I ate a lot. But I'll be more specific than that.
Even though I wasn't planning to eat anything before my cooking class yesterday since I would inevitably stuff myself with the buffet of meat and vegetables to be presented at the end of class, a reader informed me of Lafayette Bakery, situated a little too close to NYU on Greenwich Ave. I've heard of it but never attempted to go there before.
"Should I? ...no. I'll buy something. But when will I go? Um. Damn, I'm kind of hungry."
I couldn't have been that hungry since I had eaten a breakfast of fruits and cashews (I finished the 9 ounce container in three days--oops), but I swear, my legs just carried me into the bakery's direction. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of lots and lots of baked goods and signs proclaming the presence of even more baked goods inside, waiting to be bought and consumed.
Signs were splodged all over the front window. I found the one above to be most interesting. Hell yeah, no point in going to a restaurant when all I want is a little treat. EAT LESS! EAT REGULARLY! (Don't have to tell me twice.) EAT QUALITY!
I didn't get to eat all those cakes and pies, but I would've loved to. Besides cakes, pies, and brioche, they also have a buttload of cookies, tarts, scones, muffins, croissants, and other things I can't remember right now. I had a nice chat with the baker (the only guy I saw in there, although I'm sure there were more people...somewhere) and stumbled upon him eating lunch, which was steak and asparagus, or some other green vegetable. Man, if I worked in a bakery I think I'd just eat a lot of bread, but he said he needed some variety and protein. Well. Yeah, okay. ;)
Ain't it a cutie? While sitting in Washington Sqsuare Park (where I passed the Otto Gelato cart; it exists!) I ripped off its "head", plopped it in my mouth, and proceeded to rip off the rest of its body and...uh, masticate it. Tasty. A brioche is never un-tasty, is it? One question I have though is if bread is every supposed to taste fermented-y. I think my brioche had a slight fermented flavor, and I know bread is fermented dough but I don't recall tasting remnants of fermentation before. Anyway. Saying "fermentation" too much is unsettling.
During my cooking class, we had to steam fish in a papillote, steam-roast potatoes, and steam-saute vegetables. I got stuck with the fish since the other people in my group weren't too keen on gutting a fish. We weren't supposed to be stuck with gutting the fish but whoever bought the food just got whole ones instead of fillets. Holding the dead, wet fish in my hands while trying to clean it in the sink was one of the weirder feelings I've had to experience. It feels just like holding a dead, cold, wet fleshy thing. Fluffy kitty, this is not.
As for gutting and making the fish all pretty (or not full of crap), I first scraped off the scales with the back of my knife, which flicked little translucsent circles of fishy organic matter all over the work
area. Over the course of the class, the scales I didn't get to immediately wipe up stuck to the surface of the metal counter and were a total bitch to pick off with my fingernails later (especially counsidering I have almost no fingernails). After scaling the fish, I cut a slit along the belly from the poop tube (I assumed) to the mouth. As I cut deeper into the flesh, pale pink organs poked out, organs that looked like they could've come from any animal, but were rather small considering it was a fish.
"Now just read your hand inside and pull out the guts."
Uh huh. I stared at it for a while and figured it would just feel gooshy. (squish squish rip squish) Thus is the fun of ripping guts out of animal, as in, it's not. Some organs just didn't want to budge, resulting in slippery attempts to rip out whatever stringy remains...remained.
After the gut-ripping, I cut off the fins and back fin, which really didn't want to budge. I cut off the head, deciding that I didn't want to cook it whole, and after cutting out the later of inner bones, I was left with a much smaller portion of meat than before. Cutting off heads and ripping out organs and spines will do that to living things.
