Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Lunar New Year

Hello! I was supposed to update my blog last week with something made, ain't I? But I was swamped with looking after a very sick child who made sure my many consecutive nights were sleepless and I was meted out the worst tantrum and crying scenes. ever.

Then my parents and brother came to visit last Wednesday and so it was showing them around town and some cooking done. We spent the passing of the Chinese New Year together and they returned home yesterday. I still feel a little sad about that.

Now that life is back to the quiet and my boy is nearly his cheery normal self, here I am writing this post entry. Below is a photo of me wearing the 'red threads' dress on the first day of the Lunar New Year, I promised to put up. Wishing everyone a  wonderful year of prosperity, good health and happiness!

Friday, January 13, 2012

banana raisins Bread Pudding

I cooked a full pot of curry chicken+potatoes with lots of gravy yesterday and Brian and I ate it with baguette and baguette only. It was our favourite way of savouring the curry gravy with the thickly sliced baguette bread sponging it up. The pot's gravy was gone before the bread by day's end and I'm left with more than a handful, I decided to use the leftover bread to make pudding. Into the ingredients were also the remaining comb of bananas starting to turn brown and raisins (Staple in my family. My three year old's favourite snack fruit.)

Here's how I made the pudding:


4 cups of bread, cut into small pieces
4 cups of milk
1 big spoonful of butter
6 eggs
1+half cup of granule sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
10 small (finger length) bananas, mashed
2 packs or less of Sun Maid raisins - (1 pack=1+half ounce)
half teaspoon of powder cinnamon

Soak the bread pieces into the milk for an hour.
During the wait, Kaeden and I went to the back yard and pretended it was the beach outside. I had him helped me "collect" starfishes, sea weed, shells and fish. He enjoyed it and it was an opportunity to get him under the sun to heal from his long drawn cold.

Preheat the oven at 170 deg C.

Butter up the baking dish(es) and set aside.
I used two oval deep dish from Ikea.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla essence together and pour the mixture over the soaked bread. Stir in raisins, mashed bananas and cinnamon. Pour the final mixture into the baking dishes and set them into larger baking dishes filled with water. Bake for an hour or until a wooden (satay) stick comes out clear after inserting into the pudding. Mine took about 80mins to set in the oven.

Cut pudding up into slices and serve them warm or chilled. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

red threads

It's 2012. Last week overlapped into this and my year started off without much of a blast. How were your first days of the new year?

Unlike the last year which I adopted the motto of living life in its stride, I have some grand plans for this year. There are some ambitions I hope to achieve. As for blogging, I have to admit I was contemplating to end it in the last months as my crafting times come to a slow. But for now, I'll just carry on recording my handwork and others just like how I'd done online over here for the past years. I'll try to keep this space going for as long as I can. Perhaps having a goal for my blog space would be ideal; say:  

Make something every week. 

Then I'll have a 'something' to write about weekly. I'm not sure if I could keep this up through the year though but hey, I'll try my very best!

So for this week, I have a new dress made.

The lunar new year is coming and the Chinese practice the tradition of donning new clothes on the first day, particularly good if the garment is in the auspicious hue of red. I've never been one to adhere to that, sad to say. I'd ever worn black! Those adolescent years.. Considering the past 2 years hadn't been friendly with me, I'm going to up the good vibes by following the dress-red tradition. Who knows, it might work for a better year!

Burdastyle pattern #115
I mentioned I'd worked on Burdastyle pattern (10/2011 Dress with Peter Pan collar and pin tuck #115) before and had failed. I couldn't get the pleats right and after attaching the sleeves, the top bodice of the dress looked disastrous on me.
Burdastyle pattern #116

I realized that pattern #116 is included in the above pattern printout and I decided to make a simpler version of it, without sleeves.

Using pinkish red tone batik, prints unique to Palembang, I also added bias tape for facing when making the dress. The dress silhouette is a loose fit hence instead of a back zipper, I opted for a key hole fastening using a special butterfly shaped brass(?) fastening my friends had given me from a Vietnam trip a few years ago.

I'll put up photos of me wearing the dress on the lunar new year day!