Friday, 26 December 2014

How I Spent My Christmas


I don't celebrate Christmas, hence the lack of frantic preparations and festivities. All that I looked forwards to is spending the day at home. I am one of those terribly boring people who does not like to go out. I am happy hanging around at home in my tee shirt and sarong watching exercise videos while munching on keropok or cookies. I'm pretty low maintenance and my partner does not have to worry about taking me on exotic getaways or think of ways to keep me amused during the holiday season. So what did I do on Christmas day?


Let's see. I woke up early. My schedule runs as usual with military precision. But it was Christmas, and I decided to go free and easy. Instead of watching exercise videos, I decided to become proactive. My day started with these :



But after 2 lifts, I decided that they were too heavy.



Each of of these blue babies weigh 3.5kgs which is 7.7lbs. Then I switched to these pink ones :



These were way better. At 1.5kgs each which is 3lbs, it was manageable.



After a couple of heaves and some huffing and puffing, I got distracted. By thoughts of the 2 pumpkin halves in the fridge. Why am I thinking of the pumpkins? It must be because of Realgunners' Pumpkin Pie. I had planned on making pumpkin puree to freeze so that I can bake with pumpkin anytime I want. So I went to the kitchen and took the pumpkins out to stand to room temperature. I was going to roast them later.

And then I thought of lunch. What was I going to eat? (It was 5:00am by the way). I knew there were 2 chicken legs in the freezer and a head of broccoli in the fridge. That's it! Lunch settled. 

Next, I had to bake something. Anything. I shall not talk too much about the cake because I will be blogging about it. Here's a sneak preview of my cake.



But before I baked my cake, I had to settle the pumpkins. Off they went into the oven. I clearly remembered that my last pumpkin was perfectly roasted at 160C for 35-40 minutes. While they were in the oven, I decided that I wanted to make cookie batter. No, I wasn't going to bake cookies but I wanted to freeze the batter for future use. Since I had lots of time today, why not prepare tomorrow's cookie dough today? So I took the butter out to make brown butter. You want to know how to make brown butter? Just in case you don't already know, here's how :


Put butter into heatproof container and melt the butter at medium heat.

Keep stirring till butter melts completely.

The butter will start to foam. Keep stirring.

Then it will boil vigorously. Keep stirring, The butter solids will start to brown at the bottom.

Once browned, take off the heat and pour into another container to prevent burning.

While all that was going on, I forgot to check on my pumpkins. I overbaked them! The flesh was all mushy and watery and I was upset. That's the problem with me. I try to overachieve on my days off. But I thought of a solution. Drain the water off using a strainer like so :



I left the pumpkin puree to stand for more than an hour until most of the fluids drained off. This is how messy my dining table was.



See my kitchen scale? I bought it at Tesco a few years ago for RM15.00 only. It has served me well.



I packed the pumpkin puree into airtight glass containers at 100g/200g each and stashed them into the freezer. 



All this time, my cookie dough was chilling in the fridge for easier handling. Once I was done with the pumpkin, I took the cookie dough out of the fridge and divided it into two portions.

Then these two mini torpedoes were wrapped in cling film and put into a bag and safely stashed into the freezer. When I get a snack attack, all I need to do is thaw the cookie dough and bake. Convenient, huh?



By this time I was very hungry. My chicken legs were already defrosted and the broccoli washed and drained. After all the work I did above, I did not want to cook anything that took too much time. That's when I drew some inspiration from Lazy Man



I decided to bake the chicken legs with broccoli and one green pepper from my garden. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and I did not forget the lemon juice. 



That wasn't quite enough and I topped up my meal with some salad greens.



I made some dressing for the salad.



It was a simple meal but an enjoyable one. 



After that I had a slice of cake. OK, two.



Then I felt guilty. I had to burn off the carbs. So I went to clean the bathroom. If there is one thing I cannot stand besides dirty floors is a dirty bathroom. The cleaning was very therapeutic. I enjoy housework. I know, I am crazy. After dinner (I ate the same thing, I can eat the same thing for lunch and dinner) I had a good bath and had a relaxing time reading this book, laughing all the way through. It's hilarious.



