Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!

I have a new computer. I have great steaks to cook for dinner tonight. I have Pappy Van Winkle 10 year in the flask. I've got my suit pressed.

Get it on. Get. It. On.

Have fun.



(Still haven't gotten a new computer. I suppose I'll wait until I get paid Thursday.)

Holiday was nice. Oly in the winter, with cold, sunny, dry weather. Pretty nice indeed.
Family, friends, rye-based drink, matzoh ball soup, basketball, Gordon Ramsey, and sumo all were memorable.

Quiet week at work this'n, a new opportunity may be on the way in-I've been recruited- more on that when more is concrete....

Anyways, this is just a little check in, more will come when I feel like I have more to say.


le boo.

ummm. yeah.

so I kinda killed my computer. again. with liquids. again.

hard cider and dancing to music in my new headphones. spillage. outage. breakage.

will be resuming in blogosphere once a new one is procured. sopefully soon



This is how you know I'm towards the end of the holiday work season:

This is so highly amusing to me, on perhaps 6 different levels.


Baseball, If You Care.

The Mariners have completed a super sweet trade. Playoffs baby.

And I hope there's more on the way.

knock out.

I felt like the last day of school was out after Saturday, I was that happy.
And so I went out to Moon Temple, a place that has drinks so strong, girls from the Southern Hemisphere would not even recognize them as such.
(Oh I made a new dish up: General Tso's Potstickers. Best. Thing. Ever.)

So I come home, and park on the street, but there's a car blocking the road in front of my house. It's 2:30am. So I park where I can, get out of the car, and hear that it's running. And the dome light is on. And there's no one in it.

I approach, but actually, there is someone in it: it's some dude reclined, passed out. And I'm like wft?

So I go to knock on his window, and see his pants are pulled down to just above his knees.

At this exact moment, my friend calls me. I tell him, "whatever you have to say, I've got something better." I don't know what to do. We mull options. Concluded that I knock on the window till he wakes, then walk away like nothing happened. I do it, and go inside. He stalls his car, and then moseys along into the night.

I didn't take any pictures. Sorry.

Working a reasonable amount of hours this week over 5 days! And then I'm doing the solid for my friend, which will be detailed here later.



One more day. Of the crazy.
And today wasn't that bad. I think it's because I've man handled the prep work for the next day. I'm detail oriented indeed.

But it makes my days pretty great- I don't really do any of the firing of hot foods, so the stress is mostly off me....
Tomorrow will wrap up another 65 hour work week, then it's a day off for me, when I'll head down to Oly for Hanukkah dinner.

Almost over.


Just Ask.

.....And you shall receive!

Viola Swamp.

Some drifter.

I wrote down the attributes:
Man, mid-late 40's, thin, receding hairline, blue eyes, heavy brow, prominent nose, scrufy facial hair, thin lips, curly hair, normal length, pale complexion, pointy chin, high cheekbones, thick eyebrows.

Yup, neither looks like the suspect.



Resume the madness.

In fact, I've taken to playing seemingly random clips on youtube of the Macho Man to get people excited at work (ok, really only me.)

Madness. Oh yeah.

I thought last week was crazy; after looking at this one with a more detailed eye, it seems worse. I guess I don't care too much, which is the mental place to be.

Just had an experiment with my housemates: The difference between people's interpretations of descriptions. (A discussion about criminal sketch artists was the basis.) So I conducted an experiment: Have one describe a criminal, and then the other one and I would draw the description of the criminal.

They were wildly varied. Mine looked like me in 20 years after I become a drifter, but with close-cropped curly hair. The other looked like the Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is missing. But with a penis.

It turned out Alison was describing Daniel Day Lewis. Go figure.


Relax. Do It.

It's my 1st day off this week- I worked 65 hours!

On Friday, the company's sales were in the 60-65 THOUSAND dollars range. Plus a 30k or so bar tab that hasn't been actually tabulated yet. Basically: Insane.

So, I went out to dinner last night with my friend, gamed at home via the internets, today I am watching football, seeing the Fantastic Mr. Fox, internet shopping/gifting (maybe a new sleeping bag for Aaron?), and eating chili.

All hail Alligator's day off!



It was so crazy. I drove my brother's Lexus (borrowing it for a bit- a very different driving experience than the Dart let's say mildly!) down to Chinatown to have dining hour with Trever.

Sushi at Maneki, Seattle's oldest sushi restaurant. We ate like crazy.
Unagi-green onion roll (the jojo roll)
Hamachi roll, a yellowtail delight.
Nigiri: hamachi and kamapchi (amberjack)
Tempura Udon
Tako-yaki. (I once made Beth eat these at Kazu in Welly)
Miso. Sapporo. Tea.

And the health inspector came around, freaking the kitchen staff out, in general.

After dinner, T and I walked around our old hood, the original Seattle hood for me: the ID. It's such a funny neighborhood, one that contrast so much between day and night. And it's sort of boring, and it's seedy. But the food? ぐらと!

We wandered into a vintage video game store, and held controllers of outdated and once obsessed over game systems. A Panasonic 3DO? They had one for sale. The best feel of any controller in your hand? A Dreamcast's!

Afterwards, the magic was beginning to wane as we walked around, and we got stopped by someone trying to get some ducats out of us. I said "sorry." Trever actually went a different route: he said "Italiano" Thinking that the woman wouldn't hassle him further, she began to say any Italian word she could come up with. He was surprised, I laughed, and then he blew up at her in fake Italian crazy shouting.

There was a Mama-Mia in there somewhere I think....



It's been a year since I arrived there, in case it dawned on anyone else.
Thinking back, and recalling my story, it's interesting to see where I've been since then, both emotionally, and physically.

When I left for Noo Zeelund, it was severely needed, and there were high expectations as well. Perhaps really, the highest expectations. My choice to go down there was a need for a break from my then-life, one of recovering emotionally and physically. I was beat. I was broken.
The fix? A return to the place I knew I was happy (as long as I wasn't working at the Skyline!) and where I could be in a world that was separate from one that had seemingly closed in on me, consumed me. And my return was joyous- the experience was in many ways what I needed. And, it failed, in so many ways- things that I wanted to happen.
The latter meaning that my desire to move to NZ, start a business and new life was, and still is, one of the more confounding questions in my life. I am still in the immigration system. I even sent an email to the woman (the one who gave me many headaches) in London earlier, telling her I still planned on pursuing that course. But it is not resolved yet; success is grey at best. The story hasn't been written yet, for sure.

