June Favourites: Food, Shows & More
June is coming to an end soon and the countdown to July begins!
In a few days, we’ll be midway through the confusing year that is 2020. Face masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing, and staying indoors are now the new normal. In dreary times like this, I find myself seeking small pick-me-ups to lift my spirits, whether it’s a big ol’ bowl of comfort food or a fun game to play with family.
Here are some things in June that put a smile on my face:
1. Chicken porridge
The ultimate comfort food for me is my mum’s chicken porridge. Recently, I’ve had to go on a soft diet for a week or so for some dental issues I’ve been facing. I know that sounds sad, but knowing I could have my mum’s chicken porridge all day, every day was so comforting!
Usually, my mum makes it for us and I eat gallons of it. This month, I asked my mum for her recipe, so I could recreate it myself. I’m not kidding you, just one bite of this brings me back to my childhood and puts a smile on my face.
2. Sweet Chic
For Father’s Day this year, my husband and I baked cupcakes for our dads. I was an avid baker when I was younger, baking almost every other week. The containers full of baking thingamabobs lying at home are a testament to this. Nowadays, I cook far more than I bake, so I was excited to whip out the whisk!
Over the years, I've tried a number of cake/cupcake recipes. It took me a while, but I finally hit gold! Sweet Chic is a baking book that I swear by! The recipes are easy to follow and the end-products don’t disappoint.
So, on June 21st, my husband, my mum and I set out to bake vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing based on the recipe in this book. My husband sifted, I whisked and my mum supervised anxiously. Finally, the cupcakes were in the oven, and we peeked inside every so often to check whether our little babies had risen.
The best part about cupcakes for me is the frosting, so we went wild with it! Here’s a useful tip that I had to learn the hard way a few years ago: always, always sift your icing sugar, otherwise your frosting will turn out grainy! We beat the butter and icing sugar to form a sugary, diabetes-waiting-to-happen concoction and added food colouring to turn the frosting a light blue.
Once the cupcakes were done and cooled, we slathered frosting onto them (I say slathered here because it’s the only word that comes to mind to describe how badly we did this. Unfortunately my baking bug sort of died out before I mastered any sort of icing or piping skills). We were feeling extra, so we topped them off with colourful sugar pearls and beads. So once again, Sweet Chic comes to the rescue!
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So, let the games begin! This month, I’ve been playing quite a bit of Taboo with my family. I can be quite competitive, so tensions run pretty high. I’m that person who watches the timer like a hawk and yells “TIME’S UP!" at the 1-minute mark. If you don’t have Taboo, you could download Heads Up, which is a somewhat similar game, on your phone.
This month, I also learned a new card game from my husband’s childhood. The card game is called Magic The Gathering and it all started one day when my husband found his old deck of cards at home and randomly asked me, “Want to play?” and I said, “Yeah sure, teach me how to play.”
It’s basically a strategy game where each player gets a deck of cards with creatures and spells and the aim of the game is to ‘kill’ your opponent. It’s not something I normally play, but it’s actually pretty fun (once I started to beat my husband, hehe).
My husband does a lot of things he doesn’t particularly like with me: watching horror movies, eating Korean food, cooking. So I wanted to do something that he enjoys with him. But ultimately, I ended up liking it too!
This month, my husband and I started watching Snowpiercer on Netflix; not to be confused with the 2013 movie of the same name. Both the show and the movie are based on the same premise: the world has frozen over and all that’s left of mankind is trapped on a moving train, bound to go around the world on an endless loop. The train practices an unfair class system and this sparks rebellion.
I was initially quite skeptical about the show, I thought the movie was pretty good and I didn’t think there was much to expand on further. However, the show does offer a different take on things. At the very beginning, there is a murder to solve and the suspense draws you in. Unlike most other Netflix shows, however, episodes of Snowpiercer are aired weekly, so binge-watching isn’t really an option for now.
Although the show is set in a post-apocalyptic world, I think we can somewhat relate to the central theme of class divide portrayed in this show. It begs the question; in reality, would we as humankind do any better in such a scenario?
I love YouTube! The skits, stand-up comedy, music videos, lifestyle videos, vlogs - I love em’ all! This month, I stumbled upon a channel known as Click for Taz and I’ve been hooked ever since. The channel is run by Taz who is from the UK and is hilarious!
I started watching her ‘living on £1 a day for a week’ videos where she sets a meal budget of £1 for each day, goes bargain hunting, and cooks with the items she manages to find. I then moved on to watch a lot of her other videos where she tackled different challenges like going zero waste for a week, trying meal prep for a week, and quitting sugar for 10 days.
Just as I thought I had this channel figured out, I came across Taz’s spoken word poetry. I watched ‘I’m Ugly’ and ‘I’m Not Okay’ and I broke down in tears; her words were so relatable and they hit me hard. These videos reminded me how powerful words can be, how they can reach people you’ve never met, and comfort them in some way. Coming across this channel has definitely been one of the highlights of my month.
There are a few songs that I’ve been playing on repeat this month. If you’re looking to add some new songs to your playlist, do check out:
This song is beautiful and the lyrics are a little sad yet powerful.
Of course, listening to In the Blood got me looking up other John Mayer songs and I came across New Light. The song is really cool and catchy, but the music video is…well, rather odd.
I am yet to watch this movie, but this song is so funky and really hits you in the feels! I think this is the male lead’s debut movie and I only recently realised that he’s also the vocalist for this song. DAYUM! Talk about starting off with a bang!
This song for me is the perfect example of how music transcends language. I don’t understand the language, but it’s so soothing and beautiful. I imagine the song is about love, I could be wrong though. I can’t tell you what the singer is saying, but I can tell you how she makes me feel: at peace.
And that’s a wrap! I hope some of these things will put a smile on your face too. If you have other food, game, TV show, YouTube channel, or song recommendations, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to check them out! 😊