Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bright, shiny and new

The reopening of an old mall has inextricable tied me to my neighbourhood once and for all. The crappy old mall from long ago has had a major facelift and it's back in business looking sharp, bright and shiny, and boasting some big retail names as tenants.

With all my material needs easily taken care of just a short distance from my own doorstep, there is no more need for me to go gallivanting any further. Hung out there already, twice in two days, and it has been an effort to not buy any more stuff (especially from the electronics haven on the ground floor!) than just a quick meal. Just because things are available doesn't mean I have to get it all now, right?

Yes. Life in the North...

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Arts House wedding

Congrats, Yee! Attended his wedding at the Arts House this afternoon. It was a very pleasant, easy-going service led mostly by Yee himself before he relinquished the microphone to a good-natured JP who presided over the legal formalities. Each of his guests received a personalized gift for attending based on his impressions of us or what he could recall of us. For instance, I received ice-cream vouchers due to a couple of escapades with him at Haagen-Dazs, and June got a pretty egg-shaped music-box (no, not a Faberge, quit drooling) because he remembered she likes music boxes. Yee knows how to put his personal touch to events he organizes. Would have loved to stay and hang out longer, but there was a turkey in the fridge that needed roasting.

Haven't done a Christmas thing at our place for a long time, so now that we've got our new digs, there was every reason to play host again. June wore the chef's hat tonight. She has the recipe for the roast turkey and ham nailed down, but she's been experimenting all week to discover the secret of a good pumpkin soup. With me as guinea pig, we ascertained a couple of key factors: it has to be butternut pumpkin (ours came from Mustafa, cheap and good), and it needs a sprinkle of powdered nutmeg and hand-squeezed OJ to take the edge off. There's still some in the fridge, along with the turkey leftovers. Guess what we're having for dinner tomorrow night?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas. Wet. Dream.

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas
Just like the ones in Singapore.
Where umbrellas mushroom
and thunder goes, "boom,"
As the Mon-soon visits us once more

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas
With every pressie that I buy
May our dollar maintain as high
Though the forecasts say it's gonna fry.

(with apologies to Irving Berlin)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Early Christmas at Porta Porta

The Days of Feasting have begun! June and I are celebrating the season early at Porta Porta, a quaint little Italian eatery roughly opposite Changi Prison, if you are looking for directions. I haven't been here in years, but the place is as charming as I remember -- an oasis of old-time Euro tucked away in this odd out-of-the-way location.

Mussels are turning out to be our favourite starter! Here we have a deep dish of mussels in red sauce. Must say, the sauce packs a lot of body, a good thing to counter the mussels which were a little on the chewy side.

June went conservative with her usual spaghetti vongole. I was craving MEAT and the leg of lamb did not disappoint: boneless and all-lean, yet so tender, just so faintly pink and juicy. It came with a side of eggplant which I do not like, generally, but somehow I can stomach it if it's done Mediterranean style. Don't ask why.

All that and a bowl of minnestrone came up to a hair over $50 per person. Not too bad considering we're celebrating Christmas for two. Mass gorging with family commences tomorrow!