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This pair of birds, aren’t they beautiful? Our doggie Abbey alerted us to them when we went for a walk to a nearby park recently. White Crested Laughing Thrust, we were told. Although we went quite near with our camera, they seemed undeterred and trusting. A pity we didn’t get to hear them sing.

The weather recently has been rather erratic. It’s either hot and humid or wet and humid. Either condition, it makes one feels lazy and lethargic. This sweet refreshing dessert soup is just right for such days. Said to be good for nourishing and strengthening our respiratory system as well as improving complexion, it is refreshing and tastes good both cold or warm.


(serves 8)

1 dried white fungus (about 30gm) – soaked, washed & cut into bite-size

1 heaped tablespoon sweet almonds (南杏), washed
1 heaped tablespoons bitter almonds (北杏), washed
several pandam leaves – washed & cut or knotted
1.5 litres water

1 ripe & firm medium-size papaya

60gm rock sugar (reduce or increase according to taste)


1) Soak white fungus in water until soft. Trim away the hard yellow stem and cut fungus into bite size pieces. Rinse several times and drain.

2) Put (B) together in a pot and bring to boil and then simmer for 20mins, covered.

3) Remove skin and seeds from papaya and cut into bite size pieces.

4) Add papaya to soup and simmer for a further 10 mins. Lastly add rock sugar and stir until dissolved.

5) Serve hot or cold as desire.

A yummy nice treat to perk up a lousy day!

A yummy nice treat to perk up a humid day!