Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Teatime Thoughts

What do you eat when you're hungry in the afternoon?

Eat something light a la crackers and tea or do you go for something heavier?

I'm always curious to know what others have for tea. What's the big deal you ask? Hmmm, I guess I'm quite a fan of the whole concept of English High Tea. Think scones with good tea or coffee. What I do know is, that I am not in England; though I desperately wish I was. Most locals usually settle for warm pandan accented eighty-cents waffles from those simple Chinese bakeries, have kaya toasts with half-boiled eggs with a liberal amount of dark soya sauce and pepper or they have 'pau' (buns), and heck, some go full on and get carrot cake.

Singapore is so food-friendly that it's hard not to want to eat anything and everything at first sight. Perhaps that's why the habit of an official 'tea' time is not so rampant. Most of the time, we just put this and that in our mouth whenever we feel like it, eradicating the need for a sit-down tea session. At least this is what I've observed.

Usually when my friends want to meet up with me mid-day, it never starts with "Let's meet for tea!". Instead, (no prizes for guessing) the choice word here is, yes, expectantly, "coffee". Is it because of our culture? Do Singaporeans drink more coffee than tea? I doubt so. I do know a fair number of people who love their tea, down to the very last diluted drop.

Whether is it coffee or tea, I think the afternoon snack time is kinda celebrated in a simple way here. Okay, not always. Those who prefer some posh nosh usually go for high teas at hotels and restaurants. haha i'm not so privileged to go for these that often but when I do, I savour each nibble with patience and suddenly, I'm like "whoa, this canape looks so delicate" and I would be wondering how they put it together - and it's always a guess-what-ingredient moment.

Yea, that makes me out to be quite the greenhorn eh? I'm not afraid to admit that I'm always learning. It's this curiousity that perhaps pushes me to step out of boundaries and venture into new challenges.. Now now, that's why I bake bread even when I know I would probably suck at it because of the lack of experience. Hey, we all start somewhere don't we? :p

Seriously, if there's anything you take out of reading my humble food blog, let it be this: if you want to succeed, you've got to set your mind on it, pursue it wholeheartedly and let the outcome speak for itself. Don't ever let the fear of failure stop you in your tracks. It's all about the pursuit, not the end. So what if your cake doesn't rise or you have cookies as hard as a rock? That just calls for another try. Trust me, I've had my fair share of burnt cakes, hard bread and alot of other indescribable messes. When that happens, I persevere even harder. I think one should live life this way as well.

How about you imagine it this way... Here are some canapes:

Don't you think it looks gorgeous? Let me tell you, it tastes better than it looks. The smoked salmon dissolves in your mouth, and the sliced baguette? It's crisp and tasty.

Now now, how about you take a look at something sweet:

These cakes might be small but they pack a punch. They look like pieces of art and the moment they entered my mouth, I was like "Mmmmm...." It was that good.

Yes yes... I think canapes sometimes make for better yum than an entire full blown meal. I'm sure I don't have to explain why. So many different tastes for different palettes and it's all about the quality not the quantity anyway.

So, what has canapes - good looking and delicious tasting canapes have anything to do with what I've been talking about?

Let me put it this way. What you've seen are only a fraction of what the chefs have produced in the kitchen. I don't suppose you think that this was it? Those of you cooks out there would know what I'm talking about. Back in the kitchen, where the customer doesn't see what happens, well, it's chaos (most of the time, if not all). There's a mad rush to produce the dishes in record time. After all, everyone knows that it's not very fun to serve a cranky hungry patron.

So as I was saying, all these canapes look damn good. But hello... that's not reality.

You don't see what goes on! There are some that have been poorly assembled, and there are those which just suck - either the person did it wrongly, miss out an ingredient or worse (gasp!) dropped it on the floor. hahaa

My point being - just because you see something looking so pretty doesn't mean it took little effort. And sometimes it just takes longer for something to be that beautiful. I don't know about you, but this is the same way I see life.

I've had my fair share of ups and downs, highs and lows but I've always managed to pull through, simply because of my outlook. If you ask me, I'll just tell you I will never give up. I'm not a person who will throw in the towel because it's tough. I challenge the process. I am a passionate person and you need drive to ensure your passions are put across ideally.

The same thing goes for baking and cooking. I am admirable of chefs who've made it big but I also know that it came with a huge amount of effort and dedication.

Remember my online bakery dream and all? Been seriously thinking about it with one of my very close friend. She and I are determined to provide you dear readers of mine with something a little quirky, personal and original. Let me put it this way, you'll know it's us when you see it. Haha. I'm not saying anything more. It's all in the works.

Meanwhile, thank you for all your support and I'll let you know when my bake sale starts.. which ahem, is soon..

Here's an entire tier of canapes and yummy treats for your eyes:

Oh, in case you were wondering, this high tea was provided by The Fullerton for an event at the National Museum. My cousin was performing and we (Krys and I) went there to support him. :0)


:: Pastry Girl :: said...

yummy! Your photographs are always good looking..envy!

Come equinox to where I am working at, the high tea is not too bad too..and the view is majestic. :p imagine sitting by the window panel on the 69th storey.

Anonymous said...

actually i've plans for online bakery too. but first, mastering my baking skills.

Anonymous said...

for a relaxed afternoon tea at home..try some crackers with brie and australian dates coupled with a cup of tea, it work wonders too!

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