Friday, January 22, 2010

Journey to the Past

Long long time ago, before aviation came to existence, before electricity was invented, men sailed the fierce oceans to do the trading. One of their destinations was the islands in the Equator, which later on became what is now known as Indonesia. This land was so rich, a land flowing with milk and honey. :P No la! Those islands were rich with spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Among the seafarers were the Dutch, who were crazily in love with the spices. Anyway, to cut long story short, in the end, the Dutch colonialised Indonesia for 350 years. (I was actually trying to remember my primary school History subject, but to no avail. So, if you are still interested in the story of Dutch Colonialisation, please Google it or Wikipedia it for more accurate History.)

This super long colonialisation era brought about culture assimilation between the Dutch and the Natives. One of the very obvious things is food! Whee.. ^^v. I believe that the “Dutch food” I’ve tasted here is slightly different from the original ones. For instance, I tried baking Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Spiced Cake) last night. The “tempo doeloe” recipes that I had, use 10 eggs! (Wow, I made history yesterday! I’ve never baked a cake with so many eggs before! ) Anyway, the cake turned out to be very light and fluffy, which is what I’ve known so far. Then I went to Google the correct spelling of the cake for I want to update my bakingbee facebook page. To my surprise the original Ontbijtkoek is a variety of spiced bread!!!! BREAD!!! Dense and heavy bread with Rye as one of the most important main ingredients along with spices. In the Netherland, it is served with thick butter to replace toast for breakfast. My oh my!

So what I baked yesterday is the Indonesian version of the Ontbijtkoek because it is so light and fluffy, and eggy! I still don’t understand why Indos really love cakes with so many eggs used in the making. It’s true that you get a very fluffy and fragrant cake, but it’s not like eating a cake! Haha..I myself prefer the English tea cake, but then, that’s probably because I grew up eating my grandmother’s “tempo doeloe” cakes, heavy dense cakes that can fill your tummy up when you’re hungry.
This version of Ontbijtkoek, is not seriously not bad. But I think, the spices are not fragrant enough! So next time, I will put more spices in.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

marble cake v.1

When it comes to cakes and desserts, you can’t really judge them by their outer appearances alone. Throughout my life, I have tried countless of sweets that looked absolutely pretty, but tasted so blah! Unfortunately, this first marble cake I baked in Solo is one of them. When it first came out of the oven, I told my mom that the cake was looking good, so I was hoping that it would taste as good. To my surprise, it was very very bland! The sugar is somehow not worthy to be called sugar for it didn’t add any sweetness to my cake whatsoever. Such a shame! 1 kg of Indonesian sugar is now more expensive than that of Melbourne and yet, it fails to deliver its purpose! To make matter even worse, the cake, even though is not dry, is very hard to swallow. *sigh......*

Trial #2 is therefore an EPIC FAILURE !!!

Never fear, I don’t give up that easily. *roll up sleeves... ready to work hard*
Stay tuned for more updates! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Cake of the Year

My first week in Solo has been..... a tiny bit miserable. :( I got a big ulcer on my throat when I left Singapore. After 5 painful days, that ulcer was finally healing. But my joy suddenly disappears when I found another ulcer cropping up on the other side of my throat!!!!! Argghhh... The second ulcer turned out to be more bad-tempered than its sibling. It caused me fever and practically drained my energy away. Thank God for Panadol, I was able to survive the day. Haha.. ;)

So last night, after being nagged by my boyfriend for days, I finally went to see the doctor. He gave me antibiotics (the first dose after soooo many years) which work marvellously! Wheee ^^v. The ulcer is not painful anymore. I am able to swallow easily and most importantly, I’m not feeling lethargic anymore. Such is the wonder of antibiotics.

Oh, and I miss baking so much!! So yesterday, despite the war I had with the ulcer, I forced myself to bake something. Cinnamon banana bread. My all time favourite cake to start bakingbee’s R&D phase in Solo. : Result is not disappointing. But it is totally different from what I used to make in Melbourne. Different ingredients, different humidity, different oven make all the difference in the outcome of a cake. The one I made yesterday is still fluffy and moist. But it is chewier than the usual one. Nevertheless, it’s not bad for a first try in a completely new environment.

Cinnamon Banana Cake

Stay tuned!! More to come, peeps!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Adieu 2009 !

In less than an hour, 2009 will come to an end. As a concluding remark of the year, I would like to share with you what i've been through this year. This is going to be a long post, but I believe, it is worth written and read. Buckle up!

