For the longest time ever, I have been searching for an accurate mango pudding recipe. For those of you from abroad, mango pudding is a delicious chinese dessert that combines the refreshing sweetness of mango with a smooth and creamy pudding texture. It is my ultimate favorite Chinese dessert but not many Chinese restaurants do it well. The best I’ve eaten is from Honeymoon Dessert Cafe in Singapore and this recipe approximates that texture and taste.
Before I first went to Hawaii, I searched the web hoping to find an accurate recipe that I could use whilst I was there so that I could get my regular fix. Unfortunately, my many failed attempts were bad enough to require a vow of silence from my various kitchen helpers.
I thought it was a lost cause but as fate would have it, the holy grail was nearer to home than I expected. The other day whilst mulling around with Mel, she suddenly mentioned that her friend’s mother made the most awesome mango pudding. Through this unlikely connection, I managed to get this pudding recipe. it didn’t look like much, a handwritten recipe scanned into pdf form, written in the most unreadable handwriting ever that took careful deciphering, in difficult measurements that took forever with the weight scale. But the pudding was perfect.
As school draws to a close, more friends have emerged from the woodwork and I ran into a number of them in the past week. Conversations always go along the lines of… hey, you’re graduating? oh have you found a job yet? oh you’re going overseas to study, why? etc…
When I explain to them the key motivation for my life changing decision… the response is inevitably one of the two: Wow, you’re insane. OR Wow, you’re so brave.
You know what? I don’t feel brave. I don’t feel smart or able or courageous or anything. I am completely and utterly terrified. I am so scared that I have trouble sleeping at night and my dreams are filled with worst case scenarios and reminders of everything that I am giving up in this pursuit for happiness.
Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It means standing firm in the face of complete and utter terror.
Don’t tell me how crazy I am about my decision and how much I stand to lose if things don’t work out the way I plan. I know. I know better than any of you. I am not a naive little red riding hood, frolicking merrily in the woods. I am well aware of the emotional and physical risk that I am placing myself in. How could I not?
But I really do want this to work out and I refuse to live my life regretting what could have been if I’d not been such a wuss and succumbed to my fears. And I will have faith and believe that somehow, we will be able to overcome these odds.
Today I was lying on my bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling (procrastinating) and thinking, “Why do things in life have to be so difficult?”
Conventional wisdom has it that if everything in life was easy and happy, we would never know satisfaction because we never had to work for our success. But is that really true? I don’t see many billionaire offsprings declaring that their wealth is not bringing them satisfaction and giving it all away so that they can enjoy the “process”… In fact, they seem pretty darn happy to me.
If I could achieve success without much work, I will be equally satisfied than if I had worked my ass off. Maybe even more because it cost me less heartbreak and effort. (i’d be like, “In yo face! A+ from studying the night before!” ) I am a firm subscriber to the belief: Work smart, not hard.
Saving time gives you more time to spend on those important to you.
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The best advice that I’ve ever been given came from an ex-boss. I was a bit younger then, and definitely a lot more immature. One day as I was sharing with her my doubts and fears, she asked me, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Nobody learns how to ride a bike by being afraid of falling. Great things would never be accomplished if people were afraid of failing. I once knew a man who was shortlisted for a prestigious job and invited for an interview. He never showed up for the interview because he was afraid of being rejected. It sounds stupid put like that, but how many of us turn down opportunities because we’re afraid of failure? It is always easier to stay in your comfort zone and not venture out to pursue your dreams. Many rationalize this fear by deciding that their dreams are not worth the risk. ‘Why should I leave this cushy job? I only think that I will be happier there, what if I’m not? What if I fail? I end up with less than I have now…’
All great things come with their risks. Great businessmen never rose to where they are by being afraid to take that critical step. Sure there are failures and sure there is always a big possibility that you will fall. But really, what is the worst that can happen?
Of late the voices in my head have been getting louder.
I don’t mean the crazy ones that tell me that hot water from the bathroom sink is hot enough to cook instant cup noodles with (ah the joys of a dorm room). Or the violent ones that try and convince me to punch annoying people in the face for the betterment of humanity.
I mean, the bitchy ones that have a smart ass comment for every situation. I suspect it might be because the bitchy side of me has finally found acceptance over here in Hawaii, where I can say what I think (most of the time) without being judged. But then again, there are still comments that I can’t say out loud as I think them…
To the girl walking through the CO-ED dorm dressed in her underwear: All your clothes in the wash sweetie?
Damn, I would love to say that out loud to her one day. Some day chun, some day.
Before you think too badly of me, let’s get back on task.
If you live in Honolulu, go and eat in Tango Market. Try their duck confit with risotto cakes, you won’t regret it. It’s about 15 bucks before taxes and tip but damn it’s worth it. Here’s the address because i’m nice that way.
1200 Ala Moana
Bldg 6 Ste 601
Honolulu, HI 96814
and a photograph of the food you can expect, because this is a food blog after all.
This is take 2 of my yuzu cupcake series! If you haven’t seen take 1, you should definitely go and check it out!
Anyway, as I mentioned during take 1 yuzu, I wanted to experiment around with the cupcake base, this is the result of it! I think that the slightly bitter taste of the matcha powder goes better with the yuzu. It’s so exotically Japanese that I want to squeal and decorate it with sakura blossoms and stuff… *squeals*
This cupcake is not meant for people whose idea of matcha is heaven and earth jasmine green tea. That is not matcha. Matcha is more grassy(?) than that.
Pictured below: Grassy cupcake.