travel | bangkok, thailand 2014

Bangkok, Thailand 2014

i’ve been trying to write this
for awhile
from many places
— while walking sidewalks brimming with food vendors
— crossing a busy street, clutching dw’s hand tight
— from cramped airplane seats, recycled air pressed down on me
— early morning thoughts while combating jetlag
— dreary late night musings, preparing for reality

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

there is a heat in bangkok
that seizes you
it gets caught mid-breath
and you’re left gasping
for some it’s oppressive
for me,
it’s joyous
i don’t mind the heat,
or the slick tendrils of hair at my temple
or the pit stains
i’m 16 again
wearing slippers, dusty toed
and ignoring hawkers as they
implore & vie for my attention

i’m caught up in the magic
of travelling
of wandering a foreign city with my love
never mind the blisters on
both feet
and
the stink i’m sure i’m emitting

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

all i know is
i am in love with everything:
dw
being lost
the dirt
the heavy air
dw
even the lack of soy milk for my coffee

and i am dreaming of our next adventure

bangkok information and resources:
i’m sorry, i won’t be able to highlight every place we went to, i don’t remember & most places were on a whim

accommodations: 1 bedroom condo we found on airbnb. we kept the place even when we went to chiang mai for a long weekend.
dining: no lie, i think we had khao man gai 7-8 times. i asked the landlord for recommendations and then i asked shesimmers, and if i saw a joint that had it, we’d stop for it. i’ll list just the two leela endorsed cus they were gooooood. Khao Man Gai Monkhon Wattana (ข้าวมันไก่มงคลวัฒนา) and Khao Man Gai Heng Heng (ข้าวมันไก่เฮงเฮง). if you really want to know more about those places, email me & i’ll send you the info.
urban kitchen: we met up with dw’s cousin and he took us to this great cafe. i’m now obsessed with bruised cucumber salad and drunken chicken. i will eventually recreate that meal
Methavalai Sorndaeng: dw’s parents visited thailand after their stint in india with the peace corps. they dined at this restaurant, so we did too!
shopping: we hit up most of the shopping malls, whole sale and retail, and bazaars. i could not tell you where i bought the cutest tea cup set, cus i don’t know, and cus it was by luck. i did hit up all these and the weekend market
sights: the grand palace, adhere to the dress code

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

next: our chiang mai leg, specifically, walking with the elephants!

other wanderings:
vietnam 2012
barçelona2010
rochester
pittsburgh

february | remember

february

today being the Last Day of Feb
meaning
we’re right on the cusp
of Spring
or
something nothing like it
it being much more bearable one day,
the next being pretty effing awful

i find myself deadline crocheting,
again
i also doodle in my notebook
listing things to pack for
our upcoming trip
things to buy for/during
our upcoming trip
one of which is potentially
a NEW LENS
which could be death
of me and my nikon friends
who i keep pestering for their opinions
but they’re all the same
and i haven’t won the lottery yet
so i can’t buy all of them
only one
gawd, the decisions!

flowers

felt … omg, the excitement as we countdown till we leave
watcheda movie, with friends, that made me simultaneously laugh & cry inside. i also spent a good portion of the drive home ranting about parents and family and divorce and how fucked up people in general are
drove … for miles. to southern va and i am reminded again of how beautiful the blue ride mountains are
commenced … a juice/smoothy type thing. let’s just say that i adore chewing & leave it at that
swooned … over this book, that is making me love pride&prejudice all over again, despite what twain says about austen

cauliflower rice with roasted tofu & pomegranate relish

a few pinterest and internet discoveries:
||i’d wear this dress everyday
||thinking about this pretty cake for a dear friend’s baby shower this summer
||blueberry season cannot get here fast enough
||i need to make this, and i will, once i get over my crush for her dandan noodles
||i may have gotten teary-eyed over this
||just this
||seriously considering going even shorter!

gifts

photo captions:
||the view of muddy gut creek. don’t let the name fool you
||dried flowers, early morn. dear spring: just get here already
||an adaption of this recipe. we’ve made this thrice, once with cilantro instead of mint, another time with paprika instead of chili, yet another time with millet, all times were fabulous. now that pomegranate season is over, i’m wracking my brain for what other relish i can make…
||pickled mango: what am i supposed to do with it? i received it from my foodie penpal this month. he actually sent me a box of random condiments and spices and goodness and that jar of pickled mango has my utmost interest right now, though i don’t rightly know what to do with it. thoughts?

