SG buzz @ Boston

Joy informed us that there was a talk cum dinner organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit and we thought we should check it out since the invited guest was Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost (whose blog I like reading) and free Singaporean food! While we were exhausted from the apple-picking trip, we thought we should just press on.

Thankfully we did. Dr Tay gave a superb and appetite-whetting sharing on the history of our hawker food. Boy, we seriously felt that it was a terrific session, both informational and fun. He was both factual and humourous at the same time and at the end of his sharing, we felt really proud of being a Singaporean, with reference to our local food. Oh of course, I felt that I’m back home again, with all my fellowmen and uniquely Singapore Standard English floating in the air.

I think there indeed might come a day when some of our local food will face ‘extinction’ since the next generation of locals would not aspire to learn the trade from their parents, preferring more professional kind of work like bankers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Sure we could employ foreign workers to do the job but something is lost by doing so, I feel. 

I do feel a lot about food, especially after a year of learning to cook and bake in my own kitchen. It’s highly educational and fascinating and food forms a great part of our culture. Having said that, I really ought to continue to learn the craft from my mama and koko!

By the way, I think his book is worth buying if you want to know the history of our local food.


The {mis}adventures of apple picking

If you asked me to choose between visiting farms and theme parks, my answer would undoubtedly be the former. As an urbanite who grew up with all things man-made, I would much prefer to be with nature and learning how they come about. So when Ken bough the tickets for us to go for apple picking, I was thrilled!

The trip was organised by BC Graduate Student Association and cost $15/pax which includes 10 lb. apple picking bag, haywagon ride, hedge maze, a caramel apple, a cider donut and a 16 oz bottle of cider. Not a bad deal since the 45 min of transport is included too. Oh, something worth mentioning – we took the yellow school bus to Honey Pot Hill Orchards! All of us (BC students) were thrilled. Back to the past!

The weather was terrific for adventures such as this and everyone was in high spirits. Let’s go pick apples!

First stop is to refuel (though we had done nothing much in the morning!). Cider donuts and caramel apples! We went with Lana, a Malaysian and she is such a fun person to be with!

Then we went on to get ourselves lost in the hedge maze. The kids (human GPS) gave us some hint to get to our destination but some purposely gave us wrong directions! =p

I didn’t know there are so many different types of apples until today and when I googled it, I was amazed! MANY types! Some of those available in the orchards are Cortland, Spencer, Empire and Mcintosh, to name a few. Apparently, there is a way to pick apples.


The fruits of your labour is to eat the fruits that you picked.

Twin apples!

Ken, as usual, gets all excited when he talks about education.

And the clumsy Lynn has to get into trouble. A splinter got into her palm as she tried to ascend the ladder to pick more delicious-looking apples. Oops! Ken looked on in pain. But it’s my palm that’s hurt!

But apple picking has to go on!

Then we had a rest to enjoy the beautiful foliage and claim our bottles of cider!

Yummy drinks!

Our last activity would be to take the hayride. Of all things, I had to drop my Lumix camera into the muddy water. Sigh! Thankfully, it still works. =)

Oh! I really love apple-picking. No wonder the Americans themselves love it too and the locals who went with us were reminiscing their apple-picking days! Thank you, dear hubs for initiating this activity! I ❤ it very much!

The Finns

Some features of Finnish education and culture (Gamerman 2008):

– Parents of newborns receive government-paid packs of child-development materials that include books. Some libraries are attached to shopping malls. Book buses travel to remote towns so that everyone has access to books.

– Children do not start school until age seven.

– Finish students rarely do more than a half-hour of homework a night.

– There are no classes for the gifted. Much more emphasis is paid to those students who are behind grade level in reading.

– Finnish teachers have more freedom to design lessons to meet the needs of their students. One principal says, “In most countries, education feels like a car factory. In Finland, the teachers are entrepreneurs”.

Source: Readicide: How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it by Kelly Gallagher.