Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chinese Lunar New Year, Wholesale Food Shopping and The Great Mystery

Another lunar new year, another repetition of things soon to be ossified and thus dignified as "tradition". Yet it would be a queer thing indeed if there were no observable change to the human beings participating in such traditions.

Paul describes the normal Christian life similarly as one of continuous growth and progress. Just like a plant rooted in the soil (cf Colossians 2:7), we are to mature and bear fruit (cf Colossian 1:10). Progress to maturity isn't something just for the spiritually elite, the sort who get headhunted for full-time paid ministry; adding the extra inch to one's Christ-likeness every year is meant to be the usual progression of things for the well-loved Sunday school-teacher, the boring piano-player, the old pastor, the teenager in the pew with Issues, and the aunty who cleans up after morning tea. Any stuntedness would require a thorough check-up and immediate remedial measures.

Tangs Calendar 2011 The Vegetables are now friends with The Mastrad Mandolin
Just like the curious relatives who keep popping into the kitchen, asking "how did you get the cucumber slices so fine?" (the marvellous mandolin), "how did you make this/that dish?" (an amicable accident) and "how do you perform the Heimlich manoeuvre (j/k), so any one, who though once estranged has now been reconciled to God, would to be eager to learn how to hold on to and deepen that infinitely pricey relationship with God.

How is the Christian to mature and fulfil his/her role as a believer and a human? The answer is, unsurprisingly yet strangely, forgettably - Jesus. For Jesus is everything - he is the full image of God, he created all things, he holds all things together, he has authority over everything, he leads in every way, he reconciles all things (Colossians 1:15-20). Therefore, it is in Christ and not a particular church, teacher, preacher or programme that we will grow.

Johnsonville Chorizo Innards of Johnsonville Chorizo
They who might have leapt out from one of those medical journals on our coffee table: before, and after lack of medical intervention.
Symptom of the diseased world after the Fall.

But this is mere stock Sunday school answer unless we know what this entails. Paul tells us that it is about:

(1) being taught and warned about the truth of who Jesus is - how was God going to deal with a world so mired in sin, a creation so dismissive of its creator? How can a good God forgive wrongdoing without exacting punishment and yet still be just and righteous? How was the God of the ages who gave consistent promises to Abraham, Moses, David and the scattered people of Israel through hundreds of years going to fulfil his promises if his people were never really going to worship him as they should? What is God going to do about this world and where is it heading? A mystery. A mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed - Jesus Christ who disclosed fully the mind and purpose of God and through whom God reconciled all things to himself by Jesus' death on the cross, so that we who were once alienated from God and hostile in mind have now been reconciled to God, being presented holy and blameless and above reproach before him (Colossians 1:20-22).

The proclamation of the mystery that is Christ is God's means of growing the church/Christian (Colossians 1:28). So it is important for a church to have teachers and preachers who make the word of God fully known (Colossians 1:26 - while Paul was on special commission from God to bring gospel to the Gentiles, this method of growth was modelled by, rather than exclusive to, Paul). Since no human mind can adequately conceive the full riches of Christ, teachers and preachers must then be faithful to God's word in Scripture. This means proper exposition of Bible passages. Waffley sermons based on broad concepts of Christian doctrine (good guidelines but ultimately just the theories of humans) applied to present day events will not contain enough nutrients to grow the plants so valuably saved by the blood of Christ.

Shabu-shabu at Home Misomayo Hotate
(2) not just knowing the Bible better and being grounded in sound teaching but all this knowledge and understanding expressed in unity ("being knit together" like threads in a cloak) in love within the church (Colossians 2:2). Love and unity have always been popular themes in religion, politics, social interest groups, patriarchal/matriarchal families and your local football club. Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) demonstrates that there is nothing inherently good about love and togetherness. The social-being-ness of humans is God-designed - whereas sinners abuse community to amplify their rebellion against God, the church whose unity is based on truth of the gospel will reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of Christ, sinking deeper roots of certainty in the self-revelation of God (Colossians 2:2).

Amplification - Green Tea and Azuki Pound Cake + Green Tea Gelato + Azuki
Amplification of macha (green tea) and azuki (red beans)

Because this proper sort of love and unity must be based on truth, therefore unlike the flaccid niceness, positive reassurance and ego massages the world would associate with these terms, it is likely that true togetherness would not fail to entail warning (cf Colossians 1:28), admonishment and discipline. This sort of encouragement (and not better music or more responsive-type songs) would generate a more deeply felt and rich assurance of our knowledge of Jesus.

Merely checking-in for a sing-a-long and a talk for an hour every Sunday will result in dwarfism and lack of a normal Christian life. It is only by working together and praying together, that God will grow us. Hence the importance of bible study groups and also one suspects, morning teas and other Sunday meals with the church family.

Shelves of Mushrooms!
(3) relying on Christ for energy to do point (1). The goal of maturity was not specific to first-century Christians in Colossae and Laodicea but to all Christians everywhere throughout the ages. So while Paul may have been given special stewardship as an apostle, there was nothing unique in the proclamation-of-Christ part of his ministry. Arguably, if we are all to reach maturity and this is to come by points (1) and (2), then while the aim of every Christian leader is to present everyone mature in Christ, it is likely that every-member ministry would also be on the menu, and so then quite consequentially the hard backbreaking toil of ministering to others (cf Colossians1:29-2:1). While we Singaporeans are used to working hard for our goals in school or at work, the energy to struggle in serving others can only come from Christ who is in us (Colossians 1:27) and not from our own strength.