But in terms of giving me what I needed, I had the time away from all the shit that pressed upon me, a decompression that my soul required. I was afforded the time to relax, see my friends, and camp in places that have no parallel in beauty. But above all, it was an opportunity to think. To think! What a luxury in our modern world. When we can escape all of our daily distractions, a person is allowed to go over an idea on multiple paths, allowing a comprehension or revelation. Our lives have too many distractions that can derail success in obtaining wisdom of life. I am a wiser man than I was. I have learned from my mistakes, and my triumphs, which there were actually some of.

Regrets? One can't languish in the past. Learn and apply the lessons to the future. It's not a new, original, or wild idea. But I learned it on my own, and I know it well.

With the return from New Zealand to the states, which, obviously isn't the short time I had originally hoped it to be, I've had some pretty trying times, mostly in the job searching realm. But now that I have a position that actually pays me an adult wage, and I can once again turn my mind towards the future. I have no idea what that choice is, actually, but I do know that I will be continuing along with NZ Immigrations easy 95-step process/hoop-jumping.

Because, why not?



I've got some pics here from Bef's recent trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving with her friend Nat. They rode the greyhound down (late again), and we hit the P-I for a late snack.
Other highlights were Wednesday running around Seattle, notably Volunteer Park, its greenhouse, and the gumwall (pictured below).

Turkey day was grand; lots of food, cooking, fine drink, a rousing game of Balderdash, and a failed "1st Rebuttal" by Kenji and I in shuffleboard against the newbies from the North/South.

All around a relaxing time preceding the holiday madness that will consume me the next few weeks.....


Shake and Strain.

And so thus begins a week of little work (work work), out of town house guests enjoying their first American Thanksgiving (sorry folks, Take Me Out To The Ballgame is not usually sung around the turkey-table.), and multiple gravies.

But some odds n ends:
I drank 2 new cocktails last night, both featuring Rye whiskey.
Deshler's Cocktail: Rye, Dubonnet, Cointreau, and Peychaud bitters
Brooklyn Coctail: Basically a Manhatten with Rye instead of bourbon.

I'm finding that in general, I like rye whiskeys. But also, in general, I like whisk(e)y. So there.

I have also begun the search for the vehicle that will replace the world-renowned Dodge Dart from service. It's hard to come to terms with the fact that whatever I buy, it will be less reliable, more expensive to insure, fix and run. It will also be built less well, and probably contain less mass (unless I get an old Mercedes diesel or something of that ilk.....) that will make it feel like being in an aluminum can. But whatever I do get will be more fuel efficient, safer and quieter.

The Dart will be continue to serve as a "parking" car though......


Bumsville Man.

I want to tell you about my night on Thursday.

First of all, I went to see my friend Kenji's band play (for the 1st time, which was a point of contention between him and I, but that's another story...), who are called Olympus. I would describe them as a cross between Bob Dylan, Oasis, and Yes. Yes, that's right. (I have to say I am more than amused by Yes, the band, btw....)

After the show, I went to get some late-nite dining in Chinatown with my friend, as my actions earlier in the evening cancelled the planned dinner-before-the-show, and an exercise.
Jade Garden: Honey walnut prawns (not my choice), Hot 'n sour soup (my choice), and Peking duck (unanimous choice).

So after the feed, we decided Karaoke was in order, at the place where you sing in the booths. There you can drink. But we needed beer, so we went to the one place open in Chinatown- the bum gas station. It's the only one I know that after dark, all transactions are done through glass. There's a bum who thinks he knows me, and wants my change, but also an argument going on between some dudes in a car, where there's a guy in the back seat won't get out, and that's distracting the worker in the aquarium, who doesn't speak English well, who can't understand what I want, so I'm grateful for the 6 pack of Coors Light he gives me, and then I add on two singles as an afterthought, the fight is still going on, and now the transaction is taking waaaaaay too long, and another bum comes along to try to get my change, and then the car drives off, and now the two drunk bums start bickering over who deserved what, and now I'm leaving and being gang pressed for a beer, and it's desperate, and in a moment of either generosity or being devious- I haven't decided, I give the bums a single beer and tell them to share.

They are like seagulls fighting over the can of beer. Me and my friend, who's scared/concerned, says we gotta get outta here.

Entering the karaoke place, they have just closed apparently. It's 3 minutes after midnight, and they close at 12, but people can sing until 2. I ask "Seriously?" The dude replies, "well it's our policy..."
I reply, "well it's my policy to sing karaoke tonight!" That doesn't go over very well....
And all because of the dang gas station menagerie......


Big Kahuna!

I had an impromptu weekend off, as you may know.

I surprised my little sister (and mom) by going down to Oly, and being around for my little sister's 11th birthday. I was there for the last year's insanity, and guess what? This year was equal in it's craziness, but it had a Hawaiian theme.
So the cake, which was a group effort (I tried to take credit for it as Executive Chef....)

Iris and her dog, which puked on me on the way home in the car, then whose puke I tried to put out the window, but instead blew back into the rear seat and my face. True story. Furious and funny.

The girls playing "Light As a Feather, Stiff As a Board." I was too heavy for them, it turns out.

My lei crown. I am the big Kahuna!

And then a return to Seattle for a football Sunday/Chicken Fried Steak dinner (with bacon gravy). Seriously. Slap yo mama good!



Well, I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee. I have the weekend off surprisingly, and nicely.
Yesterday, I worked at a winery out in Woodinville (Efeste, fyi). I cooked hors d'oeuvres for a wine tasting that included, but was not limited to:

crispy pork belly with a ginger-soy glaze, on mustard dressed celery slaw
seared rare beef on fennel crostini with herb goat cheese mousse
chicken confit on crispy potato cakes (cooked in the chicken grease too!) with tomato jam

It was nice to cook in a super deluxe kitchen- as seriously equipped and nice as the best home kitchen; indeed I would be happy to have that space at my home. Not to blow my own horn, but more than a few people asked me if I was Tony on Tony's Events and Catering (the company I work for). I said, "No. I'm the dishwasher." Ok, no I didn't.

But here's a little thing for you Southern Hemisperoids: A mention of NZ on the biggest sports site in the US, so probably, and not humbly, the world, ESPN.

a mention on the front page! (right above the prisoner remake series, which I'm pretty excited about- as far as I get for tv shows anyways.....)



I've got to go to the bank and get me some walkin' around money.
But before that, I've got a long, fantastic bike ride in store here. Today is one of those days where the sun is fighting the clouds- and barely winning....

So a couple of things: Heard this on KEXP yesterday while working (or slaving away...). I loved it. The whole idea makes me wonder why I didn't continue trombone playing.

Also, returning to the library Hemingway's Islands in the Stream. If you haven't read it, you're crazy or lost. What can I say about the author that hasn't been said? Nothing. So I show you an example of prose that I appreciate:

"Her plans were always made in secret, like those of a good general, and they were as rigidly enforced. A compromise might be effected. But never a basic change in a plan whether that plan was conceived in a sleepless night or on an angry morning or on a gin-aided evening."

