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First of all, you guys have been amazingly supportive and helpful <3 And second, eggs. Must repeat, EGGS.

So remember how yesterday, I wanted to do scrambled eggs, and got sidetracked and ended up with poached eggs instead? Well today, I decided I would do scrambled eggs, but then got sidetracked and ended up with cheese omelette.

PS. No-stick pans FTW!

This day marks the first time I tried cooking with oil ([personal profile] zarhooie is right -- cooking eggs with oil does not lead to the scary splattering that deep-frying say, chickens, would. I feel better now :-)).

I think I've also managed to figure out a technique of cracking eggs that works for me. I got suggestions to crack against a flat surface, with a spoon, but not against the rim of the bowl, and so far, cracking the egg sharply but firmly against the counter top has been win \o/ No egg-shell fragments, and much easier to pull apart. (Thank you so much to everyone who gave me videos, instructions, and a list of steps *G* Food is so much less gritty this way)

So today was still exciting for me:

I figured out how to figure out when there are flames on the stove. The trick, you see, is to not stare straight down at the top of the pan, which blocks the view of the flames below. The trick is to stoop slightly, and look aslant, to be able to see the flames against the bottom of the pan. (I may have turned the stove on and off some five times, convinced that the stove wasn't working right)

So I let the pan heat up. Grabbed an egg, tapped it against the counter, things were going well, and then I managed to sprinkle about half a teaspoon worth of black pepper all over it. Oops! I scraped off as much as I could, but there was still an awful lot of black. I ended up grabbing a second egg (and the milk carton, since I was staring at that section of the refrigerator already), (the countertop rapping thing worked again :DDD) (I think I love milk in my eggs, now that I have tried doing it on my own).

Some olive oil on the pan, poured the egg on, swirled it around with the fork a bit (systematic scraping in a circle.). And then fit of inspiration, ran to the refrigerator and back, and broke pieces of cheese all over the omelette.

(It was definitely an omelette now, and not scrambled eggs, which were my original intention. I wonder if I shall ever make real scrambled eggs?)

SO GOOD THOUGH. All gooey and cheesey and melty and warm and toasty.

Breakfast may now be my favorite meal of the day :-) Now to figure out what I shall do tomorrow.

Perhaps scrambled eggs?

(Originally posted on Dreamwidth, April 8, 2009)
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I meant to do scrambled eggs, as [personal profile] zarhooie suggested, but then I got a craving and a container of vinegar in my hands, and the next thing I knew, I was making poached eggs and toast.

(I also have orange juice, but I mooched that off someone else's labor. Mmm orange juice).

Verdict: poaching eggs is less scary than frying them*. Less hot stuff flying around. It turned out surprisingly well, too. But then I did have someone guiding me through the process. It was perhaps a bit too soft, so I shall have to leave it on longer next time (but I was impatient! And hungry! Also see: ravenous)

So today, I:

  • turned on the stove (it made a whoosh sound, and then flames. I did not realize the stove makes a whoosh sound. Why did I not realize this? And it turns out that at some point since I last looked, we got a new stove, one that no longer needs the clicker to start the flame. That makes me happy because trying to coordinate the turning of the knob with the clicking of the clicker looked complicated. And this now just looks simple. Like, the difference between manual and automatic transmission. HUGE.)

  • boiled water (...I'll leave it at that. Hush, don't laugh :-))

  • cracked an egg over heat (I have cracked eggs before, but always over a bowl, and always to hand over to somebody else. This is different! )

  • cracked an egg over something and managed not to get eggshells in it (I have maybe done this once before. or twice. Usually I have to get out the fork and dig.

    PS. I'm still not sure how to crack eggs properly. Hit it with a spoon, tried to break it apart. Got eggy stuff on my hands D: Tomorrow I'm trying scrambled eggs though. More eggs, more practice. Hopefully eggshell free as well?)

