Sometimes when it rains, it pours.
My son was down with viral infection and was out of school for 3 days in a row last week. We deliberately kept him out of the kindergarden because there was scarlet fever (roodvonk in dutch) going round in the kindergarden and at first we thought he was also down with scarlet fever, but luckily it was just a false alarm.
Needless to say, both hubby and me didn't sleep well as we were interrupted quite frequently by his midnight crying episodes. Just as I thought everything was over, I am down with presumably the same viral infection as my son since yesterday. You know, I was just thinking to myself yesterday morning that I have not had a fever for a very long time. In fact, I dun recollect having any fevers since I was a child, what always bugs me though is a persistent cough that won't go away. True enough, I had something very close to a fever yesterday, my whole body was trembling in bouts of hot and cold, and I know that's it. High fever for somebody who has never had fever before.
I took a paracetemol tablet last evening and this morning, the "fever" is gone but what remains is a painfully sore throat and what looks to be a crackling cough. Despite aching bones that threaten to fall apart any minute, I still have to breastfeed my baby, and cook dinner on a portable stove. Our electric stove short-circuited and died 2 days ago, after a pot of stew overflowed and flooded the whole stove top. It wasn't me but it is useless pointing fingers, what was done was done. Now we have to hunt around for a new stove. :)
Now unhappy things aside, what brings a smile to an otherwise dreadful midweek is this traditional chinese dessert or tong shui (糖水) which I prepared this morning on my portable stove. I am not sure if eating black sesame will aggravate my cough as I have heard that sesame oil is heaty according to TCM, but I couldn't care less. I really need something to perk up my day!
This is a very easy to prepare dessert and the ingredients are pretty simple too. If you are residing overseas, you can get the black sesame, white sesame and rice flour from the shops in Chinatown. I got mine from Antwerp Chinatown.
I adapted this recipe from Fenying's blog (which has ceased to exist online, but still viewable on my google reader) and halved the ingredients accordingly to make 2 servings of black sesame paste
Ingredients (makes 2 bowls)
75g black sesame
75g white sesame
15g rice flour mixed with 60ml water
80g sugar (reduced from 100g)
50g thick canned coconut milk or fresh milk
1. Stir fry the black and white sesame till fragrant in a non stick pot, for about 10 min. (Do not grease the pot).
2. Using a food blender/processor, blend the sesame with 500g water until it forms a smooth paste.
3. Filter the sesame paste through a sieve so that the larger particles of sesame are removed and you get a smooth sesame creme.
4. Pour the sesame creme back into the pot and bring to boil using medium heat.
5. Mix in the rice flour solution and continue to stir till it thickens.
6. Add sugar, continue to stir to dissolve the sugar and then remove from heat. Lastly add in coconut milk. Best eaten while hot.
Look how I managed to cook this dessert using a portable stove.
I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #20: Asian Dessert Buffet (June 2012), hosted by Moon of Food Playground.