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Archive for February, 2011

my apologies

yesterday’s words were a bit too harsh… i think an apology is in order.

now don’t go thinking this apology is directed towards you. no no, i still kind of hate you. (however, if you are willing to send me some sort of baked dish that involves setting the oven to 375 °F, sprinkling said dish with any cheese that is NOT kraft single slices, and letting that shit simmer for a good hour or so, well then i am obviously willing to forgive you).

but instead, i think i owe my “kitchen” an apology. (for the record, i am using quotations because i still don’t feel comfortable with labelling that area of my room as anything other than that-corner-where-dishes-and-other-garbage-pile-up).

i’m apologizing because yesterday, after i gave my “kitchen” shit for being a piss-poor excuse of a room, something pretty magical happened.

to be frank, these lil no bake balls of delectableness pretty much saved my relationship with my “kitchen.”

tb and i have been tinkering and trialing a couple different no-bake/raw/vegan/other flashy search-engine word recipes to try to come up with something that could treat our tastebuds AND didn’t require preheating, oven mitts, or any fahrenheit degree settings.

now this alone can seem like a pretty difficult “kitchen” task. but don’t forget that we’re dealing with extremely limited access to most things necessary when making any sort of bake/no-bake goodie. yes there’s the notorious okpo foreign foods shop which specializes in selling salsa for $11 a jar. but the short supply of “foreign foods” makes me feel obliged to toss quotations onto this store label as well . oh yes, don’t forget to factor in a nut allergy for good measure and you’ve got yourself a recipe for failed recipes.

with odds stacked against us, these no-bake balls came out good. like, really really good.

here’s what went down…

1/2 cup soy milk

1/4 cup margarine (i don’t really think it is margarine but instead, some korean cooking hybrid)

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

all the cocoa powder in the world (give or take 2 tbsp)

2 cups oats

1/2 semi-ripe banana…you could probably use a whole banana but i dont have the self-control to not eat the fruits of my labour (oh god. i kill myself)

4 rice cake cylinders, mashed to itty bitty pieces (k-town readers: the deliciousness of the lil no bake balls will increase if (AND ONLY IF) you buy a jumbo pack of cylinders out of the back of a pick-up truck. i suppose regular rice krispies will also do just fine…)

i started by boiling up the sugar, soy milk, brown sugar, and margarine hybrid together in a pot. i stirred for what felt like a millisecond before tb raided the spoon and accused me of having a heavy hand when stirring. this back and forth went on for maybe 2 more minutes. then we peered into the pot and agreed that the stirring process was complete. (this part of the recipe is NOT OPTIONAL. do not make substitutions or you will end up with a no-bake ball that felt ignored because the stirring process was not a topic of conversation for an unnecessary and agonizing 20 minutes…) 

dump in yer oats and STIR. (this stir was a mutually agreed upon step)

add in your cocoa powder, half banana, and crushed up bitties of rice cake cylinders/ rice krispies

let it cool down (and obviously lick the spoon)

make some lil balls with the mixture to really hit home the whole lil no bake balls winning title

because i am not a colourist, i melted some white chocolate and then dipped those lil guys in the hopes of merging whites and darks

put in the fridge overnight (or for however long you can exhibit enough self-control for the lil balls to firm up their lil ball shape)

peer into the fridge in the morning, scream with a lil no bake ball delight, and smile to yourself for creating more “blog-worthy” content.

anyways “kitchen,” i’m really sorry. i s’pose you’re not so bad after all…

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maybe you’re reading this because you have a slight interest in my daily haps and scanning this post is another procrastinating scheme in which you are avoiding starting whatever else you have that is (surely) more important than watching my desperate attempts to fill every paragraph with brackets (seriously kids, choose a handful of posts and you will see. my batting average is probably about 6 or 7 per page. discontinued and choppy thoughts in its purist form).

or maybe you’re reading this because you want to hound me out for taking three months to respond to your thoughtful and caring facebook message. please recall my pre-meditated “i’m awful at keeping in-touch with people” excuse. i thought i was vague enough that i covered all my bases on that one.  either way, i read your emails. and i’ll seriously write back……later.

whatever the case may be, i just want to put this out there:

i kind of hate you.

but before you start assuming that korea has molded me into an even surlier dickhead, let me explain.

