Can every year be one where the Super Bowl, Lunar New Year, and Mardi Gras fall three days in a row? I have had (1) pizza, (2) wings, (3) a majority share in about four different party-sized bags of chips, (4) dumplings, (5) noodles, and (6) pancakes in the last 72 hours. I feel like this super nutritious line-up of February holidays could really only have been better if Valentine’s Day rounded it off today. But it is this Sunday, so that’s pretty much just as good. (And I already got a head start on the chocolate. So we can add that as (7) on the list.)
So we are currently super into thin crust pizza! I don’t know why the magic of thin crust took so long to dawn on us, but a couple of months ago B2 and I tried a new pizza place in our neighborhood and rediscovered all the perks of it we hadn’t appreciated until now. It’s crackly, flaky, crisp but with a little bit of give, and it takes up so much less belly real estate than doughy chewy regular crust that you can eat, like, seven more slices. Which is clearly the most important part.
We’ve had adventures this week! Last Friday, I braved the pre-blizzard craziness at the supermarket to buy the only things I thought we needed for a snow day — (a) pork and (b) bok choy for (c) lion’s head meatballs. And maybe also some seltzer. While the person ahead of me lugged gallons of water out of the store and the person behind me lugged gallons of water onto the conveyor belt, I went home with my pork, bok choy, seltzer, and zero gallons of water, and I’m fairly sure I texted B2 something like lol the supermarket is crazy as usual even though nothing ever happens, what is this storm even called again. I think you know where this is going — 24 hours later (and just as B2’s cousin came to stay with us, sorry Justin!) the water in our little building did go out, then the heat did too, then right when the water got fixed our sink flooded the kitchen. Haha. And I learned the storm was called Jonas.
It was actually not that dramatic — the building owners are wonderful and live right on the first floor (okay, so I think it was more dramatic for them), the heat came back in about the time it took us to zip up our jackets, and even though our overflowing sink didn’t get fixed until yesterday, it was really just an excuse to eat take-out for three days straight and imagine myself as Mickey in Fantasia whenever I had to dump out the water. But I think this means I’m officially disqualified from making fun of water-buying fellow citizens ever again. You are wiser than me, neighbors. (Although this all happened after I made the meatballs! And they were hearty and comforting and sustained us through our no-heat no-water day! So.)
I never thought late-night office Seamless would prove to be as inspiring as it has (and, all right, a lot of the time it’s a little far from it), but I don’t think I would have ever come across this revelatory Sicilian cauliflower and chickpea dish if it wasn’t for a Seamless order on a random work night last winter, placed while hunting for something reasonably healthy in frigid temps that wasn’t a bone-chilling salad or an equally chilly wrap. Tucked into an unassuming plastic cup, this warm salad-y side was an afterthought when I ordered it but the highlight of my desk-side dinner when I got it — creamy chickpeas playing off of crisp, caramelized roasted cauliflower, tossed with briny, pungent capers, nose-clearing honey mustard, and a little vinegar, finished off with teeny-tiny currants for touch of jammy sweetness (which is, as always, the way to my heart) and bright, fresh parsley.
If you couldn’t tell from this blog, B2 and I are about the unfanciest people in the world. Most of the time, being a lawyer is just as unfancy (and for me generally consists of (a) sitting at a desk, (b) clicking things on a screen, and (c) wondering what on earth I’m doing). But every once in a blue moon, our firms decide to celebrate something or other in which we have a very small part, and invite us to a fancy place we’d probably never otherwise go to. So this is how I got to tag along with B2 to a nice dinner last year when one of his firm’s cases settled, where we sat at the kiddie end of the table and talked to the other junior associates about the most pressing legal issues of the day (i.e. the best time of day to find free snacks in the break room) while eating pretty and delicious food.
