Today is the 8th of April, and guess what, it’s been 1 year since TummyTroll was set up in 2012 on this very day! This is a special post to recount our very exciting past year, with some trivia about our blog and all the contributing members:
8 Fun Facts about TummyTroll:
#1 – 88 RECIPES
We have written 88 recipes in the past year (wow very auspicious number there). Not bad for a bunch of usually exhausted college students with so many readings on a weekly basis!
#2 – TUMMYTROLL WAS BORN IN BRIGHTON (SORT OF)
The idea for a food blog came about when the few of us went on a weekend trip to Brighton in England. #tumtianhui and #phangchewfat were so bored on the long train ride that they started talking about how they would love to write their own cookbook; #tth would handle the baking while #pcf would do the cooking. Since publishing a cookbook was obviously out of the question, why not a food blog then? They roped in #chubchunchua and #mysterytroll, who happened to stay in the same student hall with #phangchewfat. It made sense since they often cooked together. Bonus: The boys take excellent photos too!
The trip that started everything:
#3 – DIY IS THE WAY TO GO AT TUMMYTROLL
Over the course of one year, we’d really gotten more hands-on and ambitious with our cooking and ideas. While we still rely on pre-made pastes and sauces, we’d resorted to making many things from scratch, and we’re not looking back. There’s no reason to, when you can make Chwee Kueh, Soya Bean Milk and even Nian Gao in your kitchen!
Short Recipe: Chwee Kueh (水粿)
Step-By-Step Recipe: Soya Milk / Soy Milk (豆奶 , 豆花水 , 豆浆)Step-By-Step Recipe: Chinese Steamed Sticky Rice Cake / Nian Gao (年糕)
#4 – WE’D ALL HAD PERSONAL GROWTH
Cooking wise, #chubchunchua (who was once #chubkaichun but changed his moniker due to fengshui purposes or perhaps reasons otherwise) has definitely refined his techniques and acquired a whole great deal of knowledge especially pertaining to French cooking, inspired by his travels to France and countless Youtube videos. Also discovered a new found love for knives (everyone needs to see how serious he gets when he sharpens his beloved babies. As in his knives, not real babies, just in case you’re thinking otherwise). Hmmn, dangerous.
Fussing over profiteroles (he makes some really really good profiteroles, bug him to share his recipe!!!)
#mysterytroll The Lump, who also used to be known as the PastaManiac because he cooked up to 5-6 portions of pasta at one go, for weeks or even months in Year 1, has bade goodbye to his pasta obsession (thank goodness!). Although he still flatly denies any interest in cooking, he has since amassed an impressive repertoire of Asian and Chinese home-style dishes, perhaps due to his new responsibility to feed one of his current housemates (hmmmn who, we wonder?). We see less of his no-holds-barred experimenting though, no more potato porridge or Green Soup?!
#tumtianhui continues to amaze us with her insistence on proper nutrition, as we learn that she must have her meals at home in this format: The traditional Chinese meal with a minimum of three dishes, soup and rice. And how can we forget that she’s the queen of her individual photos. Even after one year. Yes. The evidence, during cooking ONLY (if we were to put up other photos we’d run out of photo space on this blog):
Can’t really remember what we were making… But you get the idea.
As for #phangchewfat, she has definitely become a better baker. Although she still messes up her measurements (sometimes still blatantly ignores the need to measure ingredients), it is really a wonder that someone as imprecise as her can now make cupcakes with legitimate buttercream icing on them. We call this the power of a greedy stomach. With a newfound love for running and fitness, she has also been experimenting with healthy eating and healthier cooking (if you discount the stash of chocolates and cookies she keeps in her room)!
#5 – THE UNSUNG HERO OF TUMMYTROLL, (CHUB)CHUNCHUA
What is a food blog without photos? The unsung hero of this blog is definitely #chubchunchua, who might appear to have very few posts to his name but needs to take credit for 99% of the beautiful photos that appear on TummyTroll. “It has been challenging to shoot in a confined space like a kitchen, particularly in getting a soft, diffused light. While not every shoot yields the desired result, I’m continuously rediscovering my limited equipment, realising new ways of using them to get better lighting effects.” Thank you for the photos, #ccc!
He is also responsible for the design and layout of our blog. Do you like our new blogskin with a cleaner and brighter look? Thank you #ccc again! Not to mention he’s also the unofficial food processor who takes on all the menial labour in the kitchen. Just think of him grating radishes, cutting pineapples, cleaning squid, even tasks like reaching for things on the higher cupboards… Yeah.
#6 – MOST POPULAR POSTS ON TUMMYTROLL ARE…
CHEAT! / Step-By-Step: Kaya Puffs / Kaya Kok (加央角)
Step-By-Step Recipe: Making from scratch… Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿)
Step-By-Step: Crème Caramel
CHEAT! / Step-By-Step: All Basics Lasagne
#7 – STRANGELY, WE LOST WEIGHT
Over the past year, our weight has gone down by an average of 0.5kg per person. The irony! Maybe it’s because Year 2 is way more stressful than our carefree Year 1 days? Perhaps, perhaps.
For #mysterytroll the biggest difference is probably the hair length…
#8 – FRIENDSHIP ABOVE ALL
Cooking partners, baking buddies, and passionate foodies aside… We are all just good friends who also love to travel, take photos and discuss school work together (oops)!
Going to Iceland last Summer was a big highlight to us:
#mysterytroll and #phangchewfat will always remember this unforgettable glacier hike, made memorable by #tumtianhui of course…
Through painful times… Disclaimer: Disturbing content below. View at your own risk!
… We warned you!
TummyTroll thanks all of you for the one year of support, encouragement and love! In the next years to come, hopefully, we’ll be able to cook even better food, write better recipes, take better photos, and above all, keep up the spirit of this overseas student food blog! :) Happy April 8th, it’s TummyTroll day today!