Thursday, December 24, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, December 24, 2009
I cant believe tomorrow is Christmas...Have been busy with buying presents and travelling that I do not FEEL its Christmas tomorrow. Hmm, but is Christmas just a FEELING?

Of course not! No matter how many Christmas parties you attend, or how many times you go to Orchard Rd to view the lights to get into the atmosphere, or receive tons of presents from friends etc etc...Deep down, you will always have an empty feeling about Christmas if you do not find out the real meaning and purpose behind it. It will just be a day when we eat alot or just a day when we can get off from work.

If it is really just any day, or a festival for Christians, then why are millions or even billions Christians and non-Christians across the world celebrating it? What makes this day so special?

I know my two children sure doesnt understand the true meaning of Christmas at this age and I'm sure Caleb thinks Christmas is about Santa Claus, Christmas trees and presents as he's sure seeing lots of those around him!

Anyway, since I just came back from Malaysia, and being so busy running around for the past week buying presents, I feel that I should just stay at home for Christmas Eve, step back and reflect once again what Christmas is all about.

Yesterday when I went to Woodlands Factory to buy some Christmas party food, the atmosphere in the factories seemed like it was Chinese New Year. It was packed with people, jostling about and grabbing their last minutes stock of food! It was a mad house! I was just thinking to myself, how many of these people actually know what they are celebrating?

So anyway, today, Caleb had a hair cut as his hair was getting a little too messy for the start of his school next year.

Caleb has always been cutting his hair at home since birth and he has come a long way-he used to cry as he doesnt like the feeling of his hair all over his body. But today, he has learnt to just sit back, relax and get his hair cut without crying. So proud of him! Amazingly at his age, he can still fit in his Bumbo seat! So useful!

I also decided to cook lunch and dinner for the family today. For dinner, I prepared a dish which I learnt from one of my favourite local program,"3-in-1", which its a competition between 2 pairs of celebrities in preparing 3 dishes and 1 soup.

This dish is basically twee bah with dou gan beancurd and leeks. Quite tasty with rice!

I have also been trying to master cooking chye sim. I know many would think what's the big deal in cooking a plate of veggies? How difficult can it be? Well, its true that it is easy to cook chye sim as you can simply throw it in, add oyster sauce etc etc and just fry a bit till it cooks. But what I want is not just the taste but texture. I want my veggies to still be bright green, crunchy, but cooked and very tasty! And I also do not want to add any gravy to this dish as I want all its taste and flavour to come out from the natural sweetness of the prawns and vegetables.

Most veggies are tasty but because they are left in the pot for long such that the dish becomes sweet. But the texture is compromised because the veggies will become soft and overcooked. The colour will not be brightly green anymore.

So what I did with this dish was to boil the chye sim in a pot of boiling salt cum sesame oil water first till its 3/4 cook. Then remove it and run it over cold water. Then I heat my wok with oil, and lots of garlic, I throw in the prawns first (which was marinated with XO, salt, pepper and soya sauce), stir the prawns till its almost cook. Then throw in the veggies and stir a couple of times, add oyster sauce and quickly switch off the fire.

I feel I still havent perfected it as the veggies still fall a little short of being as crunchy as I wanted it to be. But nevertheless, was satisfied. Will work harder next time!

After dinner, I prepared my potato cheese and bacon dish for tomorrow's Christmas party at my sister-in-law's place! This dish can be prepared in advance to allow me time to cook other dishes tomorrow. Will only need to microwave and grill this tomorrow.

Also spent time doing some art and craft with Caleb after dinner. Here's the outcome of it!

Caleb was busy helping to paste those stickers to decorate the tree.

It was fun! I cant wait to wake up tomorrow to open all the presents below my Christmas tree!! Its nice to always wait in anticipation to tear open the presents on Christmas morning...just like when I was young.

There's always a reward to those who wait...(arghh...I am tearing my hair out inside me just waiting and waiting to open those presents. Its tempting)


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