn't find risoto rice so had to settle for risoni (rice-shaped pasta) which actually soaks up the stock nicely and has a nice texture. Especially tasty are the clumps that are slightly burnt...

My "sous chef" did pretty darn well with the manga salsa from a book called "the beach house cookbook" by Barbara Scott-Goodman.

Of course this was in celebration of "Sea"-otter's voyage on the Indiaman - The Swedish Ship Götheberg.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006


Here's one ugly elasmobranch at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. Its teeth... yikes were all sticking out. "Sharks may have 3000 teeth at any one time". And of course these teeth are just a simple modification of their placoid scales. Well I guess sharkey with its fierce dentition caught our eyes.

Another highlight was the Peak. Here's the macs at the Peak... weather was nice about 15°C. And all the time were the raptors circling the vents.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Arcade boy

Josh always has fun at the arcades. Its costly these days (I have turned my back on the  gourmet coffee shops and settled for a 70 cts condensed milk coffee instead many times).  But somehow the dark side manages to take my money away...  The arcade, $1.50 per game, happily sponsored by the father so that Josh can have a few minutes of adrenaline rush...  I gush with pride with every special power he delivers to the opponent in streetfighter and every corner he negotiates successfully on the VR bike.


Matthew is kooning until damn shiok one morning


Books on cooks

Rick Stein is one celebrity chef that always is a joy to watch and read.  I just read his Seafood Odyssey.  I have been longing to try his recipes and that book has some that seem simple enough to try out.  Was suppose to cook a 3 course meal for some neighbours but they have to go on a trip so that will be postponed...  I need to experiment on others soon.

Anthony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour was thoroughly entertaining and made me want to go out and order foie gras, but before anyone does that, please spare a thought for the poor ducks.  Check out how Sir Roger Moore (yes, of 007 fame) leads a crusade against eating this "Delicacy of Despair".  But really, Bourdain makes all foods seem delicious through his writing.

In his book he describes the French Laundry, which was actually a former french steam laundry in the 1920's but converted to a restaurant in the 70's.  Thomas Keller then bought it in 1994 and made it into a 3 Michelin star-restaurant.  The cook book is nice to leaf through and he describes cooking and preparation of the food in detail.  In particular, he treats the fish he cooks with the utmost care, even placing them in ice on their belly - the way they swam.  He also describes how one should keep them in ice but making sure the water is allowed to drain as chlorine from the ice water may affect the texture of the fish.  I guess I can just read about the food in his restaurant... check out this "typical check for 2 diners at the French Laundry".  Can someone please blanjah me.  Here's the website for the French Laundry

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Gift of the whale

Here's an interesting photo book to read. It documents the hunting of the bowhead whale by the Iñupiat Eskimos. It took a glance at the cover of the book at the Sengkang National Library and reeled at the title that had the words, whale and hunting. However, I flipped the pages and got totally intriguied by it. I totally love cetaceans, all the "dialects" they sing in and how they are so beautiful. And so do these eskimos. Its a very complex relationship they have with the whales. I don't know what to think of it but the book just brings you to the situation, the tradition of these eskimos and prods you to think about the conflict.

Here's an excerpt from the website accompanying the book by Bill Hess.

"In October of 1998, Malik, renowned across the Arctic Slope as one of the most successful harpooners alive, put his knowledge to the task of saving whales when three California gray whales became stuck on the Beaufort Sea side of Point Barrow. Malik seemed to develop a rapport with the whales. He spoke to them often, in a gentle soft voice. He heard them speak back to him."

The eskimos risked life and limb to dig about 280 holes in the ice sheet big enough for the whales to access the surface for air. These holes led to the open sea. I thought that was a rare side of the eskimos I have read about and I must think that very few people really know this. I have read about indigenous cultures that hunt sustainably and have a respectful relationship with the animals they hunt. They don't overdo it. The point of satiation never borders into the greedy. Which is why I think we should protect cows.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bon voyage Siva!

Siva's on a 3 week trip on board this ship called the Gotheborg. It sails from Hong Kong tonight at 11pm and heads towards Singapore. He'll reach Singapore's port on new year's eve. What's he going to do there? Well he'll trim the sails, mop the boards, climb the masts etc etc. Apparently, there is some training session on tonight in Hong Kong before they set sail.

First, off to Hong Kong and he didn't even start packing till after midnight.

Shortly after this, the immigration officer double checks the passport just to make sure the passport is in order and makes an unflattering remark... He txts us to complain about this after Ladybug, for the 1oth time tells him to buy batteries for the waterproof torchlight, which, incidentally, as Ladybug adds, can float on water (I can just imagine the Gotheborg stop as Siva tries to use a 100ft pole to retrieve a floating torchlight from the undulating sea.) tee hee.

Bon voyage to our matey at sea, aye aye Captain! awwrrghh.. More about the Gotheborg at this weblog


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Amazing Father and Son team

Monday, December 04, 2006

Guiding at Buloh Anniversary

It was the 13th Anniversary of the Official Opening of Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve so did a bit of guiding on Sunday.

M y co-guide was 14 yr old SEH from Hillgrove Sec.  He's really interested in fish and can differentiate the different species in Buloh well.  He spotted this school of square tail mullet at one of the boardwalks.  They were pretty big, about 40 cm in length.  It was at the end of 2 and a half hours walk that we saw them and we were just leaning against sides of the boardwalk, watching those fish flash their white sides as the circled the shallow waters.  There must have been a hundred of them.


Josh flew a kite a few days ago.