Wednesday, May 29, 2013

K's Point of View: Talking to Ants

We always have a lot of black ants at home. I always wonder how they get in. Drop a speck of rice or bread on the floor and boom, in a matter of seconds, it is swarming with ants. How do they get there? They would have entered through some door, and we should have seen them march in, right? Anyway, black ants are supposed to be signs that some money is coming soon (even Michelle of MyMomFriday says so!), so we welcome them. Yes, we welcome them, but only if they come in pairs. Otherwise, we wipe them all up with a wet towel. (Sorry, ant-lovers).

Recently, we had this episode of ants on the floor again. It was K who spotted them. We counted... 1-2-3-4.... Ooops, too many. Hence, off husband goes for a wet rag. K takes it upon herself to warn them.

K: Hi ants!

Ants: Hi K! (i'm sure they replied, who can resist a cute four year old?)

K: Wait there, okay? Papa went to get a wet towel.

Ants: Wet towel for...?

K: He's going to wipe you.

Ants: (looks scared)

K: Don't worry, it will feel just like you're taking a bath.

She did warn them, didn't she? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Preschool Congress at The Medical City

I chanced upon this post from the Medical City on Facebook last Friday. It sounds like a really interesting seminar, and will really help a lot of parents out there who are at a crossroad about their kids educations. My husband and I have had to decide recently about whether to let our eldest stay at her current pre-school or whether we should send her to big school already. This literally took us 6months (although admittedly, we did a lot of procrastinating). It was definitely one of the toughest decisions we've had to make as a couple. We also had to decide whether to send our almost two year old to preschool or not. There were too many "what if" questions that kept popping up. We also knew very little about preschool education, or for that matter, education in general. Since both my kids are not yet 5, I am really interested in attending this seminar. I hope I can free up my schedule to go. Too bad we can't avail of the discount anymore. Still, 700 pesos is not so bad if your child's future is at stake right?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seeing the World: Kinkakuji, Kyoto

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

This photo was taken by me, on my iPhone. I love it because it feels like I was the only one there at that time, basking in the quiet dignity of the Golden Pavilion. In reality, there were about 100 or so tourists there, all timing when they can jump into the view for their own souvenir "i've been here" shot.
I've seen pictures of Kinkakuji while I was researching online for our trip. They all look like this - and I always thought that it's because they were professional photographers, who could have the place booked to themselves.
This is what makes Kyoto beautiful - the temples, the gardens, the trees and the greenery all stand in their full, regal glory, oblivious to the people in awe of them.

Read about Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I cooked: Creamy Sweet Potato and Corn Soup

In Osaka, we discovered Soup Stock. They sell different types of soup, ready to drink and frozen too. It was quite a good find as they offered some very rich soup like hokkaido pumpkin soup, which was good enough to serve as a meal for my toddler S. We also got to try their Sweet Potato and Corn soup when they gave us a free taste at the Takashimaya foodhall. I personally love sweet corn, so it was big hit for me. K, my picky eater, also loved the soup. We went back to buy full servings, but that flavor had run out! I then resolved to try to make it when we get back to Manila.

So, here's my own version of Creamy Sweet Potato and Corn soup. As I'm more of an "invent your way into it" type of cook - I only have estimated measurements. I hope that you will be inspired to use this as a base for your own version! 

You will need, 1 medium sized sweet potato (we always get the ones that are orange inside),1 can of whole kernel corn (though creamed corn sounds like a good thing too, right?), 1 white onion, a few stalks of celery (we had this in the pantry, so I threw it in, but it really is optional!), 3/4 liters of chicken stock, and a cup of milk.

Chop the peeled sweet potato, onion and celery into small sized cubes.  To soften the sweet potato, I personally like to roast them by sealing them into a packet of foil and popping them into the oven toaster for about 15-20 minutes. It is my belief that doing this seals in all the nice nutrients of the sweet potato. You can opt to steam or boil if you like. 

Now here come's the one pot part. Saute white onion in oil until they are semi transparent (or you can smell them, then throw in the celery (1). After about 1 minute, pour in your chopped sweet potatoes (2). Keep stirring then pour in the can of corn (3).

My Craft

You can pour in the soup stock anytime after that, then slowly trickle in the cup of milk while stirring continuously (4). Leave the pot to boil for 15-20 more minutes to further soften the vegetables. Once the vegetables are soft, let the soup cool to room temperature, then blend into a soft, creamy consistency (5).

My Craft

I was pleasantly surprised by the result, the vegetables made the soup thick and frothy. Put it in a small shooter cup and it can be one of those "cappucino" style soups served in French restaurants (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but it WAS good.)  Tip: if you are making this for a baby, run it through a strainer after blending to remove the stringy bits from the celery and the corn.

Hope this makes it to your dinner table soon, and do let me know if you liked it as much as we did!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

K's Point of View: Quiet Bunnies and Bionic Sheep

Her current favorite animal...
The other night, my now four year old daughter started asking me some very mind boggling questions. I gave them my best shot - why don't you give them a try?

K: Mommy, how come rabbits don't talk?
Me: Don't talk? What do you mean?
K: You know, like "meeeehhh" or "aaaaw aaaaw" or "meow"?
Me: Oh. Of course they talk, they are just very quiet. They make a sound like this "pffft, pffft..." (Okay - you tell me, what sound do rabbits make?!)
K: But why are they so quiet ?
Me: God made them quiet. If they were noisy, they would be too easy to catch. They'd be eaten by lions all the time. (Yes, isn't that how it is in the deep dark woods?)


But wait, it does not end there.

K: Mommy, you know, sheep eats the grass on the ground, but that's dirty. Won't they get owwie stomach?
Me: Their stomachs are strong.
K: Why? We're not supposed to eat dirt you know.
Me: I know but we are human beings. Animals are different. They have a way to filter out the dirt before the grass goes into their stomachs.

My science teacher would have been proud of  me.