Tag Archives: food

Food, glorious food!

We’re due to visit a friend in another part of the country.

Weeks before our departure, my friend showed signs of a panic attack. She sent me emails, asking: “What would you like to eat? What do you not eat?” “Are you a vegetarian?”

After reading my posts about dogs, she finally had a meltdown. She revealed, “I do have 2 dogs you know.”

Welcome to the British hospitality. Continue reading

Some trivial facts in Winchester

Last week, Jane Austen fans celebrated 200 years of Pride and Prejudice.

Jane Austen was buried in Winchester Cathedral. I visited Winchester regularly. When I visited Winchester again with my son yesterday, I made a point to find a trivial fact about Mr Darcy.

Come dine with Mr Darcy

Come dine with Mr Darcy

Opposite to the library in Jewry Street is a Thai restaurant named Bangkok Brasserie. This restaurant serves a unique dish called Colin Firth’s Thai Mango Chicken for £7.95.

“Yellow curry with added mango; created for actor Colin Firth. 75p to Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group, a charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers.”

On this occasion, we didn’t eat in this restaurant and I only entered the restaurant to pick up the menu, as my 12-year-old-boy found KFC a more superior alternative, and he couldn’t possibly appreciate Colin Firth as passionately as his mother does. However, when I last tried Colin Firth on my birthday — I mean Colin Firth’s Thai Mango Chicken — it was absolutely delicious.

I remembered a waiter in the restaurant told me that Colin Firth’s parents dined there frequently, and Thai Mango Chicken was their favourite. They asked for the permission from the parents to name the dish to honour Colin Firth. Daily Echo has more details.

We headed down the high street, and I saw a remembrance flower bed for horses.

I stopped to take some pictures, to my son’s annoyance. I explained that as there’s been news about horse meat in burger recently in the UK, this picture about horses could be interesting to my readers.

These were not ordinary horses.

These were the horses (hundreds of thousands of them) killed in the South African War from 1899 to 1902.



The day we battled strong wind

In June, I wrote about Closeness with Cakes regarding our first fund-raising event for a children oncology ward, Piam Brown Ward.

To be honest, fund-raising in a school fayre demanded hard work and the preparation consumed a lot of my time. It was hard keeping sane as the wind constantly tried to turn the cakes into dancing cakes. Continue reading

Closeness: showing you care with cakes

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Last weekend, my son Ben and I braved ourselves on a windy Saturday and sold these cakes in a school fayre for charity.

It was a typical English spring weather on a summer day. We were wearing jackets still. Some nicely set up tents next to our stall were blown away. I spent the whole morning trying to rescue the cakes from flying off.

We raised £100 for Piam Brown Ward, of Southampton General Hospital. My son was treated in the cancer ward in 2001 as a baby and we were doing our best to raise fund.

It was hard work, but it was fun. It was worth it.

These cakes were all made by friends, and their children. Some friends were unable to bake, so they bought us some.

My friend Tim, an award-winning chef, made me 45 chocolate muffins.

My colleague Tracy made the most delicious cupcakes with lots of glitters on. She even paid for some beautiful boxes to put her gorgeous cupcakes in.

Michelle’s cakes were sold out in the staffroom well before they reached my stall. I didn’t even get the chance to buy one. One friend paid for the rent of my stall.

I’m blessed with friendship.

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A Mix of East and West Fitting for a Queen

We celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee yesterday with  a mix of oriental and western food.

My friend Annie prepared a feast, fitting for a queen.

Oriental: We had rice, steamed sea bass, steamed vegetable and grilled Chinese BBQ pork

Western: We had roast chicken, roast potatoes and roast duck

The duck was actually from France. Annie’s daughter came back from France with a school trip, and her host family gave her some duck to (smuggle)  take home to England. It was delicious.

One highlight of the meal was Chiu Chow Chilli, by King Asia. Annie’s brother is in the food industry, and he brought us this delicious chilli sauce that his company has just launched in the north of England.

Chiu Chow Chilli — it’s hot and rich

I love proper chilli sauce. I grew up eating chilli for most of my meals. Chiu Chow Chilli is rich, hot with a touch of sweetness. It’s the most delicious chilli I’ve ever tried in England.

Continue reading

5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Language

English is such a fascinating language. It’s common that people do not always say what they mean, or do not mean what they say. Below is a list of 5 things that I’ve learnt:

1) A Cream Tea is not a cup of tea with cream

On our honeymoon in Jersey back in 1999, my husband asked if I fancied some Cream Tea. I said yes as I was thirsty after a long walk.

He later gave me a plate with a fat, boring looking bun (I later learnt it was called a scone) with jam and cream next to it. I sat and waited patiently for my tea. “Where’s my tea?”  I asked. Hugh pointed at the fat, boring looking bun and said ‘You said you wanted some Cream Tea.’

Cream Tea means a scone. Continue reading

5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Culture

I’ve slowly picked up some survival tips after living in England since 1996. Here are 5 of them on culture:

1) Always starting your greetings with the weather, not food

Now I say ‘Isn’t it lovely!’ or ‘What a lovely day!’ to greet people, as ‘hello’, as opposed to saying, ‘Have you eaten?’, which is a Chinese way of asking ‘How’re you’.

And, I’ve learnt to agree with people when they praise or moan about the weather, because English people don’t expect you to disagree with them about the English weather. They just don’t. Continue reading

5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Food

I’ve been living in England since 1996. From being a student, a wife, to a mother, I’ve noticed my habits have changed quite a bit. Here is a list of my 5 changes regarding food:

1) I no longer own a rice cooker

The 2 British people in my life prefer pasta to rice. When my rice cooker broke a few years ago, I didn’t replace it, because I couldn’t find a good one even from John Lewis. I must be the only Chinese person under the sun without an electrical rice cooker. Now, whenever I need to cook rice, I use a saucepan and control the heat manually.

2) I enjoy drinking tea with cow’s milk

When I first arrived in England, cow’s milk in tea would irritate my body. I felt sick. I had tummy ache. After a while, my body slowly adapted to cow’s milk, and I’ve become a tea addict now and I drink tea with cow’s milk day and night. I also need a tea break very often.

3) I use a fork to eat rice on a plate

As we don’t eat rice a lot at home, when we have  rice, such as with Chilli Con Carne, we use fork to eat rice on a plate. In my previous life, rice was eaten from a bowl with chopsticks. Continue reading