Tuesday, October 5

My Favorite Things

As a working mom, I cherish the evening rituals I have with my children. It morphs over time, but it generally includes reading to my five-year old, the question "Have you brushed your teeth?" multiple times to both children, the rubbing of little backs and the humming of an old lullaby - the words of which I do not remember. Recently, however, an additional step has been added and that is the loud, energetic, and hardly sleep-inducing rendition of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music by my children. I am always laughing out loud during these times.

Truffle used to watch The Sound of Music over and over again as a child and we all used to sing the songs together. We too belted out My Favorite Things, without knowing what Schnitzel with Noodles were, nor that Apple Strudels were apple-filled pastries. For all we knew, they were mushroomy noodles and some intricate apple dessert that was beyond the imagination. What do you expect for a 10-year old Singaporean girl in the 1980s who ate mee pok for lunch everyday?

I was so enamored by this song and intrigued by these dishes that these Austrians ate. Back when I was a final year student at Cambridge, I had very studiously declared that I was going to stay on in college during the Easter break to get some extra revision done. My father was busy with his cashew business and was exploring exporting urea from Russia. He was going to be flying back from Moscow and suggested that I meet him in Vienna for a long weekend. I was very happy to have such a break and I booked my flight with his credit card, flew in to Vienna, took the train and booked myself into the Hilton. Unfortunately, my father's flight was stuck in Ukraine and he didn't make it to Vienna until the end of our planned stay. So, I took it upon myself to have a full weekend despite the aberration to our original plan. I visited Vienna' many beautiful museums, parks and churches by myself and ate Mozart Kugeln in my hotel room. I also made it a point to try out the local fare, with Schnitzel mit Nudeln at the top of my list. I must admit, I was a little disappointed to be served deep fried beef (yes, yes, veal) on top of pasta. It tasted much better in the song.

In any case, I want my readers to know, as a girl who grew up in Singapore in the '70s and '80s, what my favorite things are:

Raindrops on orchids and lashes on puppies
White plastic kettles and loose cotton T-shirts
Large shopping bags from Robinsons
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored retrievers and oyster egg omelets
Botanic Gardens and Charsiew with noodles
Japanese koi that swim gracefully
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in gold Cheongsams with silvery hairbands
Soft sand that stay on my feet and ankles
Heavy wet monsoons that cool the city
These are a few of my favorite things

When my child cries
When my back hurts
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Would love to hear about your favorite things....



~Mama said...

Once upon a time in a tiny village outside Vienna, a distant relative taught me how to make chicken schnitzel, which has been a staple in this house ever since, and is in my opinion, the best form of schnitzel. It's super-easy--hammer some chicken breasts flat, coat them in egg, dip in breadcrumbs, fry, dash of lemon juice, dash of Spike seasoning (if you are lucky enough to live in America where you can purchase that sort of thing!). Excellent over a salad, or as an addition to pesto with noodles.

Other favourite things of mine include naptime, naps and sleeping in...a mum can dream, right?!

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Dear Manana Mama,

Thank you for sharing that recipe with us! So, the dash of Spike is after you fry the Schnitzel? Will try it this weekend!

I like your favorite things! I have given up on sleeping in, but I sneak in a nap or two on the weekends...when hubby is watching sport and kids are watching iCarly. Easier to do when the kiddoes are older.


Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful post...my current favourite thing has got to be the smile on my five-month old son's face when he is pleased...Sameera

~Mama said...

Dear Cinnamon,

By mentioning Spike, I admit to my hippie roots! It was ubiquitous in all organic grocers in the rather hippie town I grew up in. It is harder to find east of the Mississippi, however Amazon sells it. It's basically salt with a gazillion herbs and spices. Delicious on chicken, fish, potatoes, in salad dressings, on soft mozzarella, and particularly divine on fresh-cut cucumbers or home-grown tomatoes. Goes well on anything dressed in balsamic vinegar and pepper. Can't recommend the stuff highly enough!

Thank you for the nap encouragement--I will prop my eyelids open and hold out hope for the future...zzzzzz



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