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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 @ 10:16 pm
Goodbye 2014

Dear Blogger,

So this is it. We've finally come to the end of 2014. A year mostly remembered for aviation tragedies (and an unsolved mystery), the emergence of ISIS and unscrupulous businesses at Sim Lim Square.

Some people may say good riddance to 2014. As for me... This year has been very trying I must say. But in life, there's always ups and downs. So 2014, take care and farewell!





Sincerely,
modgurl.


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Monday, December 29, 2014 @ 10:16 pm
Quote of the Day

Dear Blogger,

Today's quote is something I should always bear in mind, especially when I'll be back in the workforce tomorrow.





Sincerely,
modgurl.


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Sunday, December 28, 2014 @ 11:39 pm
Agar-agar Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar Jelly)

Dear Blogger,

Today I had a sudden craving for a dessert that was commonly served in many Malay social events; the agar-agar gudil. I don't know what "gudil" means, so I can't translate it for you. It's a jelly dessert that's very versatile. It comes in many different flavours, but the classic one and my favourite is the agar-agar gula melaka or palm sugar jelly.

Agar-agar gula melaka is very easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. You need a packet of jelly powder, palm sugar, water, panda leaves, egg, coconut milk and salt. That's it! It doesn't require many tools either. Only a saucepan, measuring cup, a whisk or stirrer, a mould and a fridge. No baking required. I know some people are terrified of baking.

I don't know why but this dessert is easier and faster to make than actually looking for it in the shops. I don't know where I could buy it, so I went to make it.



What you need to make agar-agar gula melaka


Ingredients:
750ml water
200g palm sugar, grated
5 pandan leaves, tied in a knot
1 packet of jelly powder, white
200ml coconut milk
1 egg
A pinch of salt

Directions:
Boil the water in the saucepan. Add the pandan leaves. Stir in the grated palm sugar till it dissolves.

In a bowl or measuring jug, whisk the coconut milk, egg and salt. Set aside.

When the palm sugar mix has boiled, sieve the mixture onto another saucepan to remove impurities. Boil the mixture again. This time, add the jelly powder. Stir till it boils.

Next add the coconut and egg mixture into the palm sugar and jelly mix. Preferable to pour through a sieve to allow the egg to strain into strands. Stir a little and let it bubble.



This is how the mixture should look like when it's bubbling


Pour the mixture into a mould. I used a 7" square cake pan. Let it cool before setting it in the fridge. When the jelly is set, it should be firm to the touch.

Lastly, cut it into bite-sized pieces or use a shape cutter for fun designs. Serve and eat! Now wasn't that easy?



Agar-agar gula melaka... Craving satisfied!


Sincerely,
modgurl.



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Saturday, December 27, 2014 @ 11:45 pm
Writing With Typewriters

Dear Blogger,

I've been writing letters to pen pals with a typewriter for quite some time now. Actually... Only about 4 times, but that was because I've been too busy to reply letters.

What did I want to talk about? Oh yeah... Typewriters. In this age of instants, why would anyone want to write a letter? Let alone, type it out with a typewriter? All I can say is, it's about the experience. It's very much like drinking coffee in Starbucks when you can get cheaper (and sometimes better-tasting) coffee at your neighbourhood coffee shop.

Nowadays, everything that is vintage is kind of cool. Everybody has a laptop and a smartphone. But does everybody have a typewriter? It's that kind of cool. Also, typewriters invoke this image of intelligence and creativity. They're almost synonymous with prolific writers. In fact, one needs some level of intelligence to use a typewriter efficiently and effectively!

Thanks to Microsoft, we no longer have to think twice about spelling. The autocorrect or spellchecker will do it for you. It's a great invention but I have to say it makes people more illiterate than before. With a typewriter, there is no spellchecker or autocorrect. You either think before you press those keys or you get a correction fluid handy and manually "erase" the misspelt word with the correct fluid and type the correct word. The second option can quite frustrating after awhile. Moreover, the finished letter makes you look like an idiot with all that correction fluid plastered all over the paper.

When I first used my typewriter (I have 2; an Olympia Carina 3 and a Remington Ten Forty), I spent a lot of time adjusting to the pace of typing on its keys and correcting my spelling errors. It was quite a humbling experience for a self-proclaimed speedy typist.

Firstly, typewriter keys may look like the common computer keys but they are not gentle to the fingers like the latter. I literally punched the keys with my middle fingers to get the ink stamped legibly on the paper. But that could also be that the keys were a little faulty. My point is, unlike the soft, almost-require-no-strength keyboards on my Macbook, typewriter keys need a little more finger muscle.

Typing is also noisy. Unlike the quite computer, the noise that typewriters make, especially the vintage ones, can be quite disturbing at first. However, once you get the pacing right, it can be quite charming like a melodious music.

Secondly, as I've mentioned above, typewriters do not have spellcheck or autocorrect. As such, I consciously had to make myself think about what I want to type before I press those keys! In the beginning, a 2-page letter would take me 3 hours and several sheets to complete. On a computer, it would probably take me less than half an hour, plus envelope!

Then, there is the ribbon. In a printer, replacing the printer cartridges is super easy and can be done in a few seconds. For a typewriter, it requires patience. A lot of patience if I'm changing the ribbon of my Remington Ten Forty. It's not as easy as lifting up the cartridges.

After using typewriters several times, I've begun to appreciate the effort and time spent. It's no longer about wanting to finish something fast. It's about the quality of the content. Maybe that's why writers of the past have written some of the greatest and classic novels.

I've typed out 4 letters today, with minimal corrections I might add. All lovingly typed with much thought. On lovely paper some more! That reminds me. I need to invest on elegant stationery. Anyway, I look forward to more typing for other uses. Cards, labels, scrapbooks?


A photo posted by @modgurl on





Sincerely,
modgurl.


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Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 11:35 pm
The End of An Era

Dear Blogger,

Today, at 5.30pm, was the last time I signed out of the childcare centre that I've been working for almost 4 years. As I placed my thumb on the scanner, pensiveness suddenly came over me. Memories of my time spent here flashed through my mind like flipping photo albums on hyperdrive. I felt equally sad at leaving and anxious in starting a new job. So this is how it feels like to leave your comfort zone! It's not a comfortable feeling.



Sincerely,
modgurl.


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