I finished it in 2 hours but 3/4 of the way through I realised an anomaly in my copy of the book. Pages 137-152 are repeated and pages 153 to 166 are missing! This copy must have slipped quality control before it left the printers. Can anyone who has this book verify?


And that's it. My very ordinary but very relaxing and joyful Christmas. It's back to work the next day but that's fine because today is Friday! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas too :)


52 comments:

  1. wow!! indeed a very happening Christmas you had yesterday!! haha.. I like how frank and how true you are to yourself.. come on, I don't have to force what I don't really like right?? it's Christmas and I should be free to do something I really like right?? hehe.. so it's okay to ditch away your d dumbbells and then move on to baking and cooking, this festive deserve yourself a little celebration with good food!! haha..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SK, I was so happy yesterday doing what I love. I was so relaxed and at peace with myself. I'm looking forwards to the New Year holiday to do the same thing :)

      Delete
  2. okay, let's filter out the baby blue and striking pink dumbbells!! so we have lots of goodies.. pumpkin pie and roast chicken with brocolli ala LazyGunners, cookies (did you bake it in the end??) and also salad with (seemed to look) refreshing dressing!! you've actually got a nice meal on Christmas Day!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I did not bake a pumpkin pie that day. Only prepared the pumpkins puree. I also did not bake the cookies. The dough is still in the freezer. And yes, I had a simple but very nice meal on Christmas day!

      Delete
  3. We had roast chicken and salad too for our dinner and a lot of other things as well. Watch out for the blogpost...coming soon. Hmmmm...same title as RealGunners' post today. Great minds think alike... Hehehehehe!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roast chicken and salad is always good! Can't wait to see what you ate on Christmas day :)

      Delete
  4. I was giggling away while reading your post saying...."watching exercise videos while munching keropok".... bagus lah Phong Hong! Do watch more exercise videos and hope you will slim down more...just joking ah! Happy Holidays to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mel, I like to watch exercise but not do exercise hee..hee... Happy holidays to you too!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Why? You want to exercise with me? hee..hee..

      Delete
  6. Your chicken has a bit more colour than Lazy Man's (probably because there's more fat since you had the skin on) and I like that there's a lot of freshly ground coarse black pepper ;)

    As for the missing pages in your book...that has happened to me before too (in book 1). The only solution is to take the book back to where you bought it and have it exchanged for a new copy (but this would be a bit more cumbersome for you since this was bought by RG in Penang...maybe you can try to convince the same bookstore here to exchange it for you). Glad to have recommended you a book that you found hilarious :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed the book so much that I just had to finish it in one sitting! I laughed after every story but there were one or two that made me sad. I have ordered book 1 and 3 from mphonline. Still has not arrived yet.

      Delete
    2. Wow....you really like his books.
      Even without a receipt, I think you can still call/write to Borders and ask for an exchange (as the sticker at the back of the book is proof that it was bought from Borders). I'm sure you can get a replacement coz its a printing error.

      Delete
  7. Hi Phong Hong, Merry Christmas to you and family. Wow, holiday also so kut lat keep yourself busy whole day doing one thing after another. LOL But you're a very organized person, good for you. I had the same dumbbell as yours too. Usually I do 6 sets, each set 24 times. :))

    That's a nice and delicious baked chicken with broccoli. Simple and finger licking good.
    Have a nice day,
    Amelia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, you are a lot stronger than me! So sure got muscles hee..hee.. Have a nice weekend!

      Delete
  8. Happy 2015 and I hope you get to make lots more yummy meals and treats.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like you had a very productive Christmas day. Hehe we spent all day eating yesterday :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yen, looks like I did! Yes,I saw what you ate hah..hah...

      Delete
  10. Phong Hong, you have a splendid Christmas. You did what you enjoy. You ate what you like. So good for you. Your Christmas lunch and dinner look terrific for me, especially that 2 pieces of cakes. Smart you! Prepare cookies batter a head. I must learn this from you.
    You are so hardworking in cooking, I am just plain lazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yannie! When it comes to eating I am very hard working hee..hee..

