Lilly and I went to Eastern Market today; I’d been wanting to check it out for a while now. It’s lovely! I still prefer the French markets from my childhood, but it’s lovely. I wore my new boots, even though I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea. If you have new shoes, you need to break them in slowly. Going far from where you live isn’t a good idea, especially if it involves a fair amount of walking.
Twenty-minute walk to the Metro stop, walking from the Metro to the market, walking around the market, walking from the market to the Metro, walking around the grocery store, walking around CVS, twenty-minute walk from CVS to my apartment…
I finally took my boots off when I got back and ah! blood! a lot of blood!
It wasn’t pretty. My roommate didn’t appreciate it.
But at least I got Halloween candy on sale. I also got apples, some peach jam, and some apricot preserves. Mmmmm. Tasty.
Have you seen this, by the way? What the fuck?
November! November November November, it’s November! I love this month.
That’s right; this weekend is officially my last weekend in the Illadelph. I didn’t have great things planned, but I wasn’t counting on throwing up multiple times today, either; life is funny sometimes.
I want to write about so many things that I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll do it chronologically!
Bev, my next-door neighbor, brought me a box of candy from the shore; this one is called “Summer Assortment”. The box is split in two and both sides are the same, so I took one side and mom took the other :)
Aren’t the colors just so delicious? A while ago, Bev brought back a box of creamy fudge from the boardwalk. I had never really had fudge before, and I didn’t expect it to be so sweet! So of course I only have very little at once, and the box is still sitting around. I like the candies much better.
I’m not usually a candy person, but on occasion I like to have something sugary, chewy, and sour to light up my palate a little bit. Citrus flavors are my favorite by far!
Look at these things, aren’t they cute? The orange and green flowers are creamy mint.
I did some ceramics painting when I went to Brooklyn for Susan’s birthday but my mug wasn’t going to be ready until a week later. So, Susan got it for me and recently shipped it to me:
Ceramics painting is a lot of fun; I highly recommend it for anyone who’s got an hour or two to kill.
Last weekend was my mom’s first attempt at a bird’s nest noodle dish. The cooked noodle is fried and shaped into a bowl to resemble a bird’s nest, and the rest is basically stir-fried and placed in the nest.
Here, we have shrimp, pork, shiitake mushrooms, string beans, and onions (we like to keep things simple). The sauce helps soften the noodle so that every bite isn’t a crunch; the mix of soft and crunchy is to die for!
Let’s not forget to mention that shrimp and pork make a killer combination; mom’s dumplings are fucking divine.
Homemade cooking is always best, especially when it comes to Chinese food. With this dish, for example, the sauce is always too starchy in restaurants. The shrimp has no taste, the meat can be tough, and the string beans aren’t fresh.
An interesting dessert to follow this dish is chè đậu trắng, a wonderful Vietnamese dessert consisting of black-eyed peas and sweet (sticky) rice in coconut milk. I’ve always only known it as chè đậu, because while there are many varieties of bean desserts (đậu means “beans”), this is the one my mom makes the most (we’re not crazy about chè đậu xanh (made with mung beans).
Another dessert that my mom absolutely loves is chè xôi nước, and you can see it here. She makes it every once in a while. What the Wikipedia article fails to mention is that not all the balls are big and filled with mung bean paste; there are usually a multitude of tiny balls (I call them “babies”) made of just the glutinous rice flour. They’re small, chewy, and delightful to eat. Mmm, just thinking about it makes me want to eat it — but we just had chè đậu, and too much of a good thing can do some serious damage.
Learn more about chè here.
A few days after the noodle dish, my mom made a mean mapo doufu — and I only thought of taking a picture after I had inhaled about half the dish.
The level of spiciness was severely toned down because I had a canker sore, which we attribute to “hot air” (look it up). Nevertheless, it was amazing (yes, everything that my mom makes is amazing).
What you see in the upper right hand corner of the picture is a bowl of tofu and tomato soup with small seasoned meatballs, garnished with scallions. Of course, since this is a Chinese household, it was in clear broth. I didn’t take a picture of it because it’s a rather ordinary soup for us, though it is pretty damn tasty.
Mom just came up to ask me what we should have for dinner, and I suggested mapo doufu. Sweet.
Quick update on the wasp! It’s dead:
Yesterday was my last day working at the LDC — after four years, seven months, and three days, I left the windowless annotation lab to never again return. Maybe. Of course, I was the last part-timer out of the office. I thought it was going to be an emotional day because I did enjoy working there and I really like the people I’ve met during that time. But, as with graduation, it was just a long, busy, bittersweet day. The end of an era, once more. Plus, I’m going to see a bunch of them people Tuesday evening at happy hour, so it didn’t really feel like the end.
What I didn’t know was that I would see some of them way before Tuesday — as in, last night. I drank like I didn’t know that having lots of beer on an empty stomach was bad for you. Liz drove, I got motion sickness… we went to McDonald’s after the party and it was dry and disgusting so I didn’t finish it, then drove home and I puked on the highway or wherever it is that we were.
I woke up at 6:30AM and was hungry, so I finished the McDonald’s (yeah, I know, gross) and went back to sleep. I woke up again at 9, showered because I was disgusting, made some breakfast… and I realized how shitty I felt once I got downstairs. I made eggs because that’s always helped me fight off a hangover, and naturally I had lots and lots of water. Shortly thereafter, it all came back up. I’m talking projectile vomiting here; my body wasn’t having any of it. Nothing helped. Water came back up, food came back up, medicine came back up — nothing would stay. They say you have to eat when you’re hungover. They say you have to drink a lot of water. They say you have to sleep. SLEEP. Not ride the bus to the Asian supermarket when it’s super duper SUNNY AS SHIT outside. SLEEP. Before we left the house, I had a cup of ginger lemon tea to soothe my stomach. When I got to the supermarket, I went to the restroom and puked it all out. The cup of tea. Gone.
And when I walked out of the restroom, I felt better! When we got home, I felt better! Then I remembered that my stomach had been empty since lunch time yesterday, and I felt nauseous all over again. “No, you’re just hungry,” said my mom. She made rice congee for me — plain, because I didn’t want to fuck with my stomach inadvertently — and I added some pepper, soy sauce, and a little bit of fried shallots to it. It was delicious, and my stomach was happy, just like the rest of my body.
The only other thing I had to take care of today was my purse. I put an open bottle of beer in it last night but I swear it was standing up (as if it was going to stay that way, ha!). Somehow in my drunken stupor I forgot about it and opened a new one that I downed at record speed before Liz and I left. Once we got to the car, I looked into my purse and realized that it was flooded with Heineken. But that’s okay because it’s Heineken, right? Wrong. I took all of my shit out and turned it upside down, inside out to pour out the beer (not inside the car, of course). I chucked the bottle out onto the curb (I’m so sorry for littering) and off we went.
This morning, everything smelled terrible: my keys, my wallet, my tissues, my GUM — EVERYTHING. But we had to go to the supermarket and I didn’t get around to washing the damn thing and all the little shits until about midway through this entry. Now it’s all clean! It just has to dry.
It is now almost 8PM, and I’m feeling nauseous again. Or maybe I’m just hungry.