No one in their right mind who knows me in just the sliiiightest bit would have a hard time getting me a gift. It's quite obvious what I like: penguins.
I mean, food. I like penguins too though. No, no, not as food...nevermind.
However, over the holidays should my friends indulge me with delicious edibles that they know I will happily consume in excess quantities? Or should they get me a nice, non-girth-inducing book? Hm?
For some reason (er, holidays), I've been bombarded with delicious, sugary treats in the past few days, the kind that go right into that "black hole" stomach (not the official scientific term) that fails to get full and actually gets negative-full (I suppose the word for that is "empty" but...whatever) the more you eat (here's another
pathethesis [uhoh, made up word] parenthesis! for no reason other than that I'm on a roll here). Result? Lots and lots of empty, delicious calories, swimming around my bloodstream like killer whales, ready to pounce (yeah, you know whales pounce) on anything of remotely healthy nature, like penguins. My penguiny vitamins. Yeah. Uh.
...As you can see, the effects are already showing. What's next? WHAT? More pointless metaphors? Yeah! In fact. My stomach is a torrential bag of custard. Torrential custard.
Nevermind. I love my friends and am honestly happy with all their gifts, despite that I could probably crush them all by sitting on them (or at least crush some of the squishier organs), especially after eating all the food stuffs they've bestowed upon me.
I did a food trade with Erik, sending him a few boxes of Pocky and a handmade plush dumpling in exchange for Norwegian ingestibles. He gave me a GIGANTIC BAR OF CHOCOLATE, a GIGANTIC LEFSE-THING, and two little bars of chocolate. Sweet sjokolade Jesus! I've never had lefse before but from what I do know about it, it's potato-flour flat tortilla-esque bread. I suppose this cake is like layers of lefse with some caramel-esque substance in between, resulting in an interestingly sweet and salty, dense biscuit-esque cake. ROBYN APPROVES. (chomp)
Two days ago I went to Financier to pick up a small cake for Patricia, aka "the friend who lives in my dorm and equally enjoys food and music, making her cooler than most people, no offense to you", as a surprise, along with something for myself, *ahem*. I couldn't resist the Mont Blanc because 1) I've never seen one outside of a Japanese bakery before and 2) aw, it's got a snowman! Unfortunately, I accidentally dropped the box upside-down, resulting in a Mont Blanc avalanche that paralyzed the snowman/smashed his brain. He's recovering in the fridge, but the doctors don't think he's going to make it. They assured me he'll still taste good though.
Since I didn't see Patricia online two nights ago, I figured she wasn't in. Yesterday morning (well, more like afternoon since I woke up at 1), she IMs me to say she has food for me. Golly gee, I have food for you! What perfection is it to have a surprise food exchange with a friend? IT IS. PERFECTION. The planets were in the right alignment for food exchanging. First off, the cake wasn't for the holidays as much as it being her 20TH BIRTHDAY yesterday. (I also got her a ticket for Of Montreal since a little piece of cake would've been...sad.) In no way would I have expected her to give me cupcakes from Cupcake Cafe along with two packs of Kasugai gummies and a bar of Dagoba chocolate. WHY MUST YOU SPOIL ME? WHYY? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?! (raises fists towards the ceiling)
...Not that I'm going to complain. The gummies packaging instructed me to immediately consume 10 pieces in a row or else I'd offend the traditional Japanese spirit of junk food. I may have read it wrong since I don't know Japanese, but whatever. The god of junk food is a modern addition to Shintoism. Kasugai are majorly addictive and I HAVE TWO PACKS FOR MYSELF. Doom. Doom! Full of doom! Doom! (Want me to say it again? Okay.) DOOM.
I've never had Cupcake Cafe's cupcakes before, but Kathryn warned me that they are mega buttery. Sweet buttery Jesus (why do I keep referring to Jesus?), she wasn't kidding. This is the closest thing to eating plain butter that I've found without actually eating plain butter. The texture of the frosting is like butter and the taste is like...butter, but not, because that would be disgusting. The cake was just okay (it had been sitting arounf for a day which surely affected it), but I did like the buttery frosting. Only problem was the after effect of coronary failure. It takes a while to kick it but you know it's going to happen.
