I wanted to like it…

… but quickly found out that I don’t. It ended up being the reason that I didn’t enjoy dinner that night. This is the most frustrating thing that can happen when you don’t have much to lose concerning food.

It was a normal night at my apartment, where I was figuring out what I should eat. Nothing unusual, right? I decided to try a recipe that I had seen online, and was very excited about it. It looked delicious, and now I had the freedom to make this dish without worrying about who wouldn’t like it.

or so I thought.

I followed all the instructions, making sure to follow everything precisely. The apartment smelled amazing, and I was already salivating. When it came out looking like nothing short of something you’d see in newsprint, I was all too excite to pile some of the rice on my plate, and top it with a perfectly golden chicken thigh.

I excitedly tore off a piece of the chicken with a fork and popped it in my mouth.

Well… it wasn’t what I expected. In fact, it was a little underwhelming. I cautiously put another piece in my mouth and ate some rice with it this time. Flavorful rice makes things better…

…but it surely didn’t this time. In fact, my stomach turned a little.

What on earth happened?! I followed the directions and even made sure the thighs were cooked through! This wasn’t right; how can something so beautiful not match up in taste?? This is when I made a discovery. The cool thing about living on my own is that I’ve been discovering a lot about myself, including the things that I do and don’t like.

I don’t know why I decided to smell the smoked paprika that I bought, but I did. I took a good whiff, and immediately turned my nose up. All in one moment, I immediately saw where I went wrong and figured out why I loathe bbq chips! I had no idea bbq chips had smoked paprika in them until I smelled the spice, which smells exactly like bbq chips.

I had never tasted smoked paprika before then, and assumed in my head that it would be like chili powder; I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought it would have the same heat, and it doesn’t, and the last thing I expected was that it would smell like one of the few things that I hate eating.

I finally found a spice that I don’t like, and it upsets me a little that I don’t… partially because that’s leftovers that I now have to waste! I don’t want to give it to someone else because it didn’t agree with my stomach, so the only place for it now will be with the squirrels that frequent the dumpsters outside.

Smoked paprika, I’m so sorry. I wanted to like you, but apparently I never did.

The moral of the story is: if something has smoked paprika in it, I’m going to do an about face and look for something else. Also, it’s okay to admit to not liking something as long as you admit it to yourself.

Now let me go out and feed the squirrels. This entry is dedicated to you guys; bon appétit!

A burned thumb, smoke alarm, and a broken blind

And now, welcome to my adventures in apartment cookery. This is the beginning of what is shaping up to be an interesting start to my life living alone and to my first year living alone in my own apartment.

I’m prefacing this story thusly: The first time that I cooked a true meal in my apartment was last week. Although it’s my first experience using an electric stove, all proceeded with little incident. The rice was well cooked and didn’t stick to the bottom of the dutch oven, the chicken wings that I made were cooked through and browned well after a shot under the broiler, and the Sriracha glaze… let me tell you. The Sriracha glaze was perfect. The most I had to worry about was cleaning the sheet tray used to bake the wings, and wiping the glaze off the refrigerator that had splatter while it was being made.

This time, however, was altogether different. I wonder if it went down like this because I was tired… but let me tell you. It was the perfect apartment cookery disaster. Luckily, there was no fire and the food didn’t burn, but let’s recount this incident, shall we?

  • the rice ended up sticking to the bottom of the dutch oven. Not the biggest deal, but it’s annoying.
  • While trying to check on the chicken, I burned my thumb WHILE USING OVEN MITTS, and dropped the tray! Thankfully, the chicken stayed on. In fact, it stayed on a little too well as I had forgotten to oil the tray so it wouldn’t stick as much.
  • I go to make the sauce… and bullocks! I’ve forgotten the soy sauce at my mom’s house. Part of me wanted to go get it, but I stayed. I thought I could recover it… ha! I should’ve gotten the soy sauce.
  • the fire alarm goes off. I frantically drop all that is in my hands, and try desperately to shut it off, as I am cooking at almost 10pm on a Wednesday. In a caveman-like rage, I rip it from the wall and leave it dangling mercilessly.
  • I try to check on the chicken, and it goes off again! I don’t know what I did this time, but it goes off completely. I run to the sliding door that goes to the balcony (which really took all of 3 steps), fight the blinds, and open the door completely. Blessed silence.