  • oh, and popped a piece of toast into the toaster oven. It involves time, and ingredients, and heat. It totally counts.

* Note that I have never actually tried to fry an egg
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And I have been scared to learn, so I am determined to do so at some point in this next week.

So far, I have:

  • cut carrots (it looks easy! I did not realize it was possible to do it horrendously badly! But I did it anyway! (both the cutting and the horrendously badly!) )

  • cut chicken into chunks (across the grain. or the, the, whatever you call the texture. I think I scared people with my knife. BUT. I did it anyway ahaha )

  • mixed chicken in the thing you coat it in before cooking (in this case, dab of rice wine, black pepper, sesame oil, soy paste. Then some corn starch afterwards, to keep it tender, I think (sesame oil on my hands smells so very good) )

  • rejoiced over not yet wrecking dinner \o/

PS. Have not yet touched the stove.


Mar. 29th, 2009 11:57 am
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So I had this tiny bar of coffee+cream (chocolate-based candy). And I actually liked it. This had led me I believe that I would like chocolate coffee (oops!) if only it were:

  • sludgey/ thick instead of watery
  • intensely strong with some sweet undertones through the bitterness instead of being blandly bitter and sweet
  • not inclined to make me jittery/make me sleepy/too hyper to concentrate or whatever it is it tries to do to my nervous system

I just want it to taste the way it smells! And not mess me up! This is not too much to ask, is it?

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And mangos and strawberries.

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Continuing along the lines of my previous food pics, here is some chicken with rice at McDonald's.

Chicken  )

Is it true there is no chicken in McDonald's of other countries? I can understand the lack of rice but surely there must be chicken at least?

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McDonald's spaghetti was originally created to compete against a rival popular Filipino fast-food chain.

Merienda for today )

I am assuming that chicken with rice has a similar story as well.

PS. McSpaghetti looks roughly the same though I think it has more ground meat and less hotdogs.

Aha, friend commented with a an image of the McDonald's stuff

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Merienda for today

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Stayed in a hotel in Nagoya briefly, on our way to Hakone where we hope to see Mount Fuji. Crossing fingers; rainy weather may work against us.

They went out drinking last night,I may join them later. I am not much of a drinker, but I am interested in sake.

Watching Bruce Campbell vs the Army of Darkness on the bus. THIS IS MY BOOM STICK hahaha.
Metal hands with about 2 minutes of transition scenes. Awesome.

"Welcome back to the land of the living. Now pick up a shovel and get digging."

At a random rest stop, and this place has absolutely everything to say about restrooms in Japan. First, the standard: toilet seat warmer, butt washer, bidet, oscillator, derriére(accent?) dryer, "power" odor remover, button that generates a "flush sound" for 25 seconds, flush button on the wall, just about at elbow-level (which i appreciate because it is more hygienic but i don't think it is deliberately designed that way). You also have the antimicrobial fluid you can use to wipe the toilet seat, as well as the more normal disposable toilet seat cover. Then you have the mommy's helper, a chair you can stick your toddler in while you go, and the... I forgot its name, but it's basically a second, smaller toilet seat which goes on top of the adult toilet seat to better fit kids when *they* have to go.

And all that is still pretty normal, including the metal rail you can grip along the side, until you realize that there is also a *holder for a cane*. Oh, and tissue paper. There is always tissue paper. Told you the toilets in Japan are good.

On the way out we saw a map of the restroom, which pointed out which restrooms are Western-style and which ones are Japanese-style, as well as the special amenities available in each. What it does not show you is the vanity area: mirrors with ledges on the wall across from the sinks. Also the cute little half-height sink, again for the kids.

Rode the Hakone Ropeway (cable cars). It was pretty foggy so i did not get to see much, but on the upside, i got to walk through fog. *Fog*!

It is pretty cold up on Owakudani (volcano) and Hakone Lake (lake). Guide said it was near zero. I think he is exaggerating a bit, but still, my nose and fingers went numb. Heehee.

