Category Archives: Cooking

Feeding the Muse

feeding myself

I snarfed this idea, in which she lists her recent meals, from my friend Jamey over at Modern Conjure. Here are some of the things I’ve eaten in the last two weeks. Gotta feed the Muse.

top row, left to right:

  • a butter poached egg (poached egg, dipped in raw egg + breadcrumbs, and then fried in butter until the outside is crispy, but the yolk is still delicious and runny–recipe from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book). oh, i am going to have to make this again.
  • homemade waffles (with our new waffle maker!) topped with homemade blueberry syrup (take maple syrup, pop a handful of blueberries in, simmer and voila: blueberry syrup)
  • grilled mackerel (oh, i had been craving fish. i love mackerel).
  • 12th wedding anniversary dessert at Jean Georges (the most decadent meal. which we couldn’t finish as hung our heads in shame)

middle row, left to right:

bottom row, left to right:

  • stuffed cabbage–a family staple
  • modern galbi jjim topped with crispy rice balls from JungSik. inventive modern Korean–which gave me both the comfort of my most beloved flavor profile along with the adventure of something new.
  • lots of plain steamed rice (and saltine crackers). like, for a week while i was/am sick with some mysterious stomach ailment.
  • rainbow jello to break the monotony of paper-colored foods while sick.
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Eliminating Noise

the coast

I am continuing my quest to be good.

Step 1: the elimination of noise.

By noise, I don’t mean all sound, but a particular kind of sound that keeps me from focusing on what I need and want in my life. And by sound, I don’t even mean literal sound, but information that is unnecessary and welcome.

Like FB or twitter: It’s so exhausting–it’s like trying to keep up with a conversation in which I’m not a major player. Do I really need to take part? When I walk away, it’s not like I’m missed; that conversation keeps moving, whether I’m contributing or not.

So I stepped away. I’m managing to step almost entirely away from Facebook and finding myself…happier, lighter, as a result. (But drats that Farm Town–is there a gum I can chew to wean myself off that addiction? I’m not even sure WHY it is I’m so addicted to Farm Town).

Within the realm of FB, I still trimmed down. I pressed “hide” on Facebook at least 50 times. The first time I hit “hide” I felt cruel, then the next few times I hit “hide” I felt crueller, then I felt guilty, and then I felt…relief.

I am beginning to hear my own thoughts again. And that’s important to me as a writer.

And when I logged off, I began to roam the world.

A friend came to town; and with her visit came a new romance with the city in which I live. She had missed San Francisco and Berkeley and I got caught up in a love affair.

We went to 3 museums in 1 day.

First, the Asian Art Museum, where we observed hundreds of Buddhas. This one, titled “Buddha as an Ascetic,” was most different, and therefore to me, most beautiful:
Buddha as an ascetic

He looks like a man, not a deity. I could have a chat with this Buddha. This Buddha looks like he could totally rip a loud fart and then laugh his ass off. I’m on board with that.

We have been friends for a long time. I tend to bond with women who buck tradition. Two lone wolves together:

Reflection of the Shanghai Exhibit and us

At the Academy of Sciences, where we ooh’d and ahhh’d over myriad sea creatures and where I needed a shower after walking through the Rain Forest exhibition, we observed male crotch on display. Awesome, kind of:

in this display: a male crotch

That clam in the picture is there by coincidence. Brilliant coincidence.

And then last but not least, the SFMOMA. Does Michael Jackson have 3 arms, or is that the monkey’s foot?

Michael Jackson has 3 arms

Over a weekend, the hubby and I took a mini roadtrip, during which we encountered this sign at a Taco Bell. Remember, NEVER go through that door late at night because “YOUR LIFE COULD DEPEND ON IT!!”:
awesome sign at Taco Bell

That sign is so melodramatic, I love it. It appeals to the melodramatic Korean in me. Oh, btw, I’m 100% Korean. Thus, 100% melodramatic.

Also, part of me wants to open that door after night. Does it open up to a world of bad gremlins?

There was snow en route to Tahoe:
snow Memorial Day weekend

OMG, SNOW ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND?!  Yes.

Isn’t Lake Tahoe beautiful? This is by Cave Rock:

Cave Rock and Lake Tahoe

I wish we’d brought some sort of picnic lunch with us. I could have gazed at this vista for quite some time, with a lobster roll or sandwich or cold fried chicken and a drink in hand. Talk about the elimination of noise, right?  Just looking at this picture eliminates all noise in my brain.

That’s not to say I’ve achieved the elimination of noise; I still have a lot to go until I reach an optimal level.

The elimination of noise does not mean going on a diet. Thus, we ate yum food. A chard and mushroom frittata:
Monday brunch: swiss chard and mushroom frittata

And blueberry pancakes; using fresh blueberries:
Monday brunch: blueberry pancakes

In search of more vistas and sights and experiences, a friend and I headed up for a special visit and tour of Skywalker Ranch. I saw the real lightsabers of Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader, there. And did you know that there are two different lightsabers for Obi-Wan Kenobi? Now you do. Oh, and I saw Indiana Jones’s hat and whip.

visitor day pass for skywalker ranch

It’s locked down like a fortress; photography limited. All I can say is that it is set in the picturesque Marin landscape, where again, the noise leaves my head because of surroundings like this:
skywalker ranch

Does this mean I’m a country girl and not so much a City girl?

You don’t have to very far to see something cute and funny. This is one of the Wiener Dogs, sleeping on his back, hind paws crossed. Weird.
Scarlet and Ziggy: whose crossed paws?

Meanwhile, the vegetable garden is well underway, albeit delayed by the past cold winter, for the season. That big thing up top left is my french garden sorrel. You know the weird thing about my growing sorrel? I only eat it like, once a year. I really need to eat more sorrel. Its lemony tartness is good. I need to eat more of this sorrel, not only into soup, but this tart.

vegetable garden, mid June 2010

I can’t wait to eat the peas and eggplant and odoriko tomatoes and the triamble squash. We’re devouring the radishes. And using the herbs. I love going out into the garden to gather my dinner. It makes me want a much bigger garden.

Peas in progress. Like embryos.
peapod embryo

Their leaves irritate my skin a little, but I really love pulling radishes out of the ground:
radishes pulled from the garden

And remember that crawfish stock I made? My friend and I used it for a paella this week. I love cooking with friends; I’m the kind of person who, when I play hooky, I spend the day cooking with a friend.

paella

And most importantly, after two months off from exercising (with no reason good enough to serve as a proper excuse), I’m back on the treadmill. It feels good. Why oh why did I stop running regularly?  There are very few things that eliminate noise from my head like running can; every step smashes distraction from my brain.

So–that’s just a few of the things I’ve been doing to be good to myself, to rejuvenate, to eliminate noise.

There are quite a few things I still need to do, but I’m on my way.

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Craving squashed!

disappearing

Remember that apple cider donut craving I’ve been having (for at least a month now)?

Craving squashed.

I made quite a few of them this morning, and then ate two fresh, warm, glazed apple cider donuts. Oh.so.good.

I’m on “vacation” from revising my novel. It’s good to know that on my vacation, I did something other than play Farm Town and grade student papers. 😉 I also ate donuts.

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