as you read this, you are probably sitting in the comfortable comfort of your own home. a home that probably has some sort of central heating, and maybe even a room or two with carpeted flooring. a home where you do not live next door to your boss, a man that without encouragement or any interest from yours truly, finds it beyond necessary to narrate daily activities, meals, and choice of inner/ outerwear (“yes, i wear moccasins in the winter. and yes, this apparently also means that EVERY SINGLE CANADIAN wears moccasins in the winter. the orange moccasin dye on the bottoms of our feet is practically a racial identifier…”).

maybe you are lucky enough to have walls which seperate one room from another, but even if that is not the case, surely (and for your standard of living, hopefully) your kitchen has a kitchen.

i hate you because you probably have an oven. i hate you because you most likely have counterspace where you can chop onions and carrots freely without running the risk of flinging your plastic drying rack into the open flame of your gas stove top. i hate you because you can plug-in your microwave, kettle, and coffee maker ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

i’m harbouring a lot of jealousy right now. it’s probably best i hold off on that facebook response for another month or two.

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as a reckless undergraduate, i often took it upon myself to reason ridiculous nights of cheap lagers and free buses home. my rat didn’t die in psyc class today. let’s celebrate! i thought i lost my jacket but then remembered i was still wearing it. let’s get another round! i failed my driving test for the third time today. hello last call!

somehow, valentine’s day also squeezed itself onto that list of “reasons to excuse surliness.”

without much thought (and probably out of yearly habit), i shot off some loose-laid plans about pints and nachos to open tb ears. but then, just as it always seems to, okpo happened.

the whitening crunch and cancelled transit system meant the postponement of pints.

instead, i helped a wackload of 16 year old korean boys decorate semi-burnt cookies for their giggly and over appreciative girlfriends.

and as i finish off this post, i took a sip of what i expected to be chai tea. and what should have tasted like a blend of cinnamon and delicious indian spices, was actually a watered-down whiskey from dinner. i guess i got my excuse after all…

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anthony bourdain (foodie and verging silver fox) once proclaimed that taiwan has some of the best food he has ever tasted.

now i can’t say for sure, but i am fairly certain that mr. silver fox was referring to the shortlist of stranger-than-strange themed restaurants that occupy the streets, lanes, and alleyways of taiwan.

from airplane take-out meals to hospital diners with wheelchair seating, the novelty of these opportunities are almost as attractive as both the second-largest ferris wheel and free-standing building that landmark the city of taipei.

but let’s be honest, nothing can compete with a toilet-themed restaurant. (i mean come on, no one really has a fair shot when you’re talking about drinks being served out of mini urinals).

and just like that, suddenly “eating off a toilet seat” quickly surpassed “climbing mt. cising” for the top spot on my must-do list while in taiwan.

and naturally as it goes with any must-do list, i would promptly deem this trip an epic fail if i was unable to put all of my potty humour jokes to use while celebrating the year of the rabbit. and perhaps the food delirium had something to do with it, but other facets of taiwan (and more specifically, taipei) were also all kinds of impressive.

they’ve got this ridiculously efficient transportation system that costs pennies (no, really) to take.

 

their temples are all kinds of colourful and have these well-hidden designs that once discovered, make you feel like you have just found the ‘x’ on a pirate treasure hunt.

 

 

they’ve also got this extremely urbanized cityscape that couples with this slighty seedy (in a good way) miami-like landscape that almost seems passable as a backdrop from a scene in dexter.

where was i?

oh right. they also have a restaurant all about poop.

and i as whined my way through my last night in taipei, i spotted the iconic blue pants man and pink dress girl. those recognizable symbols you would hope to see on a stretch of highway after a big gallon of gatorade, much less an underpass in downtown taipei.

 

it didn’t take much convincing before i was enjoying a cereal-decorated sundae, served in the culturally relevant squatter toilet. maybe the ice cream wasn’t that noteworthy. but in modern toilet’s defense, when you’re seating customers at sink basins and using toilet paper for napkins, the actual meal may have the tendency to take a back (toilet) seat.

 

the fact that my visit to the loo was a taiwanese highlight, perhaps reveals something more about one’s maturity level. but for me, the consolation is knowing that mr. silver fox himself was probably making the same shitty puns (ha!) in the exact same (toilet) seat. all the while grinning to his foodie buddies after making some half-assed (double ha!) joke about taiwan being the shit.

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