Hi friends! Happy 2016! How are you faring and/or eating this week? I’ve been ping-ponging between something like I must consume the healthiest superfood in the world, my stomach is drowning in butter and please don’t make me go cold turkey, my stomach needs more butter. After a little of each (hi there, Sunday night’s delivery pizza), I think this oyakodon is, happily, somewhere in between — something to comfort my butter-addled belly but still good for it, too. Oyakodon is always what comes to mind when I think of healing comfort food. A custard-y chicken and egg rice bowl, it’s warm, gently simmered, soft and savory. I first had it in the depths of a Boston winter on a sniffly sick day; it was one of our favorite meals in Japan after a rainy morning. It’s a homey, simple back-to-basics meal that just makes you feel cozy and good after a marathon of holiday eating, and especially now that winter has finally landed in New York (and getting myself out the door in the morning is looking like this), I feel like it’s pretty much perfect for that hug-in-a-bowl, comforting-but-nourishing in-between.
We’re in Hawaii! I had a filing the night before that kept me in the office about a million hours later than I expected, we packed half the things we meant to pack and none of our laundry, but we made it on the plane (I think I set a new record for the most hours I’ve or anyone has ever slept on a single flight) and now I’m sitting at B2’s family’s kitchen counter, blissfully free of legal research and two days away from spending my first Christmas in Honolulu. I visited in January once before, but I’ve never been here for Christmas itself, so I thoroughly enjoyed this surfer Santa and his muumuu-clad Mrs. Claus, I’ve asked B2 about five times too many whether people actually say “mele kalikimaka,” and I’m gleefully sure I just overheard the words “ahi poke for Christmas.” But sunshine aside, it’s still pretty much just like Christmas with my family where it counts — with endless amounts of food, aunties and uncles galore, and B2 and his sister making fun of each other all day, and that coziness is what makes me the happiest about being here. (Also the ahi poke.)
It’s my dad’s birthday today! My brother and I are patting each other on the back because we enrolled him in a Beer of the Month club for his birthday this year and saved
ourselves him from getting something like socks or his fourth Roger Federer cap. His two great loves are beer and tennis (well, and Chinese food), so part of me is wondering how we didn’t think of Beer of the Month before, but most of me is just super glad for the friends who enrolled B2 and me in Salsa of the Month for our wedding gift, because (1) it is totally awesome to get salsa on your doorstep and (2) I definitely nabbed that idea from them.
Oh man, it’s been not-enough-hours-in-the-day days around here lately. Most of the time it is safe to ignore me when I say that because I spend about half my waking hours huffing to B2 about the “million things I have to do” and then the other half of those hours on the couch doing zero of those things until it is too late to do them, but for once, it actually has been a little nonstop from one thing to the next. One of them is a very good one, though, and it’s that one of my good friends, source of indispensable life advice, and surrogate jie jie has been in town with her new (!) and awesome fiancé! They’ve been staying with us and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m convinced that having house guests is one of my favorite ways to see friends. I get to feel like a real grown-up person when I put out “guest linens” and coffee accoutrements “in case you want to make some in the morning” (even if I have a couch instead of a guest bedroom and I forget to put out that cone that goes in the Hario so actually you cannot make some in the morning, oops), and it fits right in with my lazy-homebody agenda (see, e.g., dinner parties) because when things get hectic for them or me, there’s still always time before bed to sit and chat in pajamas and eat cookies even though you already brushed your teeth.
Hi friends! How was your Thanksgiving? We spent ours with my parents and my brother last week, in a couple of slow, wonderful days at home. It was pretty exciting — we sat around and told the same stories for the eighty-seventh time each, I woke up way earlier than you’d ever usually find me so that I could have sleepy coffees with my dad, my sole responsibilities at any given point were not overfilling the wonton wrappers (I failed) and making sure my mom got a Black Friday discount on a jewelry box from J.C. Penney, and my little brother drove me around everywhere because I’m very lazy and he’s nice and he “misses driving anyway.” So actually it was zero percent exciting. (But one hundred percent awesome.)