Archive for April, 2010

Tiramisu for Cancer

I pooled a list of names of potential tasters a few days before I made the tiramisu. I had a candidate whom I thought would be an easy target in being turned into a raw food addict. then I remembered a promise I made to myself last week. I had to summon courage in seeing my grandfather, a dying cancer patient, by the end of this week.

Since late 2009, he had been in and out of the hospital for numerous organ failures. Grandpa was fed pills, after pills, after pills of medicines that I deemed pointless. They made him no better and only weaker by the day. What angered me even more was the fact that the family had fear played against them to keep hospitalised patients where they are.

“You can take him home, but there are these risks…” Of course. The fearful them listened to avoiding those risks.

He couldn’t eat solid foods during the time and was fed milk. MILK. According to them, milk was a necessary feed for the nutritional values it contained. I’m not going to argue over milk nutrition, but the milk also contained lactose Grandpa couldn’t digest, which, like any lactose intolerant sufferers would react with an upset stomach, it gave him an upset stomach; hardly mobile enough to bring himself to the bathroom, he soiled the bed. I cannot imagine the state of revulsion he had to go through against his own self.

By that time, I tried to reason with my anger by trying to educate my aunts and uncles in giving natural healing a shot, and take him out of the hospital environment. His condition was probably too late for any miracle curing, but the least we could do for him was maximise his level of comfort. They nodded, seemingly wanting to believe; but who am I to them standing against educated doctors, designed drugs, and life-sustaining machines? Just a 23-year old girl hardly qualified enough to know anything about dying. I knew that all too well. So I had to take matters into my own hands if I wanted to help. I instructed my mom to buy some green coconuts to feed him coconut water the next day. I wasn’t there to supervise the feeding for I had work, but Mom reported back and said we weren’t allowed to feed him such food. Grandpa was again, fed milk. At lowered dosage.

That was it. The time when I had sworn and wished to every God of this universe and other galaxies for the worst disasters to befall that very hospital, alongside with its doctors and nurses. Burn it to the ground, whatever. I haven’t stepped in or made any more efforts in Grandpa visits since. Frustration, too much of it. I had a voice, and no one was open-minded enough to hear it. So I stopped fighting for the lost battle. This was early February. Grandpa had been hospitalised a number of times again since, and I still refused to see him. I may have appeared like the inconsiderate granddaughter to everyone, but I couldn’t care less. No one would understand. Not in that room.

Time passed, and time did patch up my resentments. I made the promise last week to see him by this week. There was just one problem: I’m not very good of a conversationalist with the elderly in my family; our perceptions of the world are on totally different pages. Worse. Try different books. And of different languages. And to stare Death right in the eye with nothing to say from my end is unimaginable. So there, yesterday, I stared at the tiramisu I just freshly chilled and decided to bring it to Grandpa. “Sorry, Candidate A. Another believer would’ve been nice for my achievement. But this will save my conversation dry spell. I’ll have a story to tell.”

I went. I found him lying in bed with no strength to be able to sit himself up. Cancer has spread to his spine. He put a strong smile and repeatedly told me that he is well, and that he’s 80% healed. He doesn’t know it’s cancer eating his life. Nor does Grandma. Their children kept the knowledge away from them. Decided it is best for he would have lost his life spirit a long time ago.

I told him the great story behind my tiramisu; that unlike other cakes, he can eat this one like a meal. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner because it’s made up of just good stuff. Not even refined sugars.

Grandpa and Grandma were both impressed and wore the biggest smiles I haven’t seen in months.


Raw Tiramisu: Coconut / Cashews / Dates in disguise.

This is your most highly-prized recipe you’ve been saving for your book. Do you know what you’re doing?

Not sure myself. But, 1) Book is a long way, 2) People have been bugging me about it, 3) This might infuse a little faith to raw in people. Like a bait. Or teaser. And 4) I guess it’s open source age.

Lets hope so.

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Nothing beats the hedonic experience of cream fats and refined sugars in non-raw desserts. Although I’d be eating towards ecstasy with regular desserts, I’d also find myself struggling in finding the control switch to stop. The experience usually ends with regret and self-blame for weakness. For some reason I can’t quite explain, raw fats and sugars differ in giving their sense of satiation or fullness. And still so delicious.

TIP: If you cannot source certain raw ingredients such as honey and cacao, don’t let that hold you back. Use regular honey and roasted cacao powder.

Cashew Milk
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 cups water
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until you reach smooth milky mixture.

Use the remaining of this milk as your raw milk substitute. Drink on its own, use with cereals, or blend into fruit shakes.

Coffee Cake Layer
1/2 cup dates (preferably Medjool dates), soaked in 1/2 cup water until soft.
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 tablespoon rum
2 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon raw honey
1 1/2 teaspoons coffee extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

In a food processor, mix all ingredients until well incorporated and smooth.

