Firing in the Year of the Dragon

Gong Xi Fatt Chai

Kung Hei Fatt Choy

Xin Nian Kwai Ler

and a Happy Chinese New Year to You All

Firing in the Year of the Dragon hasn’t been too successful for me this year, I fell sick. Yes I did. We both sat down and tried to figure out why, how and when this happened but could only pin point it down to my stress and worries from when my husband was away and also maybe a chill that I caught on one of my walks outside in the cold wintery weather. But I had the whole works, cold, headache, fever, achy bones and muscles, tiredness, sleepiness and now battling through cough and (hacking) too much phlegm… Not a good start to the year but we managed to pull together a Chinese New Year Eve dinner.

On the table we had a vegetarian wrap spread of blanched spinach, sprouts, oyster mushrooms, grated carrots, fresh lettuce leaves. Boiled edamame, tofu and eggs (a must for CNY because it symbolises fertility) and some steamed smoked duck, turkey and tofu puffs. On the side, we had bbq and dochujeang sauces and mixed sesame seaweed sprinkles. We had a great time putting things together, kind of like a make-shift Yee Sang.

With the left overs we managed a few leftover dinners after that, smoked duck with tofu and mix bean salad;

Home made bibimbap with a heavenly spoon heapful of fermented soybean, blanched tofu, lettuce leaves, mixed beans, boiled egg, sprouts, seaweed crunchy noodles and sesame sprinkles. Mix well, toss, flip, turn, mash and mush about and enjoy!!! Where’s my dochujeong sauce!!

More simple meals during sickly downtime period!! What’s more convenient than everything boiled, steamed, blanched, baked and roasted?! Big roasted plate of beef bulgogi, kumara and parsnip mash and roasted vege and for a little oomph for me, I made some chicken ginseng soup. Did it work? I don’t know… but it felt so good, hot cleansing soup when you’re down and out, hoping that it’ll be your pick up and miracle to make you feel better!!

And some weekend MAGIC…

All of a sudden, I felt better (but then fell down and out soon after), I decided to make some scones. We’ve been watching Junior Masterchef Season 2 Australia you see, so it brought back some memories and my husband made a passing comment that he really misses scones with clotted cream and jam spread. This wasn’t what he expected but it was close enough. I promised him I’ll make him some traditional scones and (if we can find it) clotted cream and jam.

I made these out of a simple starting point of warm baked sweet kumara jacket which then evolved into homemade kumara jam with spelt and buckwheat scones. I am so proud of my creation, I really put alot of though into it as time ticked on and made these little beauties which I couldn’t stop smiling about. The smell, the sweetness, wholesome and the rustic scones were just a little pick me up after a week of feel out was just what the doctor ordered. But alas, the feeling didn’t last, I’m down in the rut again. Oh please help me….

But we all know that this day, this beautiful breakfast will last for a while yet in our thoughts and tastebuds. So here goes, my super special recipe for my beautiful scones and beautiful kumara jam.

Spelt Buckwheat Scones with Home Made Kumara Jam

Kumara Jam

4 medium kumara, boiled and mash (save the skin for later)

4tsp ginger honey tea (boil ginger in tea till tender then mix with honey or any sweetener of your choice)

4-5tsp soymilk

1. Mash the kumara and honeyed ginger, smoothen with soymilk. Add and subtract as you go till you get the right smoothness and sweetness.

2. Set the skin aside, chop into fine pieces or rip into small pieces. These beauties will be added to the scone mixture.

Spelt Buckwheat Scones

2 cups spelt flour

1 cup sprouted buckwheat (blended till smooth)

1 egg (or egg replacement)

kumara skin

5tbsp soymilk (add and minus for right consistency)

4tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)

1. Place buckwheat puree, spelt flour, egg, kumara skin and oil into a mixing bowl and mix well.

2. Add in soymilk and mix till firm but soft.

3. Roll out onto a baking tray and cut into blocks, as big or small as you wish. Dust with flour and I topped them with a soymilk wash rather than egg wash.

4. Bake for about 30 min. Serve warm with a side of coconut oil and the kumara jam.

We definitely enjoyed our weekend, last days of my husband’s week off and Chinese New Year celebration but it does go on for 15days. We were feeling a bit sad but that’s the way life goes isn’t it? Why is it that good times are always never long enough? Time always fly too quickly… Like he said “Back to the Grinder Tomorrow”. OH DEAR!!!