Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Ssam Bar wasn't just changing its menu. It rewrote the rules by which critically acclaimed restaurants were supposed to operate, stripping away comforts (chairs with backs, sound systems with a 'low' setting) and amenities (reservations, unshared tables), and gambling that everybody would be too stunned by the food to complain."

From the October 31, 2017, New York Times restaurant review: Momofuku Ssam Bar Keeps Evolving Under Singaporean Chef. By Pete Wells.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Seeing a slice of pizza = Wanting a slice of pizza.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"You should text me what you want to text him."

Said by the character Jake in the movie Sleeping with Other People.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"'It is all meaningless,' he says, and she does not know why it would mean anything, or why you would look for meaning in it, and she does not understand why you would want it to be anything other than what it is, or why you would want it to be about you."

From the book My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. Page 126.
I've been cooking a lot more since I moved to my new place. My apartment in general is on the smaller side, but thankfully the kitchen is renovated with new appliances. It even has a window, which makes such a big difference when actually using the space. The last time I lived in New York with a kitchen window was in 2010, so things like natural sunlight and fresh air for ventilation charm me into staying in the room. It's like cooking and being in a kitchen feels pleasant again. 

My cupboards right now are really stocked with lots of different types of sauces. With my schedule being a bit open nowadays, I've taken to shopping for sauces as a new hobby. It feels like the most inexpensive way to get me out of the house sometimes, where I can feel productive while on a budget. I especially like finding things that are on sale, and it gives me a reason to peruse the aisles of far away (but uncharted) grocery stores. In a way, I think of each new sauce discovery as an investment. And it challenges me to create something with it later on. But as of late, pasta has been what I've been eating the most. The Eataly in Flatiron had a big promotion on pasta last month with some brands on sale for only $1, so I stocked up big time. I've gone through a good amount of my supply already, but I still have a shelf bursting with capellini, tortiglioni and chiocciole. 

Besides pasta, I've been cooking a lot of things that are easy to make. Things like roasted vegetables or other simple dishes are usually my go-to. And while it's been great eating like this so far, I woke up today with a real big craving for Korean food. And not anything that'd be served in a restaurant, but the simpler type I would've eaten on the fly at home when younger.

All I wanted was a big bowl of steaming rice to mix with a whole bunch of other Korean ingredients. I guess you can call it a version of bibimbap, but with whatever you want instead. There's nothing saying you need this or that. I was really in the mood for some fried eggs over easy mixed with gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, perilla, butter, and kimchi. 

I hadn't been grocery shopping for Korean stuff since I moved to my place in Harlem, and since I had the time to spare, I decided to go to the H Mart in Woodside today for a few basics. The prices would be cheaper there compared to the one on 32nd Street, and it's usually less busier. That location of H Mart is small but runs 24 hours. When I lived in Woodside, I loved dropping by on the way home from the subway to pick up beers and already-made food. It's interestingly also the first H Mart from 1982 that would eventually turn into the global grocery chain it is now.

All this trying to cook more at home had me thinking about the food from when I was a kid. It's like, where did that strong hankering for Korean food come from this morning? And why did it taste so amazing when I finally did eat it? And that's when I realized that my diet as an adult right now is the total opposite from when I was growing up. As a kid, my parents' home cooking of traditional Korean food ranged in all types of proteins and fresh vegetables. Practically everything was bought from the grocery store and cooked at home. But all of the non-Korean food we ate was usually processed. If we didn't buy it from Costco, it was most likely fast food we were eating. And if it wasn't from the drive-thru, we were most likely at a restaurant or ordering some takeout. I mean, sure, we cooked spaghetti at the house every now and then, but that doesn't count. The point is, because it's not as if my family were eating hamburgers and french fries over at someone's else place, the American food we ate in my childhood was never home cooked. And somehow, that script has totally flipped in my life today. I only usually eat Korean food in restaurants now, and find the majority of my home cooked meals to be conventional American dishes.

When I got back to Harlem with my bounty from H Mart earlier today, the first thing I did was wash the rice in the tin of my roommate's rice cooker. It had been so long since I washed rice with my hands like that, feeling the grains as they swam between my fingers. It all felt so cathartic and soothing in a way. After it was cooked and ready, I mixed it with my other ingredients before wolfing down the entire bowl of food. Everything tasted so satisfying with the kimchi and gochujang, and totally hit the spot. It's funny because the large bowl of rice mixed with stuff hit me in such a different way than a large bowl of pasta mixed with stuff ever would, and I had missed the feeling so much.

Monday, October 23, 2017

"I'm like, 'Sho. You. Right.'"

From the song Money by Leikeli47.
"My dreams give me wings."

From the song 2nd Fiddle by Leikeli47.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"Been waiting for today,
but I don't know what to say."

From the song Waitin by Kelela.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Everything changed,
then changed again."

From the song To Find a Friend by Tom Petty.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Goodbye muffin top, and hello fall jackets!
Chillllllllll ouuuuuuuuuut.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

"'We're too old to think we'll meet again,' Less says."

From the book Less by Andrew Seen Greer. Page 157.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

"When you feel like letting go,
that's when you hold on to me."

From the song Hold On To Me by Hurts.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

I look at the shiny surface of the Garlic Dipping Cup from Domino's, and know it's bad news. But I know I'm still going to eat it all.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Waking up to the news of what's happened in Las Vegas has been an absolute shock... it's complete madness and so hard to understand why this happened and all those lives were lost...