When I read him, I'm fully astounded at the melancholic world of bourgeoisie coming-to-terms with the trappings of failed relationships past.....alright. Literary review over.



Last night I checked out the former industrial wasteland that is Georgetown.

There was a wedding there, in a very cool, retro space, that I worked for my job, then afterwards, I went around the corner to check out this bar called the 9 pound hammer (named after old railroad spike hammers I think), an unusual spot down there on the main drag.

I want to like G'Town. I do. The problem is that it's sooooooo far from the northern neighborhood that I live in. So why drive 20 minutes down the freeway to go to a few bars when, well, 20 minutes to Ballard (a more latitude-y move) to a lot of bars?
It's definitely an experience, but I also noticed a "cliqueyness" about the bar. You've gotta be from that hood. Outsiders served, but not afforded much else.
There are some other attractions too, and the old brick buildings appeal to me, but did I mention the large amount of trains and the fact its right next to Boeing Field with it's planes?
I'd go back. I don't know if I'd move down there though, in the end.


Soup Cures.

I got sick today.

Not the swineflu sick of hyped-out media, but the good ol' fashioned, take a nap, and eat chicken soup variety.

So that's what I did.

After fixing my car* in the rain, which really sucks I must add, I drove to Ballard and bought a rain jacket/super-deal (Beth, 2nd ascent is the place to go!), I ate at Señor Moose Cafe, the cafe that has Morgue as it's patron saint. Those enchiladas put me in the sickness zone I reckon. I had been toeing the line, and then, blam-o, I was ill.
So then I made matzoh ball soup; competition-style soup is the cure. Lots of big matzoh balls, rich chicken broth, love. And some parsley.
Please know I am fine now.

*Car acted up last night before the Kenji and Wani Steak Night Man-Date. Which had 3 others show up. Which consumed both 3 T-Bones, as well as some spicy stuffed cabbage. And lots of wine. And lots of Bourbon. Thinking about that just made my head spin.....but the problem was the alternator which shorted on one of the connections. A simple repair, though wet. I hate to announce this to the world but: I am beginning the thinking process of a more practical, safe, efficient, comfortable car. So something made in my lifetime, as opposed to say, my father's....


I hate the Yankees.


Hold 'Em.

Searching for a new rain coat this evening. Finally found something nice; but of course website's ordering system is down....suck

Currently drinking Wescott Bay Orchards' Medium Sweet Hard Cider while listening to vintage Kris Kristofferson. Locally produced on Orcas Island, it's a fine tasting example, although really, I'd prefer a sharper carbonation. Recommend if you can find it, although I doubt you'll be able too....

Really a slow day for me in terms of interesting things happening, so I direct you to the brilliant Mr. Walken:


Pure Gold.

I am back after a very fun, yet exhausting weekend.

Thursday night, I had a well-lubricated Pumpkin Disembowelment Party, thus ensuring that I was hungover for Friday. That might have been the reason why I forgot my passport, remembering that it was sitting in my desk after driving about 45 miles north on I-5.....so I had to turn around. That put me almost 2 hours behind, as traffic then became an issue.

The rehearsal night went smooth. Dinner afterwards was an epic 10 course menagerie of Mandarin delights. Plenty of shredded sesame jelly fish, crab, black fungus and pork soup, bamboo hearts and other interesting things went down the gullet.

Yesterday was a marathon though. Up and running around at 8 am, taking care of errands, then getting Beth, as she was my date for the event. All dressed up, we had somewhere to go: the church to watch Chris and Larissa get hitched, and hitched they did indeed get.

Afterwards, I was subject to a sadistic photographer that thought that 3 hours of photo taking was fine. Really, if you can't get a good shot in half an hour or less, you're really not that good. That's like me making a bunch of dishes, then serving only a few of them to the customers. I'd be a hack.

The reception had a nice buffet, but of course, the highlight was the dancing. Specifically, me dancing. In a claret 1979 Disco Hustler costume I had acquired for the event. I shocked a few people, specifically the bride, but the fact I got so many people dancing and excited made it great in the end. I of course also forgot my camera with the power of the vermouth-made hangover, so I rely on others photo taking to make up for that. Visuals will be here, when I have them.

Returned today, after helping Beth move into her new place. It's very nice and respectable-like. Parents, siblings and friends: she's doing well for herself. No crackheads are running around those streets.

So I'm back and heading to bed. Adios.



I saw "A Serious Man," by the Coen Brothers last night, and I have to say, I left confounded. I felt like I watched someone's life unravelling, without answer, and then credits.

When I go to the movies, I am accustomed to leaving with, well not necessarily a plot summed up in a neat little package, but at least a directive.

This was a good movie, depressing in what life can become. I won't say more.

I am going up to Vancouver tomorrow to do the wedding weekend thing, so there won't be more blogging for a few days. Enjoy yourself.



I was talking about the movie Demons with my housemates, or more specifically, this scene:

It's so ridiculous. But props to Pearce for instilling this movie into my Halloween story back catalog.

But in my search I came across this, from another creepy movie, Moonwalker, by Michael Jackson.
It's an insane 2 parter if you dare:

Pumpkin Points.

Ahoy mateys. Avast you scurvy dawgs!

Last night I went to a pumpkin carving party, and I carved out a Drunken, shouting seas capn'n. But not this one. And definitely not this one. Or this one (worst of all! Don't get me started on the diatribe about getting a ring that gives you the power of "heart!")

Anyways. I did good. At the pumpkin thingy which I lost track of....
But I made a pretty sweet dish, which I sampled when Beth came to Seattle at the little Szechuan place in the I.D. - Gingered Pumpkin with Salted Chicken.

Basically, you:
Cut a pumpkin up into big cubes. Boil it and drain. Mash it slightly (still want chunks in it) with sesame oil, dried mustard powder, garlic, soy sauce, green onions, and a fuck-off amount of ginger. Also, the roasted, heavily salted chicken thigh meat you've shredded for this dish goes in to add some salty bits. It's some nice fall, earthy goodness.


Assorted Seattle Fun.

Beth came to Seattle.
It's over. She's gone. I'm exhausted; playing host takes a lot of energy.

We went to Ballard, ate Mexican food, drank at a tapas bar, and then went to the Viking Tavern, a bar that's been open since 1950. And it's the same, pretty much. We also played shuffleboard, the short form.

Tuesday was chocka, as they say in NZ. From gasworks, to the sculpture garden, to the Theo Chocolate factory tour (I got sick from too much chocolate, she could've eaten far more!), to discovery park to carving pumpkins. Lots of action.

