Saturday, 16 April 2011

Little Chan update

Its been a while since I have blogged about work and life in general.....I guess thats been due to being fairly busy in the kitchen at work as well as having to deal some other stuff related to that.

I had been getting pins and needles in my arms as far back as when I was doing my stage in Paris, which is almost 2 years ago. At the time, I did not think much of it and thought it was due to me sleeping on my arms for too long. The pins and needles went away but came back last year when I was working in the resto, mainly around when I was manually mixing stuff. To cut a long story short, things became pretty bad just before last Xmas where I felt constant pain in my right arm and even had to take time off work. For the last few months, I have seen various different people (physio, GP, neurologist, chiropractor, acupuncturist) to figure what might actually be wrong with me. The "official" diagnosis from the neurologist a few months ago was that I had "carpal tunnel syndrome". However, after a number of sessions with a physio and acupuncturist, both parties don't seem to believe that this is the case. I've been to see so many people now and tried so many things that I honestly don't have a clue what I have or how I can make it better any more. As a result, its been a difficult few months for me worrying about my arm and whether working with it on a daily basis will make things worse......luckily, I have a few days off over the Easter to take a well-earned rest and hopefully, everything might sort itself out. As of now, my right arm and wrist seem to be OK (thanks to JD's idea of wearing a light support at work to prevent my wrist from cocking awkwardly) but my left shoulder still feels and abnormal strain which will not go away.....fingers crossed :)

As for work and life in general, thats going OK but it has been frustrating not being able to get into the kitchen during my spare time to do a bit of baking and experimenting because of my arm. The days and weeks seem to be flying by and a number of things have happened which have meant that I have had to revise my thoughts on setting up my own business. The goal is still there and I have started to put pen to paper on what I would like to do but still a lot of challenges ahead.....

In the meantime, I have been re-familiarising myself with the art of making Linzer torte......haven't made these things since school so stumbled ona few steps here and there :)
The one which we were taught to make has raspberry jam which goes very nicely with a layer of almond cream beneath it. Since I had enough dough for 2 tarts, JD suggested that I use blackcurrant jam for the other. At the time, I scoffed at the idea and thought there was no way this was going to taste any good. However, I have had to eat my words and say that the flavour combo is very nice, even nicer than raspberry!! (I subsequently did a quick search on the net and found that blackcurrant jam is indeed acceptable when making a Linzer torte!)

 Mmmm......which is better.....raspberry?

    ....or blackcurrant?

My most recent experiment was trying to recreate a yummy green tea cake with red bean paste which I had tried in "layers" turned out a little too thin so instead of 3 layers, I had to use 4 instead for the final construction. It didn't look as refined as the original but definitely tasted similar enough which was cool.....I also found that the cake benefits from sitting overnight in the fridge as it was a little too "eggy" when eating right after it had been baked..... bon app and a big merci to my friend G! ;)

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