Yelly Writes

Of mundane things

It’s the weekend!  Hurrah!

I’ve been suffering lately.  I went to see the doctor recently to ask whether I needed to have my hands looked at again.  I suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.  It doesn’t help that I make my living working on the computer and keyboard.  After an exam (it wasn’t just my hands and wrists bothering me really but I thought the muscle pains were a result of my body readjusting itself to deal with the pain in my hands), the doctor said he didn’t think it was a simple case of the CTS flaring up again.  So he’s sent me off for tests.  We shall find out what this stupid thing is when my doctor comes back from his 2-week vacation.

I am back in business – I have an iPhone again (thank you Alan!♥) and (stupidly) it feels like all is right in my world again.  It’s funny how I felt so disconnected and incomplete without the phone.  I suppose it was the convenience of using the iPhone that I got used to, how seamlessly it connected to my phone, my camera, my laptop and everything else.  I didn’t see myself as a person who needed a lot of tech.  I used to say that all I needed was a phone that could make phone calls and send text messages.  I remember resisting getting on the iPhone bandwagon and sticking staunchly to my little Nokia 6300 when I moved to the UK.  It could take photos and do everything else I needed it to do.  I was happy.  Then I was introduced to the weird, wonderful and oh-so-user friendly world of the iPhone (I do love you Steve Jobs♥).  I was hooked and I never really looked back after that.  Imagine having everything fit in the palm of your hands, have everything you need to communicate with the world – emails, text messages, phone calls, social media, music, entertainment (aka games), calendar and planner, and the internet in one little gadget.  After I didn’t have the phone (because I stupidly lost it on the train), I felt completely lost and very disconnected – despite the fact that I had a replacement phone that could do what the iPhone could do (I’m sorry Microsoft, your Windows 10 phone is great, maybe even amazing, but it just felt slow and clunky when I was using it).  Maybe it’s just that I became a Mac person instead of a PC person.  Alan says it’s like taking the rail replacement service when the train services are buggered – it gets you to where you want to go, but the journey isn’t necessarily enjoyable.

I have, however, taken steps to make sure that I do not lose my phone again.  My phone will now be connected to my bag at all times.  I bought a case that allows a lanyard to be attached to it.  My bag has a little do-hickey that I can secure the lanyard to, to make sure that I never lose my phone (I know, never say never, but in this case, I will!).  So even if I put the phone down on the train, when I stand up, the phone will come with!  Ingenious really.

wp-1470520728210.jpgIn other news, I made lamb biryani from scratch tonight.  For the very first time.  And (yes, cooking faux pas coming up), it was GOOD!  Get me, eh?  Frozen lamb chunks from the freezer section (bargain!), herbs, spices, rice and a stock pot, et voila!  Comfort cooking and comfort eating heaven!  I got the recipe from Alan, who got the recipe from The Telegraph.  As with all my successful attempts at trying to cook food I’ve only ever tried in the UK, I wonder if I can replicate the feat in Manila when I visit the folks.  I think my dad would like it.

wp-1470518155353.jpg

Save

Yelly Eats

Finally Kedgeree!

I love curry and Alan has introduced me to the fragrantly delicious world of Indian food.  After trying lamb biryani for the very first time, I have never looked back.

Even when I was in the Philippines, I would hear about kedgeree.  How it was nice and comforting.  But I was never really brave enough to try to cook it.  In the Philippines, it was because I didn’t have smoked haddock readily available.  In England, it was because I thought kedgeree was difficult to make.

So a couple of weekends ago, I told myself it was time to bite the bullet and make kedgeree. I used a recipe that looked simple enough, from the BBC Good Food website.  I took a deep breath and added the ingredients to my shopping list and took the plunge!

And, oh boy, was it GOOOOOOOD!!!

I don’t know why I thought it was difficult.  It was so similar to cooking a paella which is something I can do with my eyes closed.

Kedgeree prepIt may have a few stages more than my favoured paella but it was similar and it was equally as comforting!

KedgereeIf you’d like to have a go, John Torode’s recipe is the best to start with!  Enjoy!

Yelly Eats

Mama’s Braised Pork

Today, I was comfort cooking.  And desperate for more of that belly pork from Bobby Chinn’s House of Ho.  Unfortunately for me, London is an hour and a half away from train and I wasn’t particularly feeling well.  So I did the next best thing: cook my mom’s braised pork – and add a few tweaks of my own.

Braised pork

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pork belly
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50g sugar
  • 75ml soy sauce
  • 2 cinnamon bark
  • 20 cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 star anises
  • 3 tbsp xiao xing rice wine
  • enough water to cover the pork in a pan
  • 1 heaping tbsp of cornflour
  • 3-4 tablespoons of water to dissolve the cornflour in

Directions

  1. Score the belly pork rind.
  2. In a work or a deep sauce pan, heat up oil and add about 50g of sugar and slowly caramelise the sugar in the oi  Once the sugar has completely melted and has turned a brown caramelly colour, raise the heat to medium and lay the pork belly skin-side down down and allow to colour for about 3 minutes.  Turn to do the fleshy side for another 3 minutes.
  3. Fill the pan until  with enough water to cover the pork.  Add the soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and rice wine. 
  4. Braise for 1 1/2 hrs turning every 30 minutes.  Then remove the pork from the braising liquid and place the pork in a lined roasting tin
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Pass the braising liquid through a sieve.  To the braising liquid add 1 heaped tbsp of cornflour (don’t add the cornflour directly to the hot liquid – dissolve it first in about 3 tablespoons of water) and stir over low heat and allow to thicken.
  6. Pour half of the thickened braising liquid over the pork and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.  After roasting, take the pork out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.   Serve with chopped spring onions sprinkled over the pork slices.
  7. This is best served with rice or hirata buns The left over thickened sauce can be a dipping sauce for the buns or sauce for the rice. 

Braised Chinese Pork