Friday, September 13, 2013

Swedelicious!!!

 I found myself in The Star today... You can check me out HERE...


On a bright, sunny Thursday, after 2 trains, I finally arrived at the posh-est place in town! Can you guess where I am? Hint: Instead of the usual G, 1,2,3 Floors, their floors are called ADORN, MUSE, etc.. If you still can't guess it, I'm at Starhill Gallery and even though I'm very familiar with this place, I've never really noticed Starhill Culinary Studio at the topmost floor. Just the name, got me really curious, is it a restaurant? or a studio? or what? 


I was here to attend the Press Conference on Sweden; A Great Food Nation. Over the past few months, my department, Department of Creative Media, has been developing an app for the Swedish Embassy and we're one of the proud sponsor of this event, besides the Swedish Electrolux. 

What caught my eye about this press conference was, "I'm to cook and eat my own food". I've been to numerous press conferences back then, representing The Star (THE Newspaper!) and I've never had to cook my own food before! I had a problem because I don't cook and I don't know how to cook, let alone, Swedish cuisine!

For the record, I'm not developing the app, rather, I'm doing the research so that my colleagues can develop the app and I must say that, they did an amazing job! I cannot wait for you guys to play it!


It wasn't only me that didn't know how to cook, a lot of the media didn't know how to cook, but thank God, we had Swedish Chef Michael Elfwing to give us a step-by-step guide on how to cook each dish! We were separated into 3 different groups; 1) Halibut Lasagna 2) Corned Beef with Root Vegetables 3) Butter Cake with Elderflower and Rhubarb. 


This is me, marinating the pieces of Halibut in lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and parsley. See! I'm actually working! This picture was taken by El Zee. I think that he managed to capture my happiness digging my "paws" into the Halibut and tossing it around the lemons and herbs!!


I was in the Halibut Lasagna team together with Calvin (Tatler), I cannot remember her name, H.E. The Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia and with Chef Michael! This lovely picture was also taken by El Zee. This shows off our Swedish patriotism! Hahaha! 


I decided to jump into this picture of the Dessert Team because, I like to photobomb and I didn't think that photobombing was appropriate during such fancy event! This picture was also taken by El Zee. Didn't the pictures turned out great?!


This was the finished product of our lasagna. After lots of stacking and assembling, this was the end product, Halibut Lasagna for 25 people! This picture was also taken by El Zee... Looks delicious and most importantly, reflects all the effort that our team put in.


After cooking, we were treated to our own food as well as to sample the food from the other groups. Our lasagna needed lots of Salt & Pepper to bring out the flavour. I didn't eat the Beef and the Cake was too hard. The sauce was delicious but the cake was a tad too hard!


We had a photo graph session with Chef Michael, Celebrity and Actress, Ms. Lavin Seow and the Ambassador, H.E. Bengt G. Carlsson. 


This was what I got in the goodie bag! I got to keep the apron that I cooked in and a Swedish cookbook, Swedish CD and a Badge! I'm loving all my goodies! 

Overall, I had fun, or rather, too much fun! I liked the people and I enjoyed their company and I would like to say a huge, big, thank you to the team at Starhill Culinary Studio, especially to Paula Conway and Mel Anselm for showing me such immaculate hospitality during my short visit. 

I would like to say thank you to the Swedish Embassy for a great, surprising event, it is truly reflected on the Swedish food and culture for being totally unique. 

Till the next time! 

If you want to see more pictures of the event, do check El Zee FACEBOOK for all the pictures! And while you're at it, do check out his BLOG!

I had a truly, wonderful experience and I met many wonderful people. Thank you to everyone! :)

~you know I cook~
Michelle May
xoox

Friday, September 06, 2013

RIP Patrick

Being a vet (asst) since 2010 all the way to 2013, I thought that I would be immune to death. Being in a clinic, you know that Death is lingering. You can see Death, you smell Death and you hear Death, on a daily basis. I remembered assisting in my first Euthanasia. A really old dog that belonged to an equally old Indian couple. The dog could barely move and was just lying there with pleading brown eyes, clearly, in excruciating pain and after a grim diagnosis, they decided to PTS (Put To Sleep) 

The dog was whimpering, because it hurts when he breathes and he was breathing so rapidly and he was just an ordinary, local black dog. He was about 16 years old. As my doctor prepared the injection, the owners were crying and the dog seemed to know that it's for the best and the animals normally last long enough until they're certain that their owners are able to let them go. 

He didn't need much restraining and he didn't put up a fight, he was OK. He seems to understand and seconds within the administration of the injection, he "released"everything and he finally looked peaceful. He was just lying there, looking so peaceful. I cried with the owners.

I've learnt that animals are here just to teach us lessons or help us through certain things in our lives, the most memorable quote about pets, I would like to quote Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)," A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because, they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Souls mates, they come into your live just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you, your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master..."

Well, because of this, as much as I love them, I try to distance myself from them. At the clinic, we have a British Shorthair, extremely in love with women's breasts and his name was Jojo. Brown cat, extremely lovely cat and I made a mistake by getting too attached to him. I was in Australia when he died of Renal Failure and I cried. I cried so bad. Even though he wasn't mine. I mean, I spend up to 12 hours at the clinic and I got really attached to our animals. 

After that, I thought that I'm immune to Death. Death doesn't scare me anymore. I learnt how to embrace Death. Until Death came knocking at my house, and took Patrick. Who is Patrick? 





This sweet little Guinea Pig is Patrick. The epitome of Guinea Pigs, He was so gentle, loving and kind to the point that he gets bullied by his wife and son. He's the type that would let other Guinea Pigs eat before eating their leftovers. He's the type that likes sleeping on my chest as we watch TV every evening, lying down as I stroke him and he loves it when you rub his ears and gently stroke his nose. He will close his eyes and enjoy your touch. 

He's extremely smart and the only Guinea Pig that knows his name and comes when he's called. Whenever I come home, I call "Pat-rick!" and he will start looking for me and comes to the corner of the cage and pokes his little nose out. He was fat and round and fathered 5 little piggies of his own and he was a whopping 1.2 kgs. 

Last Sunday, I was so worried, he was so thin and frail, but he was eating. I suspected he was sick so, I gave him a check, most Guinea Pigs are prone to over grown teeth and they won't be able to eat and lose weight and when I checked, everything seems OK. He was happily munching lettuce and cucumbers and when I got home on Wednesday, he was barely moving. 

It was then, I "diagnose" him with an infection because Mimi, his wife, is in the same cage as him. I decided to take him to the vet on Thursday morning before my class, I arrived at my office and got the call that he passed away. 

I cried the whole day after that and I'm writing this on Friday and I'm still crying. I miss Patrick. I feel so down and I hate myself. I keep reading about Patrick HEREHEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE

As you can see, He was my favourite because he's the nicest. Mimi and Easter will nip your fingers and they're very crazy. Patrick is more trusting and when I trim his nails or bathe him, he trusts me and he's very relaxed, unlike the other 2 pigs that thinks I'm going to drown them or cut their paws off! 

I hope that he's OK and enjoying himself in Heaven, eating all the hay in the meadows and playing with other piggies, wheeking happily. I miss you so much. 


Patrick, I love you. 


I never stopped loving you and I never will.