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April 2008

Buddying up

April 27, 2008   

Seppo and I have buddied up to get motivated. I am Seppo’s buddy to encourage him/kick his ass/help him for his independent project, and Seppo is my buddy for learning to cook more Korean dishes.

There has already been progress! On the project front, Seppo has given me a list of engineering requirements as I had demanded, and I have started to set up my dev environment. I’ve given him a list of things I need from him in order to proceed further.

On the food front, Seppo and I cooked dinner for S & H tonight. Seppo made a zucchini & shrimp dish and grilled up the pork belly for lettuce wraps. He also mixed up two different accompanying sauces: a bean paste-based one and a salt, pepper, and sesame oil slurry. Meanwhile, I made brown & white rice, fake crab & cucumber salad (dressed in a soy & wasabi dressing), a spinach side, a bean sprout side, and a cold cucumber w/ rice wine vinegar dish. We served these with red leaf lettuce, cabbage kimchee, pickled julienned turnip & carrots, and three kinds of sliced pickled turnips (one was wasabi-infused, one was plain, and the third was mustard-infused, I think), all of which was store-bought. This was accompanied by some awesomely tart limeade supplied by S&H.

Dinner was followed by little shots of a ginger & cinnamon drink that Seppo made. This drink was extremely tasty but BURNED inside the mouth, so we ended up watering it down a bit. It was potent and delicious. After a short break, we shoveled some home-made Philly-style (no eggs) vanilla ice cream into our gaping maws.

As if this weren’t enough, at around 10pm, I decided I wanted to make this one Korean dessert that I had looked up in my new Korean cookbook. It’s a ginger-y fried “cookie” that is dipped in a cinnamon-honey-sugar syrup, sprinkled with ground pine nuts. The recipe is really quite unusual, calling for the following ingredients in the dough:

– flour (so far, so good)
– sesame oil (I knew this would be in there, so no surprises yet)
– ginger (yup)
– sake (really??? sake? in a doughy cookie??? ok…)
– maple syrup (whaaaaa-? ok, so clearly a Westernized recipe… it did give light corn syrup and golden syrup as alternatives)
– white pepper (OMGWTF?!)

The dough is an elastic dough and really reminded me of biscuit dough or even beignet dough. It certainly fried up like little beignets. I realized after I dipped the little guys in syrup that this was like the Korean version of gulab jamun, my favorite Indian dessert.

I am looking forward to more cooking adventures! Who wants to come over?! As we get photos off the camera, I’ll post them to flickr and to the woefully neglected food blog as well.

I come out of hiding…

April 24, 2008   

… to take a breath of air and go back.

Lots of stuff has happened, mostly baby-related.

In January, my college friend (and coworker at my last job) S and his wife (also a friend) V had their first baby! She is a beautiful little girl with some amazing eyes.

In February, my friend C who I’ve known since the 3rd grade gave birth to her first baby! She had some incredibly red lips as a newborn. My friend had prepped me, but even then, I was like WHOA! 😀 She really looks like a T-family baby, so I know she’s gonna be an ass-kicker. No need to buy a shotgun for when she hits her teens — she’ll be taking care of business herself. 🙂 Apparently, she’s been sleeping up to 7 hours at night, so congrats! It’s so amazing to think of C as a mom — I’ve known her since she was a little kid herself, so it really hits home that a large chunk of time has passed. I hope I get to meet little C sometime this year.

Yet another friend I’ve known since 9th grade (she is in MA now) gave birth to her third kid in February! It took most of the high school friends by susprise. I think she had hinted when I had seen her back in the summer, but I wasn’t 100% sure. Congrats! I’m so glad to hear that she’s an easy baby! I have no idea when I’ll see her again way up in MA, but I hope she comes out again for the doc convention like last time. 🙂

*Another* friend (a Bay Area one that I met through a dear friend R) expanded their 2-people family w/ their first child, just barely edging out a common internet friend’s baby’s birth by a few days. Both of them were girls, whose videos I’ve watched on Flickr’s new video feature. 😀 Ah, the internet.

There was a break in the baby news at the beginning of April for a wedding! 🙂 S & H got married! I am so happy for them. I could not be using more exclamation marks (without looking like a Myspacer…) to express how happy I am for them!!!! Woo hoo! I love how they are with each other and for each other. They are also both so supportive and involved in each other’s families. W00t!!!!!!!!!!!

Now back to the baby news… My dear friends U&C’s little family have been joined by a beautiful baby boy, breaking the incredible streak of girls! I held him within 1.5 hours of his birth after rushing to the hospital after getting a call from the friend C. From the East Coast! 😀 U&C are being visited and attended to by U’s mom & sister, so I am trying to give them some breathing room, even though I want to be nosing in everyday. I’ve been able to squeeze some details on the baby’s progress though. Hee hee. He was so tiny, yet to big considering where he came from. *runs in fear* Actually, he is a “little porker” according to U&C, according to his birth weight and the voracious way he gulps down milk. Heh.

In non-baby news, my dear friend R is enrolled in a month-long program to get her new career path started! And it seems like she’s really grown from the experience. Congratulations on taking the step and hang in there!

On less fun news, my friend that I’ve known since the 6th? 7th? grade just underwent major surgery for thyroid cancer. 🙁 She had to get both of her thyroid glands removed on Monday. Apparently, it went really, really well and they found no spread to anywhere else, which I am so relieved about. My high school friends really rallied and almost everyone showed up to the hospital. I wish I could have joined them. I think the only people missing were me, my friend up in MA, and my other friend in Korea for a job. You take care, A, and get better! She will be facing radioative iodine treatment in about 6 weeks.

As for me, I have neither good new nor bad news — and no, this was not a lead-up to announcing a pregnancy or anything like that, in case I’ve misled you with all the good news. I just wanted to write some of it down! We also have three different sets of friends getting married at the end of May and beginning of June. It’s a crazy year!

I wonder what the rest of 2008 will bring. While I ponder this, I leave you with this video clip from Planet B-Boy, a documentary about b-boying. And HELL YEAH, I am going to see this. Hehehe.