December 2008


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if you have been a regular reader here, you may have notice that i have not been blogging much about the food here any more.  well, it’s not that i haven’t been eating  out that much since i have been eagerly experimenting “one-man instant meals” in the kitchen, it’s just that Egyptian food isn’t exactly very ‘inspiring’ vis-a-vis other cuisines that make me wana take that photo and blog it enthusiastically.  don’t get me wrong – they have some good food here and there, it’s just that food isn’t exactly one of their strengths (at the risk of incurring the wrath of any true-blue foodies, let me clarify that this view is based on my Asian palette). 

which explains why i have char kway teow ‘nightmares’ on a regular basis (i.e. eating in my dreams, only to wake up salivating!).  pre-mixes that i brought along can only compensate that much, given that some dishes (like char kway teow) need special ingrediants not found here or that these dishes are simply not available (as pre-mixes) right now.  so my food nightmares continue.  on the other hand, i’ll probably be an expert on the various Singaporean pre-mixes out there and be able to give anyone a reasonable lowdown on the good, the bad and the downright horrible (tastewise) very soon. 

and whether you eat to live or live to eat, you can’t deny that food, as we know it now, plays a much bigger role in our lives than being our ‘fuel’ to get us moving.  food is in fact ever-present in our lives not merely because we need to eat.  let me illustrate – ever notice why we conduct much of our business/meetings etc over lunch or tea/snacks?  that our first dates are often over lunch or dinner or supper?  that we celebrate our festivities with food?  well, eating has become an increasingly social activity coz nothing soothes, and sets the tone and mood right than good, glorious food.  food satisfies hunger, calms the soul and puts one at ease to socialise/interact.  so food shouldn’t be a humdum afterthought. 

someone once told me this “food philosophy” – in one’s lifetime, we only eat about ‘x,xxx,xxx’ number of meals, so choose every meal carefully, savour it and don’t bother wasting your time on food that sux. 

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When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel.  The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.  But his sons did not walk in his ways.  They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.  He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.  Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.  Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.  He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.  When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD.  The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”  Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go back to his town.”  

– 1 Samuel 8:1-22