I suspect i am not supposed to get my gloves wet. On the other hand, they'd be pretty useless if they were destroyed by the first sign of bad weather... wouldn't they?

Passed by Mt. Fuji briefly, but weather was pretty bad so they did not let us up past the gate at the base. Aw.

So the day pretty much didn't go as planned, but we ended up staying at a(n almost) ryoukan, or Japanese-style inn. It was modernized, but there were tatamis, and the beds were pretty much mattresses on the floor, and the food was more in the traditional manner. My family did not appreciate it as much, because there were so many pickles *g*. However, the ebi tempura was pretty good, despite their objections. The batter was light and flaky, not the floury thick mess that you usually find in cheaper restaurants.

There was also an onsen, both public and private baths. Decided to take the public one because a. the experience; and b. private baths are ¥3150 for 50 minutes.

I went with my sister and it was...interesting. Not too awkward. I would have stayed longer but hot water is *hot* and I am not used to feeling so cooked. My favorite pool was the open-air one, because it is so cold above then you get into the water and ohshit your legs are suddenly superwarmed.

After that, we went on a hunt for sake. The vending machines only served overpriced beer, so a few of us walked twenty minutes through cold winds and light rain to the nearest convenience store. We got several oversized cans of not-overpriced beer (Asahi and Kirin), a bottle of normal sake, and a carton of plum-flavored sake.

The best beer I have ever had is still that in China, and I don't even know the brand. Kirin was very strong and sour, almost made me gag. Asahi was more to my taste. The sake is the best alcohol I have ever had, though (except maybe for vodka ice, which is sweet). Normal unflavored sake was slightly bitter, but pretty smoorh not too bad. The plum-flavored sake was sweet and slightly plum-tart. Pretty good! I hear that there are other flavors; that is probably worth pursuing.

Think I've mentioned that I am not much of a drinker? I had one papercup total of all the alcohol on the table, and i was already feeling tipsy so i excused myself and went up for a bit. When I came down there was an old samurai with the group, telling stories (it is possible that he was lying, but he was very strong for a 79-year old man) (He said that he had kissed a thousand American girls and five hundred French girls. Now that, I don't believe. (Maybe if it was the other way around.)). I am slightly envious because I only caught the tail-end of the encounter.

And then in the morning, it began to snow! I have only been where there was snow a few times, and only actually stood in falling snow twice, if today counts. Snow on the ground: Lake Tahoe 2x, Whistler (Canada) once, and some other mountain in Canada where we used snowshoes. Falling snow: Whistler (skiied once!) and then today at the base of Mount Fuji. But like I said, I am not sure whether today counts, because the snow melted as it hit the ground -- or my hair, cheeks, shoulders, skin. So it was more like standing in fat, icy rain *grin*

Also four and a half degrees. Μmm.


Suntory White Water tastes like de-pinked Pepto Bismol. Suntory Pop Melon > Fanta Melon Soda. Suntory Ginger Ale is just ginger ale.

Went to the Tokyo Tower and stood on a thick plexiglass hatch and stared down 150 meters. *shudder* i hate heights.

Dropped by the Imperial Palace. The wind flayed the canvas off the metal skeleton of four umbrellas. Our fault, we were trying to go against the wind.(someone just defined "windchill factor" for me ahaha).

Am a bit cranky. Spent three hours at toyota car dealership and the mall beside it. That's three hours of cars, people, clothes, and aching knees, none of which fit into my definition of a good time.

Dinner was good! Beef sukiyaki, hotpot style. On the floor below the restaurant was what seemed to be a Japanese festival permanently transported there (Odaiba), complete with horror house and the fish/paper ring thing. There were some cute little things, but the cheap stuff looked cheap and the expensive stuff was expensive. Maybe we'll have better luck at Akihabara tomorrow.
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The internet in this hotel is free! :DDD I've been typing in my phone all day, so I just transferred everything from my phone to my laptop:

It is evening and i am now in japan! The flight took a bit more than three hours, but we sacrificed an hour getting here so it is now just about seven.