Soy Sauced Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soy Sauced Chocolate Chip Cookies

allow me to confess something
it’s not embarrassing
at least not anymore:
when i was a kid,
still living with my gparents,
i had to wear the same outfit
two days in a row
before putting the clothes in the hamper
this was a horror to me
not from a fashion sense
not really anyway
but
it was embarrassing
to be asked by my classmates why
i was wearing the same thing
as the day before
it was humiliating the reason
was because we had to lug
laundry to the laundromat
five blocks from home
to wash our clothes
and to make it worthwhile,
to ensure that my clothes were
sufficiently dirty,
gma mandated that i wear the same
outfit
in retrospect
it was humbling
it didn’t physically hurt me any,
to be seen in the same
shirt and pants combo
over & over again
these days i don’t wash
my jeans after just one wearing
and lord knows,
i wore the same outfit for a week straight
in college during exams
and honestly,
there have been times
i’ve worn a cute outfit running errands
on a saturday
and will wear it all over again
to work
the following monday
repeats are fine
in fact
i’ve made a version of these cookies
multiple times
off & on
for years
i’ve made them vegan
i’ve made them exactly as the recipe states
and now i’ve made them asian

Soy Sauced Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soy Sauced Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Jacques Torres in the NY Times

note: this is what i served in lieu of fortune cookies at our chinese new year dinner party. it was fun having our friends figure out the secret ingredient. the soy sauce is subtle, dw can discern it, i wanted more impact. i might have to make these with an extra tsp or so of soy sauce. but for now, we’ve attempted it twice and we have plenty of cookies already formed in our freezer…

makes about 4 doz pingpong sized cookie balls, which obvi flatten out during baking

8 1/2 oz cake flour
8 1/2 oz AP flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 sticks vegan butter, i use earth balance, at room temp
10 ounces light brown sugar
8 ounces sugar
2 large eggs
4 tsp soy sauce, i use Bluegrass Soy Sauce
1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips or chunks
sesame seeds

in a bowl, sift all dry ingredients

in mixing bowl cream the vegan butter with sugars until fluffy. add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. add in the soy sauce. reduce speed, and in 3 batches, add in the dry ingredients, mix until just incorporated. gently, add in the chocolate chips or chunks. cover with plastic and refrigerate 24-26 hours. can be kept in fridge for up to 72 hours, if not used after that period, freeze them.

when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.

line a baking sheet with parchment paper. on plate, pour out some sesame seeds.

using an ice cream scoop, scoop out dough. i typically bake in batches of 6. roll dough around sesame seeds. bake for 18 minutes. allow to cool on sheet a few minutes, then cool completely on rack.

typically, we form the cookies and line them up side by side on parchment’d baking sheets, freeze them and then put them in freezer bags for quick desserts or snacks. if baking straight from freezer, add about a minute or two to the bake time.

BAM!

Soy Sauced Chocolate Chip Cookies

january | remember

January

today’s the last day of the month
which means
it’s the first day
of the Year of the Horse

park bench

may this new year be:
prosperous
joyful
flavorful
simple
healthy

waffles

felt … falling snow, wet and hard and unforgiving. this winter has been brutal. 30F has actually felt balmy around these parts.
saw … perfect 20/20 vision. my lasik procedure was a success and while i’m still recuperating, it’s been a revelation to wake up to an in focus world.
reada book! actually, still reading it and i’m serious, i’m about 18% in and my heart is breaking already

seeds

a few pinterest & internet discoveries:
||i have a serious thing for tutus and sequins
||i don’t even like camping, but how delightful does this look?
||i have my heart set on making this, even though we’ve been shedding books
||i’m a fan of this solemn man and i need his action figure in my life
||this is magical
||my creative writing professor never gave us this assignment, thank gawd
||i loved this read so so SO MUCH: What’s wrong with me? Plenty. But that was never the point.

