Those of you who know me well, know that one thing I’ve wanted to do more than anything in this world is to publish a cookbook.
There’s no better time to start than the present, right?
I started working on it this month, and I figure, why not share some snippets with you each week?
So, I hereby present you with my other blog, devoted solely to porn.
Food porn, that is.
New York City is a fairly expensive playground. But every now and then, you can find some steals if you look hard enough.
Case in point: 60 cent burgers at Big Nick’s Burger Joint. In celebration of their 50th anniversary, Big Nick’s rolled back some of their menu prices to what they were in 1962.
Never one to shy away from food and good deals, Angela, Matteo and I braved the one hour line-up, which didn’t seem bad at all considering the balmy weather and all the catching up we had to do, now that I no longer live in the same building, let alone in the same borough.
Three cheeseburgers, two plates of french fries, a slice of pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich later, we looked at our bill.
For the three of us.
I think that was the first time I’ve left a restaurant with my stomach AND wallet full.
I thought August was going to be a rather boring month, in the sense that most restaurants don’t serve alcohol, many of my friends are fasting, clubs aren’t open (well, they’re not supposed to be open), and lots of street vendors close down in the afternoon, because of Ramadan.
Food wise, August is a pretty brutal month.
But food wise, August is a pretty fun month!
Allow me to explain.
Nearly every restaurant offers a “buka puasa,” or “open the fast” menu during the month of Ramadan, like the set menus you get at NYC Restaurant Week or Dine Out Vancouver. From 6pm onwards, you can get a a special “buka puasa” 3-course meal for as little as 75,000 rupiah, which is about $8. And the food is pretty darn good!
So as you can imagine, for the past week my friends and I have made a nightly adventure out of randomly picking a strip of restaurants and scoping out all the buka puasa menus. The best part is, the buka puasa menus aren’t limited solely to Indonesian restaurants. Last night it was good ol’ Southern US grub, the night before it was Swiss-German, and the night before that it was Italian.
Why club hop when you can restaurant hop?
Since arriving in Jakarta, I haven’t really felt any pangs of homesickness for Vancouver or New York. But I have, interestingly enough, found myself on numerous occasions wishing I could teleport myself to Manila.
I miss Manila terribly.
So, you can only imagine how delighted I was this morning when 1) I met a Fil-Kiwi, the latest addition to The Jakarta Globe, and 2) Said Fil-Kiwi swore there’s a Chowking at Ambassador Mall! A fellow Filipina whom I can reminisce about how wonderful Manila is AND a place where I can get halo-halo? Yes please.
I haven’t had halo-halo in two years, and I hate to say this, but es campur has got nothing on this baby.
And the best discover of the day, aside from a new friend and a place where I can get my halo-halo fix?
Ambassador Mall is only a 15 minute walk from where I live.
I’m ridiculously happy today. And it’s a feeling I rather like.
A stint in Indonesia wouldn’t be complete until you got sick. Like disgustingly, scarily, “I don’t know what’s happening to me” sick.
I haven’t been vigilant about the foods I’ve been ingesting - street food, old food, cold food, you name it, I’ll eat it - and that blind eye approach certainly took its toll on me yesterday.
After happily munching on some gado-gado from one of the warungs close to the office, my upper body started to itch. I didn’t pay it any heed, thinking it was probably the synthetic material of the blouse I was wearing.
The itching continued throughout the day, but by the time I got home after having dinner with a few friends, I noticed my body - back, chest, neck, thighs - was covered in red welts.
But it didn’t stop there.
Minutes later I was doubled over with shooting pain in my side, and every hour I found myself crawling to the bathroom so I could puke my guts out. Despite the jacked up A/C, throughout the night I was shaking and sweating, and parts of my body felt like they were on fire. The hives got worse throughout the night, too - my arms, stomach and waist was covered in red welts, and when I woke up this morning the right side of my face broke out into hives!
I can’t keep any food in. The thought of food makes me want to vomit. Each time I stand up I feel like I might faint. My body hurts.
Yeah, I think I’m sick.
It sucks being sick, especially when you don’t have anyone to nurse you back to health. But on the bright side, I’ll be really skinny when this is all over!
My darling parents don’t really buy into the notion of public displays of affection or avowals of love/appreciation/gratitude.
Maybe it’s an Asian thing.
Instead, my parents demonstrate their love for my sister, brother and me by feeding us.
When my parents were growing up, food was scarce and they shared what was already paltry amounts of food with their other ten (in mum’s case, eight) siblings. If you were a favorite, you received a heftier portion of rice or a larger piece of fish. So, my parents always equated more food = more love.
I’ve been back home for about a week, and I’ve never seen our kitchen with so much food!
The day after I flew in from New York, mum and dad went to an Indian grocery store to buy a crate of mangoes. Not just any mangoes. Alphonso mangoes, my favorite. A few days ago dad went went to a Chinese bakery and picked up a box of dan tat, almond cookies and a huge container of cashews. More of my favorites. And this morning, sitting on the top shelf of the fridge was a pumpkin pie from the farmer’s market. The pumpkin pie was especially touching, because when we first immigrated to Canada, pumpkin pie was the only thing I ate in copious amounts. I was touched dad remembered.
So there I have it. Proof that my parents love me.
But a small part of me wishes they didn’t love me so much. Actually, I just wish they would stop feeding me.
Fat babies are cute. But fat adults? Not so much.