Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mrs. Puff


I don't know if any of you watch Spongebob Squarepants but I feel like Mrs. Puff when she puffs up after Spongebob crashes the boat, failing to get his boating license for the upteenth time.

Yep, it's been a boatcrash of meals this Chinese New Year season! Unfortunately since I had sold my camera yet again, I have no pics to show. Never fear, I plan to buy a new camera with generous lai see money given to me! Hehehe!

First of all, Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone and for those of you that are married, you know what to do!

The boatcrash started with the big meal on the eve of the New Year at my Dad's second eldest aunt's house. Food included wasabi marinated cucumbers, jelly fish, fried porky-bits (I have no idea what this is even though I've had it many a time), a huge bowl of shark's fin (yes, for all of you bleeding hearts, I know, I know, I'm evil but trust me, it's not worth arguing with the family about but I don't eat it if I am out), two huge chickens (one salted and one "plain" with ginger/green onion sauce), fish, abalone and mushrooms, three types of veg, kobe beef with mango, fish (of course, "neen neen yow yu"), fat choi (no, not a rotund vegetable but that black fungus that looks like thin noodles) and a whole bunch of other dishes I don't remember too well. Suffice it to say that it was more than enough.

This continued on New Year's day where we went yet again to that same aunt's house for a vegetarian meal of "lo hon jai" which consisted of fat choi, wood ear, mushrooms, dried oysters (this is considered vegetarian since it was at the foot of the buddha), fat choi (rhymes with hitting the jackpot in Chinese and is traditional for this time of year), and maybe some other stuff I'm not familiar with. Also on the table was stewed lotus roots, huge shitake mushrooms, dried grilled oysters, stewed chestnuts and of course, "neen goh" (type of dessert also traditional at this time of year, it's hard to explain but it's like a chewy, carmalized pudding that is sliced and pan fried briefly to yield a slightly crispy edge with a chewy inside). It was all delicious and we rolled away from the table feeling quite full. Of course that night it was at my parent's house for a "light" dinner of my Dad's famous chicken in rice wine, radish "cake" or pudding, and of course some more "neen goh"

Yesterday the fooding continued with dim sum lunch, noodles for a snack and a family dinner at my parents after the fireworks.

Yep, I not only feel like Mrs. Puff but I look like Mrs. Puff.

And in two week's time my parents, the boy and I are off on another fooding adventure, this time in Taiwan!!

Stay tuned......

Friday, January 27, 2006

I scream, You scream

After paying taxes and much overdue bills, I was, in one word, broke.

Subsequently, depressed. And feeling sorry for myself.

So, the boy decided to cheer me up by buying me ice cream.

YAY! If anything can cheer me up, it's food.

So, declining his offers of Italian gelato, the classy Haagen Daaz and the always droolworthy Extasy (the drug pales in comparison....PALES!), I decide the only way to make me feel better was the fat gooey stuff, so off to Ben and Jerry's we go.

Now, I'm going to go off on a tangent here but I lurve Ben and Jerry's. They remind me of days in Montreal and of course, my brother. He worked at the Ben and Jerry's one summer (as I never cease to repeat to the boy everytime we pass by). Free ice cream cones after breakfast, pints in my freezer, it was awful! How, you say? You try gaining five pounds during bikini season. And before you say it, NO. I couldn't just NOT eat it. Hello, free Ben and Jerry's????

Anyhow, when we got there, the boy said I could have whatever I wanted.... hehehe.

Cue greedy rubbing of hands.

"I'll have a mixed pint of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cooke and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, please"

The boy looked a bit aprehensive but I gave him a reassuring smile.

Ran home and opened the carton. It tastes better out of the carton than the bowl, I told hime so I gave him a bowl while I kept the carton.

Cue one hour later.

Sugar high and a tummy ache, i.e. loud "OW-y" noises and hyper conversation

Cue boyfriend vowing never again to buy me ice cream and definitely NOT letting me eat out of the carton again, mumbling something about self control.

Guess what I'm having for dinner tonight??

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish!

Last night's convo:

Boy: So, did you want to go to the Franz Ferdinand concert with me?

Me: Um, okaaaay.....what famous song did he sing?

Boy: *dead silence*

Me: Um, well do I know their music?

(Note: I am very, very musically challenged. Remember food, remember books, no problem. Remember anything that I've heard or any singer/group/band and I blank entirely. I have no memory of these things and am not really a connoisseur. Blasphemy, I know, especially in this age where everyone appreciates music. Shockingly almost ALL of the boyfriends I have had were in a band or were really into their music. Their attempts to "educate" me amuse me.)