spoons

photo captions:
||it’s not so much the snow that kills me, it’s the damn cold. it’s like a soul-sucking siege, a state of which i see no end of
||weekends in general means dw makes breakfast. i’m not complaining, the man spoils me rotten
||not seeing these seeds any longer at the markets, meaning the season is over… meaning, winter needs to make her exit now already
||i walked into michael’s for yarn and walked out with these spoons, completely unnecessary
||finally, i signed up for a foodie penpal thing back in november. it happened to fall during a busy time and can i just tell you, seeing a package on my desk after an absence from the office was just what i needed. my penpal Alyssa sent me some trader joe’s ingredients and cookies will be forthcoming, i’ve had an idea floating in my head for the last 3 weeks and it just might be born this weekend… stay tuned. meanwhile, to join the fun, go here

choclate

last. i must share this with you. my current celebrity crush is tom hiddleston. i like me a bad boy and he as loke had me quivering. this is him doing a reading of ee cummings’ may i feel said he. swoon

diy | toy kitchen

DIY Toy Kitchen

nowadays the conversation
inevitably turns to children
it’s that Time, you see,
after Marriage
actually,
it’s been that Time
for awhile,
since i’m in my 30s

i like kids
though it has been easy in
the past for me to say otherwise
truth be told,
i adore children
but since i was sixteen
i’ve been assertively
against procreating
i have a running tally of
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
it’s in the millions right now

the main reason though,
the only reason that counts:
i don’t want to be a Mother
it has nothing to do with
the fact that i didn’t meet
bio mom until i was 30
or that i have barely concealed
passive aggressive emotions
twds my stepmother
but it has everything to do
with the fact that
motherhood is just not my thing

know what is my thing though?
being an aunt
like i said
i like children,
other people’s children
i see a kid
of holding in your arms age
and i will butt in line,
elbow grandmothers out of the way
to hopefully be the first Asian
to hold that child
when poop and tears make an
appearance
the package is returned
and my uterus can stop panicking

dw is a fine man
i wouldn’t have balled&chained him
if he wasn’t
and everybody knows
my lurve for him is so deep
the goddamn ocean is jealous
so when i see him like this
my ovaries quiver
and i start to think about
having babies with this man
and how our kid would likely
have shitty eyes
cus both of us have shitty eyes
or that our kid would be lanky
cus lord knows dw has a bottomless pit of a stomach
despite the amount of food he puts away
and i was all knees & elbows
until i discovered alcohol
and the Waffle House in college
he makes me realize that
fathers do participate
willingly,
that motherhood with him
could be my thing
if only the other million + one
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
didn’t exist

DIY Toy Kitchen

diy toy kitchen & what i learned:

|| i’m useless with carpentry stuff: i’d been wanting to make a toy kitchen since before pinterest came along. so when dw’s friends’ kid expressed interest in the culinary arts i decided the time had come. i basically told dw what i wanted and he went forth and made like Jesus and did a bunch of wood-working while i sat on the couch & told him what to do.
|| things add up: we thought that it’d be a quick and cheap project. then we realized we didn’t have any tools, like, oh, a drill. in the end it still was a relatively inexpensive endeavor because we added to our inventory of tools. i meant to keep tabs on all the costs but with the holidays and birthdays the receipts got annoying.
|| dw is detail oriented. i wanted knobs, he measured every single space to ensure it all lined up and made sense. had it been me, i would’ve plopped the dang things anywhere there was a smooth surface.
|| on the one side of the stand that i did not photograph there is a dry erase magnet board attached to it, for menus or you know, doodling. initially i wanted to paint a chalkboard surface but it seemed a lot of work.
|| miniature kitchen tools are adorable. i damn near bought an entire set for fake cooking use.
|| for the sink, the bowl is actually a doggie dish from the dollar store and the faucet is a plastic pipe i painted grey.
|| for the burners, i bought wooden circle thingies from Michael’s and painted the top red. i almost did the spiral but again, it seemed like a lot of work.
|| the side table was a craigslist purchase for $15, it used to be a record stand holder.

inspiration & resources:
i wanted a backboard to either put a shelf or hang kitchen tools.
for extra counter space.
knobs are from anthropology.
other supplies from Ace Hardware and Home Depot and Michael’s.

DIY Toy Kitchen