Ingredients for Macaroni and Cheese for Forty Macaroni and Cheese for Morning Tea at Church
Had plenty of time to mull over this one while literally driving round half the island to wholesalers for almost a hundred kilograms of cheese, cream, mascarpone, meatballs, sausages, chicken, seafood, mmm streaky bacon, huge bottles of herbs and tins of spaghetti sauce and plum tomatoes. Since we were cooking for 80 one weekend and in the kitchen for the family reunion dinner and then for another 40 the following weekend, the savings from shopping at factory outlets far outweighed the cost of petrol.

(Interesting how large sections of the general public took umbrage at the revelation, when it set up its retail arm, that Kim Joo Guan was actually the wholesale supplier of bak kwa (sliced barbecued meat) to at least 5 retail brands including the popular Lim Chee Guan. Was amused to realise that popular suppliers are the reason food in Singapore tastes pretty much the same in coffeeshops, hawker stalls, food centres and even restaurants all over the island.)

(Listing not an indication of merit nor willingness to entertain retail sales - some have already been chastised by AVA.)

Fassler shopping basket of seafood, quarter-filled Shopping basket of chicken, sausages, cheese, cream, mascarpone, bacon, herbs, spaghetti sauce

Woodlands Terrace
10 Woodlands Terrace - KSP Food Suppliers - wagyu, kurobuta, smoked duck
16 Woodlands Terrace - ZAC Meat and Poultry - Halal sausages, cold cuts, hummus
26 Woodlands Terrace - Melvados - cakes, frozen food
42 Woodlands Terrace - Thai Sing - housebrand chinese and nonya sauces
46 Woodlands Terrace - Fassler Gourmet - sashimi grade seafood. salmon, tuna, scallop, abalone
48 Woodlands Terrace - Wan Foong - sausages, ham, pork knuckle
60 Woodlands Terrace - Fragrance Foodstuff - bak kwa

Woodlands Link
12 Woodlands Link - Win Sin - bakery, pastry
23 Woodlands Link- Bengawan Solo - nonya kuehs

15 Woodlands Loop
Amongst a block of caterers (including ihostfood for confinement meals!) are the elves who ensure all your mass market meals have that comforting ubiquitous taste.
#01-01 - Zingrill - the guys who run Seoul Garden and Breeks!
#01-09 - Kyo Cake House
#02-17 - Everyday Products - juices, syrups and "cloudy agents"
#02-19 - Harmony Foods - fruit products
#02-22 - Delisnacks - fried dough snacks to go with your soya bean drink.
#02-33 - Tenderfresh - chicken, chops and grills. Suppliers to the "Western Food" stalls in coffeeshops, hawker centres and food centres.
#02-37 - Xi Shi Bak Kwa
#02-50 - Soon Huat Marine Product Trading - fish maw, mushrooms, sharks fin, pig tendon, sea cucumber, gingko nuts, you get the idea.
#03-03 - J&C (Fong's) Food Industry - Halal cakes, seasonal pastries.
#03-12 - Baker's Oven - Halal pastries, cookies. Esp seasonal.
#03-53 - Defu Otah
#04-29 - Choo Chiang - chinese roast meats
#04-33 - e-creative - erm, creative cakes
#04-46 - Unity Foods (BBQ Delights)

1B Senoko Crescent - Seah's Spices
6 Senoko South Road - Bee Ching Hiang - bak kwa
24 Senoko Way - Culina
36 Senoko Drive - Indoguna / The Green Grocer

24 Tuas Avenue 4 - Frosts Food and Beverage

Pandan Loop
208 Pandan Loop - Boncafe
255 Pandan Loop - Tai Sun Food Industries

Chin Bee
6 Chin Bee Crescent - BH Fresh Food / Best Food
8 Chin Bee Crescent - QB Food
11 Chin Bee Crescent - Rudi's Fine Food
15 Chin Bee Crescent - Santa Boeki - sweets
33 Chin Bee Crescent - Tong Garden
11 Chin Bee Drive - Ann Tat Frozen Food

Fishery Port Road
1 Fishery Port Road - Ben Foods
19 Fishery Port Road - Song Fish Dealer
Jurong Fishery Port - fresh(er) fish and seafood

Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market
Blk 12, #01-587 - Chan Kok Hon Vegetables
Blk 13, #01-600 - Yong Hup Heng
Blk 14, #01-23 - Friendly Vegetarian
Blk 14, #01-25 - Zenxin Agri-Organic Food
Blk 17, #01-11 - FRESHdirect
Blk 17 #01-108 - Yew Ming - dried fruits, nuts, seafood

Blk 217 Henderson Road, #01-08 Henderson Industrial Park - Classic Fine Foods
Blk 219 Henderson Road, #01-03 Henderson Industrial Park - Euraco - "purveyor of the world's finest food, beverages and pastries"

Ubi Ave 2
Blk 3020, #01-121 - D’Pastry - durian puffs, strudel, tiramisu
Blk 3020, #01-103 - Yap Chai Luck - roast meat

Bedok North Street 5
Blk 3015 - Montreaux Patisserie - cakes, pastries
Blk 3017 - Vismark Food Industry - Asian pastes and frozen dim sum

Chun Man Yuan - satay, otah
BBQ Wholesale

Nonya Deli mee siam, Bukit Timah Plaza
Pitstop at Nonya Deli, Bukit Timah Plaza to refuel and listen to David Jackman

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At November 05, 2011 4:39 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank-you so much for such a complete and detailed list! Couldn't find it anywhere else.
From a grateful reader.


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