When I first started writing this entry (yesterday...yes, I'm just that slow), I hadn't eaten the Mont Blanc yet. As you can see from the photo, I did eat it. Yup. It was good. Like I had suspected, it wasn't as cakey as the Japanese kind, but there was a very thin layer of cake on the bottom soaked in some kind of...something. (I think traditionally it's soaked in some alcoholic substance, which may have been the case for this one too but if so, the alcohol wasn't strong enough for me to notice.) The chestnut taste was subdued, but chesnut flavor isn't strong to begin with. There were nice chestnut chunks in the puree, which was covered with a thick layer of whipped cream (ratio of chestnut puree to cream was about 1:1.5). My only complaint is that it could've been sweeter, not that it wasn't sweet enough but sometimes I like it when sugar kicks me in the head and leave me comatose.
The lovely Mary who works in my dorm but doesn't actually live here, dammit, gave me a golden egg custard tart OUT OF THE BLUE. Arrh! (more fist shaking) Earlier that day I had forced her to take two packs of Pocky Almond Crush Honey White which, like all kinds of Pocky, I should never buy again because it tastes delicious and can easily be consumed by the bucket-load. We like to feed each other, yes'm.
My first bite of the egg custard tart crust was an epiphanic moment: this is the best Chinese food ever. Yes, I just ignored China's rich culinary one-gazillion year old history to focus on the humble $0.60-or-less egg custard tart. A flickr friend described it as "flan in a pastry cup", which is a good description and kind of funny because I'm not much of a flan or pastry cup aficionado. But bundle them together and you have one of the best foods ever, even better if its straight from the oven when the custard isn't quite set and slowly flows out like a soft-boiled egg, except much tastier than a soft-boiled eggs because those remind me more of eating liquified unborn chickens...which I guess is what they are.
I wish I could say the fooding ended there, but THE FOODING NEVER ENDS, DOES IT? No. God no. Shoot me. I remembered that in my fridge lied a carton of milk already passed its expiration date and an egg that probably also passed its expiration date (no, they weren't actually bad, but I didn't want to test the wrath of the expiration gods for much longer). In my cupboard was a bar of 70% chocolate I didn't really like, mainly because of its texture. What do with these ingredients? Chocolate pudding, naturally! This would've been a great idea if I DID NOT LIKE PUDDING SO DAMN MUCH, resulting in me eating some as a midnight snack and a bit of breakfast...and possibly in my sleep. My unborn descendents will eat it too.
Pudding is so easy to make, I don't know why anyone would buy a mix. Check out the recipe; it's basically milk, sugar, cornstarch, and egg. I used the whole egg instead of just yolk because I didn't see why it would make much difference (I don't think it does) and I used half the sugar like the commenters recommended. While I could've used 4 ounces of chocolate culled from multiple chocolate bars, I just used that one 70% chocolate bar I had, about 2.5 ounces. I wasn't too impressed by the pudding when it was hot and freshly whisked out of the pot, thinking it wasn't sweet or chocolate-y enough, but after chilling it in the fridge it tasted much better. The recipe says it makes two servings but unless you're serving two pudding-eating monsters, I think it's better for four people. (Or in my case, ONE. Yeah, I'm probably going to eat all the pudding by myself. Sad.)
I did eat normal food at some point, stir-frying some snow peas and leftover chicken from last week, but my diet was definitely sugar-based this weekend. Actually, it usually is. Believe it or not, I am starting to worry about the health implications of loading my bloodstream with refined sugars, as I'd rather not wake up one day to mood swings and obesity to decide, "Oh...time to cut out that sugar! But I can't because I'M MASSIVELY ADDICTED TO IT." My impression is that a lot of people have problems with sugar because they practially have an IV hooked up to soda or other sugary liquids. I still remember my brother informing me every so helpfully that one could lose weight by cutting out soda.
"I don't drink soda..."
"Oh, you're just screwed then."
Yup. Seriously though, I should cut down the sugar.