Hebei Days 5 & 6

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See Hebei Day 4.

Day 5 – Tuesday

Day 5, which was exactly a week ago, was still a busy day. For lunch on our fifth day, mixing appetizer and main course is as natural as breathing. I had my seafood platter – oyster, mussels, clams and crab with fresh veggie salad on the side.

My usual steak, steamed seafood and potato salad are now mixed with bacon-wrapped sausages, deep-fried chicken lollipops, and spicy steamed fish head and mussels.

Slices of fresh fruits, yoghurt cotta and… tada! Snow egg with sake for 5 consecutive days!

Of course, the boys with their daily dose of ice cream delight. The plain chocolate for the kiddo.

That night our interpreter joined us for dinner and we opted for ala-carte instead of the Japanese dinner buffet offered at Cafe Panorama. A, I and the kiddo shared Nasi Goreng and Spaghetti Carbonara. Not a good combination eh? Haha! But the boy loves spaghetti and the two of us still wanna have a taste of that Indonesian fried rice served the other night. We also had a plateful of fresh salad greens.

Day 6 – Wednesday

Breakfast in Bed. Cinnamon bread. And so we go straight to what was lunch. Fresh salad greens, turnips, cherry tomatoes and slices of fruits. Next to the chicken and leek barbeque are slices of Chinese pork cold cuts.

Also a hearty cream of pumpkin soup.

And more�Ķ pork steak, Japanese barbequed eel, saucy beef and chicken dish, succulent squid parts and sauteed green beans.

Below was my last serving of white egg with sake. I also had jelly and this time, the custard cake tastes like our leche flan. Yummy!

A’s designer instinct never fails to impress me and you’d see it in the way he whips up his ice cream.

To be continued…

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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