Thursday, August 11, 2011

Of Cherries and Pears

Phooey...  It HAS been a while since I've posted anything...  I feel bad, I really do.  Sorry everyone.  I was a stay at home wife for more than a year, and just recently started working as an interpreter.

I've always had a penchant for languages.  I grew up in a family speaking Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien, then learned English and Malay in school.  Tried picking up German and Japanese along the way, and now I'm trying to learn Spanish.  I'd say I'm a pretty strong Mandarin language user.  However, since about 10 years ago, English has slowly but surely overtook Mandarin as the stronger language.   Thanks to a recent German trip, I've got some of those German words coming back to me.  It was really fun trying to use my really-touristy-broken German.  Let's see, I accidentally ordered a large beer instead of a small one?  Or paying 60 cents for a 70 cents ice-cream and had the lady behind the counter laughing as I sheepishly dug out another 10 cents to cover the difference.  I'd like to think of it as I made her day better with a laughter.  I hope...

As for my Japanese skill, well, let's just say that if you drop me anywhere in Japan, I'll manage to find my way out fine.  Not strong, just very child-like Japanese, but I won't starve to death in Japan.  After three years of weekly Japanese classes, I almost gave all of it back to my teacher.  Thank goodness for animes, mangas, J-pops and dramas.  Now I'm picking up a little Spanish here and there.  Hmm let's see, I can do a simple greeting and order food from restaurants or at the mercado (market/marketplace).  I really need to be better at my Spanish.  haha

Anyway, have you ever had that feeling that you can do more?  That you can somehow contribute more to the society, to your community?  For over a year, I held fast hoping that I could find another job in my previous engineering field, but that didn't happen.  I was just feeling that I should be doing more for my community when this interpreter thing dropped in my path.  By "thing", I mean a good thing!  I was a little skeptical when my lady boss said that she had a good feeling that we'll work along very well.  Maybe because I was going into a new field?  Maybe because I will be working mainly in medical settings?  Maybe...?  There may be a lot of "maybes", but I did it anyway.  I've taken a course, I've drilled myself in medical procedures and terminology, and also on what being a professional medical interpreter means.  It can be hectic sometimes, but so far, I like it!  Even though there are days when I felt that I could've done better, could've been better, deep down, I know that even just a little, I'm contributing to my community.  And I like that!  I've got this skill that can be applied in this way to serve my community, so why not?  But, on the downside, that means weekly drilling of medical terminologies and procedural names so that I can be better at what I'm doing.  Good way to keep my brain going I suppose.  And a very good way to bring back all that Chinese language skills that I have into tip-top shape.  YAY!

So, that's what's up with me as of late.  And finally I'm able to get a better foothold of my schedule and come back to my little blog.  Yes, I HAVE been playing with my food.  Still am, and probably always will.  I have been cooking, baking, and having fun in my kitchen, I just didn't have enough time to put everything together and present them out to the world.

Thus far, it seems like nothing's related to the title of this post "Of Cherries and Pears".  Sure does seem like it huh?  Fear not!  This is just the beginning.  *wink*  What's coming in the next couple posts will be cherries and pears related.  I'm SO excited!  I'm in love with cherries this season.  Bing, rainier, montgomery, or marachino, I love em all!  And pears, I have this little secret love for pears.  Umm hmm.  Yup!  I will be sharing a pear preserve recipe and what to do with leftover chocolate cake layers and some cherries.  How did I end up with a leftover chocolate cake layer?  Well... here's why...

Black Forest Cake!  My all time favorite...  Now I'm craving again.  *sigh*  I'm hopeless.  Hopelessly addicted to this little baby.  Now this?  I'm not so great at it yet, and my measurements are sorta in the trial and error stage, without any proper measurements, so I won't be a good source for this recipe for a while at least.  Meanwhile, I leave all of you with a beautiful photo auf Palais im Der Großer Garten (of Palace in the Grosser Garden) und Guten Tag!