Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tekka market

It's always a vibrant and colourful sight around Tekka market in Little India

Banana flowers on the right and some form of plant shoot on the left.

Pomegranates (bottom) make a very popular drink in India and it contains anti-0xidant properties. Heard from a friend that pormegranate juice adds a nice zest to salads.

Every other Sunday, I would make trip to Tekka market for my beef and curry supplies. Love the colourful sights and sounds all around. Just outside the market are stalls selling onions by the sacks and different kinds of egg plants for curries. Also saw some vegetables that got me curious. They appear to be big plant shoots of some kind while the other looks like huge flower blossoms from the banana tree. Wonder what sort of India dishes these vegetables make. I remember coming across a Nyoya receipe called Sambal Jantung Pisang which means Banana Blossom with Chilli Paste but am less familiar with Indian dishes except for my favourite fish head curry.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers ! No one knows what a mother goes through until you actually become one. Here's a little book in my collection called Mothers Please ! One Hundred poems for every mother. It celebrates motherhood in all its forms, from traditional ballads to works by poets great and little-known.

The Singing Kettle and the Purring Cat by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The singing kettle and the purring cat,

The gentle breathing of the cradled babe

The silence of the mother's love-bright eye

The tender smile answering its smile of sleep

To My Mother by George Barker

Most near, most dear, most loved and most fat,

Under the window where I often find her

Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,

Gin and chicken helpless in her Iris hand,

Irresistible as Rabelais, but most tender for the lame dogs and hurt birds that surround her

She is like a procession no one can follow after

Be it like a little dog following a brass band

Mary, Mary by Roald Dahl

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow ?

I live with my brat in a high-rise flat,

So how in the world would I know.

Vintage English teapots

I love English teapots especially floral ones but a monchrome black and white one caught my eye while flea marketing. At the base, it says "Handpainted Monarh England". What I like about it - it is a big fat teapot which can hold up to eight cups of tea, most convenient when friends visit. Tea is my favourite time of the day during weekends and as a child, I remember accompanying my mum on a house visit to her Eurasian friend. At precisely 4 o'clock, out came a golden little tea cart filled with cream cakes, scones and a beautiful tea set. I remember being completely enarmoured and pestered my mum to get one too but nothing came out of that. My husband loves tea time too but in a completely different way. He makes tea out of stainless steel mugs and even "tariks" (pulls) the tea by successive pouring from one container to the other to get a nice creamy foam, just like how Indian drink stall owners do it. I have offered him a beautiful tea pot to fill with tea but he prefers his good, o'le plain container. I can't complain cos he does make the nicest tea. Only when my friends visit do I pull out one of my many tea pots which just sits there in the display cupboard.

Vintage 70's Chinese cups

Vintage Chinese cups featuring children at play are quite a hoot. People who grew up in the 70's will remember such cups. I found ten cups of the same whimsical design and couldn't help buying them as they were made of fine porcelain and were still in good condition. A sweet little Chinese girl is seen giving her doll a bath and her pet monkey wearing slippers and Chinese style short pants comes up to her offering a brush. The contrast of the sweet little girl and the funny little monkey puts a smile on my face.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chinese notebooks

A friend of mine has just come back from a holiday in China and gave me a little Chinese notebook as a souvenir. I chose the little sweet girl above cleaning her face with my favourite Chinese "Good morning" towel that was very popular back then and still is today among Chinese communities around the world. The notebooks were done in the art style prevalent during the Chinese cultural revolution (1966-1976) which featured drawings of mainly farmers, soldiers, factory workers pledging allegiance to Chairman Mao and his little Red Book. Not sure if these drawings were originally from that era or were drawn today to emulate the art style of the cultural revolution but they certainly had that distinctive retro Chinese look.