I’ve got one week or so left before my hopefully last surgery. Seriously, I just wanna get back to sitting in traffic, paying too much for gas, and complaining about people in the Starbucks drive thru. Hopefully that will happen soon. I’m also sick of this whole thing dominating my life so I’ve spent the last few days working on projects and well, God, does my brain hurt.
So let’s talk about char siu. Possibly one of my favourite dishes in the world, especially when made into manapua / char siu bao. There’s just something about the sweet savoury pork and the yeasty steamed bread that hits the spot. Or even just a good glaze heavy char siu on rice. It’s fairly easy to make but oh, everyone has their own version. I highly recommend following Made WIth Lau. I do not follow the leave it out for 8 hours method but I do recommend letting it sit in the fridge then let it get to room temp before cooking. Also, sugar syrup for the last baste and if you are looking for red fermented bean curd, it CAN be purchased at many Asian online markets and even Amazon.
I keep gathering up the brain cells to get stuff down on paper. I also have to finish rereading Bound so I know where to go from there. I’ve got bits and pieces of things started so I have plot lines at the ready and all I need is for my brain to show up. Which hopefully soon.
Surgery day is set for Aug 17.
But writing has to happen before then. It truly is a habit that has to be hammered at every day. It’s too easy to let a bit of writing fall to the wayside and then you fall out of practice even if your mind isn’t ghosting off in some other realm. I don’t mind it wandering outwards… my brain that is… so long as it brings back good material.
Mine is like a goofy cat that brings its owners’ a leaf and claims that they’ve hunted and killed it.
I hope everyone has been staying cool or warm … depending on where you are. It’s cooled off here nicely and the house i sopened up. A lovely breeze is coming thru and well, we have had a late night skunk waft every once in a while. But all in all, still lovely.
And apparently the Tribal People eat another one of my people’s foods… Shoyu Chicken. I haven’t seen it yet but I imagine there might be some conflict with their palates. I could be wrong. Depends on who makes the shoyu chicken. I’ll include my recipe for shoyu chicken after the video. 😀
Hilo Shoyu Chicken
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms or to taste. If large and whole, cut into slices
4 (1/2-inch thick) slices of peeled ginger or 6 T of shredded frozen ginger
1/2 cup water
1 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1 cup brown sugar or 1 1/2 white sugar
5 pounds chicken thighs
Sliced green onions for garnish
Brown chicken then add rest of ingredients. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes. Serve over rice.
One of the best things to eat when it’s cold or rainy or you’re feeling miserable is congee. Our family calls it juk / jook but congee works too.
I’ve eaten a bit of restaurant congee which is always lovely but I haven’t made any in a while. So tonight, it is time for a very thick rice porridge with LOTS of ginger. With tofu, fresh shitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots… of course green onion.
I’ve been working on editing something to put back out and I’d forgotten how time consuming editing is. Reading things over, making sure the words are right. Discovering I apparently biffed spelling satisfaction in such a way Word didn’t even know what language I was in. Such is the way of the writer.
San Diego’s been getting warmer this week. We always have odd winters. Next week it’ll be cold again. I’m hoping for rain. Rain is always welcome.
I’d been scheduled for an outpatient procedure at the end of January and after a consultation on that day, the procedure was called off and instead, I get to go into surgery in the hopes that it will help fix things quicker. Not a major thing. In and out. One day only. Like a drive thru oil change.
I do have to remember to tell my mother about it. I’ve not yet. Just slipped my brain. But it’s not till the end of March so, not too bad.
Cooking more which has been fun. Tonight is stew. Since Andi my roommate is currently forgoing meat, I’ve been doing dual meals… sometimes I’ll do the vegetarian route and we have one dish or I make two of the same dish. Tonight I made Irish beef stew for me and Japanese curry stew for them. Well sort of a Japanese curry stew. I kind of went roasted veggies when making it, much to the chagrin of my ancestors but hopefully it’s got a good curry punch. *grins*
The vegetarian curry stew is made with Gardein beef tips. We’ll see how they do. They held up well for the browning. You’re supposed to add them into your dish last but I let it sit in the curry after browning so hopefully it would pick up some of the curry flavour.
I’ll have more info on the novella that’s being released again in a bit. My brain is very much overloaded with words right now. And the dog is snoring. Everyone stay safe and don’t forget to take care of one another.
The Potato Gus had to go to the vet because his skin infection came back. He loves the vets’ office. He loves his vets and the techs. Not so much love for the construction workers across the street. Borking ensued. Andi took him because not only was I stressed to hell and gone, I had a conference call and this was a pop up appointment they had come up right when I called. So off the Gus went and… he got all his boosters, a shot for the infection, two types of meds, and a bottle of shampoo which he will be scrubbed with every other day for a couple of weeks. They also cut his back nails because they were too long… because I can’t cut them and our mobile groomer rage quit on us after they left off Gus’ muzzle and a strange dog walked by when they took him out of the grooming van so he went Cujo with borking rage. No one was hurt but she was definitely… grumbly. And of course I said… we TOLD you he had to be muzzled if out in the open. I didn’t hold it against her but we never saw her again.
They said he might not be hungry and will be a bit stiff. He’s definitely stiff from the shots. He always is. BUT he is NOT off his feed.
Dinner last night was a hacked mac-and-cheese. This is the first time I’ve made “homemade” macaroni and cheese and well, I was all… fuck the recipes. Too many opinions on it and I knew the flavours I wanted to bring to the dish. It came out well. Very tasty and very much on point with the profile I wanted it to have. Seasoned to hell but that’s what I wanted.
Lastly, I wanted to leave you this, a gorgeous animation / artistic short with dinosaurs done from a naturalist POV. Can’t give enough credit to Julian Johnson-mortimer. The sheer artistry!
Tonight’s dinner is a dual dish. Andi is doing vegetarian for a while and I had a craving for an Old School Hawaiian favourite. So tonight Andi has Kung Pao Tofu with blistered green beans and for me, Sweet Sour Chinese Spare Ribs.
Recently I’ve been trying to get back into writing and doing okay at it. Slow going but the rust is coming off and it’s good to stretch the brain. So I’m having a decent amount of output but still slower than I like. I’ve discovered listening to Rob Zombie apparently helps so… there you go.
But in between the angst of scraping yet another word from my brain, I’ve been watching mini-spotlights on Japanese restaurants. The small diner kind of places that have been around for a long time. Very relaxing but also, inspiring. Well, inspiring to cook. Have a look. There are English captions on most of them and those would be helpful if you’re not familiar with Japanese food. Enjoy!