Archive for the 'trivia and random' Category

Death of a Crab

I read an article yesterday in Diner Journal about Caroline Fidanza’s first experience killing a chicken. She talked about how she felt “the chicken was in good hands because she was in my hands.” She later reflects “when you realize what it’s like to really see the animal as a whole, it changes everything back to the way things are supposed to be.” I thought about this today while I cooked a live crab.

Cooking a live crab is by no means anywhere close to the difficulty of killing a chicken. All I had to do was plop him into a pot of boiling water. That, however, does not mean it was easy for me. I had to call my dad to make sure I did it right. He told me to grab the crab from behind, submerge the crab in the water head first, push him down with a wooden spoon, and then cover with the lid. Since I don’t have rubber gloves and I’m a whimp, I wanted to do it with tongs.

To make a longer story shorter, I ended up dumping the crab out of the bag into the pot of boiling water, made a splash, and the crab didn’t entirely make it in at first, but all of its inanimate legs quickly fell into the pot and I put the lid on top. At first it made me jump and I was a little scared. Once I pushed the crab into the pot and covered it with a lid, I felt quite proud of myself. Not because I had killed a living thing, but because I knew my dad and my grandpa would be really, really proud of me.

My grandpa loved cooking for me. Whenever I’d visit him, he’d spend the whole day cooking and then wait for me to arrive. (I don’t think we have proof of this, but I’m sure it happened.) Even though I was little, I remember him showing me how to cook. He was a great man, and I wish he were still alive to cook for me. I don’t think I appreciated how much he loved food, and how much he wanted me to love food.

Anyway, so tomorrow my friend and I are eating crab, roasted duck, pork buns, and noodles in black bean sauce. It’s my bachelorette party/gift/thing to her.


Thai Iced Tea is the best

Thai iced tea is one of the most refreshing beverages out there. I decided to start brewing my own, and so I went on an adventure through Chinatown’s groceries. Eventually I found a Thai and Indonesian grocery store. This is a picture I took with my phone:

it's pretty small. be careful not to walk past it.

It’s on Bayard between Mott and Mulberry. You should go and talk with the little old man who wants to sell you his awesome sticky rice with bananas, and he’ll tell you about how many cups of tea you can make with one bag.

Resolutions and Routines

So I’m trying to get back into a routine now that the holidays have passed. I hadn’t really thought of a resolution until I started making up my grocery list for this week. In a diet analysis I did for my nutrition class, I concluded that I should consume more vegetable proteins and less animal products. Now don’t get me wrong: I still eat meat. I still love meat. But I want to try adding more legumes into my diet.

Some people feel that a vegetarian diet doesn’t work for them because they never feel full or have enough energy. Since I should know how to combine my incomplete proteins properly to achieve maximum absorbency (or whatever), I’m going to try cooking less meat. My new years resolution is to cook no meat for at least one week out of each month. I can still eat meat in restaurants and whatnot, but I will not cook it at home. Eggs are OK though.

So please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas. Let the challenge begin!

Holiday Craze

SO sorry I haven’t been keeping up. These past couple weeks have been finals, and as a result, it’s been difficult for me to cook on a regular basis. But that’s an obstacle of being a student chef, right? To be honest, I can’t imagine how real working people – i.e. mothers – manage to do all the things they do and still cook a good meal for their families.

I had a thought the other day for a healthy meal program for low-income families. I know there are a lot out there, and maybe this idea already exists. Regardless, I was thinking about how this blog works: I tell you my budget, and I show you what I can do with it. I would want to take a family’s budget, sit down with them to create a grocery list or a meal plan, and then help them cook. Of course, the program would be flexible and a family could ask for one meal per week instead of a whole week’s worth.

Ultimately I would want it to cater to the family’s needs and availability. I wouldn’t want to force a family to sit down to a dinner if they didn’t have time or didn’t want it. If the family does want more structure, the program could provide that. And I wouldn’t want to charge extra. I would want to show the families how to work within their budget.

I have it all outlined in a notebook somewhere, but I’m too lazy to find it. I just need to go home and let my brain chill the fuck out.

From One Generation to the Next

In my nutrition book, I’m reading about how nutrition changes throughout our lifetimes, what we need when, what new factors inhibit these needs, etc. In the margin of my book are 10 tips for “productive aging,” recommended for younger people by an older generation. I wanted to post it as a reminder that, while food is one of the most important contributors to happiness, these are still great suggestions:

1. simplify your life; identify priorities and trim the superfluous.
2. pay attention to yourself – body, mind, and spirit.
3. continue to teach and learn; take up leisure activities.
4. be flexible; learn to navigate change.
5. be charitable; make it a practice to give.
6. be financially astute; invest early for retirement.
7. find and participate in activities that interest you; you’ll live better in retirement if you do.
8. commit to good nutrition and exercise, no matter what.
9. think about your past and future; deal with your mortality.
10. be involved; be positive; link with others.

Some food for thought.

A Procrastinator’s Brunch: Success!

Today was my procrastinator’s brunch, which was exactly as it sounds: a bunch of students getting together to eat, play Wii, drink, and avoid work. Thankfully not everyone showed up, because I almost ran out of food! I made chocolate chip pancakes, home fries/potatoes, orange biscuits (kind of a fail), a vegetable scramble for lame vegetarians, and bacon quiche. I wish I had more pictures to post, but this was all I could photograph:

just a couple lonely chocolate chip pancakes left at the end of an epic brunch. but then they were eaten.

just a couple lonely chocolate chip pancakes left at the end of an epic brunch. but then they were eaten.

If you’re tired of doing work, I suggest you host an afternoon brunch. Everyone loves eating, especially after a night of partying and before they attempt to start doing work. I invited 84 people, and 16 people came (30 RSVP’ed yes). I’m glad, though, because I don’t know if I could’ve handled more. The recipe I’m posting from this is for the bacon quiche, because it’s so simple, and disappeared almost as soon as I put it out!

Continue reading ‘A Procrastinator’s Brunch: Success!’

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