Miller Lite * (Bacon + leftover cabbage salad + angel hair + seasoning salt) = actually kinda good???
This is what I’m eating right now, while I’m furiously writing my final Sociology paper (on Pokemon and racial formation theory!). I am the worst blogger.
Last week, I attended the wedding of a family member, and it was beautiful and lah-dee-dah~. I made Chris go with me so that I could have a witness to the horror of it all: ABBA on the dance floor, The Final Countdown at the reception, 7 hard drinks inside the priest. But you only care about the food, right?
Like most wedding receptions, this one featured the gourmet stylings of a wedding/class reunion/prom/Shriner meeting hall: the food was just homemade-looking enough to fool the right amount of people into thinking they were someplace classy. (Just a disclaimer, I don’t mean to insult my cousin or his wedding at all, just the food and wedding culture in general. I luv you dude <3.)
The first thing to greet us when we sat down at the reception was this strangely romantic bread. It seemed to be arranged in such a way as to symbolize a virginal bride beckoning her groom into their conjugal bed. I thought about those things as I chewed on it, not realizing that it was going to be one of the highlights of the meal.
As an appetizer, the convention hall’s I’m-in-no-mood waitstaff brought out tiny shumai — like the kind you get at the grocery store — and tiny cheeseburgers. The burger’s Lilliputian size was a stark contrast to the massive wave of non-specificity that hit me as I ate it. Unfortunately, no one else at the table was willing to try one, though for some reason my mom took home maybe 12 of the non-specific shumai to eat later.
Luckily, I got to wash that down with this mystery beer that I made Chris get for me. Everything becomes more delicious when you’re drunk! It was also free! The free beers and mixed drinks pretty much redeemed everything else for me, but let’s move on (in the name of science, of course).
Here’s Chris with the house salad. Look how it glows with empty promises!! The tomatoes were either really old or really unripe, but either way they were as depressing as Flint. The iceberg lettuce was an interesting touch; by now, it’s nostalgic. But then again, sometimes things get phased out of the public consciousness for good reasons. Perhaps the reason is that they are terrible.
On to the entrees! Both the chicken and the beef dishes were served with some kind of savory orange-colored sauce, a previously frozen vegetable medley and possibly roasted red potato pieces. I had never had filet mignon before, so I admit that I was really excited to try it. (Note to self: next time, try with bacon.) The filet was cooked medium well, which was a pretty big letdown. All in all, it was a 6.5.
I gave most of the other stuff to one of my cousins, so I can’t say much about it. They were colorful? The chicken was a skinless, boneless breast coated in seasoned breadcrumbs. Chicken is always so boring that I really can’t think of too many things to say about it, either. I guess I can say that it was a good move on the kitchen’s part to completely cover it with that sauce.
Pictured here are apple pie, bánh bò (lit. “cow cake”), and jelly, made by the assorted older ladies in both families. The apple pie was really well-spiced, and totally American grandma-made. I love the jellies that my grandma makes, though it’s sort of an acquired taste. Chris wasn’t really into them, but that’s understandable. They’re not very sweet, but most Viet desserts are like that. I probably ate like 4 of the banh bo, too! Ahh, they’re so yummy and weird!
In summary, the wedding industry = wiggity wack; homemade food = the shit.
First things first: I’m not Japanese, nor do I want to be. I’m a fan of their Pokemon, insane pornography and futile attempts at rap music, but I’m not so sure about their rice balls. Last summer, my mom bestowed upon me her knowledge of onigiri artisanry (which she got from Oms/b in Midtown).
Her procedure, in short, was to scoop, shape, season and wrap. She had a colorful collection of soy-based wrappings along with the usual seaweed which lent then a seriously twee attitude. Another cool addition were the sesame seed-based seasonings. They added an interesting slant (HURR) to an otherwise rice-tasting ball of rice.
When my mom made them, she filled them with umeboshi, a type of sour pickled plum. When I made them, I didn’t fill them anything. (Do ravenous thoughts count?) Unfortunately for me, I was too poor to buy fillings on my own; my rice ball venture was a pursuit borne from desperation at the end of a bank account. They tasted sexless and fast, and were ugly to boot. Even in the photo they look scared and alone, like the world’s last colony of penguins. I wish Morgan Freeman were around to narrate this shit.
Oh yeah, and there were also king crab legs with some lime juice, black pepper and salt.
I woke up this morning with The Hunger, so I rocked a pack of lobster ravioli and a bag of frozen crab legs in a fit of irrational, over-the-top seafoodism. The king crab legs went into the steamer; the ravioli, into a steel pot. But what about the sauce?
In my fridge were: a tube of tomato paste, a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, frozen garlic, frozen basil and innumerable onions and shallots. So, why not? The sun-dried tomatoes went into a saucepan with a tablespoon of the oil in which they were packed, along with a bit of chopped onion and garlic. Once it started to smell reasonable, I emptied out the whole tube of tomato paste and threw in a cube of the frozen basil. It sorta worked? Maybe? It ended up being a little too tart, so I splashed a little white wine into it and let it reduce for a while. The end result was a thickish sauce that overpowered the lobster ravioli just a little bit. All in all, not a bad attempt for being half-asleep and hung over.