Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Salads: Love Food by Busy Dads

Dear friends,

lately I have been concocting salads for myself. Firstly, it is a health choice for me. Now that I am reaching fifty in two years, I thought I had better have a good early start now than later down the road to a golden robust age. My second reason for going the way of the vegetables concerns animals. Recent news reporting sadistic physical abuse on cattles by ranchers in USA turn me round finally from eating meat today. Call me silly, but I felt better each day not eating meat in solidarity with the animals. However, I have decided to adopt a slow approach to my diet change, i.e. eating seafood still but not big animals - poultry, pork, beef and mutton. So far, I am glad to say I have not suffered any withdrawal. Actually, it has been a breeze. Who knows, one day, a vegant I be.

But my unashamed profession here is not the reason why I am writing to you now. It is the busy dads of homeschool kids I like to reach out to here. Why? Read on...

You see, I have also begun introducing salads to my son Min. I remember the pleasant smile beaming from his face when I presented it to him the first time [see photo above]. I caught him by surprise with a dish decorated evidently with lots of love. The wonderful thing is: I was taken by surprise too - stumbling as I did into a simple but profound way to shower him with love!

Since that wonderful day, I have been inventing new salad combination for Min. It is not a daily routine but at least twice a week I feed him with my 'love food'. : )

So, this is what I like to share with busy dads of homeschool kids: You Can Make a Beautiful Salad once in a while to show your love for your child. It is as easy as ABC!

Hope this will help dads with teens who are growing out of the 'hugs and kisses' phase and looking for ways to capture their hearts still... : ) Here's a few other photos of my love food.

Photo above: Experimenting with fennel that I have never eaten before. Delicious!

Photo above: Baby cucumbers really easy and refreshingly quenching.

Photo above: Mixing fruits with vegetable adds colours and vitamins.

Photo above: Miso soup with Mushroom-noodles and Scallop-mushrooms.

Photo above: You can mash up broccoli and chinese-cabbage after steaming. Very interesting texture. I experiment with dried papaya strips (red in colour).

Photo bove: Yummy! Cute cubes of tea-tofu with Miso!

Hey! Maybe we dads should organise a gathering of sort to start tasting vegetable and stuff, eh? I don't mind sharing my little discoveries! hee hee!
Joe Lai : )

Friday, July 25, 2008

Min's Poem: Volcano

A dormant volcano,
seemingly forever at peace with the world,
awakens with rage and new-found power
burning within.
The land trembles with fear
as the volcano vents its anger
on everything near it.
In the aftermath,
the land is bruised -
bleeding profusely.
And the volcano falls asleep,
unremorseful of its actions.

- by Lai Min, July 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Book: Parasitic Flowering Plants

I am delighted to introduce you a fantastic book (shown above) on Parasitic Flowering Plants (of the world) by Dr. Henning S. Heide-Jorgensen who gave me the rare opportunity and honour to contribute some of my photographs of our native parasitic plants, namely, Lepionurus sylvestris, Olax scandens, Scleropyrum wallichianum, Cassytha filiformis and Striga asiatica.

More information on the book can be found in Dr. Hennings' website:

Here below are three other parasitic beauties I have documented from our forests (and the fourth is a saprophyte):

What are you waiting for! Go buy this great 438-page reference book!

cheers : )
Joe Lai