In the aftermath of the incident, my thumb is under cool running water to try to stop the tingling sensation. A pot holder is somehow on the floor next to the door, where the fire alarm is located. The spatula that I used for the chicken was tossed onto a pile of something on the floor, and yet another pot holder was in the middle of my bedroom/living room. Although the food didn’t burn, that sauce that I mentioned earlier looked more like a chunky tomato sauce than the glaze I made last week… and it didn’t get on all of the pieces of chicken!

Admitting defeat, I take my plate of food and sit on the floor on my “picnic blanket”. It was then that I noticed something long and white lying across the floor. In my frenzy, I had knocked off one of the long blinds. *sigh* Why me?

I sit and try to eat with my non-dominant hand since the thumb that I burned is, of course, on the dominant hand. I’ve stuck it into a measuring cup with ice water as I eat, hoping that it will stop tingling. I hate that sensation.

Maybe one day, I’ll be a capable adult. Or have the sense to get a frozen pizza next time…

I Sat Next To Mushy Peas…

…which is the name of a 3-legged kitty at the Kawaii Kitty Cafe in Philadelphia. I don’t even recall how I found out we have this in PA. I’ve heard about them before and knew there was one in NYC. The concept, however, originated in Tokyo. All I know is that I was looking at #catsofinstagram, and came across a cute kitty photo that had the hashtags “kitty café” and “philly”.

“What?!” I cried out, even though no one heard. I know that was my inner cat lady. She looked up from her knitting long enough to hear that, eyes wide with surprise over her spectacles.

Yes, my inner cat lady is showing. No, I don’t care. I knew I had to pay a visit. I found out about this place at the beginning of the weekend while I was sick, and made a reservation to visit today. If you’re like me and can’t own a pet for whatever reason, here’s a good way to get your fix.

You do have to make a reservation, but it’s only $10/hr, and it’s totally worth it! I parked quite a distance away where I knew I could find cheap parking (heck, any parking at all!), but I had the time to walk down to the location and was still a good 20 minutes early. Mind you, it’s not necessary to be 20 minutes early; a good 10 minutes will do. It did, however, give me time to eat something before meeting the little darlings.

I sat on the couch in the cat lounge, next to my new found friend, Mushy Peas.


These cats have the best names ever! How can you not love cats with food names? Not all of them have food names, but the ones that do are: Princess Pizza, Bagel, and Pringle. Mushy Peas wasn’t the only handicapped kitty; there was also Lady Zombarella, who is blind. (I told you these were awesome names!).

If you tell a kitty that you’d like to take them home, guess what? You actually can! PAWS is partnered with this café, so every cat that you meet can be adopted. This café has been open since June, and nearly 60 of these lovelies have found homes! Maybe one of them will adopt you, and you can spend your days doing Netflix and chill. Cats are great for this, especially senior kitties. Older cats need love too; don’t count them out!

I wish you all could’ve met Mushy Peas. She’s a quiet cat, but loves to be petted when she warms up to you. I sat next to her when I entered, and didn’t realize she was missing a leg until she hopped down from the couch. She sat there very quietly next to me, and got a little closer when someone else sat on the couch. She ended up scampering out of sight for a while, but I got the best shot that I could when she came back.


Look at that little face!

I’m telling you. If I could, this cat would’ve been mine.

#adoptdontshop

 

SBF is on its own

So what could this possibly mean?

Well, in simple terms, it means that the misadventures of me seeking Asian food is now its own blog! Rejoice!!!

Does it mean that this page will disappear?

Most certainly not!

I love to eat in general, but I think that particular subject will be able to stand on its own quite well. Asian food is a vast thing that cannot simply be constrained to white takeout cartons and chopsticks. There are many countries within Asia, which means various cuisines. I seem to fall back to it a lot, and I feel that I should start exploring the subject more. So, just like a child that wants to grow up, I decided to give these particular posts their own space. My hope is that it flourishes into something more than I could’ve imagined… but mostly, we’ll see what happens and enjoy the many meals to come.

