29 April 2009

Tartine's Deluxe Double Chocolate Cookies

Deluxe Double Chocolate Cookies (with title)
Finally, after enduring treacle-slow internet due to... the flapping of a butterfly wing probably, as my ISP is the worst ever, I can get on with blogging, then tomorrow it's off to read everyone's wonderful posts over the last few days. I've been trying to deal with the online paralysis by doing the laundry (still fun, so far) and making a few desserts. Sometimes I wonder why we keep up with things that are so unbelievably horrible (escalation of commitment comes to mind).

22 April 2009

All That Jazz

The El (O'Hare)
I have to confess, even though the thought of finally going to Chicago excited me, I had no idea what it was all about. Early Edition, Alinea, that musical-- fragmented impressions picked up from blogland, film, and television. When I got an invitation to interview there, I scheduled my flight so that I'd get a few more days to explore, and carefully searched for a hotel that would be priced reasonably enough to allow me that. Thankfully, there was Holiday Inn (you're great, Mariott, but too rich for my blood). I was lucky in a way to get my reservation, as it was fully booked just the night before because The Killers played nearby. Another good thing about Holiday Inn was that I only needed one ride on The El directly from O'Hare (thank you, 3-Day Pass), although I had to lug my 35-pound suitcase up 4 flights of stairs at the Clinton-Blue station.
Chicago Skyline
I'm glad I got this chance, as it's just one of those cities that rewards those who really endeavor to scratch beneath the surface. I'm not quite sure if I'm one of those people, but I know what (and who) I wanted to see, and that's enough for me, at least till I get my first big paycheck and that will open a few more doors for me (ahemAlineaahem). But as a simple traveler, I still managed to enjoy myself a lot.

16 April 2009

Chocolate Amaretti

Amaretti di Cioccolato
Chocolate Amaretti (with title)
Ah, I've finally started answering your comments. But I just managed the Strudel and the Blintzes posts. I don't know why I thought I'd go through them faster. Clearly reading, thinking, and replying take time!
Yes, I know the image title isn't a word. But since I returned, I've gone mad from meeting random relatives and family friends. Why? Because no less than ten people have told me, "mukhang tumaba ka!" (Translation: It looks like you got fatter! Unsaid: ... Porky!) And while just the plain words written out just seem baseline-offensive, the thing that drives me crazy is the way they say it. With a giant smile on their faces! Like somehow they think it's a good thing to tell someone that they have chubbed up. Twisted.

Without speculating too much, I think there may be a cultural/ generational difference going on here. And not in the way that the Romans thought that overweight women were attractive or something. You see, if we're just talking about my own circle of friends, the only time we'd talk about it is (1) asking point-blank ("Do I look fatter?"), in which case the answer is always either "No!" or "Not by much, don't worry!" or (2) a male friend poking fun at another guy. But it's always undesirable, unless we are talking about my friends who have difficulty gaining weight, curse them.

09 April 2009

Baked Blintzes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Baked Blintzes with Blueberry Sauce (with title)
Hi everyone-- thanks to all those who gave words of comfort and encouragement after last post's sadness. I'm really touched. Anyway, my dear Jen of Use Real Butter has featured my humble kitchen in a recent post, do take a look if you like! And my right column now has links to 5 of the most recent reviews from my newest baby, The Gastronomer's Bookshelf. I hope you drop by (and subscribe)!
It's never a good sign to have to preface your posts with reassurance that you're alive, but since I got back to the Philippines, things have been crazy. I won't go into the details, but the worst among the things that have piled up is that the internet connection has now been reduced to intermittent. After giving me around 4 minutes (30 if I'm verrrry lucky) of blissful browsing, the line will die for maybe another 4 minutes (30 if I'm verrrrry unlucky), then repeat ad nauseam. Not exactly ideal circumstances for catching up on the blogs you've missed reading so much, as well as responding to my own comments and e-mail. Graeme once told me, "If you have time to blog, then you have time to comment." It's just common courtesy. Sooo... It turns out, I couldn't blog either. (By the way, just to drive the point home: The Philippine Long Distance Company is the worst broadband service in the history of telecommunications. Congratulations!)

Instead of pulling my hair out, I ended up doing chores, the most pressing of which (ooh, pun) was washing and ironing the clothes I'd brought back from my trip. Having become used to washing my own clothes when I was in the States, I thought I'd flex those self-dependence muscles by usurping the person we hire to do the laundry, and at the same time learning to treat my clothes with respect (i.e., actually following the care instructions on the tags). Never mind that chapter one of "self-dependence" actually involved calling Duncan up and asking him how to iron a shirt. Oh, we grow up so fast! (And yearn for no-iron shirts!)