Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Expectations and Kangaroo Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I was at a dinner party many years ago when a friend of a friend said, “it’s better to have low expectations. That way you’ll never be disappointed.”

I was speechless. All I could think was here was a person whose heart had been broken at some point. She’d lived whole-heartedly once but things hadn’t work out for her. Maybe someone she loved hadn’t loved her back. Maybe she had been sidelined at work or received knock-back after knock-back. Maybe someone close to her had gotten sick or passed away.

Whatever the reason, instead of taking a deep breath and brushing herself off, she’d decided she wasn’t going to try anymore. So she went through the motions of living, insulated and protected from failure and getting hurt by living in her bubble wrap of low expectations.

Everyone has a breaking point. I knew next to nothing about this woman’s life and what other challenges she may have faced that had contributed to her apathy. But I knew that her mind was a jailer, stopping her from fully living the life she could have been living.

Our world-view can be heavily influenced by other people, too. Well-meaning family members and friends will often unintentionally help you create a limited view of yourself. They’ll encourage you towards the safe option or the easy choice. The safe corporate job instead of the entrepreneurial path. The resort holiday instead of the three months backpacking trip around Asia. 

Don’t become other people’s expectations of you. They are projecting their own experiences, secret dreams and conflicted thoughts about themselves onto you. Know that you’re capable of so much more than they can imagine.

When I moved to London and was looking a job a friend advised me to look at jobs at a certain level and salary range. I did apply for those jobs but I also applied for jobs above and beyond her suggested range and I ended up doing some of them. My eyes were opened – every few years I moved somewhere new where I had an opportunity to reinvent myself and to do things I’d never dreamed I would. It was awesome fun.


My 4YO is fearless. Every day he tells me about the things he’s going to do when he is older – apparently he will wrestle crocodiles, lift up cars with his bare hands and climb the tallest mountains in the world.

Enthusiasm and certainty are easy when we are young. As we grow older we can forget to be fearless explorers, ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We encounter setbacks, disappointments and grief and so we learn to protect ourselves. To be sensible and practical. To set aside our dreams and go through the motions. We tread water in the shallows where its safe instead of taking a deep breath and diving into the deep unknown.

Ultimately, life has a way of living up to your expectations. So forget about having low ones. Be brave. Take a chance. Dream big. You will be disappointed at times, but the highs will definitely be worth it.

kangaroo satays

Kangaroo Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I made these Kangaroo Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce for a project a little while ago and they’re awesome. The list of ingredients isn’t short but I had most of them in my pantry and one trip to the market provided the rest. If you eat meat you should definitely try making them.




Basting Mixture





  1. Heat up a fry pan and add oil.
  2. Fry onion, garlic, chillies and terasi/belechan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  3. In a processor, blend fried mixture with peanuts, petis udang, salt and palm sugar.
  4. Put mixture into a pot and add water. Cook over medium heat until smooth and thickened.
  5. Remove two tablespoons for basting mixture and then add kepap manis and lime juice to the remaining sauce. Cover and keep warm.

Basting Mixture

  1. Mix peanut sauce with kepap manis, lime juice and cooking oil on small plate.


  1. Cut kangaroo into bite sized pieces and place into a bowl.
  2. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and mix to combine.
  3. Cover and leave for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Drain liquid and thread meat onto pre-soaked skewers.
  5. Heat up a barbecue or griller.
  6. Grill the skewers for about 3 minutes, then baste with basting mixture and turn over. Baste other side and cook for another 3 minutes or until crispy and brown. I like my skewers medium – kangaroo is tough if you overcook it.

To serve


More Meat Recipes

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