As I had mentioned in a previous post, Gus and Marah realized a foodie’s dream of opening their own eatery! Awesome Cone will fulfill all of your savory-foods-in-a-crisp-vegan-waffle-cone needs! It is also a good place to stir up some drama for a quasi-fake courtroom podcast, like that of Judge John Hodgeman. (You know the guy, he’s the “PC” in the Mac commercials, and is also a correspondent for the Daily Show and was once on Flight of the Conchords too!)
You can listen to our dispute, and the ruling by “Judge” John Hodgman here.
My favorite comments from listeners include:
I have never disliked a stranger as intensely as I dislike this “Gus”
This episode, by far, is the best one!
[The following was written in April 2006 for this blog, but somehow got lost in the shuffle and was never published. For shame! This is good inspiration to start writing about food again- yummies of all yummies!]
Eight years ago I became a full-fledged vegetarian because I innocently stumbled upon a book at my community college about the horrors of farmed meat. I went cold turkey (pun semi-intended) and would occasionally eat fish at big family functions when distant relatives thought I had joined a cult because of the lack of animal flesh in my diet.
I began to nibble on chicken years later. When I moved out on my own and didn’t have mama to cook for me, a $5 whole rotisserie chicken that could last me an entire week sounded like a good deal to my broke-college-student brain.
But I’ve been able to abstain from beef and pork this entire time, and I haven’t eaten much chicken at all lately. Even if I did want to eat these big fat animals, there are two things keeping me: 1) I don’t want to get the poops. Bad, bad painful gut poops. 2) I don’t know how to cook meat.
Recently, I’ve comes to terms that part of the reason that I’ve been such a consistent “vegetarian” (fish are just very tasty vegetables with eyes), is because I get anxious in the kitchen and making a salad is way cinchy. So, imagine my mouth-watering surprise when I made a super-deelish noodle soup yesterday afternoon.
Portland has been beautiful lately with the sun casting a yellow glow on ever surface. A cool breeze was blowing through our house when I decided to make some soup with leftover catfish from when I made my mom’s best catfish soup, which is based in tomatoes and onions. I didn't have any tomatoes and so I decided to improvise an entirely new and different soup with ginger, leek, zucchini, catfish, udon noodles, mushrooms and fish sauce (in that order).
This noodle soup dish is by far the yummiest yum thing I've ever made! The ginger was the perfect subtle spice combined with the leek. Small chunks of zucchini offered a soft texture that fit well with the broth. The udon noodles was just right on the verge of being overcooked, absolutely tender with a silky softness and it had been infused with the flavor of the fish sauce in the soup. The mushrooms added an smokey flavor to the entire production. And the catfish was just sublime. My goodness! After I ate all the noodles, I had a second helping of just the soup and catfish.
My mama would be proud.
The secret to catfish soup, or any soup that may use fish sauce as part of the base, is to use quality fish sauce. Mama always says to buy the most expensive bottle (at about $3) because if you skimp on fish sauce, the soup will taste like you’re a cheap ass.
Here’s the brand mom told me to get:
It’s stuff I love! Weeeeeeeee!
My love of competitive eating is a celebration of all things American: gluttony for gluttony sake. This was my second time around at the Food Fight!/Scapegoat vegan mini-mall anniversary party. My first jab at it was trying to stuff three dense and gigantic sticky buns down my gullet and I failed miserably.
Joni competed with me, trying to scarf down eight vegan cupcakes (from Sweatpea Baking) as quickly as possible. I thought I could handle it, but this was last summer, just weeks after I returned home from Bangladesh where I consumed about zero cupcakes the entire time. Then this gigantic man appeared next to me and he totally psyched me out as he inhaled the frosted mini-cakes.
Summer’s coming and I’m gonna try to get in on another one of these. I’m tired of feeling like a failed American. I’m gonna eat the hell out of some vegan food thingy and think “Yes, I can,” because I can.
More: Stuff I Love
Are you going to look me in my slanty eyes and tell me you don’t think this fried egg kimchee salad looks insanely awesome? It’s spicy and can totally be eaten with chopsticks. And it’s got roasted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. This will make you forget about all those bland Chinese chicken salad you were conned into ingesting.
