26 October 2006

Test Recipes and reports

LING PATISSERIE kicks off with ONE order from Postcard Teas owner Tim D'Offay. Tim has been very helpful and encouraging with the concept of LING PATISSERIE and it's during these difficult start-up times that you need to meet people like Tim. So friends and family, do go and "幫 稱" and buy my cakes and cookies!

Lots of things to do when you're setting up a business (or trying to do so) and I'm learning along the way.
  • Working in isolation is a new concept to me. Sometimes I do not speak to anyone for days (that's difficult - given MSN and email. IF you consider that as speaking) and that's new too.
  • Recipe testing and creations is not masak-masak. You bake you eat, you beg friends to take them off you. Sometimes you get annoyed when things do not turn out the way they should be.
  • You decide on 4-5 types of products, you have to start thinking of marketing them, creating labels, packaging, transport, the works.

  • You learn to do most things yourselves (why pay?) - Adobe Illustrator (bleed, trim marks dpi, ppi...wow!

I've posted some pictures of the recipes I've tested and some of the stuff I'm going to be selling.

Matcha Langues De Chat - these have been very popular. See the packaged result!

Matcha and Adzuki Bean mousse cake

Banana Bread - at the request of Tango! (I like banana bread too but just needed a feeble excuse to bake it)

17 October 2006

Acceptance and fantasies

I guess it's because my life had always been considered as plain-sailing, all-achieving, blessed and some say "glamourous" ( I beg to differ). I'm not going to deny that some of this is indeed somewhat true. But at the same time, there had been so many a times I went along with the flow, not knowing what I wanted, and somehow, with lots of blessing, did OKAY and relatively well in the very end.

Everything I hoped for and wanted since I was a kid, I got. Be it the grades, the school I wanted to go to, the Uni I attended, living in London, the handbags (well - most of them but I guess the more the merrier), the shoes (see before), the travel (S: when is the Paris foodies trip?) and everything most people can only dream to have.


Is it because I expect too much of myself, I try to conform to social norms, there are expectations(real and imagined) I believe I have to live up to?

Or has it come to a time of self-realisation that maybe, just sometimes, when things do not go the way that seems right or are not plain-sailing for me, when uncertainty creates fear, that this is all normal and part of life? AND GROWING UP?

I feel pressurised to make the "right" decision: WHAT DO I WANT? What is the life I really want to lead? To be happy? To be right?

Definitions of happiness and rightness change as we proceed on in life. Sometimes we are motivated by money, sometimes we're motivated by love. Or none at all! (that's status quo for me as I write/blog I meant).
That's the one that often coined as the mind and the body?
Sadly, reality rules it bites and it hurts.
Living in a time warp is safe and comforting; facing reality and the brutal society is harsh and painful. Do you keep a constant balance of both or do you slip in and out of these two states all at one go?

I think that's the question that needs to be answered.
Still lost and confused....
Ohm it: 可 欲 , 不 可 求

Do you practise yoga? If you're a yoga virgin like Tango you'll find the chanting of "OHMmmmmm" extremely relaxing (not!) and somewhat, shall we say - giggly..haha...In all honesty, throughout my numerous years of on-off yoga practise (I'm coming close to a decade!) the ohmming part of yoga sessions, deeply touched my heart in times of lost and bewilderedness and as some of you might know, I'm going through this phase in my life right now.

Ohm suddenly becomes relaxing, calming and all things nice.It is claimed it calms the mind, it increases mindspace, it serenes your soul! (we all know there are a lot of chemical substances out there that do it much better, but hey! we're going au naturale here!)

But how about ohming " 可 欲 , 不 可 求" ?I learnt this through my long-lost childhood friend G. We recently found each other (on cyberspace) in one of the horrendously long mass email lists and have since kept in contact. G shared some of her dad's words of wisdom with me. One that touched my heart was: We should treat relationships as " 可 欲 , 不 可 求" .可 欲 , 不 可 求 (for the benefit of you non-Chinese educated people out there) sums up THE life philosophy we should all adopt. It literally means : can be lust over but cannot be hoped for.

If we eradicated all the mental "criteria lists" we created and stopped hoping and waiting in anticipation for boxes to be ticked, I believe we will lead much happier lives. Afterall, it does seem like fate and timing play a big part in most relationships.The right place at the right time. It's all about timing.Hence, instead of hoping to serene your soul through chanting ohm, how about chanting the new mantra " 可 欲 , 不 可 求" at yoga class tomorrow?

06 October 2006

Heralding the end of Summer...

Summer has officially ended in London and Summer of 2006 was a very special one to me. Lots of changes in my life; old responsibilities relinquished, new ones taken on (which I had no idea were mine to take on), lots of new friends made, BBQs, festivals, K nights, leaving dos, new business ventures (imagined and in the making), trying to sell my flat, visitors (X, Keng, S, A and numerous others...), travelling (successful and failed attempts), email chains, Lucy Gao, new dreamland, disappointments, weddings! and a host of other things which will remain vividly in my memory for a long time to come.

Below are snippets of photos that have contributed to formulating these memories. Although some of these photos speak for themselves, photos are only a part of the memories. The long-lasting friendships made will be the true takeaways of this summer...