June 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
6 a.m. Father’s Day. First thought: Why did I get salmon whyyy did I get salmon it’s not like sprawling it across bagels with cream cheese or throwing it in scrambled eggs or just curling it up like a flower on the side of the plate is not gonna make him fall asleep before he even arrives at the breakfast table. And then he’ll think, ‘What’s up with the breakfast setup- OH right, father’s day. Salmon… I was wishing I could have my normal, hearty instant noodles in MSG soup- UH OH… not scrambled eggs, I had been looking forward to poking that egg yolk from my sunny-side-up since 11 last night. Ah well, she tried. She’s a good daughter. Smile, just smile. Hmm What if I ask, would she-‘
So I tried to avoid that from happening.
Maybe it still did.
(Cream sauce was made from sauteed diced mushrooms, cream and a dash of soup powder.)
I have a certain affinity to crepes, probably because it is the only item my mom makes well, as mom is special in a way that she doesn’t, and basically couldn’t cook. And by that I mean she really doesn’t cook, at all. She would attempt to make congee and turn out something between soup and rice (which is i guess… the definition of congee – but it looked suspiciously like waterbugs in a murky pond). She would attempt to reheat a pork bun in the microwave and after two minutes, take it out and find it hard as crystallized bread. The next time, learning from her mistakes, she would attempt to steam it – and upon opening the lid of the pot after five minutes, find her bun swimming in boiling water and radiating soggy floury bubbles and her favorite glass bowl splintered into chunks because she couldn’t find the steam rack to hold the Chinese pastry up. (And she was using a pot because she couldn’t be bothered to use the proper steam wok.)
But crepes, she makes well. And apparently, according to myths of her recent attempts, vegetable soup as well.
I found the perfect crepe recipe on allrecipes.com. Click here for it.
But basically it’s mindblowingly simple. I’ve tried different flour-egg-milk proportions and so far, this has been the winner. Don’t follow the original recipe, you’ll find lumps in it. If that happens, put the mix through a sift.
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
Beat together eggs, milk and water. Sift in flour. Mix well. Add butter and salt.
Heat up pan. Coat with butter. Pour in a (large) spoonful of mix. Make mix coat pan in circular motion. Around 1 minute on both sides.
And what is Father’s Day breakfast without some trace of intoxication involved?
I watch the stars from my window sill
The whole world is moving and I’m standing still
Some mornings… some mornings feel like this.
And others feel like this.
I can’t really say
Why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter
Are the ones you take all by yourself
You and me walk on, walk on, walk on.
The Weepies soundtracks my life.
June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
See I’m the kind of person who when it comes to making something to eat at home, finds herself confronted with several problems: I’m incredibly impatient, incredibly indecisive and incredibly fickle. In other words, I can’t eat the same breakfast twice in three weeks, I can’t be bothered to cook anything complicated, and when I have the luxury of time to stay home and make myself something, I would perch in front of the open fridge for half an hour deciding whether to use ham or bacon, and then end up pulling out 5 different type of cheeses, 3 types of meat, 3 types of bread or crackers, a few couple jars of seasonings and 2 eggs getting cooked in two different ways on the frying pan. Then I would take bits of this with bits of that and basically do a musical chair of breakfast items before settling on the combination that happens to suit my mood best that morning.
Usually when I am done with that, it looks like the inside of my fridge has come out for a carnival.
It was quite a romantic scene: the toast was just stationed there without expectations of any sort, then on comes a pink film of moist chicken breast, then several cool slabs of Stilton, then after a rather suspenseful pause — a cushion of scrambled eggs right off that richly buttered pan. It’s still not of age, and still a little shy and runny. The Stilton, obliged to melt under the heat, embraces the mellow yellow on top and the pinkness below in all its pungent goodness.
First comes the roughness of the bread against your tongue, then an eruption of runny eggs over to the sides at the top (you swear you hear the cooked part that thought it covered everything say ‘shit!’), and then a sudden sharp tug from the Stilton before it retreats apologetically to give you the sweet, humble taste of chicken breast.
Come to think of it, it’s not really scrambled… but it’s my way of cooking beaten eggs. It’s like making an omlette, but instead of having fillings inside, I leave some sneaky runniness in there.
Can you define joy for me in any other way? I think not. Not today.
June 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
I got up at 4.43am, and suddenly felt this madness growing in my head, absolutely madness to the point where it’s like that ancient beast from Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland just dug its way out of the bottom of my cerebral and spat out two miles of decibel in a roar.
I just really, really, really need an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox.
And after fifteen minutes of feverish research on the world wide web, I discovered I couldn’t get one without either spending HKD50 and 15 minutes by taxi (or depending on what type of transportation, HK 10 and 45 minutes by minibus then MTR, or HKD2 and 45 minutes by tram, or HKD0 and 2 hours, by foot) to get to the nearest bagel shop, which opens at 8am, three flipping hours from now.
By the time I’ve decided on what shoes to wear for today, what type of transport to take and actually found my way there to make a decision on whether to put onions in my bagel, I would have become a rotting manifestation of a rail-thin hunched-back woman who could hardly raise her wrinkled index finger at the menu and curse with a croak the shop’s opening hours along with the lack of cream cheese they put on and basically all other similar forms of injustice in the world.
In short, I miss New York Delis. Open 24/7, always a heartbeat away from home.
Ess-a-bagel, 359 1st Ave (between 20th St & 21st St) New York, NY 10010
Price/bagel: From 1.05 USD Dried Sliced Bagel to 15 USD Lake Sturgeon Bagel
Five years from now, I’m going to remember: The shrimp salad bagel…. the shrimps that almost felt alive and the sinful ooze of mayonnaise to the side of the bagel as you try the limits of your jaw with a ginormous bite.