My life thus far....
I started of 2009 back in Indo while having a long 3 months summer holiday. That was my first long summer holiday as I had been taking summer courses for the past 3 years. Early in the year, I somehow had a feeling that this year is going to be tough for me in terms of my spiritual walk with God. I felt that this year was going to be a year of trials for the Lord had grown me in such a way that I never imagined over the past years. After the Chinese New Yea, I was told by one of my relatives that the year of the Ox will bring major bad luck to me, and thus I should be carrying this little charm around to repel all the bad energy or whatever. Of course I don't want to carry that. By all means, i don't disrespect the one who gave me that charm. I threw the charm away because I don't believe in that sort of thing and because I have faith in my God. My God who created Heaven and Earth, who stepped down into time and died to save me from the miry clay. My God who conquered death. My God in whom I solely put my trust. I know He is bigger than anything, I know He takes care of me. I know that if any trouble were to befall me, it is all within His beautiful plans for me and I know He holds me in His mighty hand. Therefore, I do not fear anything for I know I am in safe hands.

2009 is my fifth and final uni year. After four years of hard work at uni, I finally realised that I don't like lab work and researh. I hate that whole-heartedly. I loved learning the stuff I learned in my Science course. Pathology and Physiology is very interesting. Learning human body in closed details had helped me admire my God even more. He truly designs us so wonderfully. Strand by strand, He knitted us together in our mothers' wombs. Science is fascinating!
On the other hand, I found out that Commerce isn't really that bad after all. Being a naive and overly idealistic little girl, I used to think that business is really not my thing. When I was in my teens, I never thought I would be a business woman, an entrepreneur or whatever that is related to business world. I did whatever I could in my capacity to stay away from the business world. It's funny how over the years, as we grow, our perspective changes. I'm not so skeptical about conducting business anymore because I learnt that I can also conduct a business in such a way that honours God.

Contrary to what I was told, 2009 has been a good year for me. Some of the main reasons are:
1. My loved ones.
Family and friends. I can't stop thanking God for giving me awesome family and friends who are always there to support me. I wouldn't be who I am today without them. My inner circle of friends are unusual people. But I am proud to have them as my close friends. I love them to bits and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I thank God for placing me in the midst of these people for through them, I get to exercise Grace and Mercy. I learn to be more understanding, accepting, loving and forgiving. I learnt to serve others, to be patient and to be empathetic. To be kind and not judging. To be humble but still respect and appreciate myself . To be firm and to be able to say no when it is time to say no. I've found friends worth keeping for all eternity. And for that, I am forever grateful.
I thank God for my boyfriend too. He has been my great supporter. A companion who believes in me and loves me for what I am. Someone who shares my dream and helps me to reach it. Someone who makes me want to be a better person. I love you!

2. bakingbee
bakingbee is really a surprise for me. I never thought I would be doing something like this. Thank you everyone for always believing in me. Thank you for being my supporters and standing behind me to give me motivation and moral support. Really appreciate it. Thank you for all the inputs and critics. You know who you are and I owe you big time. I also can't thank God enough for bakingbee. I guess He is the one who planned bakingbee for me. Thank you for the inspirations and gifts. Without you, bakingbee wouldn't exist in the first place. I hope bakingbee has put a smile on Your face. I hope bakingbee will help to make You even more famous. I hope bakingbee will continue to be an extension of Your Love, Grace and Mercy. bakingbee is all Yours. Do unto it whatever pleases You.

3. Graduation
Yes. I have graduated with a B.Sc/ B.Com. It's nothing compared to some other people who have a series of degree. But still, I'm very grateful for my graduation. These past 7 years in Melbourne, I have really tasted God's goodness, faithfulness, mercy and grace. Now that it's time to go back home, I am deeply saddened for Melbourne has been my home away from home. I practically spend my adult life so far in Melbourne. My friends, my church, everything is back in Melbourne. Stepping away from Melbourne will be tough I reckon. Thank God for internet and blackberry! hahaha.. ;)

So yeah, it's officially 2010 now. I pray that the Lord who have gone before us will continue to shine His face upon us and to guide us through the year. May He continue to bless us all so that we can be blessings to others. May 2010 be a year where the Lord will be glorified in every aspect of our lives. Let us step into this new year together with Him. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus so that we won't stray away from Him and His beautiful plan fo us.

Have a blessed new year !