Blistered Peas and Poppy Seeds

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There’s this food blog that I’ve been following for a while. It’s special, because despite all the alluring and well-taken photos, I have never once followed any recipes posted, simply because I have a hunch they won’t taste good.

But still, I follow her. Not religiously, not bookmarked and sitting on my to-read-list, but occasionally, when handsome food and beautiful writing come to mind, I fill the address bar with its name.

If words could be eaten and food could be read, this blog would make one hell of a restaurant serving it’s writing. There’s just a particularly something about the writing (the easiness?) that makes it so relatable. It turns every dish into a story and every story into a well executed dish.

It marries both of my favourite things in life—food and words—and maintains a romantic, jealousy-inducing relationship. It makes me excited about writing and ready to cook. It makes blistered peas topped with poppy seeds look, feel, taste and read like a dream.


P.S: It is so liberating to write in long, never-ending sentences that don’t have to make sense as long as they sound like they do. Writing full-time does things to your creativity and makes you lose your sense of wonder. I’m not complaining, but I’m glad to have some place where mediocre writing can be left to live it’s mundane, mediocre life. 🙂

I Will Be Great

giraffe The other day we were at Starbucks, you picked up a magazine and leafed through it absentmindedly, periodically stopping to take a sip out of the Hojicha Latte set upon the table, equidistance from you and me. When the swishing of pages paused for a little too long, I barely noticed, until I felt the uneasiness of your eyes boring holes through the book I was holding.

“Is this your article? Oh my god, it’s your name! In a legit magazine. In Starbucks!”

“Yeap, that’s me.” I quipped before snatching it over to snap a photo for my mother who’s still hung up over my drop out from Law School. “What is that.” She cooly replied.

I want to be big in the industry. Big, as in you’ll be saying my name in hushed whispers big. Big, as in you’ll be envious of my life spent living aflutter and be jealous enough to leave spiteful comments on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Big, as in big enough to pick up a random magazine on the news stands and either find my name in the mast head or as reference in a feature.

The sad news is? I’m still frightened. Frightened of the gargantuan figures in the industry, of the interviews I have to attend and the small talk I have to make. I am inferior of the way I talk, the way I laugh and the way I hold my wine goblet when a toast is proposed. I hide behind my laptop, behind the false sense of security it provides me, pushing out words I carefully compose and artfully string into a melody.

The sad news is? I’m not there yet. Not near, nowhere close. But it’s okay, because sometimes it’s fear that sets the heart ablaze and lights up the long winding road ahead. And I’m alright with that.

Some day, I will be great.

We Are Flawed

If I continue to write this much, one day I will be surrounded by a room that has nothing but hard disc drives and broken promises. Some people want to write and coax out every word and letter with a desperation that seeps out from every sentence. Others have it easy and have the poetry flow to their fingers when the need be, perfuming the papers like flowers to rain. The rest, like me, write when they don’t have time to do so, and don’t when they do. The cursed people. Those who only have inspiration when they are forced to put them to waste.

Writing soothes me. I’ve probably said it a million times. It makes time pass quicker, makes things become insignificant and helps qwell the bubbles of emotions I cannot control. Writing is the only thing I can do better when I am drunk, it is the only thing whose prowess is magnified when I’m sad, it is the only thing that keeps me sane when the world confounds me. Writing is like therapy. Depressed? Lonely? Feeling dizzy? Prescribe yourself a doze of writing and a lot of imagination. You’ll feel better after the first word.

People say the ability to write is a flair. No it isn’t. Writing takes practice, and practice equates reading. Writing also equates to music since you need your words to take on a certain rhythm and eventually form a melody. And writing also equates knowledge since you cannot create analogies out of thin air. It is also creativity since sometimes you have to make believe, and it’s also one part the ability to feel alot, cos writing is all about forcing your thoughts into the minds of others. In a sense, writing needs you to be okay at many things. You need to be okay at listening to music, in recognising beats and melodies. You need to be okay in seeing the world and remember things. Not necessarily perfectly, but remember the intriguing parts anyway. It requires you to be okay at crying at the littlest things and smiling at nothing, it requires you to be okay at letting your emotions go. It requires to be OK with everything, but perfect at nothing. Cos perfect people can’t be writers. Writers are flawed.

