Start-Up Snob

Apparently, since I started working this month, I’ve not only my ability to type normally on my macbook, with the regular international keyboard (I work on a German keyboard at work), I’ve also grown really fond with the start-up culture, and thereby becoming a snob.

My previous full-time employment was at a large company with over 15,000 employees worldwide, with a brand name everybody knows. My current company is officially about 2.5 years old and is projected to break even this summer. It’s very strange, very amusing but very fascinating. I thoroughly enjoy seeing increasing success just within these three weeks of being there!

H works at a huge company, so they have a budget for everything. While currently enjoying his two weeks off from accumulated overtime (Start-uppers be laughing at this), he told me about his dinner event with his department that would take place tonight.

H: So we can’t have dinner together tonight.

I: Oh ok. Hmm I feel like we haven’t cooked for a while. I miss cooking.

H: We’ll be cooking tonight.

I: Really? At a colleague’s place?

H: No, at a cooking studio.

I: (snortles) Big companies.

Am I right?!

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Mein Lieblingskartoffelnesser und ich

Another part of living together makes you experience things as simple as potato-cooking.

I come from a land where we don’t have potatoes as a staple. S and his dad can eat a million potatoes in one go. Because of that, S and I have never agreed on the amount of potatoes to cook. He always puts what looks enough to feed four of me, while I put what looks enough to feed two of me. (As I cook often either just for me or for both of us, the portion sizes go according to how many of me I feed.)

So finally, yesterday, I decided to let go. I placed more potatoes in the pot than I was comfortable with.

I: Na? Ich hoffe, die Kartoffeln sind genug für dich, mein Lieblingskartoffelnesser!
(Well? I hope the potatoes are enough for you, my favourite potato-eater!)

S: Awwwwwww, so sweet!! Danke, meine Lieblingskartoffelnkochin!
(Awwww, so sweet!! Thank you, my favourite potato-cooker!)

I: Ohh, deine Mutter wird nicht glücklich sein.
(Ohh, your mum will not be happy to hear that.)

S: Oops! Shhh!

You’d think we have sweeter pet names for each other…

ein leckeres Dessert mit Himbeeren (a yummy dessert with raspberries)

On the week I was in France, S had to work a grand total of 2 days in the week, which was perfect. At the end of the day, we were happy to tell each other about our day in person. (We have a love-hate relationship with Skype.)

I had an interesting day. It involved some other guy’s privates. But that’s a story for another day.

So we had to make dinner (we ate in a restaurant perhaps only once that week, but also a bar, a cafe, etc). We flipped through the recipe book, made a note of the ingredients, added what we wanted for the impending road trip to the grocery list, plus what he wanted in his fridge to feel homely, voila, it was an exhaustive list.

He drove us out to a different commune, Labège, where they had a mall with a huge supermarket. And to our delight (as it was late), it was open till rather late. As we went down a third of the grocery list, they made an announcement that the store was closing. We ended up splitting the list and making a dash for the items (think Amazing Race), and meeting back in the center. I wrote the list so I knew what was on there, but he started popping meringues into our shopping carts, and was frantically looking for frozen raspberries.

I: Why do we need raspberries and meringues?
S: For dessert.
I: What are we making?
S: (with glee) It’s a surprise.

But after we found the raspberries, I had an idea of what he was going to make. (I had it at his parents’ last year, and it was so damn yummy.)

That was a long intro to the dessert, I’m sorry. I’ve no idea what it is called but it’s the easiest thing to make, and I’ve no picture of it – neither can I find it online.

What you need are:

  • Frozen raspberries
  • Meringues, crushed to the consistency of coarse sugar
  • Whipped cream (S did it with crème fraîche and vanilla sugar, mixed with a hand mixer)
  • Chocolate chips as toppings, optional
  • a large glass bowl, preferably see-through (so people can see the layers)

So in the bowl, fill a good layer of frozen raspberries, then shower it with the crushed meringue pieces, then a layer of cream, and top it with chocolate chips. Put it in the fridge for half an hour and it’s perfect for eating.

What we find is that if you take it out (and it melts) and you put it back into the fridge – the next time you take it out, you won’t taste the crunchy tiny meringue bits anymore as they’re probably melted. Still it’s amazing.

What I love is the sweetness of the meringue and chocolate chips and the sourness of the raspberries. And I love raspberries.

Is this not the simplest dessert to make or what?!

Unfortunately when I wanted to replicate it here, meringue couldn’t be found and a bag of raspberries tinier than what we got costs S$14. No, thank you.

Happy eating!

Matcha bites (ich weiß nicht, was es auf Deutsch ist)

(I don’t know what it is in German.)

Happy to share a recipe that my cousin and I came up with today. We were inspired by this recipe to create matcha green tea brownies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what we had expected, possibly due to the type of white chocolate used, the type of matcha powder used, and so on.

I’m not a fan of brown sugar either, so our first batch following the recipe came out not ideal. Nevertheless, it was still alright – tasted like white chocolate cakelet instead.

We also had to make several alterations as our matcha powder already contains sugar, so things are pretty different from the previous recipe. Here’s ours:

Matcha Bites (Green Tea)

Ingredients:
40g unsalted butter, melted
40g white chocolate, melted
2 eggs
50g cake flour
3 tbsp matcha green tea powder, sweetened
1/2 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and matcha powder together in a bowl.
  3. Melt white chocolate over a double boiler, and place butter in microwave to melt (medium heat, 1 minute), then mix them together along with the eggs.
  4. Slowly fold in the flour mixture. As it presents itself with lots of holes – try to tap it or use a toothpick to poke the bubbles. (We missed this bit…)
  5. Put the entire mixture into a piping bag so you could divide them into tiny cupcake liners easily. (My mum’s a genius for this idea. Scooping them with a spoon was just too much trouble and too messy!)
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray around and leave it in for another 2 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

Makes about 20 mini bites.

matcha bites
matcha bites

Hooray for Labour Day!

Being Cooped Up

This Friday, I’ll be lying on the cold operating table, getting cut open.

Ok, it’s not as bad as it sounds – I’m getting my wisdom teeth out. Two to be exact. Two damn molars on my lower jaw. The jaw that be mighty obviously swollen.

But the surgery comes with medical leave, and so while I’m hiding out from the public eye and cooped up at home, I need to make two lists. One of the things I could do while cooped up, and one of the things I could consume while I’m unable to chew.

Things I could do:

  • Watch The Noose on xinmsn
  • Watch the DVDs my lovely colleague has shared with me (amongst some are french films and korean dramas)
  • Continue reading the Battle Hymn of Tiger Mum book
  • Clean up my room
  • Search for accommodation for Langkawi
  • Continue to work on the powerpoint I’m doing at work (optional – yeah that’s right, the work-related point is the only optional one)
  • Look for recipes for things I’m able to consume

Things I could consume:

  • Soups
  • Puddings
  • Popsicles
  • Soya beancurd
  • Fruit juices
  • Milk
  • Basically any beverage with no pulp bits

Things are about to get interesting.