Sunday, December 20, 2009

What ifs

CL, VA and I had a great time on Friday gathering. In fact, we chatted till 2ish before we head home. On the way home, VA was telling me that she will be going to the Book Feast the next day. I decided to join her and her girls.

Firstly, it will be my first time visiting this book fair. Secondly, VA has more experience in parenting as she has two teens. She obviously is good at guiding her kids’ educations as well as they are doing well.

Gosh, the place was huge. When I stepped in, I didn't know where to start. My purpose there is actually to get some assessment books for my kids.

With the help of VA as she knows what is best to get for her gals. With her little gal's experience, she was quick to identify which one is useful and which one is just simply crap.

You won't believe how many choices are there for just one subject. Some are really good and some are just "out there to earn quick bucks". Yes, in Singapore, parents always load the kids on assessment books. The theory is that the more they practise the better they become.

I am actually saddened to say that I will be joining this wagon of parents. As much as I refrained, guess now I cannot help it. Imagine my poor son is starting a 9 - 10 subjects’ education in two weeks' time. Even with one assessment book per subject, my basket was getting heavier and heavier. I am appalled to think what life is going to be for him.

Just this morning, I read that even under graduate are taking tuition to help them through. I am very sure a lot of people will be joining this "tutor industry" as the money is really good and bloody hell it is tax free.

Just take a classic example of one lousy tutor my son had not too long ago. He charges S$50/hour and a minimum of 2 hours per trip. Two sessions a week and he doesn't even have to issue receipt. Who to know how much he earns?

If I didn't remember wrongly, not too long ago, the government was tracking down food hawkers who do not pay taxes.

They are slogging away 12 hours or more under the heat and sweat where as these tutors are in the comfort of a home and they are not even under the "radar". As I always tell my kids, life is never fair. Anyway, with the advancement of my country, we can only hope that our kids will try their best so that they will be able to have a footing in our highly competitive environment.

Perhaps today is such a lovely and relax day that I am actually reflecting on life and my role as a parent. I seriously am afraid of what my kids will face but if I were to tell my hubby about my doubts, I am so sure that he will brushes me off and tells me that the kids will be able to adapt, manage and cope.

Well enough of my "what ifs".

I am going to whip up some royal icing and get my kids to frost some cookies. By now I am sure you have seen plenty of gingerbread recipes.

The last time I tried this was 3 years ago. This time round I have chosen a recipe that I took from Ikea's newsletter and done a little modification.

I also baked it longer so that it is harder to withstand our high humidity. With a harder cookie, it is also easier for the kids to work on it without breaking.

Photobucket

Have fun as we prepare to welcome Christmas.

What you need:

137g sugar
60g water
75g Molasses
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Ground cloves
100g butter
290g plain flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp brandy

Method

Bring to boil sugar, water, molasses and spices. Cool mixture.

Add butter little by little and brandy. Stir vigorously.

Add flour mixed with baking soda.

Work dough quickly and let it rest int he refrigerator till the next day.

Roll the dough to 1 - 2 mm thick.

Cut to desired form with cookie cutters and baked for 5 - 8 mins at 200 degree celcius.

Cool and frost.
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