and 2-ingredient, 5-min Paper Roses
For the paper roses, see below.
Here’s the end of a chapter, a chapter in a book which will be written for a long time to come (I sincerely hope).
Boarding is nearly over. I can gaze at by now-barren room, with nothing save the sparse furniture and my pencil case and its contents strewn over the table like my scattered thoughts. It’s devoid of adornments and personality, much like what it was weeks ago when I settled in.
My suitcases, neatly propped up against the wall, contain some of my beloved possessions – a shred of my old blanket (a rag, rather), a storybook and sketchbooks. On top are the kettle and filter, for water ought to be clean and leave a slightly sweet aftertaste in the mouth, like water which I’m accustomed to at home. All these hold memories which I shall return to soon, in the warm comfort of home.
There’s much I’ve experienced over the past month or so, some of happiness and reflection, others of trouble and much disgruntlement. I’ve met people, forged bonds, and really, discovered much about the self. I’ve become attuned to waking up in the mornings to have a simple bowl of porridge, occasionally bread, and simultaneously, reading or editing some pictures – what I like doing most.
There’s a quiet stillness in the chilly early-morning air which gradually gives way to the warmth of the rising sun, which I occasionally watch, and remind myself of what every day is – a new beginning, where fresh opportunities await.
Certainly, I’ve been given many surprises in these weeks – both negative and positive. But from those occasions where it’s negative, I can’t help but realise that I’ve gathered some experience and knowledge. I’ve found out things about myself I’ve never known (how cheesy!), unveiled these aspects of mine which have laid dormant.
I’ve been a balancing artist, being able to carry the precariously stacked dishware down the corridor to wash and back.
I’ve been an exterminator, from the morbid encounter with the uninvited guest, where we have stuffed the bottom of the door with newspapers and spritzed mosquito repellent like air freshener.
I’ve been an explorer, now familiar with the labyrinth of roads which hides a shortcut home.
There’s much I’ve done too, having had thrown a small birthday celebration/gathering, mini-photo-shoots within the confines of a desk, and my café-hopping voyages, where I finally got to try out an assortment of tarts, cakes, sandwiches and coconuts (which I’ve a hidden passion for). I’ve met new people, other souls which converge upon cosy nooks for various purposes, and a common reason – good, warm food.
Now that boarding is almost over and I can return home, I reminisce. It’s been a journey I haven’t regretted setting foot in, or detested (for it’s compulsory). I don’t admit I liked it, liked the stuffy confines of less than a hundred square feet, or the unpredictable weather in the morning when the chill seeps into thy bones (I’ve been reading Shakespeare, clearly).
I’ve been taught much from this venture of life as well, about how I ought to treasure my parents and home, where the flavour of the dust motes which linger in the air is of a homely taste, and where the ants look more like miniature long-grained rice, rather than the slightly rounder ants here (which resemble short-grained rice).
The semester is over, so fare thee well, boarding! Farewell, for now.
And here, another chapter has ended, and another shall be written in time. For these reasons, I shall be refurbishing and renovating the blog for a bit this weekend, as well as changing the url to www.chockywoky.weebly.com (if you haven’t seen the announcement).
So, for the time-being, sayonara.
The above and following are images from the birthday celebration I held for a good friend the day before at a vegan 'fast food' stop. Good memories were made, and laughter heard.
Cake is best served warm, in my opinion, but there's nothing wrong with chilled cake, especially with the sweet vanilla pudding upon one's lips. Sliced into 3, with one piece double the size of the other, the custard poured into neatly into the cake the night before. As the knife broke the surface and cut through the (slightly hard) cake, the custard dripped down, sliding in an utterly charming gooey manner reminiscent of maple syrup. And, oh my, it adds a whole new layer to the cake (literally and figuratively), for sweet cream met with the solid cake, as a perfect mix as the tongue and mouth indulged in it.
Multiply the recipe and adjust accordingly if making for more, for it's sometimes nice the share cake, and wholesome wholewheat cake nicer. This makes good-sized cake for 2 to 3 to share, or one really hungry person. Enjoy and be sure to celebrate.
Whole-wheat (Mini) Bundt Cake with Custard Filling
1/3 heaping cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar / sweetener
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tsp chia seeds + 2 tsp water
1/4 c milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp. custard powder
2-3 tbsp. chilled milk
1. Preheat oven to 180 c. Sift together flour, baking powder, sweetener, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Microwave chia and water for 10 secs or let it sit for 20 mins to thicken. Combine with egg, vanilla and milk. Whisk to combine.
3. Pour into flour mixture and stir well, until a thick drippy batter is formed.
4. Pour into a greased ramekin / mini bundt cake mould and bake for 25 mins, until top is browned and a cake tester or toothpick instated is clean.
5. Once cooled to room temperature, mix custard powder and milk until a paste forms. Pour into middle of bundt, or cut a hole in the middle of the round cake. Let it chill if storing in the fridge, or serve immediately.
Note: If storing, add custard a maximum of 12 hours before serving, otherwise I fear it will become soggy.
These delights were made the night before as well, and I got the idea from the floral movement which is blossoming everywhere. This 'recipe' is one which I was inspired by the swirly party twines (which resemble pigs' tails) and an accidental 'mess up' sometime early in my childhood.
Sometimes, the best things happen by accident.
Two-ingredient, 5-minute Paper Roses
What you need:
Coloured papers (I used A5 - sized)
1. Cut papers into squared-shaped.
2. Trim the edges to get a roughly shaped circle.
3. Cut a spiral in that circle. A spiral with larger borders will have fewer layers (as shown in the pictures), while one with narrower borders will be more delicate.
4. Paste a small mound of blue tack in the middle of the spiral, slightly larger than a thumbtack.
5. Begin to roll the spiral in carefully, following the inner layer. (it needn't be perfect!)
6. Once you have reached the innermost layer and the base has a distinct cone-shape, press it into the base and ensure properly secured. Paste to any desired surface and admire.