Check it out, and I hope you enjoy that blog just as much as this one. The same quirky and honest writings that you enjoy here may also be found there. It’ll just be solely food based, and will be about a specific kind of food. It’s specific, but vast enough that the subject won’t be easily exhausted.

So here’s to something new. I’m still Miss Rach, your flight attendant… but I’m also your friendly neighborhood SBF, and I love me some Asian food.

cheers!

#weekendcoffeeshare

New Ramen, New Life

So this entry will combine a life update and an entry where this SBF, once again, sought out Asian food. The best part about this meal was that I got to enjoy it with the aforementioned friend whom is the reason I am an SBF seeking Asian food.

This week was quite the week. I did a lot of things that were new to me, and that completely changed my mind about the way I was viewing life and, consequently, moving through it.

I spent some time with a young man on a layover this time last week. What’s significant about this is that he was someone I trusted easily and quickly, even though I didn’t know him. Leave it to me to find a decent young man online (I don’t think I would have the same luck if I tried this again). Considering how steamy things got, what was wonderful about it was how much fun I had with him. This completely countered the fear I had of being with the opposite sex for years due to past abuse. He was considerate and kind, and most importantly, I felt safe with him. It renewed my faith in the existence of good men, and revived the long lost hope that I, too, may find one someday that I like just as much as he likes me.

I also went on birth control.

I can see y’all being like “What?!” No, I didn’t do it with any intention of getting fresh. I did it for my overall health. I finally visited a female doctor now that I have health insurance. (Yep, it was the first time. No, it wasn’t that pleasant. But I’m glad I went.) She recommended a type of birth control that will only give me a period every 3 months. I may still have bad cramps, but at least I won’t have bad cramps every month. It sounded like a decent option to me. Taking this also means that I’ll have to be more serious about my health since it increases the risk of stroke and blood clots.

Omitting butter from my life completely is non-negotiable, but maybe we can scale it back just a bit.

AND… (can you stand it?) I changed my hair!!!

Now, there was no way I was going to get a relaxer again, but I went to a hair salon for the first time in years! After I stopped using chemicals in my hair, I had a couple of bad experiences. I was scared to visit a salon after that, and the hair horror stories on YouTube didn’t help. However, I knew my hair was in need of some professional help. So I asked for recommendations from women on a Facebook group I’m in. They have natural hair and lived within reasonable driving distance. Lo and behold, a salon was recommended. I went for the consultation to feel the place out. I liked it and felt comfortable enough to book an appointment for the following week. I was not punking out now.

This was the end result.

img_1775

It just so happened that ALL of these events happened in this one week, starting with last Sunday. A new Rachel has been birthed through all of this. I’ve always been the adventurous sort, but now I’m adventurous and feel free in all areas of my life. I feel free to love, and free to take care of myself in the way that I see best. It has produced a calmness in my spirit and soul that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I feel unshakeable now and secure in myself and with the world around me.

In short, I feel the healthiest mentally that I have ever felt. Now I can really be me.

In this very same week, I went with an old friend to experience something new. I’ve had ramen before, but not at this place. I had the spicy ramen, and it was a bowl of happiness. Although I don’t enjoy eating pork normally (unless it’s bacon), I enjoyed the slices that were part of this ramen, AND ate the fat!

img_1774

If you’re ever in Philly, I recommend this place. This ramen fed more than my stomach; it went straight to this foodie’s heart and soul. It ushered in all of the warmness of the cold seasons that are now upon us. Fall, and even winter, are the times of year that I relish. This ramen was the beginning of good times and better things to come.

Now let me sip this tea before it gets cold…

#weekendcoffeeshare

Addictive Thai BBQ & Good Company

In this segment of “SBF Seeks Asian Food”, I traveled no further than my hometown and hit up La Na Thai French Cuisine. Today was a special lunch. I had the privilege of catching up with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Said friend was actually the same friend that introduced me to La Na. She is also most of the reason I’m an SBF seeking Asian food.

