Allisonwritings


The curry love recipe
May 25, 2009, 8:24 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags: , ,

Yesterday I took an adventure with the goal of purchasing curry paste in mind.  I was introduced to this ingredient through a friend, and have been on a mission to purchase it and cook with it ever since.  Not the most obscure ingredient ever, but still obscure enough to need to venture beyond the corner grocery shop. Chinatown as my destination, with the narrow hilly streets and Chinese signs as my guide, I ended up at Bangkok Center Grocery.  A little Chinese man with a few teeth missing yet the kindest smile offered me help as I stepped into the shop, recommending which curry pastes need coconut milk, which are spiciest, and which work best with bamboo shoots.  A few minutes later, I was purchasing 6 different kinds of curry paste, 3 cans of coconut milk, and some lychee juice for the road.  

 

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Chugging my juice through the short crowded streets, I made my way through Chinatown and up to Little Italy.  People were eating heeping plates spaghetti and meatballs and cheesy, melty lasagna outdoors on an 80 degree clammy day. Nothing could be less appropriate for the climate.  

 

Lasagna (on a sweaty day)

Lasagna (on a sweaty day)

I finally hopped the subway to Union Sq to go to Trader Joe’s for my final curry dish ingredients.  Italian food would not be part of the equation, purely an interlude.  

The final recipe is

2 peppers – one green, one red

1 container of tofu

Broccoli OR Butternut Squash (depending on what Trader Joe’s has or doesn’t have)

1 can of red curry paste

1/3 can of Coconut milk

 

What you mix the ingredients in

What you mix the ingredients in

 

 

Incorporate all the ingredients in a deep pan, covered, and check back occassionally for your perfect cooking preference….I’d say 8 minutes.  This will serve 1-3 people, depending on how much leftovers you want.  Spicy and satisfying, healthy and hearty.  Fun for all.  

Well that is all for my international journey/obscure errand of the day.  I think I will start to find more obscure errands to run.  They tend to be more fulfilling than the ol’ run to the dry-cleaners.  Less dirty laundry involved.  What should I do next?

 



A valentine-osophy for two
February 18, 2009, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Love, Politics, travel | Tags: , , ,

No one would expect a valentine’s eve dinner to be particularly boy_airplanephisophical, yet, for some reason, my v-day dinner was just that.  Teddy and I sat in a sea of lovebirds, red balloons, and waiters balancing Italian platters over our heads, yet our minds were stuck on the twisted fate, or chance, of the airline industries recent media-infested roller coaster blitz.  First, there was the hudson river miracle landing.  Barely even an injury, the pilot praised as an all-american hero, and the passengers given another chance at life.  Fixated and fascinated, the media soaked this story up like a sponge, giving viewers a taste of what it’s like for an expected tragedy to end soo well.  Two weeks after this astonishment, people held on to the hero, the miracle, the lives that were saved. 

Then this miracle was harshly overpowered by the tragic news of a small commuter jet crashing into a suburban home in upstate New York.  49 lives lost on the flight, one life lost in the home.  One passenger a widow from the 9/11 attacks.  Everyone prominent people in their community.  Today, the media questions the pilot’s actions…did he have control of the plane? Was the weather to blame?  Could this have all ended differently?    There are no conclusive answers yet. 

What is the hardest for me to grasp, and what brings me back to my first sentence, is, how can something so unusually miraculous proceed something so unusually tragic?  Are we being told anything by these two earily similar dramatic events happening within weeks of one another?  Was this all just purely by chance, or did something bigger and higher have to do with these two events falling into history as they have?  Certainly, there are no right answers, but if anything, the notion of questioning this can be powerful enough.  What are we being told? What are we being shown? 

One thing that can be agreed upon is that often the news surrounds negative events.  So rarely do we have good news!  The war…the recession…disease…tragedy…sadness…oy vey.  So, we held onto our good news for dear life, we held onto our all american pilot who saved 50 lives with their 50 stories to tell!  And boy, did we get a smack in the face when flight 3407 crashed into that small house in Buffalo.  We got a serious reality check that these miracles only happen so often, and that tragedy can happen even more easily. 

The most poignant point made during our shared tasting of a slice of tiramisu: the world is inherently disorderly, with a constant desire to make it orderly.  All we can do is pick up the pieces that fall that are out of our control.  While this is inherently pessimistic, it’s comforting to know that humans are able to adapt so easily, to communicate so well, to question and to challenge and to solve problems.  Some problems are solveable and some problems are just too late to fix, but nothing is predictably good or predictably bad.  All we can strive for is goodness in order, in this chaotic and unpredictable world.



The year of the Ox
January 28, 2009, 10:25 am
Filed under: travel | Tags: , ,
My new friends come August

My new friends come August

Yikes.  I have not written on here in a LONG time.  I feel like I’m calling back an old friend that’s been trying to contact me for weeks now, and i’ve been ignoring her calls.  What excuse do I have? None, really.  Other than just feeling utterly unmotivated and uninspired to post about anything worth writing or reading about.  So…here I am on my knees, begging for my friend to take me back.  Now, as normal girlfriends do, we “catch up” and “chat” when we haven’t talked in a long time…so…here it goes…

I’m going to China in August!  I had travel inspirations around me, right and left.  My dear friend Catherine is currently in Tanzania climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, filming a documentary of her and a few others journey, in order to create awareness for the safe water project.  My lovely cousin Rachel is living in Syria for the year, studying the language and the culture, and becoming an all around unofficial ambassador for the US/Middle East awareness.  So, with the onset of 2009, and the inspiring people around me, I decided that 2009 should be my year to shine, too (thanks CK).    So, now, I’m going to China.  I’m going for two weeks to Xi’an, to do community work on an orphange with Chinese children.  I’m going by myself, and I’m going to be the most out of my element I have ever been before in my life.  It will be life-changing for me, and hopefully I will have the opportunity to be life-changing for others.  I’m living this New York-centric, egocentric, self-indulgent, fast-paced, EXPENSIVE, corporate-hobo-chic, entertainment-at-my-fingertips, fine-dining, fast-living lifestyle.  And that’s why I want and need to experience the exact opposite, in every sense of the word.  What’s ironic about a trip like this, though, is that I’m going to volunteer.  I’m going to give my time and money to help others, yet something feels so selfish about the whole idea.  Is it just fulfill my self-seeking desire to be a “good” person?  Am I just doing this so I can feel like I’ll be a more well-rounded, respectable, individual?  To some extent, of course.  But even if those are the reasons, I am still going to teach Chinese kids English, to play with and nurture the children without homes, to hopefully bring a smile to their faces, and the ultimate reward, to create a bond with them that will hopefully make their lives a little easier, and a little happier. 

Only time will tell if all of these things come to fruition, but I am beyond excited with what lays ahead.  It definitely helps me get through the daily grind knowing there’s something bigger out there to worry and think about.  And if I could be an inspiration to anyone else, like Catherine and Rachel had been to me, well, then I am one happy camper.   

One last thing – this is the Chinese zodiac year of the Ox, which is my Chinese astrology sign, and I’m going to China this year.  Coincidence?  I think not.



The Hotel Hershey le awesome
November 16, 2008, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Love, travel

I went to Hershey, Pennsylvania with my boyfriend this weekend, and it was awesome.  Some pictures for you to sample the fun: