I should be writing cover letters right now, but I just came back from running errands, which is so much more fun. I feel so accomplished after getting items ticked off my mental checklist.
My refrigerator and pantry are now stocked with more fun things (mind you, both were already pretty well-stocked, but there’s always something more that I am looking to add. The food world is a treasure trove of endless gems!):
- fenugreek and thyme – dried spices that I don’t use a lot but have been wanting to use more, along with a bunch of other spices I have acquired.
- carrots, onions, and potatoes – I always like to have a ready supply of those root veggies. That way, I’m always ready to make a chicken or beef stock, some homefries on a lazy weekend morning, or the base of a stir-fry.
- dried shiitake mushrooms – great as additions to various dishes – Korean noodles (jahpchae), Chinese stir fry… I’m hoping to make a Chinese sticky rice thing with these mushrooms soon.
- a cantaloupe – I think it’s peak time for cantaloupes and melons out here. So I’m trying to eat as many as I can before it’s over. I love eating seasonally– it’s kind of like a fun race against the produce, and sometimes I try to find new ways to work with that ingredient. But it’s also great just eating it as is. And of course it tastes soo much better to eat things when they’re in season and grown locally.
- two kinds of Chinese egg noodles – I love noodles in all forms, and I like making simple noodle dishes for dinner– stir fried, in a soup, just mixed with a good sauce.
And in addition to stocking my fridge and pantry, I’m also doing some prep work for future cooking. That’s always fun, too. My mom says she feels rich after she’s done a lot of food prep to offset future slaving in the kitchen. I would agree. Like making a big batch of kimchee or making and freezing a trayful of dumplings or pickling beets or making stock!
I bought some pork rib meat and put it in a Chinese char siu sauce (a reddish, sweet and tangy sauce used for roast pork, especially). I’ll let it sit overnight and roast it tomorrow or the next day. Yum!
I’m also making a beef stock out of bones and stew beef that I got from the meat counter at Berkeley Bowl. I tossed all that in my stainless steel Dutch oven with water, a few carrots, celery, and an onion to make the stock. And every so often, I skim off any fat and gunky stuff. I’ll use the stock in the future to make my favorite Korean soups– yookaejang (a spicy beef soup with lots of scallions), mandu gook (dumpling soup), and seaweed soup. After I started making my own stock years ago, I couldn’t go back to store bought stock. It just tastes so much better!
And just like that, it’s already 4:30pm. Life is good. I think I’ll make some egg noodles with oyster sauce and Chinese broccoli for dinner. I set out some shrimp to thaw, and that can go on top! Oh wait, that might have to wait till tomorrow– I forgot that in my prepping frenzy, I also put some rice in the rice cooker to be ready by 6:30pm. Change in plans. Rice with shrimp and Chinese broccoli!
This is the life of an unemployed food lover!