Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Irrational Euphoria

As usual, I've been gripped by this irrational sense of euphoria after the end of the first paper. This inexplicable feeling that the holidays have started and that will-sapping, rose-tinted view that the next paper won't be all that hard. Irrational because no matter how one looks at it, I'm really still in the midst of an exam that only officially ends on 2nd May 15.30 +8 GMT time. Though everytime I try to remind myself that this holiday mood is really a little premature, that hopelessly slacker side of me brushes it off with a 'Just ONE more paper, let's celebrate!'. So I inevitably oblige on account that a couple of days off the grind really doesn't hurt and that perennial excuse: 'Hey so many more days towards that last paper means more time to space out the last min cram session!'

Given that this has been occuring ever since I started law school back in '03, today is of course no exception. And what better way to get one into the quasi-holiday, should-be-studying-but-it-can-wait-a-while mood than some good ole pre-2000 diabetic pop love number, I Think I'm in Love with You by Jessica Simpson that resident blond bimbo. Never fails to remind me of those bitter-sweet JC days when that song carried the entire sentiments and dreams of a poor horny sod ( yours truly), driven wild & blind by that crush on a fellow classmate. Ahh, those were the days.

So despite the minor bump of not finishing half-a-question, which sadly happens to be the normal practice for most papers- exam time management is not my forte; the impending final paper was the last thing on my mind when I returned home this afternoon. Turning on the laptop and downloading the latest HQ episode 3 of Darker than Black, reading blogs, surfing for porn (well not yet, still got tons on the HDD), checking mail and the latest yaoi scanlation releases before deciding on the spur of the moment to cook something for dinner.

After all, it's been sometime since I cooked for the Family, but more importantly i felt like having some soup with loads of ingredients dumped in. Not the kind you'd be able to find outside and like they say, if you want to eat something, you jolly well learn to cook. I'm a soup person, probably the one thing I inherited from my dad's cantonese side, after all the Cantonese are the most avid drinkers of soup and come up with the most kick-ass ones. I usually like my chinese soups that way, boiled over a slow fire for more than two hours that brings out all the subtle flavours and gives a very tasty soup with robust flavours. What they call, 纯汤.

However, on the spur of the moment kind of urges coupled with the frequent time restrictions often means there is little time for the cooking and preparation involved for making the above-mentioned type of soups. 清汤 or 'clear soup' as it is loosely translated are then the alternative, with a cooking time of 30mins-1 hour, the flavours are more subtle, involve a lot less herbs and more usual ingredients like mincemeat and mushrooms, giving a taste that is light and refreshing. Plus one has a lot more leeway with the combination of ingredients and what actually goes into the soup when cooking 清汤 than the long-boiled 纯汤 counterparts. Certain herbs and ingredients are no-no combinations for the latter. (example Ginseng and Bittergourd).

So I was glad that I cooked the 清汤. In typical fashion, I dumped in what I deemed to be compatible: a couple of defrosted chicken drumsticks and pork shoulder butt cut into cubes, a couple of lovely red NZ tomatoes, a clove of garlic (peeled), one packet of those delightful Japanese bumi mushrooms they use in their Odens, fresh White Fungus and a packet of silken Tofu, with three spoonfuls of Shaoxing rice wine and one No MSG Knorr's chicken stock cube.

The end result after 50 mins of cooking, a pleasantly piquant and refreshingly tasty soup, the slight tang of tomatoes balanced nicely with the aroma of the mushrooms with the meat still tender and juicy unlike their often tough counterparts in the long boiled soups where all the flavour has already leeched out into the soup. Considering that this was one of the few times I've actually attempted to cook 清汤, I was rather pleased with the result.

I stirred it up quite a bit while tasting before I remembered to take a photo which would explain the rather sad and flattened state of the tomatoes. Though I personally prefer my tomatoes pulpified and it's the taste that counts ultimately! So that, steamed rice and stir fried cabbage with oyster-sauce provided for a gratifying dinner topped off with the Sister's rapidly diminishing supply of Japanese confectionaries. (She ate the last Tokyo Banana! ><)

Which makes it a relatively good time now to go for my night jog, though I fervently hope those cheap ass town council people leave the lights on in the park this time. Yesterday's running through a Pitch Black park was a cheap thrill that at some points in time involved slowing down to a slow measured jog as I attempted to figure out where the path ended and the steep slope begin that eventually culminated in an exit which positively startled two yakking Filipino maids and their small yappy dogs.

And still this irrational euphoria afflicts me, that mental urge to grin like an idiot hard to suppress. So while I'm in this ridiculous helium high, I'll leave you folks bopping or cursing to the strains of Jessica's I Think I'm in Love with You.

"I think I'm in love..Boy I think I'm in love with you... I've been doing silly things when it comes to you.. In love, Boy I think that I'm in love with you... I've been telling all my friends what I feel for you.."


Anonymous said...

Smiles...the dinner looks nice....

Aelgtoer said...

mmm.. I'll make some for you next time. I'm assuming it's the Boyfriend. ^^