I went to the market and discovered the florists are better stocked, their pussywillows and cherry blossoms were gorgeous, and back home the cherry blossoms have been blooming prettily and filling the hall with a delicious aroma. We have a lot of flowers this time round, in addition to some ranunculas and a rambutan-like flower arrangement I set on the reception table, the cousins gave us a lovely arrangement of orchids, très exotic for this part of the world. Please click on the pictobrowser thing to admire!
I forgot to buy fresh salmon for the yee-sang, so had to hijack the fresh scallops (meant for the hotpot) instead. Still there were plenty of stuff for the hotpot: scallop roe, entrecote boeuf, pork, farm chicken (equivalent of kampung quality), cod, tofu, quail's eggs, vegetables and an interlude of pork guotie dumplings in honour of cousin''s girlfriend who is Shanghainese. The hotpot was a great success if I may say so. We kept to a very basic stock which is made by simmering an entire yellow farm chicken in water for a few hours, no more, no less. It makes a homely, clear soup base which can only be enhanced by all the other ingredients. After dinner we crashed out by watching KungFu on DVD.
Today, we went for a simple Korean lunch of spicy rice cakes, bossam and more dumplings. I had a conversation class and after that, husband and Vera came to meet me and we all went to have tea at the Four Seasons George V, the little one enjoyed a strawberry tart while we munched daintily on beautiful finger sandwiches. Back home the central heating is not working again, fortunately GG made a pot of scallop and chicken congee which provided the much needed warmth, it was also so delicious that we cleaned out the whole pot.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we go to London. To see my sister C and onwards to Newcastle, specifically Beamish, to celebrate my friend Sui Mai's wedding. Boots, M&S, Whole Foods, honest-to-goodness real Chinese and Indian food, pub grub, WHSmiths, here we come!