Wednesday was downtown stuff: Pike Place Market, the waterfront, Pioneer Square, an epic lunch in Chinatown, the library. And an amazing dinner party at Dustin and Jackie's.
We had:
-Oxtail and Jimmy Nardello pepper pizza
-Masa Harina crusted halibut with a Venezuelan chimichurri
-Open faced biscuit sandwiches with a hash of potatoes, apple, Brussels sprout leaves and manchego with Mexican braised beef flap meat.
-Assorted adult beverages

She left today, after I had gone to work. We had a grand time, and I'll get to see her next week when I go up to Vancouver for the wedding of CP&LaLa.

Alright, now I have to rid my bike of the fenders that I spent a gazillion hours putting on. I went for a ride tonight, and realized that I need to have the shop do it, as the fender moved and began to make a rubbing noise. Anger is what I felt.

Serenity now!
(Also, got the 2nd season of Flight of the Conchords music, which was released on Sub Pop on the 20th. Too many dicks on the dancefloor!)


Oof-Dah, Tea.

Bef comes to Seattle tomorrow. What a treat she's in for.
We'll be: paintballing, salmon fishing, going to the shooting range, eating Ethiopian in the Central District (aka "Crackton."), visiting the Lusty Lady, playing poker on Aurora, and spitting off the top of the Space Needle.

And that's just Tuesday.

Ok. She reads this blog, so I have to make her a little nervous. I think Ballard is in store for Monday night. Nothing says, "Welcome to Seattle" like a little lutefisk! Oof-dah indeed!

Anyways, I've been listening to some choice Flight of the Conchords tracks that I regained recently via the library selection, which were forever lost in the great Tea Incident of Aught Nine, which was a actually a protest against the Immigration department of New Zealand, not an idiotic, random spillage.



My new bike got picked up today.

I wrestled with the fenders for a while, then gave up. I needed to ride the thing- rain be damned! So I did, and it was a dream....



Oh it's oh so late, but I had a fun night with my dad.

We went to the Hudson alehouse neat the house; ate lamb and potato hash with a duck egg, and a very fine salad with Estrella dairy blue cheese. And great beer. Dad: drink more Scotch.

Then, to the mountaineers club for a talk from a guy who took used air canisters and turned them into pieces of art that sell for thousands. Interesting, but the dude was not very engaging. Kinda Ned Flander-ish.....

And then the Wedgewood Broiler, the coolest place I've never been. Old school dive. Dark, and cheap drinks, and I broke down and had a pretty nice Salisbury Steak (my favorite TV dinner of all time!)
We chatted to this girl who was in my age range, and she was more interested in him than I! (Pretty blatantly too!) Awesome. Love it.

Picking up my bike in the morning! Stoked. Maybe I'll go to the broiler......


I Got Girls That Can Cook.

I got taken down to SeaTac last night for an experience. A karaoke experience. Let's just say that all my rowdy friends, did indeed come over (for a pig in the ground a some beer on ice).

It wasn't my idea, but I had more fun than I thought I would. But to drive that distance is pretty dumb.....

(also dropped Strokin'.)


New Work.

I've started my new job, which is pretty great. The hours are a little early for me- I have to wake up at 7! Can you believe how much of a wimp I am for that? Sad really.

But the post is exactly like I thought it'd be, which is to say, comfortable. My past experiences have made this pretty chill and low-stress. I got to take today at my own pace, and got a lot done, as I do. The boss doesn't seem to meddle. At all.

And he loved that I loved grated pickles on my sandwiches. (Best ever.)

Debuted my musical-listening style today to the kitchen crew. Various genres were hit upon:
-Van Morrison, His Band and the Street Choir
-Kasabian, The West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum
-Jerry Lee Lewis, Greatest Hits
-Sam Cooke, Live at Harlem Square
-The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
-Los Lobos, La Pistola y El Corazon
-The Budos Band, The Budos Band II
-Various Artists, The Funk Box

Now, catching up on some odds and ends around the house. Enjoy this interesting thing which investigates the idea that "fun" can get people to use stairs instead:



What a whirl-wind of excitement around these parts.

Went to Vancouver to pick up Beth/see the Davie Parental Unit/get slightly detained at the Canadian border. Everyone is grand, Beth will settle into her new life once she stops telling me "whatever," and learns that it's "to-go" now, not "take-away," etc, etc.....

I got a job today. Interview to offer: 3 hours. Had a cool practical interview. Food identification, omelet making, fundamental sauce making. Buffet salads, and apps as well. Crew good, hours normal-ish (some 9-5 days for sure), pay better than last position, benefits, opportunity to take things in the direction I desire (priceless).

I could write more, but I once learned the adage, "leave 'em wanting more!"

So, there's secrets to save for me.



The next week is going to be hectic; I sense it already.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I am going to Oly for a family day/tuna roast (harvest?) dinner.
And Sunday, I will be heading to the larger nation to the north, to greet the Youngest of the Davie family. Then on Monday, I will greet the parents.
And then chicanery will follow until Wednesday when I return to Seattle, to more job searching, working, possibly a trail at Lark later in the week, plus some requested social engagements.

I am in demand. Why does it sometimes feel as if everything happens at once? But I've found that's when things come together, so in the end, you've accomplished tons, and have a moment of retrospective.
I marvel constantly at the way this lifetime on our planet plays out....


Spy Games.

I love that youtubes. You can find ANYTHING.
Such as, last night when I sang karaoke at Bush Gardens and had an awesome backing video:

So there's two things to note:
Firstly, the spy game aspect is awesome. I did some nice ad-lib, but you had to be there. It was about how this was CIA vs KGB....
And secondly, and more bizarrely, there's a FUCKING PLANE FLYING AROUND THE TWIN TOWERS. seriously. SERIOUSLY.


Raging Hulk of a Man.

I will start with the inane: I just finished watching the movie, "I Love You, Man." Bromance. I loved it- Paul Rudd was great, per usual. His awkwardness reminds me of a young me, especially the scene where he's setting up the 1st man-date over the phone...but the line delivered in the tux shop about James Bond was the finest one of the film. I'd recommend it to dudes who need to score some points with the ladies, but really don't want to have to watching something f'ing terrible starring Kate "I cannot act my way out of a wet paper bag" Hudson. Seriously, she needs to never be given a role again.....

My rage has subsided, like the Hulk.

Other goings on, some disappointing work going ons today. Bottom line: I am a free agent, and I need to find a job that will pay me the schmulians. But I knew that already, so it's nothing new, it's just staring me in the eyes. I'll be ok, I'll find something out there in the city.

