"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, May 26, 2006


My parsley plant and the €1 stroopwafel bits

Our upper floor toilet bowl was clogged and I think it took 3 weeks for the housing people to get it fixed. Gah. I was anticipating this, so I tried to unclog it myself with gloves and a plastic bag. It did not work.

I saw an ad for a drink with passionfruit, pineapple and corn ("Mais"). Wth.

Another mystery of the universe: Why does a 1-to-3 power extension cost €2 in the market here but S$18 in Singapore? The lack of on/off switches on each individual socket (one of the things about Continental power sockets - aren't there safety issues?) can't explain all of the price differential.

There was this ad for a vaginal wash on the TV. As the woman took each successive bottle, a meter counted up, but it stopped at 75% till she grabbed the vaginal wash. At the end of the ad you saw her topless and looking down at her unmentionables (which, somehow, were blurred out). Gotta love these Europeans.

Someone in my Dutch class said my Dutch was excellent. Uhh. Maybe only when compared to most of the others'!

I think one reason people say English is difficult is that looking at a word you don't always know how it's pronounced. Whereas in many other languages you pretty much do (Spanish, German, Dutch, Lithuanian [except for the emphases], the Slavic languages and Malay). One person informs me that French is "is way out there". Somehow I'm not surprised.

400 years ago, the Netherlands threw off the Spanish yoke and threw them out. 400 years later, the Spanish have reinvaded - except this time in the form of exchange students! Somehow my apartment complex seems to have many of them, and my apartment itself often sees groups of them, and sometimes (like last night) even witnesses a horde descending upon it.

I was taking the bus to the ice skating rink, and noticed the following street names:
Paranadreef, Amazonedreef, Japuradreef, Bogotadreef, Japuradreef, Orinocodreef, Rio Brancodreef, St. Maartendreef, Rio Brancodreef, St. Laurensdreef, Nebraskadreef, Nevadadreef, Arizonadreef, Hudsondreef, Mississippidreef, Oregondreef. This on top of the University street names near De Uithof and the Indonesian ones in Lombok (the Muslim quarter). Why can't the Dutch come up with their own street names?

A Greek guy killed himself on Monday by jumping from the window of his apartment. Apparently he always looked depressed and walked around alone.

Egypt is running a tourism ad campaign. It's quite funny because they use music from Aida in the background - hardly Egyptian.



Chicken with tomato-cream sauce
In the sauce: garlic, onions, tomato sauce for pasta, chive cream cheese, red wine
You see red splotches on the chicken because I added the tomato sauce to the chicken and vegetables before deciding to take the chicken bits out to prevent overcooking (and ensure the surface was not covered with sauce).


General Tso's chicken (3rd attempt)
My Korean housemate asks me every now and then when I'm going to make it again, so last Saturday I humoured him and cooked it for myself, him and his Korean friend. This time I had ginger, used drumstick meat (the right type) and knew how to make the chicken crispy so it was excellent, if a bit dry due to my underestimation of the amount of sauce needed, or rather underestimation of how much meat a drumstick was by weight (I thought it was 1/2 - turned out to be maybe 2/3-3/4. This also meant there was too much to eat, even though I kept some for my own consumption the next day).
The chicken was a bit too floury - I haven't gotten the flouring right yet (I was told to shake off the excess but it didn't work). Maybe I don't actually need to dust it with flour before egging it. It was a bit rushed - one of them had to leave early, so I didn't fry chopped onions as the recipe called for; I did so the next day when frying the leftover chicken and eating it with Korean curry but it didn't make any difference (the onion bits didn't become crispy - maybe I'm doing something wrong).
To the left you see vegetables. The carrots were too hard. I should cut them smaller next time.


Coq Au Vin
I deviated a bit from the usual recipe. First I fried bacon pieces and removed them, browned the drumsticks lightly in the fat and removed them. Then I fried onions and yellow pepper in the fat (vegetables brown beautifully in bacon drippings). Then I dumped everything into a pot, added some chicken stock from powder, threw in torn parsley, added 100ml of cream and a lot of red wine (MFTTW: "no such thing as too much wine!", and anyhow it supposedly oxidises since I don't drink it, though that doesn't matter since I don't drink it). I brought it to a boil on medium-high heat and then lowered to low-medium heat to reduce. I was worried it would be too salty since my stock is from powder and thus salty, but in the end it was within the tolerable range.
MFTTW spewed some crap about cream interfering with evaporation, but it turned out alright. Though I suppose she's right - I should add cream at the end next time.


Coq Au Vin with potato salad
Unfortunately, though I left the pot on the stove at 1/11 while eating this, the liquid reduced to nothing.
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