Category: everything else
So someone obviously heard my voice and decided to name the storm- "Jonas" arrived Saturday morning and snow was already knee deep for Taiyo at 9 o'clock in the morning. I've already told my staff at SOY not to come in on Saturday, since they were coming from Brooklyn and New Jersey. And Jonas was upon us and the scaffolding for the building didn't prevent the snow from falling onto my sidewalk. I still had to shovel every hour. We walked around the neighborhood a few times in beautiful new snow. Taiyo was so excited because it was truly the lldeepest snow ever for him! Dogs and kids were happiest everywhere, and even for adults- as long as we don't have to go to work and it's before the messy reality kicks in.
Hope it's just Mercury Retrograde. It feels like things are going wrong left and right for me this year. Even from the end of last year. I woke up with a pink eye in Florida a few days before New Year. Since then, I'm having waves of little disasters one after the other. Every few days. I would not go into details because it would depress me. Probably Mercury Retrograde, right? So it should pass soon. Maybe with the blizzard it will pass. And now yes, we awaits for the blizzard. Do blizzard get a name, like a hurricane? I don't think so. Why only hurricanes get to have a name? In Japan hurricanes(or typhoons rather) only gets numbered. "Typhoon number twelve is reaching Tokyo by midnight... " as such. I think the naming in the US makes them a bit more drama, like we have to face some evil old lady. Anyway, Amelia Island, Florida was so fantastic. That's all I wanted to say.
Month of July in the country went fast. But time in City goes definitely faster. We zapped through August. Since we were never gone that long, recovery took longer than expected. But once I was back to work, it was non-stop cycle again. I was quickly reminded why I badly needed some time off. But I had to surrender and get caught up with the city life again. We also had lots of fun. Here's some stuff we did in August.
Enormous Hello Kitty Time Capsule- he put some of his baby toys inside.
I think this was my favorite pizza of the month. At Ogliastro in Prospect Heights.
Just checking teeth at Mr. Brainwash pop-up gallery.
Dining at Bubby's after nice stroll on High Line.
Look how happy he is to be buried in sand at Jones Beach.
It was $5. At least it had to be big.
"A moon over Playland," a photo by Taiyo.
He ate the whole plate of pancakes because I told him he can get a donut if he finished his food. I hope he's not going to turn into a Homer Simpson.
Puppet show in Central Park-always a great place to hang out. They got the bestest playgrounds!
One more week to go, and I'm feeling a bit deflated. "Time" had been a big factor in my very first extended vacation. For months, I was so looking forward to it, I was counting days until July. Customers were shocked everytime I mentioned that I was closing for a month. Then since I got here, I kept reminding myself how many days were left. I wish I could handle this time issue better- I think it's taking half of the fun out of the whole experience.
We finally went to check out this joint on Main Street "Rock Da Pasta." Everytime we drove by, Taiyo would chant "Rock Da Pasta! Rock Da Pasta!" although I was never sure if he knew my favorite Clash song. As we walked into the little funky joint, I felt like I was time warped to good old East Village. It was exactly like what we used to have around East Village- like 20 years ago. There were bar stools made with old guitars. Fun and funky, totally unpretentious but with theme and belief. Ceiling was adorned with vinyl records. Under glass tabletops were torn paper napkins with short messages and passages by people who passed through there. Menu was original and rather ambitious, with dishes named after rock stars and iconic classic songs. The dishes were also grouped with such terms like "Opening Acts" or "Headliners." Taiyo of course would go for simple "Spaghetti with Grateful Red Sauce" and I decided on "Pesto Palooza," which was described as "this festival of lime chicken artichoke hearts, red pepper coulis & cilantro pesto takes center stage over penne, armed up with fresh avocado and balsamic vinegar reduction." Doesn't it sound crazy? Many dishes sounded kind of crazy and this one really made me wonder how it tastes like. It was surprisingly delicious. We both liked the food. Taiyo also loved the garlic bread and he snatched half of mine too. Our waiter was also sweet and I truly enjoyed my time-trippy meal. Sun in low western sky was filling the dining room with amber light, adding to my nostalgic feeling.
The vegetable I picked up for my CSA share last week that I didn't touch was this kohlrabi. I don't think I ever cooked with it, and I didn't know what to do with it. Thanks to internet, I was able to find a solution- just slice and eat it! It's mildly sweet raw but very crunchy. And its skin is extremely tough, so needs peeling. I cut in thin matchstick("thousand cuts" in Japanese,) sprinkled sea salt with thin sliced cucumber, and topped with umeboshi dressing. It was so simply delicious! It was almost like daikon salad, but without spicy kick.
Umeboshi, salt-pickled plum, is also an excellent food on a hot summer day to combat heat. This alkalizing food is like all-purpose medicine for us- something we'd think of when we feel sick, upset stomach, cold, or even hangover - but culinarily it's downright delicious. I've been also enjoying drinking ume-su (ume vinegar, or by-product of umeboshi making process) as my favorite summer afternoon drink with lime, mint and seltzer.
A young deer visits us this morning in our yard. When I came out to take a photo she was a little alarmed at first, but I won the staring contest and she kept munching grass for a while before disappearing into the back woods.
I found two unmanned litte farm stands by Taiyo's summer camp. These are "honor system" stands where you write into the log the items you're purchasing, calculate and take your change from a little cash box. At Meadow View Farm I saw a few interesting items- pumpkin blossoms- beautiful yellow flowers which I really didn't know what to do with. Perhaps you just eat with your salad or add to your plate to make it prettier? And these gooseberries were so amazing-looking I had to try them. Well, as is, they are a bit tart and not really fabulous. Perhaps I make them into jam?
Another farm stand nearby was Full Moon Farm, with well-stocked meats in their freezer: grass-fed beef, pastured pork, lamb, goat and free-range chicken. I picked up some chicken and simmered with lots of napa until they almost melted. Similar to what I make sometimes at SOY "chicken and cabbage," this is more of a take on "chicken wings and napa" that my mother used to make, flavored with soy sauce and touch of sesame oil.
I sit down on the deck with arugula, cherry tomato and cheese omelette and sunshine in my coffee. I would describe this moment in Japanese as "washing of my soul." Yesterday we went to pick up our CSA share at Phillies Bridge Farm, where Taiyo will be spending some days for summer camp. It's half share, but plenty to go crazy with. We even picked beautiful flowers in the field. They also have herb garden you can help yourself with.
And this was our humble dinner. I chopped up beet green and cooked with rice- it didn't turn the rice pink as I thought it would, but Taiyo didn't protest eating vegetables in the rice! I also mixed some dried shrimp and little anchovies in the rice for flavor. I sauteed sugar snap peas with scallions, bacon, and miso pickled garlic. No extra seasoning was necessary. Fennel bulb was sliced and simply roasted- I never cooked it before and that was the simplest solution.