November 30, 2007

Bidding Farewell to Sydney

My last week spent in Australia was put aside to say goodbye to friends and family. I visited the places I loved the most; spent time recalling precious memories shared with special friends and personal hide-outs in and around the city. It was a week to instill in my mind; picture perfect images of Sydney and it's wondrous surroundings for the last time. Well... so how perfect was it?
As an optimist; I'd say it was a fine weekend....I had some fun.
Realistically speaking; I'd say.. It could have been better.

Sydney bid me goodbye with dark heavy rain clouds...showers and heavy pours. *sigh* It rarely rains in Sydney... but it decided to on the day of my farewell picnic party. I wished it was pretty blue skies; but I guess lady luck just wasn't on my side.
Many friends I had expected to see could not make it at the last minute; and friends who had made good efforts to show up had a hard time locating my picnic spot from a map I had of the botanical gardens in the city. A few of them who did not find the drive way straight into the parking lots where we were located had to brace drizzles and strong winds through the maze-like gardens on foot to find our spot.
*sigh* at least I had these little yummy fruit cakes to soothe them when they arrived. I had my cupcakes decorated with mini umbrellas to match the 'unexpected' rainy day theme the weather had in store for me! *laughs*
These aren't exactly your traditional 'fruit' cakes with brandy; at weddings and Christmas, they are lighter in taste and fluffier in texture; quicker to bake too! It's a real fun twist to old recipes, so lucky to have found it from a magazine tear out page I had hidden around my stash of loose sheets.

125gms butter
450gms canned crushed pineapple in syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups self raising flour
100gms glaced cherries halved
2 cups dried mixed fruit (chopped into 1/2cm chunks)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds chopped roughly (optional)

*edit: I apologize for the initial error in the 'dried fruit' proportions :P
Mix undrained pineapple; butter, sugar and dried fruit + raisins in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Place pan in a large bowl of ice water; stirring occasionally till mixture is cooled. Make sure the water from the bowl doesn't flow into the saucepan. Remove from the icewater after 15 minutes of stirring and add in eggs and flour to the mixture and stir till combined. Divide mixture between 12 standard muffin pan holes lined with paper cupcake liners. Top unbaked cupcake tops with cherries and almonds. Bake in preheated 160 degree oven for 25-30 minutes till golden and skewer comes out clean when tested.
I know I've been speaking so much about Sydney and how I miss being back there with my friends and doing the things I love, the truth is; I've been making a sound effort to appreciate where I am in this point of my life.
I drove down to the gym last weekend in the evening; and for the first time in years; I looked up into the skyscapes of my little hometown; Ipoh. The rolling hills, beautiful blue shades of pale pastels and swaying palm trees took my breathe away.
I let out a comforting sigh and smiled to myself... I'm in as much a beautiful place as Sydney... the views are incomparable; as they are different... but magnificent nonetheless.

..not to mention how great the food is here! *giggle*


SIG said...

Wow, the cakes look great and what wonderful friends you have to brave the rain and turn up at your picnic. you must be a great gal to have so many friends.

Anonymous said...

Just take it easy. I remember going through the same phase after spending a few years overseas. Upon reaching home, everything seemed wrong, the weather, the air quality, the drivers on the road etc. After a while, you’ll be okay and would settle back to the way is was before you left. Maybe baking can help you to tune back in quicker. ;-)

Yan said...

Oh yum... dried fruit! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Su Yin!
love your blog! glad you're settling well back home(:
im thinking of trying out your fruit cakes!
but wanted to double check with you first..
you put down
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit
2 cups dried mixed fruit (chopped into 1/2cm chunks)
so is that 3 1/2 cups in total of the mixed dried fruit you showed in the following picture?
many thanks! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Su,

Y is there 2 measurements for d mixed dried fruit? Izzit a typing error or izzit a 1 1/2 cups + another 2 cups, so a total of 3 1/2cups mixed dried fruit?

Cintia Listenbee said...

Wow. I enjoyed your previuos post about going back home. I'm getting ready to go back to Brazil myself to visit and some of the issues are the same (losing your sense of belonging, etc). People make fun of you for not speaking Portuguese properly. They judge you for not knowing what's going on culturally - hard thing to do when you've been away for 5 years... I'm gonna be myself. Much strength to you sister. I believe what's coming is BETTER than what's been. You ROCK girl!

Evans said...

all ur friends must be sad cos u're leaving. they'll surely miss ur cakes! anyway, wish u luck in ur hometown~ and as always, i love the picture of the cakes. :D

btw, i wanna try baking the mango cupcakes from ur recipe (the ones with video lol). wish me luck! take care!

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

thanks girls and guys for the uplifting and encouraging comments. I've been home around now and have not had much time to reply comments and messages. I'm trying my best to get to them as soon as possible :)Sorry about the typo on the recipe; it's fixed now ;) so everyone can have a go at the cakes! YAY!
and good luck EPANz!

Anonymous said...

where do you get all those beautiful decorative cupcake papers? Do you know of an on-line source?
love reading your blog and have passed it along to others.
looking forward to the furthur adventures of Su Yin....

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

hey sue; ive been getting these cups from singapore; mom loves to collect them when she sees them. Im not certain if they have these exact ones anymore' but try your luck at phoon huat trading in singapore :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Su-Yin, I have enjoyed reading your blog over the last couple of years, and wish you all the best for your new life in Orlando. I look forward to continuing to follow your adventures!