13 Nov

Back from 2 days excursion to Seattle with good company and friends. What else I visited my relatives with family. It was a pleasant trip and as an added bonus of the two days I spent most of it jacket hunting and baking supply shopping. No big suprise here.  The long awaited experience seeing Seattle’s nightlife and restaurants was finally over as my cousin and I  took off after supper and dessert to attend a concert in the Yaletown like district.  It was a flashback to the college years when friends and I would go clubbing to unwind after finals.  As we strolled and entered the complex the loud blare of music boomed from the main dance floor along with flashing stage lights.  This night was special as a band member, who we went to watch and listen to, was actually close friends with my cousin.  Cool….ehhh?  So what did we do?  Headed right back to their house  after concert for a late night snack; only I crashed due to exhaustion before the band actually showed up at the house.  But woke up in time to give the band member a hug before leaving.  I think I shall never wash my arms again :).

Throughout this trip, I saw a theme: family.  There was a old Chinese proverb saying that I think it goes like this,” Blood is thicker than water.” It was very quite true.  I saw it in various parts of my trip.   The first part was when my cousin and I hung out at the band members home.  Everyone was helping out carving the chicken and setting the table for the band members to arrive.  I was moved seeing how the older brothers, mom and sister of the band member interacted.  The matter of discussion was not significant but how they related with each other was.  One could feel the bond they had as it was as strong as nails; there was clearly good chemistry between them.  Their discussion was like a melody that played smoothly without a hitch as each individual contributed pieces to the song.  There was a tremendous amount of  respect and support they had for one another and you could literally embrace the warmth they exuberated and radiated outwards.  A rarity to see something like that and truly inspiring.  I would not have envisioned such closeness from a band family but who am I to question it right?  I am not one to cut an individual out through a cookie cutter.  My cousin informed me that  they do have their differences and at times there was imperfection but it was  their ability to see past the differences and support each other through thick and thin that was the key.  It was truly an experience spending a quick few hours.

Next stop our family.  No one could argue the fact how our family supports each other in times of difficulties.  I could not forget the toothy grin my father had as he beamed from side to side when he saw his older sister.   It was fairly seldom he displayed such happiness.  The feeling were reciprocated by my aunt as she  too was smiles all round and giddy like a school child.   I guess my decision to leave on a long weekend was right as it allowed more time for the family.  My mom, I could tell was also happy as she also had some time to relaxed.   That was when I started mulling over things,  yes there were times that there was less than picture perfect situations, things got ugly and I was ready to run for the hills in anger and frustration.  Then I realized one thing, these individuals were my family, their blood courses through me.  They only want what was best for me.  Cherish them for today they may be blooming tomorrow they may be gone.  I have been listening to Hedley’s song Perfect, “I not perfect but I keep trying cause that is what I said I would do from the start.”  It has meaning for me, because I am not perfect and I live in a imperfect world but I am trying to be that, “perfect,”  as I have said from the start.

In the next week, I am volunteering for a bake sale for a Church this would be my contribution:

Opera Cake


40 g cake and pastry flour

140 g nuts: almond powder (I used combination of almond and coconut)

140 g icing sugar ( I used 120 g) I found 140 g to be too sweet

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

40 g sugar

22 g butter


Whisk up for 5 minutes the cake flour with almond power, icing sugar and eggs

Whip the egg whites to a stiff meringue and then add the sugar.  Fold in the almond/egg batter.

Melt the butter and fold in the sponge last

Spread on baking trays and bake sponge by 360F until golden brown.

Note:   Spread the batter even thickeness or you would get dried cake bits.  I found the sponge too dry thus reduced the temperature to 340F and watched it until the sponge became golden colour.   Approx. 13-15 minutes.   For a rectangular effect. just spread the sponge on the baking trays large enough and then once baked use a square cake ring and cut to separate the sponge cake like a cookie.  Remove the moist cake from the dried over baked cake bits.


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