jumble

I have a gazillion things going on in my head and I have a gazillion pictures clogging up my Macbook Air’s none too spacious hard drive. This post is an attempt to deal with it. More the pictures than the thoughts, since I’m “studying for finals” and actually

1. Replacing my modem, ugh. Of course Time Warner Cable’s stellar customer service necessitates driving 17 miles away to get something essential. And of course it breaks during finals week.
2. Christmas shopping, whee! Because if you have to go to North Durham you might as well go to Everything but Grannie’s Panties, the greatest thrift/antique shop in the world.
3. Dealing with week THREE of the cold that will not go away. It mostly consists of coughing like a seal bark and not being motivated to do anything. Awesome- I’m annoying my roommate and missing morning biostatistics (well truthfully being too sick for biostatistics isn’t that tragic)
4. Being depressed about the events of the world. See previous post.

I miss my family. Here’s some pictures of one time I got to be home, back at the end of summer before I started grad school. All of the pictures are all of Chinese food for some reason…

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Went with my mom and my sister and my sister’s boyfriend to A and J, the best Chinese place ever. Amazing, interesting food for crazy crazy cheap prices. Lots of vegetarian choices (my best friend could still feast there when she was a vegan) and gluten free options too.

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Above from left to right ish we have a spicy cabbage slaw-y salad (not that different from the curtido that comes from pupusas, actually), a dried tofu and mushroom dish, some yummy seaweed salad, a cold creamy tofu dish with scallions and thousand year old egg, shredded tofu with peanuts and cilantro, congee, delicious crispy quick pickled cucumbers.

Later additions included a porky thing for Eric (background) and what I think they called a thousand layer pastry that was like naan and a croissant had a delicious baby.

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And THE BEST sesame noodles. Aggghh, thick creamy sweetish spicyish sauce around perfectly thick and chewy noodles.

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Then if that wasn’t enough fun, this was back in the day when my Chinese relatives (well, step-relatives) were still around town, and my aunt cooked us SUCH a feast!

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I really never accurately describe everything she makes but know there were lots of curries and lots of stir fries, many involving delicious vegetables.

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Highlights included this succulent, tangy curry on perfectly cooked brown rice (I think it was a healthy nod to me, which I so appreciated. This made me yearn for a rice cooker, which I was lucky enough to get from Steve for my birthday!)

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And yummy, chewy trumpet mushrooms.

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And since we’re talking about meals I love, I feel obligated to mention a memorable brunch.

Acme is one of the posher places in Carrboro, but they have “Recession Tuesday” (a dinner special that’s lasted even into the economic recovery that offers $12 entrees on Tuesday) and a brunch that’s pretty doable.

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I’ve recently gotten addicted to The Mindy Project and felt a little unnerved when a character started dating a new woman and after a night of dude-friendly activities (ahem) offered to take her to brunch, or to build her a shelf, or to visit her sister. GUYS I AM SUCH A STEREOTYPICAL GIRL. I love brunch so much. Whatever. I’ll own it.

Acme had delicious coffee, from Carrboro Coffee Roasters, with a cute little jug of cream on the side.

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And OH my entree! Revelation: Eggs Benedict. Minus Canadian Bacon. Plus fried green tomatoes. Yes please!

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Runny egg yolk with crispy and pleasantly astringent green tomato. Heaven.

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On the side, a nice health halo of a salad, and YUMMY potatoes- in a kinda sweet, very smoky chipotle and onion and spice sauce.

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Steve seemed happy, despite the fact that he was a man being subjected to brunch… heh. He got the breakfast hoppin’ john. Rice and bacon and runny eggs are basically Steve’s favorite things. Throw a creamy sauce on top (SO CREAMY) and he was set.

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An amusing sign I saw:

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I did the Franklin Street Halloween thing once, and I’m probably… set. Lots and lots of drunkenness.

Now for something completely different; let’s talk about repurposing leftovers! These are ridiculously old pictures- apologies for featuring suggestions for produce that isn’t at all in season right now.

Amazing soup:

Stale bread, tossed with olive oil and Italian seasoning and toasted
Homemade or high quality store brought stock, chicken or veggie
Fresh peas

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The bread expanded charmingly. This was such nice, fatty comfort food (I recommend using a fattier stock and not stinting on the olive oil when roasting the bread into croutons!)

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This was a meal consisting solely of leftovers.

– Flowers from either my boyf or the roommate’s boyf 🙂
– Thai chicken and rice soup made by my friend’s Thai mother (agh so good)
– tomato salad
– pancakes (see below)
– potato and green bean stuff (see below)

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So the potato and green bean stuff: I think I was sort of craving the comfort of papas huancaina, that nice Peruvian dish with the boiled potatoes and eggs and the creamy sauce that has evaporated milk and yellow pepper and stuff. But I wanted to be virtuous so I added green beans and used kind of a mayo-y, yogurt-y sauce. And it wasn’t that good and so I decided mayo wasn’t much different than oil so I’d roast them. And that worked pretty well, but it was even better when I took some hot dogs that’d been bland on their own (Applegate farms chicken hot dogs- what did I expect, right?!) and did the meat and potatoes thing.

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These are still in season and I was making them a lot at one point.

Very easy, and very paleo:

– 1 sweet potato, baked until tender
– 1 banana
– 1 egg

Smush together, heat up some coconut oil in a pan, and cook into pancakes. Good if you let them cook until they are quite brown, even slightly burnt, on the exterior. The banana caramelizes nicely.

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