I also had big plans to wash and fix my car, which will happen tomorrow, unless the rain comes and washes away my dreams to Wednesday. I got some spark plugs that boasted "NASCAR performance" and I told the parts store guys I was scared what that was going to do to my dart. I think it'd blow up or something....anyways, I'm rambling now, as I do. I should sleep, as I failed to do that last night.



Yesterday was a fine day off- the weather nice, and the beer cold.
And I cooked for friends.

We had "chicken nuggets." Salt and pepper fried chicken thighs with my own-made kim chee. That was great with the beer (and my friend somehow bought a sixer that got rung up for $1.34. And the counter woman didn't bat an eye apparently).
Next we ate a pile of sweet corn, sweet potato and mixed chili rice and cranberry beans. That segued into a salad of spicy greens from Alm Hill farms with a plum and black pepper vinaigrette. Simple and fresh.
Then we ate the lamb necks with carrots I had been cooking for hours. Finished with basil, they were like an excellent osso bucco, ultra rich from the marrow and gelatin. The basil gave a fresh bite to clean that richness off the tongue.

At this point we had moved to value Iberian red wine, which was (perhaps incorrectly) consumed with Jax's nectarine cobbler with vanilla ice cream. At that point, the lights came on outside, the music turned to Van Morrison, and the rye bottle slowly emptied its contents. A crisp fall evening that no one around could've beat....


Market Day.

I went to the Lake City farmers market for (hopefully not, but maybe) shebang of summer produce. I got many exciting things, which will encompass multiple cooking and preserving techniques. I have a busy next two days ahead of me, but it'll be fun. I need to do this more often!
My haul:

Fresh Cranberry beans. They're basically pinto beans. Buy and eat as many fresh shell beans as you can any time you come across them! They cook up so creamy and amazing. These are going with something later down the line....

Pickling Cukes. I'm going to make fermented pickles with them. A little experiment....I've never done this before, so it'll be interesting.

Corn. Sweet, sweet corn. I will be eating that on Saturday afternoon. As in sweet corn chow-chow. I think.

Spicy salad mix with nasturtiums. And basil to go with the tomatoes.

Lamb Necks. A little snack. I'll braise them in tomato sauce and eat them with the corn chow-chow.

Sweet peppers. This pic really doesn't do justice to the amount I got, nor their beauty. Pictured: Big yellow- banana, green/red ones- Jimmy Nardello's sweet Italian frying pepper, the little yellow guys are a yellow cayenne pepper (pretty hot!) But mostly sweet ones with a mild-ish heat level. The little yellow bastards are going into the hot mustard pickles.

'Maters. Seconds from Billy's Organics. The best damn tomatoes ever. Period.

That my friends is what's known as an Armenian cucumber. It's over 2 feet long, and has a nice, sweet flavor. That's what's going to be the base of my spicy mustard pickles!

Wow. Maybe if you're lucky I'll take some pictures, or if you're really lucky, you'll get to eat some of these late summer wonders. It's a special time for me, foodwise. I only have a couple more weeks of this! And then it's....months of rutabagas! shock! horror!


Return to Power.

I am back on them internets. My hard drive died, as you know. That I could buy a new one, and replace it myself for less than $100 was great.
How do you spend the 4.5 hours installing your OS and downloading updates?

By cooking and drinking cold beer!

Contrary to the weather, which was insane for the 1st day of fall (30 degrees C!), I made fall-ish food. I celebrated Oktoberfest by making a braised pork dish with fresh cabbage, honeycrispapples, Hatch chili, and beer. And some other stuff. What beer do you drink whilst celebrating your hard drive return/Oktoberfest? Why, Molson Canadien of course. You hoser. It's Canada's second oldest company (after the Hudson Bay Company) AND North America's oldest brewery.
(All this Canadian trivia is for you Beth.)

Some random pics from the scene:

Seersucker. This is a man of action, not words.

The rental in Cali. Yeah, right.

Isak plans on searching for Incan Gold.



Computer is broke again- horrible sounds eminate from within its white plastic innards. Death soon? Or to be saved?

I leave for San Diego tomorrow for one of my step sister's wedding. With searsucker. So basically, the bottom line is blogging will be not happening for a bit.

Sorry, but you don't need to live tentatively through the alligator for a little while, right? (ok, maybe you do....)


Yeah Right.

Read this news story, look at the picture, and then read the last line of it.

Please tell me if this will ever happen in a million-gajillion years.....

It's like a Tui advertisement.


Pervese and Often Baffling.

My feeble attempt at a Friday Linky. Feeble! HA! I will show you! (Is this a split personality blogging? Apparently!)

I was reading the perverse, and often baffling Vice Magazine, and it's issue this month is the Film Issue. There's a piece on Nollywood movies- that's right, Nigerian films. "a veritable movie factory that churns out 25,000 films a year at a budget of less than $10,000 each."

And in that story, it mentions this, which I looked up and was blown away, even more so than the Turkish Superman of a couple months back:

So that's pretty crazy.

And then there's this, which was a big deal a few years ago, and I remembered it whilst thinking about bad film adaptations. But of course, this is a GOOD one.

OK. My linky is short, but condensed full of awesomeness. Maybe not.



Some have seen this picture:

You know what it is? It's a rare photo of a drawing of a rare bird: a little brown spotted Kiwi.

The story? Great.

When I was on the road on the South Island a few years back (January of aught 7), I was out on the Otago peninsula. I was invited to go to a party at someone's house, after watching the Ashes (For US readers: cricket match, Australia vs England) at some bar. I thought it would be a fine thing to do- meet the locals, who were bogans to the end.
During the party a man who spoke with a harsh throaty voice, such as someone who has had cancer of the throat began to yell at me for no reason. His friends calmed him down, and told him to draw me a picture. They assured me he was a fine artist, and he proceeded to illustrate the above picture. Approximately 4 minutes after its completion, he started yelling at me to give it back. He had forgotten who I was, and why he drew it. I was told to keep it, and I mused out loud that I needed to get back to my tent, so I'd hit the road.
I was given the drunkest drive back, down a wind 2 lane road, with no shoulders that had the bay on one side and a cliff on the other. I remember the moon in the water winking at me just a few, precipitous feet below the truck.
I went to bed blow away I was still alive after that jaunt to a hamlet out there on that wonderful Otago peninsula.

And I've found this drawing in my stuff during the move, and just found the cable to attach the camera to the computer, so there you go kids. Enjoy.



Yesterday I spent the majority of the day with my little sister Sophie.

I took her to get some legit Wonton soup at Wonton City, and she surpassed what I thought she'd order, and she got the same thing as me, the brisket/wonton soup. She also ate some of my gai-lan with oyster sauce. And when I explained how said sauce is made (cooked down oyster broth) she didn't flinch. She just said, "hmmmm." That's a good sign in my book.