Am pretty stoked. Signs are in japanese, english and korean which i am finding funny for some reason.

Took some time out in the plane to get up and look out the emergency hatch window, like i always do, to look at the clouds .from the top. Ostensibly my reason is that i needed to go to the bathroom but i had gone just before we boarded.


Anyway here now done with immigration waiting for customs. Traveling with family so we need to pass through it as a group together. Immigration was pretty nifty: stick both forefingers into a little machine, press down, stare into a camera. Whywhywhy? But i am happy to do it anyway as long as i dont have to see what the photograph looks like afterwards.

Finished princess bride on the airplane. Now i dont have anything to read on the way home. Hopefully i would have gotten something in japan to make up for that oversight ü

Am still waiting. Wonder what is taking them so long? I kinda want to head back up the stairs to the immigration area but from experience, that is pretty strongly frowned upon.

Oh dear my hands are getting cramped from all this typing while clutching at the phone. Maybe I should start reading Buttercup's Baby now? The ending of Princess Bride was somewhat painful; am not sure whether william goldman's comments helped or hurt on that account.

Tours are all right but someday i plan to come back here on my own -- or better yet, with friends.

Oh man i forgot my old enemy in other asian countries: the squat toilet. Heavens. I mean they're not as bad as some people make them out to be, but they're bad enough.

Oh and i just managed to contact Ju! Omg omg omg omg.

Okay so absolutely full from dinner. First dinner here was buffet grill. Awesomeness. Loaded up our plates with lots and lots of meat. I took shots of two platefuls ahaha. So full right now.

Osaka, as seen at night from the highway, is very similar to south korea, hongkong, and certain parts of thailand. Just something about the way roads and buildings are laid out, as well as the cars and character sets.

Am at the hotel now. It is very cozy, sort of moody. Ceiling is so low that i can actually reach it (with uh a bit of jumping but still).

Also there are like cheapo pajamas (3 pairs) in a drawer. Put on a pair now so i can save up clean pajamas for later in case other hotels dont provide.

I wonder what bexhill-on-sea means? It comes up in autocomplete. I dont really see how it would be in common enough use to warrant an entry n the default
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Just came back from dinner out with my younger brother's close friends and their families. My brother's death has brought us all together, it seems. There were about thirty of us tonight, split across three tables: one table for the dads, one table for the moms, and one table for we the younger generation.

Had fun! Friends are a blast! The dads' table was the rowdiest. They had the most wine and beer on hand. So :p Almost went out for a Wii party with the guys (the guys, not the dads) after, but my sister and I have work tomorrow and no way home tonight, so we decided (regretfully) not to go with.

Dinner was amazing. Lots of normal Chinese banquet fare which, though I've had them many times, I never get sick of, especially not when from a good-quality restaurant: asado, chicken cold cuts, jellyfish, century egg, lumpia, crab ball or fish ball or something, sharksfin, duck+wrapper+hoisin sauce (peking duck?), abalone+mushrooms, steamed fish, noodles. The best thing of the night was definitely the crab fried in its own fat. So sweet on the tongue. I had three pieces, where I'd normally only have space for one.

Ended the night with taho which you could mix with sago and the sugar-sauce to taste. Street taho is still the best, though.

One hazard of being in a Chinese restaurant in a relatively small population is that you're likely to bump into your relatives there. Pretty much assured of seeing an uncle or an aunt or a cousin or a grand-uncle's son's family or something. Tonight we saw my mom's third-sister's family there, sitting at the same table with the family of the girlfriend of one of my cousins. I sense a wedding in the works :-)
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We have ten 1L cartons of milk that are best before January 8, 2008 (plus one more of the same, still unopened, in the refrigerator). That gives us a bit more than a carton of milk to consume a day. I need ideas.