Boy: Ok so clearly you don't know who THEY are. Let me get my iPod.

Me: Is it sleepy music? (It was past midnight and I was tired)

Boy: NO! *heavy sigh* I just thought you might enjoy going to a rock concert, especially since you haven't been to an English concert before.

Me: Yes I have!!

Boy: Paula Abdul doesn't count......and neither does Elton John

(Explanation time: Paula Abdul was when I was 15 and had that cartoon cat thingy. I was thrilled to get the tickets at the time. Elton John was a first (disastrous) date with a previous boyfriend....we walked out halfway through. The only other concerts I have been to are Canto pop music concerts when my aunt gets free tickets through her friends.)

Me: What about the Real McCoy? I saw them once

Boy: I don't even know who they are!!! What did they sing?

Me: You know, that one song they are famous for!

Boy: I have no idea what you are talking about.

Ok, so he plays the Franz Ferdinand track and (thankfully) I actually do recognize it. The boy also tries to oblige me by playing a "sleepy" song.

Boy: You should think of trout when hearing this song.

Me: Why?

Boy: It's called the "Trout Quintet"

Me: Ah. *listens to the music*

Me: I like trout. I like salmon better though. Like smoked salmon. I saw a program the other night where they traveled to Norway were making Norwegian smoked salmon, it looked good. Lots of dill. Mmmmmnnnn, I want smoked salmon.....I don't mind baked trout either. I want to open a restaurant named "Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish!" and play all fish music. That would be cool. We could have sushi chefs in one area and then a place for baked fish in another area. Oh and lots of smoked salmon, trout and mackerel. Hmmmmm, let's go for sushi tomorrow.

The boy rolls his eyes and plays Mr. Scruff's "Fish" track. The only one I remember and the one I fall asleep to.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Cheesy dough sticks

In a city where food thrives and there are movies named "God of Eating", I often crave the salty, processed and over dyed food of my youth....cheese puffs. Unfortunately, I adore cheese and not only the fancy stuff (Brie de Meaux...drool, drool) but also the cheap gross cheese "flavored" stuff... i.e. Cheezels, Cheetos, Smartfood (white cheaddar popcorn), kraft dinner cheese and mac, and on and on. It's the irresistable, sticky, stinky cheese powder that gets me.

So last night, after having downed a big bowl of octopus ball noodles, some veg and a dumpling quite early in the evening, I knew that I'd want a *little* something later on. Preferably trashy food since I was going to be watching trashy TV (America's next top model in case you're curious). And of course, msn-ing with my food twin, convinced me that yes, I do really NEED to go into one of the BUSIEST 2 block radius in Hong Kong, push through the crowds wearing sweatpants and a fleece, run to the nearest grocery store, queue up for 15 minutes with a mouldy old man breathing down my neck and trying to skip in front of me, pay HK$17.50 and run back through the crowds, trying to avoid street beggards and people handing me leaflets and wanting me to buy broadband, get home, change again into "home" clothes (i.e. even MORE comfortable sweatpants and t-shrit), wash hands, sit in front of the TV and finally tear the bag open, jump up because I forgot a drink, get some water, sit my lardy ass down again and then finally, as the theme song starts to play, and finally, stuff my mouth with curly Cheetos (these are so good!)

The whole ordeal took a full 28 minutes and it took me that same amount of time to tire of stuffing my face.

Like a true addict, I hid the bag away before the boy got home.

Oh boy, Cheetos for dinner tonight!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Yup, that's what English desserts are called. Puds.

Why oh why do they make yummy foods sound 'orrible?

Moving on then, while in the cold of England, we went out for a pub lunch. Twas a lovely cold day but the sun was shining brightly and the pub was cozy and warm.

Tried to have mince and dumplings (I have no clue what it is but sounded "English") but was told there was no more mince left (which, I was later told is basically ground beef) but I could have dumplings in the steak and ale pie instead of pastry. Bril. So my dish came:

Looks good, huh? Actually, to me, it just looks like a dried bit of cornbread stuck on top of beef stew. Which, is *exactly* how it tasted. Not bad but not great. I thought dumpling would be different. In my Chinese head, dumplings come wrapped around yummy bits of pork and veg and although I knew it would be different, for some reason I thought they would be kind of like rolled bits of noodle type thing which were chewy and soft. Anyhow,I was told these weren't "good" dumplings but I have yet to taste them.