And then we went bowling. At her insistence, the bumpers remained. And with the bumper's help, she actually BEAT me the 1st two games, since she kept picking up her spares, and I couldn't. But then, I said to myself, "an alligator doesn't lose at bowling to his 10 year old little sister. Pick it up son." So then I went on a frenzy, and bowled a 143, finishing with a turkey. And then 2 more wins followed that, comprehensively I might add....

And then it was paying time, and I thought the guy said $16 dollars, and I thought, "that's not bad...." and I handed him a $20. But he said, "No, I said $60." My jaw dropped. I wanted to say, "WTF?!? This wasn't worth it!" But I just payed, and stewed. The problem with bowling with 2 people is that you go very quick. Games add up. That and bowling isn't that great. That's the other problem with bowling....

And also, I almost forgot that when I entered the lanes, I saw this girl and my instant reaction was "why is Beth Davie here at the bowling alley?" Her true doppleganger exists in Bellevue. It was insane in the exactness of Beth.



I got it. I got it!

My seersucker suit arrived today; I was going crazy, thinking it may never come. I lament it'll need to be tailored properly before I wear it, but really only because of the pants needing to be hemmed. The jacket should be taken in a smidgen. But only because I want to be as much of a dandy as fully as possible.

This is what I bought; in fact, the suit also makes me look like the model. I'll be rocking a white shirt with a blue power tie I think. I might go red tie on the blue stripes, but then I'd have to get a blue shirt....or I could go pink shirt no tie- Miami Vice style....

And I have white shoes, which are the best part, as they're Sanuks, which means they're basically flip-flops with shoe coverings. Comfy-as bro, comfy as.

I am a happy, dapper dude.


Bacon. Dumb.

I'ma lazy today. I'ma gonna post dumb things today. There'a gonna make ya dumb too.

Actually not dumb, but the results can make you dumb: online brewing calculator for those aspiring home brewers out there. Just pick some random stuff, ferment it, and apparently you have alcohol! Yeah Nature! (and boo nurture!)

Enough Dumbness and Bacon and bad, lazy blogging for today! (where is all the good stuff I had planned?)



I am finally realized as normal today.
I slept a full night's sleep in my bed last night. No floors, short nights, couch with kitten jumping on my face, or going to bed after drinking whiskey. A normal, nice, dreamy, refreshing sleep.

And that's what I needed, as I was exhausted last night. So today I have continued that laze. I've done laundry, made a nice breakfast (potato dumplins with local tomato sauce), read a New Yorker article about Governor's Island. And listened to some more new music, which cannot be underrated. I've decided that there's some stuff I need to get on vinyl- like Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" album....
Anyways, taking care of business these days.



Action packed. Never a break. That's my life this week.

Spent a couple days earlier this week getting ready for a trip up to my friend Kyle's family cabin on Orcas Island, which kicked butt.
I drove up early with Kenji and we caught the ferry. Got to the place about noon, and enjoyed the beautiful day by swimming, drinking beer, playing apple baseball, cooking, hot tubbing, and general, all-around shenanigans. Fell asleep after s'mores around the campfire on the lawn. Deer came and ate the apples while I slept.
Woke up early, made biscuits with stewed peaches for breakfast, then had to hop back on the ferry to make it to work Friday. Which sucked. I wasn't right until about 6pm, when I ate my polenta dumplings (made kinda like matzoh balls) with fresh cranberry bean and braised fennel ragout, with wild arugula and pecorino shavings. Hearty food, described by the Mexican dishwasher as "comida que curado crudo." Anti-Hangover food. Definitely.

And after work tonight, I have a party to go to- another risky wager whiskey rager. Auch Aye.


Wani no King of Pro.

I rallied the Dart down to Oly yesterday, with Kenji riding shotgun, to see Aki one last time before he left for Syracuse for the year. Many funny things happened; in some ways it reverted to a highschool summer.
We hit golf balls. 1st time I've done that in a long while. The blackberries next to the golf course interested me slightly more....
Dinner with the Ulmers. Sushi. Fresh sushi. Albacore. Tamago. Cucumber. Squid. All hand rolled, home-style. Awesome.
King of Pro Baseball. The best baseball video game ever, played on Nintendo 64, from '96. Yes, of course epic games can be played on the moon!
VHS randomness. Highlights: Aki's Bambi vs King Kong. Lupin the III from 7 years ago.

And I came back this morning, and today I'm cooking in preparation for an overnight trip to Orcas Island Thursday night. Probably more BBQ something rather....


Psycho a Go-Go!

Had the day off yesterday; payday. I took it to the bank.

But the funny part of the day for me was running into 2 former roomates, from 2 different houses.
Ben, who I ran into at the bike shop he works at (and also lives in the short bus behind the shop, really) and he gave me massive amounts of info on bikes. He also said in a quiet voice, "I can just build you a custom bike." I may take him up on the offer, as I've already realized my bike is fine, but not good by any means. It needs better components, and so I should get something more serious. But that'll take some dinero.... (I imagine a bike in matte green, with white accents. As an Alligator, of course)
And then later in the day, I ran into Sarah at Whole Foods, who I lived with at my last place, and the entire house is moving out. She was pretty bummed that they had realized that they needed to clean the whole place out, which hasn't happened for years, so it'll be lots of dump runs. Suck for them.

I also obtained a 150gb+ music library on my external hard drive, which contained some great rarities, like The Sonics, Seattle's (Tacoma's) Original Rock Band.

Other than that, I'm hanging pictures before going to work today. Fun.


Once Upon A Time In Seattle.

I had plans today. Big, productive plans. And then a man named Gregor from Scotland ruined them when I noticed his facebook status basically said, "I am in Seattle, lost like a babe in the woods."

So I said, I didn't really want to do said big, productive things anyways, and I headed downtown where I met him and did some touristy things. Then we drank whiskey. And then beer. And then ate Chinese food. And enjoyment was had by all!

The end.



I forgot to mention this rather important/interesting news:

I finally got a letter from his Honorable Dr. Jonathan Coleman, MP for Northcote, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Broadcasting, Associate Minister of Tourism, and finally, Associate Minister of Health. What does this dude not do? But I only care for one position, really.

In his letter, he basically re-confirms my status to me, but apologizes that, "It is unfortunate, in particular, that your assessment was not completed by the Wellington branch of INZ before you returned to the US." He then went on to say that the people of the London office, "Are terrible-as, bro." Ok, maybe not.