I've done the first three. Anyone have any suggestions for what we can do with the rest?

Fun things to do with milk

  1. Drink it.
  2. Drink it?
  3. Drink it!
  4. milkshake
  5. smoothie
  6. cereal
  7. pudding
  8. cheese
  9. ice cream
  10. pour it into someone's shoes
  11. bathe in it
  12. bake
  13. make yoghurt
  14. feed stray cats
  15. chocolate milk
  16. pancakes
  17. biscuits
  18. waffles
  19. muffins
  20. cakes
  21. brownies
  22. egg nog
  23. try to put it back into the cow
  24. hot chocolate
  25. repeat Galileo's experiment
  26. donate
  27. special milk!facial mask
  28. milk shampoo/conditioner
  29. art!form (e.g. mix with paint or crushed crayons)
  30. wash hands or feet (I dipped my finger into the last drop of milk in the glass. That counts!)
  31. swimming pool
  32. oreos with milk (Going to assume that this is anything + milk -- I tried a slice of honeycake in milk. Yum!)
  33. milky way (I see stars!)
  34. freight express to [ profile] hanase
  35. snort it up your nose

(This is why I shouldn't delete icons. I had one perfect for this post from Kawaii Not -- "I can't tell if I'm milk that's gone bad D: or yoghurt that $something :D" -- but I deleted it a few weeks ago)

Aha! Thanks to the lovely [ profile] chasethestars, I have the icon I needed. Also, I've begun adding your suggestions to the entry, and I'm bolding the stuff that I've done.
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I find in my hands an opened bag of wasabi fish crackers. Do I or don't I eat?

Update @ 22:01
Have eaten two pieces. Surprisingly good, though each bite is a jolt of "Ohno-ohno" followed by "mmmm".

Update @ 22:10
Have eaten much more than two pieces. I feel like I just tried to breathe fire through my nose.
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I had no idea how expensive it was to foot the bill for dinner for ten people. I now have a greater appreciation of just how hard it is to keep people stuffed but happy.

Including tax, it was almost half of my net monthly salary (this was literally a hundred times more than I normally spend for lunch. Divided by ten, as there were ten of us at the table, it was still ten times as much as I'd normally spend on myself for a single meal). I had to borrow some money from my sister because I had enough money in my wallet for the bill, but not enough for the tax -- bit of a miscalculation there. Better from my sister, than from my mom/dad/grandpa, though! Especially not after they all tried to ask me how much the bill was. Not like I'd tell them, considering how much trouble it took to convince them to let me take them all out in the first place, and especially considering how unsubtly they mentioned before dinner that they could lend me money if I ran over-budget ;p

Okay, so food! A big plate of cold cuts as appetizers; the usual: asado, chicken, jellyfish, century egg, and slices of other meat. Steamed tiger lapu-lapu (tender, slightly sweet). Crab in sotanghon (I love this <3). Fresh steamed shrimp. Something chicken, or chicken something. Hot prawn salad. Spinach something soup (slightly spicy; I have not had it anywhere else). And some rice to make the meal complete.

No pork, as my grandfather doesn't eat it for health reasons. No beef as my mom doesn't eat it for religious reasons.

Crab and steamed lapu-lapu are ridiculously expensive. They are such staples at big family dinners, that I assumed they were in the middle-range; I didn't realize they were among the most expensive on the menu.

I doubt I'll have enough money to do this again for years, but it felt good to have something to spend my first real paycheck on :-)


Nov. 27th, 2007 03:00 pm
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There was an earthquake earlier today. I was in the office (26th floor!), sitting on the floor and listening to a presentation, when I realized the room was swaying slightly. It didn't take long for everyone else to notice; the shaking grew much stronger but was over in moments. Magnitude 6.0, but it didn't hit Metro Manila that hard. Just to be sure though: you guys all okay?

