In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chinese New Year

It's my fourth year missing CNY back home, so I've gotten used to not collecting ang baos, or eating CNY goodies, or visiting relatives etc. This year though, being at Silwood with a properly equipped kitchen instead of the crappy gyps I've had for the past three years, I thought it would be quite nice to cook dinner for friends. And so a bunch of people and I cooked for about 40 on CNY eve.

I was making yu sheng, ngoh hiang and cheng tng, the first two of which are quite exclusively Singaporean/Malaysian (can I just stick to using Malayan when referring to the two countries...) and it was my first time making those dishes too. Turned out surprisingly well, though gathering the ingredients (took a couple of London chinatown trips, cos there wasn't often much space in my backpack to get everything at once) took effort and I had to substitute some stuff. I'm thinking maybe those cooking genes have just been lying dormant till needed. My parents seemed genuinely surprised at the photos of the outcome, as though they didn't think I was capable of producing edible material for 40 people.

I even roasted and crushed the peanuts by hand.
I hadn't properly Skyped them though (only briefly to ask some questions about cooking, in which they raised their doubts over my cooking abilities), and despite my asking for a time to call, they were 'too busy visiting'. I was starting to wonder if they just couldn't be bothered about me (Middle Child Syndrome kicking in), but it turns out they pulled a fast one on me.

My mum told me previously that her friend was visiting her daughter and will be able to pass some CNY goodies to me. And that since I didn't have lectures today, I could pick her 'friend' up from Heathrow. I grumbled a bit cos of the distance, but went anyway, and hey presto, it was my mum at the airport waiting for me xD

This is turning out to be the best CNY in a long time (she brought a LOT of food from home). Though today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. I guess I'll just have to make up for it later.

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