Our potatoes came out pretty good, the snow peas not so much. Everyone's steamed-sauteed vegetables in the class came out overcooked. While I was cooking the snowpeas, I could tell they were going to be overcooked. YOu could then ask why I didn't just pour out the extra water in the pan or stopped it; I just didn't feel like it. The pan was kind of ginormous and I decided to just follow the directions than do whatever I felt like doing. The directions said to steam the veggies for 5-8 minutes before sauteing them, but from my cooking experience (which is almost none, you know), snow peas cook really quickly and if you're going to saute them after the steaming, you better not steam them for too long. Er. WHATEVER. They still tasted pretty good since we sauteed them in sesame oil, but they weren't nice and crispy. Another group used the same technique with jerusalem artichoke and they were so soft that it was like eating mashed jerusalem artichoke.
So that was yesterday. Today I ate cashews and an asian pear for lunch and yogurt, a plum, and a rice cake thing with red bean paste for dinner. The diet of a college student, oh yes. When I walked home from school, I went into 3 or 4 bakeries in Chinatown, some of which I hadn't been in before, no joke. (Not that you thought it was; this is me speaking, after all. It's almost surprising that there are bakeries in Chinatown I haven't been inside yet.) I got the rice and red bean thing from the new (I think) bakery on Broome Street next to the Bahn Mi place. They also sell dumplings (as their name says bakery and dumplings) but they said that won't be ready until next week. Perhaps I will try it next week...bwahaha. I also bought a mooncake from the Vietnamese bakery/jewelry store on Mott Street that I'll dig into tomorrow and probably eat in its entirety, despite better judgement. Otherwise, I was rather bored by most bakeries and in the back of my head, I just wanted a rice ball from Fay Da.
Yesterday before heading to a Royksopp concert, I went to Ben & Jerry's with CJ for a little ice cream snack amidst the very ice cream-worthy weather. I know I already said that going to any ice cream place besides Il Laboratorio del Gelato would inevitably suck, but it was the only place around and I figured a funky flavor would be fun. I was disappointed to see that no, funky flavors aren't fun anymore, but just offer a really craptastic version of what I could get at Il Laboratorio. It's not cost or taste-bud effective. ALL OTHER ICE CREAM HAS BEEN RUINED, except perhaps for something like soft serve (probably should've tried that instead) since even though it's like ice cream, it's not close enough to serve as a comparison to what Il Laboratorio has. I guess if I'm ever in a situation where I'm getting normal ice cream, I may as well get some kind of crazy sundae to make the experience different.
In my Food & Society class today, we talked a little about hyphenated Chinese food, such as Chinese-Peruvian or Chinese-Indian food. I've never seen any of these places before but I'd be interested in trying one. Such as...Chinese-Norwegian? Where can I try that? ;) We discussed whether such food is authentically Chinese. Someone mentioned how when she was in Italy and went to an India restaurant, her friend told her that it wasn't really Indian but Indian-Italian. Of course, since it was in Italy, it wouldn't be refered to as Indian-Italian, such as how Chinese food here isn't refered to as Chinese-American (on the restaurant's sign, at least). I only referred to Chinese take out as American once I started living in Taiwan and found myself missing General Tsao's chicken.
How many of you, if you're Chinese, grew up eating a lot of Chinese take out? My mum really likes Chinese take out, which I think is funny. I'd like to believe her mum's home cooking was a lot better.
Ooh, I just got an email about the small food corner in the lobby of my dorm. It's pretty funny; I almost can't believe there's a need for this, considering it was just installed near the end of last year. Read on:
Why travel far? Come on down to the C-3 Express in the Water Street res hall lobby! We�ve got all the goods for you to stock up your fridge.
�the grocery list goes on!
Plus, make any purchase and enter our weekly drawing to win $20 in free groceries!
Check us out! We�re open Monday-Friday 6:30am to 10:00am and 5:00pm to midnight.
We accept Dining Dollars, cash, credit cards, and Campus Cash.
No time for grocery shopping? Try our pre-ordering system. Fill out the pre-order form at the cashier with your choice of items, pay for your items, and we�ll pack them and have them ready for you to pick up at your convenience. It�s so easy!
What's sad is that I don't really eat any of the stuff on that list of staples. I don't stock my fridge with much unless I'm expecting an impending natural disaster. :p