I know at least that everyone in my family is safe. My sister was the first to contact me; texted me as soon as the tremors died down. Then my mom called and when I didn't answer sent me the same message my sister had, word for word. I couldn't answer the phone as I was listening to a talk, but I did text them both back after *g*. My dad and my older brother didn't even try. (I suspect my dad didn't even realize what had happened) Men. Hmph. ;)

(As a side note, "earthquake Philippines" keeps giving me links that say Monday. Confused me until I realized that they meant Monday their time not ours ;-))

Oh, also, I got free pizza after attending the talk. That wasn't my primary goal, to be sure, but mmmm. Pizza.


Oct. 13th, 2007 08:23 am
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Entire class went out last night to eat dinner and drink. Went for the dinner, left before the actual heavy drinking session :P

Had a glass of beer last night (my first). I think that I actually prefer beer to wine -- beer is a bit sour, but wine is bitter, which I hate. The only other alcoholic drink I've had more than a sip of is vodka ice which I've been assured is pretty much like juice. Alcoholic content only 5% or something like that, but my face was bright red after just a bottle. I think that beer has about the same amount of alcohol, but it doesn't seem to affect me as much (or maybe I just didn't drink as much).

The beer tasted all right at first, but towards the bottom of the glass, the taste seemed to become stronger, and I couldn't stand it any more.

I'm vaguely amused at how solicitous everyone was. Maybe my face did turn red.
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Too lazy to head out tonight, so dinner is whatever is on my desk. It's not much: bag of instant oatmeal, tub of kiwi yoghurt, and some hot water to dilute it.

Goopy, but somehow manages to be not-absolutely-disgusting. Should I add the chocolate cream?

Also, the pink box at the back is some crispy thing with choconut filling, but I'm not going to add it to the mix because, well, ew.


Sep. 21st, 2007 07:53 pm
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Mmm, went down for dinner and managed to come back with one of those instant ramen bowls, and two peaches. This is good because I'm starving -- slept through breakfast, was too tired to head out for lunch (there was a piece of bread and some chocolate on my desk. I et them).

Now it is dinner, and dinner = good.
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Breakfast today was an experiment with scrambled eggs.

Two eggs
One tiny onion
Slice of cheese cut into tiny chunks
One inexperienced cook

And you get slightly burnt, but still tasty scrambled eggs. They might not even be burnt, just browner on the bottom than I'm used to.

I am beginning to feel slightly more confident about cooking. I'm certainly no master chef, and I have no plans to be, but I think I'll soon be able to cook well enough to satisfy myself.

Never tried chopping onions before. My eyes still sting, but they make the egg so much better, it's worth it. I forgot to add salt, but it wasn't too bland because of the cheese. Should have used more cheese though. I added a tiny dollop of ketchup to sweeten things, and everything was just right.

I'll have to poke around the refrigerator tomorrow and see what else I can chop up and put into scrambled eggs. Even better idea: I'll have to poke around the refrigerator tomorrow and see what I can cook that isn't scrambled eggs.

One thing I have learned: much of cooking (e.g. beating eggs) requires a strong wrist.
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I don't know how to cook, and starving while I'm in China doesn't appeal to me so I decided it was time to learn. Two nights ago, I learned to mash potatoes (note that I didn't say cook potatoes). Potatoes + butter + milk, dash of salt, some wrist action, and I have a side dish!

Then yesterday I learned how to cook scrambled eggs. (eggs + milk + salt + pepper + more wrist action). Too late, I realized I wanted to have a cheese omelet -- the egg had already been cooked, so I grated a block of cheese over the scrambled eggs, and it turned out mildly pretty. Added toast, a bit of ketchup, and tadaa, breakfast!

I know I still have a lot to learn, but I was satisfied that I at least wouldn't grow sick on just instant noodles and takeout. Then I realized that I didn't know how to cook instant noodles...

This morning, i decided to learn. I now know how to boil water and drain noodles. Isn't it great?


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