I was so worried about the desserts, I made everyone at the table (the boy, boy's parents, aunt, grandparents, sister and her fiance) order before our mains arrived so that we would get what we wanted (yes, I know I'm pushy but we're talking dessert here, come ON!). And I had sticky toffee pudding and the boy had rubarb crumble. Who am I kidding, the boy's lucky if he gets a taste of dessert let alone choose. He gets what I don't like/won't eat. Isn't he great?

It looked scrumptious...

Tasted lovely...*insert sticky lip smacking noises here*

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Haggis, Nips and Titties

Well, although I am doing this in a somewhat backward fashion, I am going to share with you my fooding experiences in the UK and Scotland. I will get pictures to share soon....I promise but as I have yet again just sold my digi cam, it'll have to wait (hey, a girl's got to pay taxes!).

Haggis, neeps and tatties. Neeps and Tatties...that just cracks me up every time! I ALWAYS think of nipples and titties and I have to giggle.

Moving on...After finding out there was such a food approximately 6-7 years ago, I was determined to taste and where better than its place of birth, good old Scotland? So, the whole ride to Scotland with the boy and his parents consisted of me repeating repeatedly "I'm going to have haggis!". Fun for all.

Well after finding our way to a lovely old fashioned Scottish pub (yes, I made the boy and his family walk on the cold icy streets until we found a place and suited what I read in my trashy Scottish romance novels), I ordered Haggis (I couldn't bring myself to say neeps and tatties to the waiter in case I got it wrong...which is very probable since the day before I pointed at the gameboy in my boyfriend's lap and said very loudly in front of his grandparents, "Oh, you brought your playboy along?").

And the verdict? It was good. Very yummy, all chewy oatmeal and blackish stuff and lots of black pepper. I thought it was very good although I can see why it wouldn't be to some people's taste. My only disappointment? It didn't come in a sheep's stomach that I can slit open and have the contents spill out. It is like mash so it was a mash of black, mash of white (the "tatties" i.e. potatoes) and a mash of orange (the "neeps" which are turnips). It looked (and I'm sorry for those of a delicate constitution) like very neatly defined vomit. So basically baby food for adults with no teeth.

I didn't take a picture as it didn't look tasty but I did take this one:

Can you believe it? Haggis to go. What really killed me was they had tiny, smaller than an egg, sized COCKTAIL Haggis! Can you imagine, swishing around the room in your little black cocktail dress with posh people with English accents and a waiter in tails approaches you...."Cocktail haggis, miss?"

How tempting....

Note: The boy took a quick look at the title of this and commented: "You spell Neeps with two E's."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How do you eat your Weetabix?

Yes, I know, long time no blog.

Well, to be honest, it's not been very interesting food's of late but I've just been on hols to the UK and Scotland and have had some delicious dishes! I will post over the next few days so as to keep you entertained.

First things first. Breakfast. Weetabix. Why have I not had this before? I discovered this a little by accident. Being wai sik, I had some breakfast at the B and B at Edinburgh and then I thought I'd have some cereal with yogurt. The cereal didn't excite me much so I picked up a small yellow packet of this Weetabix. Brought it back to the table, poured out my yogurt into the bowl and proceeded to open the packet. Looked a bit like a cake of thin vermicelli cardboard. Began to regret cereal choice. The boy looked on horrified as I started to smoosh up some of the bits to put on my cereal. Tried to stop me, telling me "That's not the way to eat Weetabix! You have to leave it WHOLE!". His parents told him to stop trying to sway me to eat cereal HIS way (haha). I took great joy in dumping it whole (to his short-lived relief) into my bowl of yogurt, then smashing it to bits with my spoon.

Hmmm, tasted ok. They proceeded to tell me about the challenge of eating 3 Wheetabixes....oooh, sounded interesting. And different methods of eating it such as with hot milk (more on this later) and so on.

In any case, I enjoyed it. Wasn't until about 30 minutes later that I realized that these things are PURE FIBER! I was soooooooo full. Me. FULL. Full feeling lasted a good 3 hours! This is a wonder food. I must have more!

So, today back in good old smelly harbour, I heated up a mug of ginger milk and dunked a patty of Wheetabix in. Hmm, seemed a bit thin, broke up another half and stuck that in. After stirring it, it turned into some thick paste.

Damn I'm full.