PS I’m not Korean, but we do all look alike.
Did ya’ll know that I tweet? [Clarification: tweet, not tweak, I am not a meth head!] It’s like the instant-messenger of blogdom for our generation of instant webification and the desire for everyone known human to know what we are doing and thinking during every known moment.
I update sporadically, mostly as an outlet for petty venting. Dee said she lol’d at this recent update:
“Miss, how do you eat supper?” Loda was curious about how we fed ourselves since moving out of the school building, and its dining hall, months ago. “Do you take food from the dining hall to your home? Do they cook for you there?”
“No, Loda, we cook for ourselves.”
“Miss!” Her eyes widened in shock.
“What? You don’t think we can cook?!”
“No, miss. We know the teachers can do many things. But you are too busy, no? You have no time.”
This was true, months ago, when I barely had time to schedule in bathroom breaks. But as we progress and gain a better handle on our work and quasi-personal lives here, we’ve found time to keep ourselves nourished, if only somewhat haphazardly.
“Cooking is such a waste of time, miss,” Loda continued.
“It’s not that bad.”
“No, miss. It’s a waste of time to cook here. It is different in America because you can just go and buy some vegetables in a bag and open the bag and you can eat it like that. Here you have to wash the vegetables, examine it to make sure there are no insects in there, clean it some more. You have to do that for all the vegetables. It’s a waste of time.”
Most families in Bangladesh, beginning in the lower middle-class bracket, have servants and housekeepers who perform all daily house chores, which includes cooking. While Bangladeshis (women, mostly) do cook, their servants do the prep work, the tedious washing of veggies and such. Loda, who knows we don’t have a servant in our homes, was appalled that I’d waste time with menial tasks when there were larger responsibilities looming in front of me, you know, like educating her. The way she sees it, since I come from a place where clean, ready-to-eat vegetables flow freely from bags on produce shelves, its difficult for her to imagine that I could handle the inconvenience of veggie washing.
I had to inform her that yes, while we do have an abundance of fresh pre-washed veggies, American do still actually wash food too. I mean, only when we can find a free moment in between all that casual sex we engage in.
Speaking with her got me to thinking of all the awesome foodstuff that I’ll be devouring when I get home, the least of which is about every item imaginable that is stocked at Trader Joe’s, the one man in my life who has never disappointed me.
Upon my homecoming, I shall tear through a bags of organic baby spinach and gulp down gallons of soy milk! I’m gonna make mountains of salads, topped with baked beans and soy meats! I’ll lay down two slices of nutritious multi-grain bread and stuff it full of tofurky, mustard and veggies until its too thick for me to hold with merely two hands! I’m gonna inhale the aroma of homemade veggie noodle soup, filled to the brim with organic cherry tomatoes and chunks of veggie meatballs!
I’m gonna bake up a storm, the oven will never not smell like something sweet is emitting from within its amber chambers. The first thing I want to try to make are peanut butter and jelly cookies! Yes! PB&J cookies!
Do you hear me, universe?! Sure, you’ve beaten me down, banished me to a country where there is an absence of drink and salads. But I shall rise! I will rise high and mighty, like a phoenix smothered in rice and daal. I will shake the oil-saturated curried cauliflower off my wings and I will dance in the aisles of grocery stores lined with shelves and shelves stacked with breakfast cereals!
Oh, glory, glory, hallelujah!
Daniel, my fake Chinese husband, sent me a link to an awesome video uncovering the mysteries of (American) Chinese food:
Reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the origins of familiar Chinese-American dishes — exploring the hidden spots where these two cultures have (so tastily) combined to form a new cuisine.
Dear almighty, what I wouldn’t do for a steamy never-ending bowl of perfectly seasoned pho right about now. I crave a lot of things, some edible – some not, and pho is at the top of that list. According to Dr. Me, a good bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup can end malaise, overall feelings of anxiety and it’s a mean cure for a hangover (not that I am ever afflicted with hangovers in Bangladesh).
I love pho so much that I cut a stencil of it when I was home (gold sprayed onto black fabric):