At restaurants, I’m not one to have a usual. I do have favourites, I’m not wont to getting the same thing. La Na is no exception, though there are two entrées that I like to change between. Today has changed that.

Today mixed old and new; I rekindled a friendship with an old friend, and tried something new to eat, which was highly recommended by the waitress. I ordered jasmine soup, and went with a thai bbq chicken that came with sticky rice and a small salad. The chicken was a thigh that had a barbecue style sauce on it.

IMG_1752

It wasn’t a thick smoky sauce like American bbq, but it was sweet and had a very slight kick to it, and maybe a little smokiness. Rice wine or rice wine vinegar was what I smelled and tasted. The flavors that had play in my mouth brought me to one conclusion: I want more. I must have more. Next time I go back, I’m going to break my own rule: I’m having the same thing twice in a row. And maybe a third time. In that first taste and moment, I understand why the waitress kept telling me how good it was.

Afterwards, K and I walked to Starbucks, then back to our cars because she had some work to get done before the school year starts. She loves her current job and I’m happy for her. She also lives back in the area now, so we can see each other more. This is great as I don’t have many friends that I get to see as often as I’d like. My job isn’t kind as far as keeping relationships going, but it’s nice to rekindle one even in the midst of it all.

I’m also grateful to have a new love. Honestly, I had given up on chicken and was considering relinquishing it from my diet. This has rekindled my love and hope for chicken. As I eat quesadillas for dinner tonight, I’ll be dreaming of the next time I can have that thai bbq again.

 

 

And A Deer Stood In The Road

…as I returned from my beach trip to Wildwood, NJ Monday evening. Even though it was only a day trip, to say that it was needed would be an understatement.

As much as I love my job, I was spinning my wheels. I wanted to save money to move out and also take trips here and there; however, my bank account and bills scoffed at the very idea. I honestly didn’t think I would make it to a beach this year, which is a travesty for a seasonal beach bum. When I first bought my car in January, I told myself that I would keep my boogie board in the trunk when the beach season started. I kept that word, but as the weeks went by, it sat unused in my trunk. In fact, it became an annoyance because it got in the way when putting in luggage.

Then I hit rock bottom. I was moody and sad, and I knew it was because I was stressed from constantly working when my heart and daydreams stayed at a beach. The reveries were so real that I could hear the waves and feel the wind, and smell the salty sea water.

It was then that I took what little money I had in my savings account, and hit up the beach on a Monday. I don’t understand why people hate Mondays; it’s always a good day for me. This Monday was no different. Finally, the boogie board was going to leave the trunk and be used in the Jersey shore surf. (I cried tears of joy. No, I’m not kidding.)

The reason I wanted to go to Wildwood specifically was because of Curley’s. A friend of mine has a shore condo in Wildwood, and I stayed with her last year. She introduced me to Curley’s. I already have a french fry problem, and this Jersey jewel further rationalizes said problem. They are thick-cut perfection: everything a girl could ask for in a french fry. I pined for them all fall, winter, and spring. Sam’s Pizza Palace right across from Curley’s was also in my thoughts as I waited for the beach season to roll around.

Needless to say, after a 2 hour drive, I finally got the fix I’ve been jonesing for all year long.

IMG_1734

After enjoying good food, I frolicked in the waves, which were great for boogie boarding. I didn’t hoop this time around, which I habitually do at the beach, but there’s always next week. Yes, I’m going back next week, but with my family this time. I will get them hooked on Curley’s also, thus helping them understand why I needed to drive 2 hours for fries.

As I turned onto the road that allows me to turn onto my street, there sat 2 cars, waiting on an indecisive deer that stood in the road.

She was a beautiful doe that stood around 4 or 5 ft tall, her hide was a brownish tan, and her ears stood straight up. The stopped car in front of me honked at her to encourage a quicker response time. Sure enough, she ran across the street, scampering out of sight into a yard with a goal post.

Maybe she’ll play a little soccer in the cool of the day.