Cream Layer
1 cup cashew milk
1/2 young coconut meat
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon soy lecithin, optional
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
Tip: You may substitute coffee extract with one serving of espresso or 1 tablespoon of coffee liquor. If sweet coffee liquor is used, omit raw honey.

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.

*Soy Lecithin is a substance that acts as an emulsifying agent.  It prevents fat and water components from separating. Not a must, however. You can omit.

Topping

1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder

Assembly
In a small casserole dish or pie pan, form a coffee cake layer (about 1cm in thickness) into  bottom of pan; then pour a layer of cream (about 0.5cm in thickness) over coffee cake and  chill in freezer until firm.
Repeat layering and refrigerate until firm.
Through a sieve, sift through raw cacao powder to dust over top layer of cream. Refrigerate until serving.

enjoy.
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Language. Iceberg Heads & Chinese Restaurants.

we speak different.

What triggers this? A rejection
Ooh, snap! What did you do? I was thinking of a series of things that lead to this idea I see can be so big someone could pull off. Too excited, too quick I dropped it on his plate. Didn’t mean for the sauce to splatter all over him.
You never had to learn this before? I have. But I just realized this isn’t standard Hindi I knew, this is Sanskrit. More complex, more protected. You try to speak it without learning its tradition, you get punished.
Sounds like you found an iceberg. Your ship got rocked! Yes.
Whose iceberg did you crack last? My own.

New iceberg. Uh huh.

I like that. Yea, me too.

I know you do. Shut up.

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“What is design?” We would get asked on the first day of product design class. The conclusion is always this: that design is all around us. In things we read, information, in things we touch, objects, and in things we need to appreciate through non-tangible senses such as music, art, and food. Even as humans. We design ourselves. We make the choices we make, making choices is design. We choose the clothes we wear, we choose our friends, we choose the place we live in, every choice we make, is a process of design. We design ourselves as well as our own surroundings. That said, humans are individual pieces of design work. But Design is a designer’s word. Not a people’s word. I had to rephrase. Design is a language. If Design is a language, then every single human being has its own personal language.

Language.

Some languages are easier to learn than others. Spanish is relatively easy in comparison to Chinese. You can even tell from their restaurant environments. Try going into a Chinese restaurant. Unless drunk, and visited past 3am, you will notice at how unwillingly inconvenienced (generally speaking) its staffs are. You get seated quick, demanded to order pretty quick, eat even quicker, so they can kick you out for the next waiting customer (if busy. usually when cheap, it’s busy). But, you do want to eat there. So you have to harden up and live with it. You try to protest, you will start an argument, you still insist, you will get kicked out. Getting blacklisted is possible.

Then, when you give the restaurant more frequent visits and get familiarised with the staff (not pushing), only then cold greetings can turn into small smiles, then into small chats, then you start to know their spouses and childrens’ names by heart, the next thing you know? The Chinese are not as nasty as you thought they’d be, and he is serving you beer, right now, inside a teapot, past the legal serving hour. I mean.. You’d still be able to bribe any Chinese into breaking the law as long as you have extra cash. But here, he’s giving you that beer for free, past the legal serving hour. Because he likes you.

Not any more different than people.

*I am Chinese. I reserve all rights to talk about my own people in any way I want.


What Boobs & Ass have to teach us on Positivity.

What stirs this: A friend.
What did he/she do: Complain. complain, complain, complain.
About? Everything! I don’t have this, this person does this to me, my parents are doing this to me, this person took this from me, this person keeps on doing this to me, I’m now devastated, depressed, upset, angry, annoyed, yada, yada, yada, yada.
Why does it bug you: Because I like my peaceful surrounding and I don’t like it disturbed by something that can be helped.
What are you trying to say: That, by complaining, he/she is confirming every single bit of negativity to herself. EVERY BIT OF IT. CONFIRMED. Confirmation leads you to believing it. From skin to bones. You feel it.
Have you tried explaining it that way? Yes. Worked for about a day. And then they all forget again.
Boobs and ass? Desperate measures. I thought.. a lot of people think spiritual teachings are indigestible bunch of rubbish. And for those who don’t understand it, they are. But they’re a must. It’s what makes us. In there, lies all the answers. This topic is really, really important. Once this is mastered, one can master anything. Important = Desperate measures.

So.. why boobs and ass again? Because sex sells. A worldwide $97 billion industry doesn’t lie. That’s a 2006 figure. Emporio Gazette doesn’t provide me with a 2010 projection figure. I imagine a lot higher. With post-recession and stuff.

What if your dad/uncle/parents’ friends read this? I’ve come to accepting peaceful terms with that by posting this post. I cannot handle any more stupid yelling from people around me, my wellbeing comes first. And you know girls (ok. I just told you it’s a she). Girls go to other girls for problems. I’m tired. I have other things I need to do. The sooner I sort this out, the sooner I can talk less about this stuff, the more time I can have to actually write more on food. Which I promised to have finished by June. NOT GONNA HAPPEN NOW, THANKS TO ALL YOU HELPLESS _____!!

And.. you’re Chinese too. Strict, conservative society, right? Desperate measures.

You’re angry. Indeed I am.

I like that. Shut up.


Ok.. Steal the stage.

Right. FOCUS.

I will break it down in very simple English. And then I will give you an example.

Law of attraction. What you think, you feel, what you feel, you will get. You think shit, you’ll get shit. You speak of shit, that shit will come running after you. Want to know more? Buy the DVD or the book.

Now. Example.

Boobs and ass. It’s funny how these two body lumps take centre stage of attention of the world. (Come on, if sex industry rules the world, boobs and ass are getting the biggest assets. Not willies). They’ve become objects of desire to those heteros who don’t have them. And for those who do? They’re never satisfied. This is how I come to terms with it.

I, stand in front of mirror. Face front. Eyes on boobs.

They’re small.
No they’re not.
Yes they are.
NO, THEY’RE NOT.
YES, THEY ARE.
Okay. You have fullness to make up. At least they’re not droopy.
Yeah.. somewhat. Still small, though.
YOU HAVE NICE, HUMBLE, FULL BOOBS.
I HAVE NICE, HUMBLE, FULL BOOBS.
Good. Now turn right. 90 degrees.
(turned)
Now, take a look at that.
What?
Come on. Just take your mind off your ‘nice, humble, full boobs’ and look at your ass for a second.
Dude. It’s ok man. Nothing to brag about.
No. Really. LOOK.
Ok. It’s alright.
You have an ass to die for.
I don’t have an ass to die for.
YOU HAVE AN ASS TO DIE FOR.
I HAVE AN ASS TO DIE FOR.
AGAIN.
I HAVE AN ASS TO DIE FOR.
Good girl.

Moral of the story:  Start focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t have. What you have might seem insignificant at the very beginning, but when you start to recognise its potential, and nurture it with some TLCs, it’ll flourish.  Of course, it doesn’t come easy if you want improvements. You have to work for it. Enhance what you have. Bench-presses for the chest, squats for the bottom. But little improvements can be made. And if you’re still really unhappy, go for the extremes. Go under the knife. If it makes you happy. But at least you tried.

When you believe in something, shit, or not shit, people will believe you too. It’s contagious. Even if you’re completely deluded, at least you have that for yourself. Who cares about what other people think.

So go on. Give it a go. Take out Boobs and Ass and Bench-presses and Squats and replace them with your own A, B, C, Ds.
A & B to determine what you have and don’t have. Choose one to focus on.
Then put in C & D factors on what you can do to improve them.

If by now, you’re still going to tell me “I can’t”, or “yea, but it’s different”, or “no, you don’t understand”, and bla, bla bla, I’ll warn you this in advance. That is shit coming out of your mouth.

YOU BETTER RUN.

Friend X

Paco, Anais' pug son.

Anais, friend X from dreams burn but in ashes are gold, part III wrote to me:

I am completely 100% cured. The reason? No therapy! Massive amounts of therapy and people telling me why I was the way I was, made me more nervous and more anxious. In turn, I let it go – I started loving myself – doing things on my own – being more responsible for myself – telling myself no matter what I’m here for you (in my own mind). Then the funniest thing happened: I got stuck in an elevator at a hospital when I went to visit my friend who’d delivered a new baby. I wasn’t just stuck – i was literally walled in – there were only 2 cm’s of space btwn the floor and the wall I was stuck in and facing when I looked up. I felt at first that I couldn’t breathe but then slowly i told myself: see, you’re in the worst situation you ever imagined and you’re not dead, you’re not in pain, sure you’re a little nervous and want to throw up – but try n calm yourself down. So I DID just that – I told myself be calm – i kept pressing the ER button and eventually someone came in and told me to wait five mins for them to get the key to adjust the doors. And so they did – I was out in 10 mins – 10 mins that had made me realise, life is too short to worry – if things are meant to happen they’ll happen but in the process I don’t want to be in fear. I don’t want to be held back because of myself.

As a result – I go in every elevator now – even dinky ones that def need some maintenance. We don’t have the subway but I’ll get into tight spaces and not be scared, I’ll park underground, I’ll go out into fields in the desert where tehre’s no one around to rescue me. And honestly – all I feel is…freedom 🙂
love you x

I had to put up the dog. I miss that crazy little ____.

-Dom

Cork vs. Screw-cap

wine capping war

Interesting found of David Rosengarten’s opinion on cork vs. screw cap on wine bottles. Corks can actually spoil wines. Screw cap, don’t. A lot of us, either uneducated or stuck in the old romance of corking a wine bottle prefer the corks, yes? You can read more on the full article here: Here.

-Dom

Wanderlust

Birthday trip to Gilis in motion. And finally Alaska put together 9 months later.

Enjoy.