Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Year's Meal 2015

I'm late in posting this but I just want to record this for my personal reference in the future.

After the Christmas gatherings, me and hubby were tired and sick. We decided to stay put and celebrated the New Year with only our small family. I wanted to do something really simple, but hubby still went out for grocery and prepared us a special meal with seafood theme.

We started with appetizer, typical French toast with difference kind of spreads.

Hubby made the bottom toast himself. He then spread them with sour cream, some herbs and salmon.

French toast with crab meat spread.

French toast with fish eggs spread.

French toast with oyster spread.

Some cheese and nuts.

Non alcoholic champagne for the big day so that me and Aelig could join in.

The entrée : gambas with basilic and pin nuts.

The main dish : salmon with herbs.

Dessert : Raspberry Christmas cake.

The girls had good time playing together.

Thanks hubby for these wonderful meals and good times together.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

She doesn't know how to make the bed!

"She doesn't know how to make the bed!" Cried hubby.

This phrase still linger in my mind. It was the first time I visited France, he brought me to his grandmother's house, and we were asked to make the bed. I stood in the room, didn't know where to start. That was when hubby realised that I didn't know how to make a bed, so he shouted to inform his parents.

I don't know why people created such a tedious job to make the bed, and thus making my life miserable doing this task. Just so you know how easy it was when I lived in Malaysia : a bed sheet that covered the whole mattress, plus a blanket. So very morning I just need to fold the blanket, that was it.

Back to the scene in France. I discoverd that making the bed involves changing the pillow cases, putting a bed sheet on the mattress, adding another top bed sheet, following by several layers of blankets depending on the weather condition. When bed sheet + blankets are aligned, tuck the sides under the bed. A person then lies in between the top and bottom bed sheet.

Photo shows a bed that needs to be made before sleeping in.

It doesn't seem so complicated right? Well, let me tell you the tradition in my French family (the other French are probably practicing the same thing). When you invite someone over, you are normally responsible making the bed before they arrive. So, if you are inviting several people, all of the beds have to be done. In the case above we were asked to make our own bed because grandma was too old to have to make all the beds alone. In my house we use duvet with cover, so another thing to do is to dress the duvet. And most importantly, the pillow cases + bed sheet + duvet cover need to match in colors and design! My bed sheet in Malaysia was bought separately from the blanket, so they didn't match. I didn't know it was a big deal in France. Wait, we are not done yet, I have to also provide towels to the guests. Yeah, we are talking about providing services like in a hotel.

The worst thing is the laundry after our guests left. Even if they only stayed for one night, we have to wash all the pillow cases + bed sheets + duvet covers, and iron and fold them. I was shocked to see my MIL ironing all the bed sheets, towels, table clothes, was a long process...

I do not think making the bed this way is more comfortable. For myself, I still do the same thing like in Malaysia, just a bed sheet + a blanket. And, I asked my guests to bring their own towels. I know, I'm bad.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The King Cake's Drama

France is mourning for its losts. What happened is wrong and sad. I might share about my thoughts later.

It is January, the month where we savour King Cake again. It is a tradition where the youngest kid will hide under the table, and call out the name of the person who will get a slide of the King Cake. When everyone gets its slide, they will eat their cake and find out who gets the fève (a porcelain figure hidden in the cake). That person will become the king or the queen of the day and is entitled to a paper crown. Most bakeries sell these during the whole month of January, the most common fillings being frangipane and chocolate.

We were going to the Wednesday Chinese class so I thought it would be a good idea to bring some King Cakes to share with the kids. As usual it took Aelig a little time to warm up before actively participing into the lessons. When the lesson ended, we were going to warm up the cakes when suddenly Aelig threw us a tantrum. She told me she wanted the fève for herself. I explained to her that it depended on her luck, I was not the one deciding who gets it. She wouldn't listen to any word I said and started crying and insisting she wanted to be the one getting the fève. While we were trying to warm up the cakes, she prevented other kids to touch the cakes and claimed that the one cake was for her alone. It was a whole mess as I had to feed Awena at the same time. I forgot what happened next, but finally she sat down eating her cake, and several minutes later she standed up with a smile telling me secretly that she won, as she flip opened the crust and saw the fève inside! When she finally got it, she jumped with joy and other kids were happy for her too.

Well, she didn't have to the drama queen, as it turned I got the fève from another cake. Together with what her grandma gave her, she has now three fève in collection, that she happily put with her frogs game.

I was very disturbed by her behavior, other kids didn't ask to get the fève, they were surprised at her crying. On the way home, I asked why she was so afraid that others would get the fève, while she didn't react that way while her classmates got it when they had King Cake at school. She told me that all her classmates are her friends and she likes them, so they can get it. But these kids from the Chinese lessons are not her friends, so she would be very angry if they get it. Wow, I didn't know that! They played along well, Why won't she consider them her friend? I probably need to pay more attention to her emotions.