The best thing about writing? You can write and if it isn’t that good, people will ignore you. And when you’re good, people will still ignore you. That’s when you’re doing it right. That’s when you know you’re writing for things that matter not to others, but to yourself. And the feeling of being ignored after you’ve put your life story and all your thoughts into a single post? It’s incredible. It’s like liberation on a micro scale. A micro, but equally awesome scale.

Back On Track

“When I love someone else, someone new, I will see parts of everyone in him. All of my old lovers will come together like artifacts in a museum and rest on top of my new love. You go everywhere with me, don’t you understand? If I gave you a piece of my heart once, you have permission to hold on to it forever. “

Read more at http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/a-note-to-anyone-whos-ever-loved-me/#kHLCcIAYiSHOcXyK.99

Haven’t really gotten the time to sit down and write something (granted, I’m writing everyday, just not for this blog…) but I am still reading! And enjoying myself quite a fair bit at work. I’ll be back really soon! But in the meantime, hold on to your chairs and countdown…because its FUHRIDAY!

And its time to party. <:-)

(Yep, that’s a party hat.)

Bread Song

Breads sing. When you take hot bread out from the oven and leave them in the baking pan, and if you listen close enough, you might hear their song. It is a delicate, magical melody that sometimes sounds like the world quietly sighing under the weight of your feet. The breads sing because their crusts contract upon cooling, so they make this crackling sound that transposes into a melodious song in a baker’s ear.

Bread’s sing when their crusts crack. They don’t whine, moan or cry. They sing.

Recipe For Perfection

I love to cook. Okay, maybe love is an understatement. I love watching beef brown in a pan, love hearing the sizzle when a shank hits the grill, love the feel of fresh herbs when you pluck them from your garden and the residual smell of Dill on my hands. Cooking is like free falling for me. I think of a dish (or an ingredient) I would like to make, type in a few keywords into the all-knowing Google search bar and its all instinct from there. I wish I could give you a better description, but recipes speak to me. I just know when I’ve found the perfect recipe, even if they include ingredients like Saffron (that, for your information costs about USD$3/gram) and Heirloom tomatoes (impossible to find).

Just yesterday, I was sifting through recipes during work and trying to stealthily prevent my colleagues from discovering pictures of mouthwatering chicken stews waving to them on my computer screen, and I happened to chance upon Cat Cora’s (First ever female iron chef, mother, pretty woman and every feminist chef’s dream come true) chicken stew recipe. At first I was like woah woah woah, this is a must make. Even if it calls for half a bottle of white wine. (You should know that I have had minor accidents in the kitchen while handling alcohol. Some include getting high near an open flame while trying to finish up the left over red from my beef stew and almost lighting my kitchen on fire while attempting to flambé quails in Cognac.) Actually, cooking is easy, if you’re able to follow instructions and pick out the right recipes, you should have no problem whipping up something moderately palatable. But I guess to me, cooking really is about experimenting. Back to the Cat Cora story. So I bookmarked that page and got ready to choose a bottle of cheap white from my cellar and suddenly I felt odd about Cat Cora. No, not the chef herself. To be honest, I am deathly afraid of her actually. The way she yells at people on Iron Chef? No thank you. When the right recipe finds you, you’re supposed to be smiling. Whether or not there are pictures of the final dish on the site, whether or not there are a million reviews raving about how it’s a 5 billion star recipe (true story), whether or not it came from a site like food.com or some dubious place like nytimes.com (the chicken stew recipe that ultimately spoke to me came from here. No joke.). The perfect recipe makes you feel like the dish is going to be a hit, even with your grumpy aunt who seems to hate all cuisine and all meat types. Its supposed to make your tummy rumble even before you’ve gone down to the grocer to get your ingredients. Its supposed to make you want to match it gram for gram, salt grain for salt grain so you don’t mess up.

Key word: Supposed. Because when I cook, I never follow the recipe. I mean I do to a certain extent. I add sage into the minced pork because the recipe said so, just that I add the entire pack instead of the recommended amount of 2 tablespoons. I add laughter, I add love, I add a broken pepper grinder to the recipe, even when not required. Sometimes I add tears, I add heartbreak and a dash of determination to live a little better. There will never be a perfect recipe, only recipes that speak to you and tell you “Hey, you might want to give me a try.” Just like how in life, people may hand you recipes that, tried and proven, is the route to a perfect life. But only you will know how much disappointment, pain and sorrow, how much happiness, joy and laughter you have to put in it to make it YOUR perfect life. You. Cooking is about finding out what you want. There will never be too much salt in a dish, just someone with too low a tolerance.