I still have my extension, indefinite, which he covers, and concludes with this:
"I take on board your complaints about New Zealand Immigration's service. As Minister of Immigration, I am committed to ensuring we have the world-class immigration service New Zealand needs, and steps are all ready being taken in this direction."

So what ever that means. I am still really on my own schedule, I suppose. Slowly.


Up late. I have my reasons.

But the big news is food related: tot-dogs 2nd go-around yesterday. Bacon with mac n cheeze sauce with (upgraded) grated dill pickle. I thought it was pretty yummy, there are some issues for sure, like cooking time, that may put an end to this, but I am continuing to think on this one.

Also, today I made something I never made before: scrapple. It was made with pork belly bits diced up, onions, thyme, garlic, polenta and my crazy rich chicken stock. I put it in the loaf pan, cooled and sliced it, and then fried it. I consumed it happily with chimichurri I had, and then went on a rant as to why it's not on breakfast menus everywhere around here!

I say, "maketh ye and yer peoples scrapple today!"


I've been settling in to my new place over the last couple days. Last night after work I went for a run in my new hood, and I kinda got lost. But mostly because the tried and true grid nature of this neighborhood ended when I crossed into Wedgewood. Dang Wedgies! Damn your curvy streets! (Or was I in Mathew Beach?!?)

Gotta go get some morning coffee before work, so this is short. Enjoy the next though:

I woke up this morning and read this. I really like the idea for my 40th birthday.


Movin' & Strokin'

What the hell happened? I haven't blogged in days! Well, you may or may not know, I have been moving to my new place.
A house up in Ravenna, the neighborhood I lived at before NZ2, with two housemates is where I now call home. NE 75th and 18th for those in the know/google map crowd.

And when one is moving, one is driving back and forth between Oly and Sea-town. And thus I did, multiple times, exhaustingly so.

But really, I have few things, so it could've been far worse, or I would have had to rent a truck. But now I am here, and off today, so I can un-pack my things. I also need a few noticeable things like a bed. But I'm happy to be here. I have a place to hang my hats.

And last night: karaoke deep into the night. Highlight: Me singing that fine song Strokin'. (Best Worst video ever.)



World Premier of Tot-Dogs. Imagine a tasty treat like a hot dog, but with taters!
Breaded croquettes, with different flavors inside, lightly fried, and topped with unique things. Hot dogs are jealous.
Flavors in the brainstorming session with Kenji, aka, Special K, included:
-Ham n cheddar, topped with egg salad
-Curry, topped with palak paneer
-A ruenben variant.
-One that's a sweet soy and green onion, topped with chopped kabli pork and kim chee.
-The loaded, loaded baked potato
-The white cheddar and cilantro, topped with vegetarian chili
-The Aloha. Spam tot-dog with spicy pineapple chutney, fried egg
-The Baron von Glutton. Topped with a hot dog and sauerkraut. Ok, this one might not make the cut....
-Bacon. Topped with macaroni and cheese.

We are currently in testing mode; we found some things we'd change already.

In other news, I bought, as Malcom would say, "a jaunty new BBQ hat!" I love the Bernie Utz hat store, which has been open since 1939. It's a nice summer hat...



Payday for me; when it's something to blog about, you know it's been a long while since income came your way.

Something was not right this morning: I woke up around 8:30, but decided I'd lay in bed listening to a podcast for a bit. And then the next thing I know, I wake up and it's noon. I went to bed at midnight, so what happened? I never sleep so long. I think I was drugged. By myself, is the only answer.
The only interesting part of my day was that I got to make gnocchi in brodo for dinner. It came out like this: rich chicken broth, cabbage, fennel and shiitake mushrooms with chicken meatballs (fennel and red pepper flake aromatics) and parmesan-herb gnocchi. With chopped fresh rocket/arugula. So nice. Fall-ish for sure, but then again, today was the 1st day in weeks I wore pants (as opposed to shorts, get your mind out of the gutter).
And! Tomorrow will be the exciting debut of tot-dogs/tater-dogs, the brand new idea from the Wani-san Food Concern! Blogging/pictures soon!



It's Tuesday; my weekend. I have lists of things to obtain for my new place to write.
I need a bed, a work table (I may make it/commission it from my dad), and some other odds and ends. And clothes. For some reason I need to buy some clothes. And shoes. Lots and lots of shoes.

Ok. One pair.

What else do I need?

But my weekend is my food refuge, the place I go to when I need to find comfort in life. It's cuisine time now. Yesterday, I enjoyed my 1st of the season Washington-grown outside tomato. With salt and pepper. Perfect. And local corn, and local sweet peppers. And great small farm beef. And cold rosé vinho verde.
This morning: Grated tomatoes on toast, jalapeño-cheddar venison summer sausage and strong coffee for 1st breakfast. Secondsies was a top pot doughnut (best vegan doughnut anywhere!), with more coffee looking at a brand new Honda Ruckus.
And lunch? Hong Kong style Wonton City noodle soup. With brisket. And for dinner? Farmers market in a bit.

And where I am not going? Any of these places.


Goals. Check.

It's August!

I have a place; formally not yet as I haven't payed anything. But in wordy agreements, I have found a place.
So that's exciting.
Another goal, check.
I have reached another level of the overall goal: Operation Bring Wani back to NZ.

Realistically, it's looking like that will be about a year away, sigh, but I anticipate it being a great year on my culinary zodiac. So it could be worse. Far worse.

So onwards and upwards kiddies.



It's hot everywhere (triple digits today), and I am still looking for a place to live, which sucks. I had hoped to have this thing nailed down by now!

And my hearing in my left ear is all out of whack- perhaps that high jump into the water was the culprit.

Anyways. Nothing much to report on this side.



Man. I think I may have set a new personal record for highest jump into water. I did it after work today (it was a scorcher!), and you go off this never-used, but clearly built on ramp to the 520 through the arboretum. It's 35 feet. That's a pretty good drop, although, you don't have any target to hit, you can go anywhere. The jump wasn't scary, apparently I've lost a lot of fear for the jumping off tall things. Which brings me to yesterday.

Yesterday was the family reunion outside Allyn, on the sound. We swam in the water, had our annual bocce ball tourney (partnered with my brother, we were shamed in the 2nd round. We lost to our sister and her husband! Shock Horror!!!), ate the South Carolina BBQ I made (mustard sauce) and also I got wrecked being dragged around behind a boat going at a pretty good clip. A second cousin of mine and I had a 2 mile battle on those tubes, to this bridge where I jumped off with him.

Right into a bunch of jellyfish. That stung me.

But it was an awesome day; the weather was great, and the views of the Olympics were incredible. I was wiped though from all the boating. Somehow I pulled my groin....I don't know man, I don't know....


All Yummy.

