Monday, 28 March 2011

Spring Colors

Truly spring has arrived here, we've just tuned our clock to BST again. I'm also much or less out of hibernation mode to enjoy the fresh spring air, it's still a little chilly in the morning but it warm up quite quickly. As a keen gardener, March is a busy month, so much to do in the garden, from clearing out borders, flower beds, potting up, sowing seeds and etc. It is not all about doing this and that in the garden, always make time to rest and enjoy the blossom of early spring bulbs. :-)
After a hard day in the garden, how about enjoying a slice of banana cake and a cuppa. Yes... lovely indeed.
Banana Cake


  • 125gm butter

  • 125 gm sugar

  • 240 gm self raising flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 large very ripe bananas

  • a handful of walnut (roughly chopped)-optional

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a 2lb loaf tin with grease proof paper.

  2. Mash the banana with fork.

  3. Lightly beat the eggs with fork.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs slowly while continue on creaming.

  5. Mix in the mashed banana. Then add in the flour. Use a metal spoon and fold in.

  6. Then pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 30-40mins till cook.

Lovely winter pansy

Cherry Blossom

Cut flowers from my garden, white tulip and muscari
Cut flowers from my garden-fragance hyancinths

Sowing vegetable seeds

Blooming daffodils in my garden

Sowing flower seeds

Garden supervisor having a siesta again

Monday, 7 March 2011

Braised pork serve with rice

It's been quite cold this past few days, there were frosty mornings and cold evenings. But was pleasantly cool during day time. These were the transitional period between late winter into early spring. Last chance of making those comfort food for the cold evenings before warmer days set in, and put my Le Cruset cast iron pot to good use.

Braised Pork serve with rice
  • 600 gm pork belly-cut into 1 inch thick
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic-crushed
  • 1 inch of ginger-thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp of light soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp of dark soya sauce
  • 3 tbsp of shaoxing wine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8 dry mushroom -soaked till soft, discard stem
  1. Heat oil in the pot. Once hot, sweat garlic and ginger for a minute. Then throw in the pork belly and let it browned for 5minutes. Throw in the mushroom. Continue stirring.

  2. Then add in soya sauce, dark sauce, shaoxing wine, water and sugar. Bring to boil.

  3. Then lower the heat to minimum and close the heavy lid of the cast iron pot. Let it braised for 2hours. Stir once every hour.

  4. The meat should be tender and falvorful after 2 hours. I find that this dish taste better the next day when all the flavor is fully absorbed by the meat.
  5. Serve over rice.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend Japan Day at Kaetsu Centre in Cambridge. There were Japanese arts of display, calligraphy, chado session, martial art session, flower arrangement, origami, manga and of course Japanese food.