      Delete
  11. Watch exercise video while eating keropok hahahaha! Super!!
    Oh dear, I don't think I even have the receipt with me anymore, and I need to check my book too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RG, I mentioned this to Boey and he confirmed that it happens. contact.ewew also experienced this with her book. Better check yours!

      Delete
  12. Hello Phong Hong.. Am late today.. Wah you did a lot of stuffs wor during Christmas.. Wana know mine? Went to Midvalley in the morning, had brunch there, went home before noon.. Then dinner tai chau.. I'm a very boring person.. To me Christmas is just another ordinary day, another public holiday jek.. Mum always says: Got money, everyday is Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louiz! Yeah, I did a lot of things yesterday. Macam tak puas but have to come back to work today. Christmas is also an ordinary day for me. Now I am looking forwards to new year day hee..hee..

      Delete
  13. I was giggling too while making mental comparisons with RealGunner's disaster pumpkin pie. Your day was well spent with lovely dishes complete with exercise!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TM, I had a very fruitful day and to be repeated come new year's day!

      Delete
  14. nPH, your Christmas day is very productive...the way you write your posts are very enlightening... Full of joy! I was scrolling and reading and expecting a pumpkin pie somewhere... Hahaha...so in the end, it has gone to the freezer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claire, no pumpkin pie yet hah..hah... I only prepared the pumpkin puree for future use :)

      Delete
  15. Hi Phong Hong, your off day schedule is quite similar to mine but I didn't eat as ho liao as you. Sometimes I ta pau some food that can be reheated before meal time or hop to my neighbour's place for lunch. She always cook extra. Anytime you drop by, her first words are 'Go eat something from the kitchen' or she will quickly scoop a bowl of dessert for me. Isn't she a nice lady? Honestly, more caring than my mum or close relations [they never do that when I'm at their place]. Anyway, this Christmas is a day that brings back sad memories. Remember last year this day, I lost my dear youngest brother on Christmas morning even before I join my friends for Christmas celebration. This Christmas, I spent the day like you, in the house and doing lots of housework to keep the sad memories to the minimum. I spent 5 days at my MIL's place during Tung Chih to clean up her place and cooked for her. We had a good time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! Your neighbour is so warm and hospitable, lucky you! Yes, I do remember that you lost your beloved brother, Roddy on Christmas day last year. Christmas would always be a sad reminder for you and I honestly feel that the pain from the loss of one so loved would never go away. I am really sorry for you. But do remember the happy times you had with him and that he is now in a better place. You are an excellent daughter-in-law and your mother-in-law is very fortunate to have you. I am glad you had a productive and well spent 5 days with her.

      Delete
  16. Phong Hong,
    I can't stop laughing ... you "watch exercise video while eating keropok" ... just like I sometimes watch slimming diet food programmes but munching french fries ! Ha ha !
    Anyway, as usual your roast chicken with broccoli is yummy-licious.
    Glad that you've enjoyed the holiday ^-^!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen! Now you know why I can't slim down hah..hah...

      Delete
  17. I don't celebrate Christmas, so it was just an ordinary day for me ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Hayley! But I got more time to do my ordinary things :)

      Delete
  18. What is brown butter for? What time did you wake up? So early at 5am you have done so many things. Since you ate both chicken legs, what did your partner eat? Sorry too many questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mun, you are very curious hah..hah... Brown butter is for the cookie dough. It gives better flavour and aroma to the cookies. I woke up at 4am. My partner had to work that day, so he arranged his own food :)

      Delete
  19. We had a relaxing Christmas too! Happy New Year from Carole's Chatter

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow! Phong Hong, you did so many things in one day. Very interesting day, I love your meal with broccoli. You achieved so much in one day. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy! I enjoyed my Christmas so much :D

      Delete
  21. Wah!

    Orang angkat berat! Power! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lina, after less than 10 lifts dah surrender :( hee..hee...

      Delete
  22. Hahha. .... I know you must be baking during Christmas. Anyway, you also try to tone your muscles it seems. Well done, keep it up. Anyway , better do it at a gym if possible. You will be more motivated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris! No lah, gym is not for me hee..hee....

      Delete
  23. You are not crazy, I enjoy houseworks too, one day I never do houseworks I will feel something is missing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Libby, thank God I am not the only one like that!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...