I did the farm cooking class today. It went really well- the pregame nerves were unwarranted.
I made some simple beans and rice with sweet corn and green onions, tortillas, salsas, cotija cheese on the side with pickled carrots. Poached farm eggs topped the beans and rice. I also made garlicky kale with vinegar, a salad, and then for dessert I made sweet cream biscuits with stewed peaches and raspberry whipped cream.
Mostly local/organic.
All yummy.


Nail Biting.

I am heading down to Oly to do the farm cooking class near my dad's house. Tomorrow I will be giving a class to some 30 kids, and I have really little idea what I'll be cooking at this point! I feel like maybe I'm in a little trouble, but that will be revealed when I've finished writing the directions tonight I suppose.

Man. What did I get myself into?!?!

I can do this. But I have other things I should be doing, like looking at houses! Arg!


1st Day.

My first day at the club was great. The people/team were very nice; it is obvious they get along well for the most part. It was funny seeing 2 people I used to work with at 2 different places. One of them, a guy I worked with at the golf course told me it's the best place he's ever worked at, and independently confirmed the fact that the people were in fact, great.
And the atmosphere is pretty casual- it's the first place I've worked at in a long time where they have beers while working, as long as it's only a couple. I'll have one from time to time, but a Bud Lite doesn't really do much for me, and most of the time I'll be going for a run afterwards so it seems counter productive.
Anyways, it was easy, intuitive and enjoyable. I found a good thing for a while, until emmer&rye opens up (hopefully on time!)


I'm back baby!

1st of all, I have a job. It's nothing spectacular; it's just cooking at the finest private golf club in Seattle. And it's seasonal, but that's ok, 'coz I've got a plan. When golf season is over, I (hopefully) will be working for a chef opening a new, awesome restaurant downtown. I am hopeful, because the lease still hasn't been signed, but the place will be a serious contender in this city.

And the last 2 days I did an event with the aforementioned chef, Seth Caswell. He was doing an advanced showing of his restaurant, emmer&rye, by cooking for the outstanding in the field dinner series.
I had a blast doing it; I was out of kitchen shape for the 14+ hour days in my cookin' shoes. And it was hot, and dusty. And the equipment was not optimal. But, it was a great experience, and I look forward to the next time I am lucky enough to do it!
The table. 130 places on one long table.

1st course: roasted baby beets with mixed herb salad (lovage, salad burnett, tarragon, chives and sweet cicely), blueberries and herb vinaigrette.

The salad course: chanterelles, cauliflowers (including Damon's favorite fractal vegetable: romanesco, baby greens, with a roasted shallot-hazelnut vin on emmer.

3rd: Berkshire pork belly on marinated zucchini, and cabbage with spicy mustard dressing.

The kitchen in the raspberry fields!


The guests at the table.

Dessert: Emmer biscuits with apricots, raspberries, blueberries, mint, and raspberry wine sweet cream! Yummy.

Look what I brought home from the farm, part of my reward for my services. Probably $50+ of fresh, organic, local produce.

Whew. I feel really busy right now, but that's better than being bored, right?!?



I was up in Seattle over the weekend, for a party originally. But that got extended into a job interview, beach time, dinner party, swimming with my sister, BBQ'ing in the rain and some other stuff.

Yeah, it was a packed weekend for sure. Job interview went well; it's nothing spectacular, but it'll fit into a possible schedule, and most importantly BE INCOME, and GET ME OUT OF OLY....
it could be a worse job, fo' sho'.

Party was b-day type for Kyle Wachter, who I hadn't seen forever, and it was fine catching up with him, except the bar we were in was hot as the sun. Seriously, insanely hot.

mmmm.....busy week this, so prolly limited blogtasticness.


The Pin. I've won the pin!

Err.... I mean the pen. It's the accent. Sorry.

I have a certain Lower Huttian sending in an entry to the Dom Post's cryptic crossword weekly drawing for a really, really nice pen.

I win!

Boy does it write well; just as well as the one I won 2 years ago!
And on a Pohutukawa related note: Ben "the tallest ninja" Davie wrote, "congrats on your little nation making it to another birthday." I love that line. It makes me 1st laugh at this odd commentary, but then I pause to reflect that, yay, we are here, and continue to be. Or as our state motto goes, Alki, which means By and By....


Kimchi Krazy.

I decided I wanted to ferment something, and not for the alcohol (which may strike some of y'all as very odd!). And since it was my farm stand day, I figured that some kimchi was in order. It's Korean sauerkraut basically. With a subtle seafood background, and a big chili-ginger foreground. It's supposed to be really good for you.
I also have decided that I want to blog more about food, ala Dan @ Freshly Ground. That's a good foodie blog, with nice pics....

So some step-by-step notes of the process to end at a yummy-as product cuz:

1st step. Make a cuppa. Duh. (Very traditional!)

Cut up some carrots. Cut thin on bias, stack 'em, and cut into julienne.

Chop up some cabbage. Traditionally it's Napa/Chinese cabbage, but you can use many different veggies. The farmstand gave me a huge cabbage for $1.75 yo!

There's also an onion in this pot. I then salted the veggies, and let them sit for 1.5 hours. The salt removes the liquid in the veggies, wilting it, and getting it ready for the "process."

While that's happening, I made the liquid. Chop up a ton of ginger, garlic and put it in the blender with chili sauce (or dried hot chili powder traditionally) and shrimpy-shrimp paste. The latter is as smelly as it is tasty. But it's in food for a background note that people don't ever know about. It's a silent hero.

The now-brined veggies; that liquid is seawater salty. Drain, and rinse really well. Multiple times even. Squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible.

Then mix the sauce in with the rinsed veg. Place it in a jar, with a bit of liquid over the top, and some space between the top and lid. It should be packed rather tightly- I pushed down after each layer.

The jar is full. I'll leave it out for 2 days, then it'll go in the fridge. I will eat it with rice and a barely cooked egg for breakfast. Or with braised pork belly. Or with bulgogi meat in corn tortillas (Korean tacos dude!). And mostly with one hand in the cookie jar.

Speaking of jars, this is an old one. Old Peanut Butter. Or now, Sunny Jim Quality Kimchi!


I went back to DC for the 4th of July weekend. It was incredible! Seeing friends and family- well that's always cool.
-A cool underground beer bar with an epic selection. And deep-fried oreo splits.
-Salsa music in the sculpture garden. We went 2 years ago, and it was great again. Excellent music, people and sangria. Liz joined us; I met her in New Zealand at Morgue and Cal's weddin'.
-The fireworks. Hours of waiting, for 15 minutes of explosions! Video below (just the finale...)
-Eating. From Papusas to Shrimp-boil, to 5 Guys burger, I ate well.

And the photos: