Monday, 7 December 2009

Beijing Revisted

This is the second time I am visiting Beijing. Unlike the previous trip in autumn, it is freezing cold during this time of the year. Temperatures can get below freezing point during the early mornings and late in the evenings.

While we enjoy the cool room temperature (not more than 22 degC, since I don't turn on the heater at all), it can be quite a daunting task just to step out of the apartment. It usually takes us 10mins to get dressed! Although I only need a sweater and a outer jacket (I have got an extra layer of fat to protect myself from the chilling wind!!!) , I still finds it very troublesome! I really appreciate how easy and quick for me to get out of the house back at t-shirts and shorts and a pair of slippers ;) Over here, I wish I have a few extra pairs of hands just to juggle with the kids' gloves, hats and even scarves! It is just so 'lay-chay'(which means troublesome in Singlish)!

It is much 'warmer' (back home in Singapore, we won't call it 'warm' when the average outside temperature is 5 degC) during the early afternoons. So I plan our days such that we go for a stroll at the park after lunch, or go get groceries at the nearby local supermarket. It is really no joke having to lug bags of groceries and walk in the busy streets with two kids in tow, in the cold.

The service apartment that we are staying comes with a fully equipped kitchen. With my dream built-in oven, microwave oven, electric stove and even a dish washer. Just for the record, this is the first homemade lunch I made when we first arrived. It was just simple ham and egg sandwiches with some fruits and yoghurt. Incidentally, I noticed the people over here seems to like yoghurt a lot...I was very surprised to find so many different brands of yoghurt at the supermarket shelves.

The above photo was not taken at the was taken at the park. I wonder what's the name of this plant? It looks just like some cabbage to me. Don't you think so?!

There is also the red version...

Pretty isn't it? I wonder whether these are edible, I bet they will be really great for salad?!

This is a rather short post, will blog about a more decent home cooked meal soon.


Kitchen Corner said...

Do you feel that the yogurt is nicer than what we have here? I like their yogurt very much as I felt it's very tasty. Hey, look forward to read more on your home cook foods!! :)

May said...

Hi, A BIG BIG HUG n Welcome Back to blogging. You seem more rested n pray that you have an awesome holiday in China :)))
You have been a great "sifu" to me cos i have learnt to bake bread just by following your recipes/blogs and the many tips you generously shared with your readers. With much appreciation to you, HHB :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

If that plant can be edible, it will be nice to have as salad, look so beautiful. Looking forward for more posts from you.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that there will be a longer expatriate posting in the near future? I know you will be back home in Spore but when the time is ready let us know if you are going to permanently relocate due to family member's job posting.

Seems like lots of Sporean families are now uprooting to China due to jobs. I remembered reading one Sporean mother's blog who loaded up her shipping container not only with furniture but with lots of baby milk powder and that was even before the milk scandal hit. She felt very relieved that she had done the right thing by bringing tons of baby milk powder with her.

Have fun in Beijing. Tianjin is a short bullet train ride away too.

martina said...

Hy HHB!! Happy to hear from you so soon... The vegetable you're questioning about is actually a cabbage. I've never found recipe with it, but I found it's edible. In Europe we use it a lot like decorating element during the cold winter (when we don't have a lot of flowers blossoming). You can find it also in bunch of flowers, with other "winter vegetable turn to flower".
Hope this helps your curiosity
and glad to hear you're right. Enjoy Beijing
(fun to me to know that's troublesome get dressed when it's cold...past summer I always kept the jacket on!!!) :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info about Beijing, I planified to visit it next year at this time of the year. For you information, the plant who look like a cabbage is call a cabbage flower, usually is use for decoration in the autumn season.


Pei-Lin said...

Hey HHB!

I could understand the downside of living in a "winter wonderland." I went through the same when I was in the U.S. with worse winter days ... reaching -40 to -30C on most days!! So, can you imagine how troublesome it was to get dressed up just to go out and get "unwrapped" from those thick, multi-layered winter clothing! I just feel so sorry for you. But for now, just enjoy the best of it since your family may not be there permanently, I guess ...

Oh, yes ... And, I believe yogurt is pretty big there with what's going on in the company I'm working for now ... Can tell just by observing ... Enjoy what's available there ... That's the fun part of living in an alien land ... To submerge oneself in a new culture learning the best out of it! Somehow, I just find it funny & ironic how we overseas Chinese have sort of detached our identity from China ... Just feels as if we've got nothing to do with the country ... OR, is it because you're way up north ... as the Northerners are very different from the Southerners? Perhaps, we could've felt more close-to-home down in southern China ... I don't know ... Hope I can visit China someday!

Love & warmth from Malaysia,

PiggyMummy said...


Welcome back to blogging *HUGS*
I'm sure your boys are having a totally new experience living in a foreign land. Hope they are enjoying themselves! Totally agree with you on the "dressing to go out" part ... jackets, mittens, scarves, snowshoes, beanies, jackets. That's why my boys are always late for school, LOL ...

Have fun and enjoy your stay in Beijing!


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Grace, yes, the yoghurt is nicer, not so tangy, and they 'drink' it with a straw!

Hi May, I am glad to hear that you have learned how to bake bread from my blog. I hope you enjoy baking as much as I do :)

Hi Sonia, I agree, it looks good for salad!

Hi Anonymous, no, we will still go back before the school reopens, my elder child will need to sit for PSLE next year, and we will be 'grounded' the whole of next year ;) For the time being, the kids education comes first.

Martina dear, I was so touched when I read your comment you left on my previous post. I was so surprised that you could actually sense that I was not doing quite well. We have suffered the lost of a close-one, and it was a very sad experience for all of us. We have since moved on, and we are doing fine now.
and Thanks for sharing the info on this plant!

Hi Stephie, thanks for the info. I hope I will be able to write more about Beijing so that you can get an insight.

Hi Pei Lin,
It is easier for my kids to 'unwrap' as they simply throw their layers of clothing all over the place, and I had to went around to pick up for them ;(

Actually there is not much difference in terms of culture, since we are Chinese. The food here is more salty than I can manage. The only big difference is the weather, cold and dry.

Hi PiggyMummy, I was telling my kids the other day, it would be such a torture for all of us if they were to go to school in the cold morning. I am sure they will also be very late for school, haha!

Irene's Footprints said...

Hi HHB...

wow you are in Beijing right.....this year winter came early...saw it on news too.

May I ask if you are using Japan made Chiffon Tin? I was looking at your chiffon cakes..all have a nice brown crust. Mine stick to the pan, hence my cake is skinless.

Any advice? Where you bot it? And how much?

I noticed the tins have no got to use a mug to let it stands ....

Hear from u....

Enjoy ur trip too!

Ruth said...


We are a Singapore-based events company.

We chanced upon your blog and would like to enquire if you would be able to make customised cookies for one of our client's D&D event?

Is there an email and contact number which I can get in touch with you so that I can provide you with more details?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Irene, I got the chiffon pan from Phoon Huat, I am not sure whether it is made in Japan?? Yes, the tin has no legs, it can stand on its tube, unless the cake rise too much and over the end of the tube, I'll then place it over a wine bottle.

Hi Ruth, thanks for your message. I am sorry I am not able to make cookies for sales as I am not a professional baker. There are many professional bakers out there, hope you will be able to find a suitable one, best wishes for your upcoming events :)

Irene's Footprints said...


I didnt know PH has this pan...mine is the aluminium type. Yours really look like those Japan made.

You bot that long ago? I will check PH soon.

You enjoy Beijing and do more posting of your travel ....

: ))

FL Mom said...

Glad you're having a nice holiday! You should do some research on those 'ornamental cabbage' before trying a bite. Some of them are definitely for decoration only.

Lovely photos!