As expected home is best. \(^▽^)/ Simmered fish in chili oil (红烧鱼) and cold mungbean starch noodles (粉条)! Here’s a picture of the plated fish, but even I’ll admit that it looks a bit macabre.
My mom got really into baking bread a couple years ago; no complaints here.
My 4th of July last week with @seasquared (+ Gatsby) starring a watermelon hoedown (blended watermelon, rum, beer) and our town’s version of a mini-State Fair with corndogs wrapped in real cornbread, funnel cakes, and sizzling meats for all.
Hope everyone’s had a satisfying weekend! Some summer meals I’ve improvised & liked in the past month:
- cold pesto pasta salad with sweet corn, peas, carrots, green beans, and chickpeas (added liberal shakes of crushed red pepper)
- a handful of fruit salad for the ultimate lazy breakfast
- low carb, dairyfree, two-ingredient banana pancakes with greek yogurt and sliced strawberries
- rice stir-fried with carrots, kale, and a dollop of kewpie mayo
I’m part of a lunch circle at work, and this week was my turn to bring lunch for five so I made: tea eggs, tuna & kewpie mayo onigiri, and chickpeas salad (with not-pictured vinaigrette). I dumped arbitrary amounts of water, soy sauce, ground fennel seed, and a black tea bag into the pot for the tea eggs (taste-tested as I let it simmer for two hours), but here’s a proper recipe for anyone curious. The onigiri…. were a labor of love. (─︹─) Never cooking 5 lbs of rice at once again (and in a wok, no less).
Haven’t had a chance to do any grocery shopping since I’ve been back because jet lag had left me unbearably sleepy each day after work, so the city-wide lockdown means my next few meals will mostly consist of congee with pickled vegetables and canned mackerel. That’s already enough to consider myself lucky, especially when I think about the residents of Watertown, the MIT community, the commuters stranded earlier today at MBTA stations when the lockdown started.
Right now I need to distance myself from the relentless flood of media coverage; so much of it is bent on encouraging panic and distrust, so much irrelevant white noise. It was a sad moment when I read the background of the two suspects. I hope everyone’s family and friends stay safe through this nightmare.
My grandmother’s house in Shaanxi, which hasn’t changed a single bit in decades. There’s something intensely comforting about that consistency. Going back always feels like a full-body detox, a time to shed so many of the unnecessary layers that typically weigh me down, a way to simplify myself. Both electricity and running water were knocked out the days I was there, so I spent the afternoons watching my aunts and grandmother trash talk each other over mahjong with the occasional trip into town on the back of a bicycle. And, of course, nothing can compare to hardy Shaanxi feasts, plates of sautéed starch noodles/粉条 and zi juan (rolled vegetable pockets) that I can’t even find in Xi’an restaurants. If only I could’ve fueled up for an entire year. :(
It’s been an exhausting couple of days. So many people have reached out to me through text, e-mail, Facebook in concern, and I feel totally ill-equipped to handle the amount of compassion poured into Boston from all corners of the world. I keep tearing up in public, at work, on the bus, and I can no longer tell what’s driving the emotional backlash, whether the helplessness comes from aftershocks of fear and confusion or from an inability to process the overwhelming generosity of friends and strangers alike.
Despite that kindness, I haven’t felt so isolated in years. It’s magnified by how only a few days ago, I was surrounded by family and now I feel like I’m grappling alone through a blind obstacle course with no idea what lies at the end of it. The gut reaction of "I want to go home" and the harsh realization that I don’t mean Boston, not even with the number of years and contacts I’ve clocked here. I guess that saying about people and roots has merit. Home is where, etc. Maybe it’s because the attack happened so soon, not even 24 hours, after I landed and my head got stuck in the transition, stalled between two destinations without a clear answer of which one classifies as final.
I love staying with family friends in Atlanta. (There was an actual deer quietly grazing on the grass in the backyard one morning!) I feel like I eat pretty well in Boston, but nothing compares to 西安 hospitality. Pictured above: an 8:30 AM breakfast of freshly-brewed rice porridge, soup dumplings, and lobster.
I feel like I eat double the amount of baked goods and desserts in December than I do the entire rest of the year.
- Turkish pastries from a bakery just outside Boston
- Tiramisu with ladyfingers
- What my friend’s aunt described as the Albanian version of baklava (i.e. lots & lots of sugar)
I was supposed to get into beach shape this month…. I’ll let you guess the outcome of that (lack of) success story.
Holiday parties, the “quarter life crisis” edition: gold accents, rum-spiked candy-cane punch, and chasing tequila with gingerbread cookies. Pretty sure I slept less this week than during finals periods back in college, but none of it matters as long as it stays sunny in the Bahamas all next week. Happy winter solstice! If nothing else, the days can only get brighter from here on out.