Yarrrrrr, the spring madness be upon me. Last week I took advantage of the three-day holiday weekend to clean my entire apartment, and it was glorious for, like, the five seconds it stayed clean. I am chaos, or chaos is attracted to me. It’s frustrating. All the same, it was nice to do more than just the surface-level cleans with which I’ve been making do, and, unlike past cleaning frenzies, this time I actually hung up the wall art I’ve been threatening to hang up for the last year and a half who am I.
I am mildly upset at how quickly my apartment has begun to clutter itself up again, but I get a nice buzz every time I look at my walls. I think I underestimated how happy it would make me to have these things on my walls where they belong, rather than on the nearest flat horizontal surface. Of course, I did not manage to list the rest of my to-sell box on Poshmark, but that’ll be a problem for another weekend. For now I’m feeling good because I no longer have random piles of books or art lying around, and my book unhaul box is thriving. I know I complained a lot about it, but ideally I really would like The Snow Hare to go to a loving home.
Aside from the cleaning, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately, which is great, even if I almost chopped off my left thumbnail and exceeded my monthly food budget, lol. Good thing I’m not relying on my ability to stick to this budget. Or my ability to keep my fingernails intact.
I went to visit my brother (the same one who inveigled me into Animal Crossing) a few Saturdays ago, with the express purpose of trying a new gourmet toast restaurant because neither of us really knew what “gourmet toast” meant. It now turns out that gourmet toast is $16 oversized bruschetta.
We concluded that, while the food was good and we are glad we tried it for the experience, we wouldn’t visit a second time because toast has no business being that expensive. This is the reason Millennials aren’t buying more houses. We’ve found it. Fortunately, dinner balanced it out by being significantly cheaper. Dinner was special, in that it marked the first time I’ve seen birria tacos IRL. I have seen them in Getty stock, but I have never eaten them before, and, having finally eaten one, I now want to know where the fuck I’ve been all this time. Literally how have I never tried these.
Bonus: we baked browned butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies while we were waiting for it to be dinnertime, but we grabbed the wrong kind of oats because we are incompetent.
And then I went home and I happened to pass by my first apartment, which is the only reason I know Preakness happened on May 20. The last time I was in the area at Preakness time, it was because I was living about five seconds down the street from the racetrack and it was not delightful. (Fortunately, that happened to be the weekend I was putting together my second bookcase, and I like to think the sound of the loudspeaker kept the sound of my hammering from bothering my neighbors.) Gods I’m glad I don’t live next door to that anymore. I would’ve lost my shit if I’d been blocked from getting into my own neighborhood.
A New Lunchtime Obsession
I am a lifelong broccoli-hater. For one reason or another, broccoli has always triggered my gag reflex, even if all I was doing was licking it. I was that kid who would sneak the broccoli into my napkin and throw it away when my mom wasn’t looking. Then along came Inga Lam, and long story short I can’t say I hate broccoli anymore.
This is a lazy version of Inga’s pizza – I used a store-bought crust and alfredo sauce from a jar – but I used all of the same cheeses and followed her process, and the results were amazing. I will be making this again.
I am currently on a Korean food kick, which is not fully pictured here because nobody needs to see 50 million pictures of bibimbap. I’m still working on the fried eggs. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. They are an enigma.
I also finally tried the sausage stir-fry shown in this video, along with the stir-fried potatoes shown in some of Jihyun’s other videos because I am a shameless Jihyunkkung stan, and my mind is blown. This is my new favorite way to cook both sausages and potatoes. These are another two recipes I expect to revisit frequently, possibly in the future with thinly sliced celery added to the potatoes. As for the stew, it’s the same one we made last Christmas. I had to add more water when the stew boiled itself away while the sausages and potatoes were cooking, and I overcooked the brisket. Next time I’ll wait till the stew gets back to boiling before I add the damn meat. It’s a process.
This cooking spree was enabled by my recent unplanned rampage through H Mart, which I am calling a rampage because I haven’t been to H Mart in a while and we needed the groceries, precious. (It’s fine. I am completely fine. I do not need an intervention.)
Unexpected bonus: a new omelet pan! I like to pass through the cooking gear aisle, even if I don’t need anything, and in this case it paid off. I have been low-key looking for a bigger omelet pan for a while: the little one I bought a couple of years ago is too small, and it tends to get wobbly over my stove burners, which drives me crazy. I am looking forward to trying this new pan, though I won’t be able to do so until I remember to unwrap it and wash it.
Pirates in Pennsylvania
This past Friday, my parents and I got to see a production of “The Pirates of Penzance”! We found out about this production from one of my aunties, who has a friend in the cast. We all know this opera like the backs of our hands, and it was amazing to get to see a live performance. The last time we saw Pirates live was with the UMD production, so many years ago that I don’t even know when it was.
This production was particularly fun: the Savoy Company added an interactive element, with the cast mingling with the audience both before and during the show, and there was even a duel between the pirate king and the orchestra conductor during “Oh, Better Far to Live and Die.” (The pirate king slew the conductor, but was later driven off when the conductor came back to life.) The lead actors were all excellent, though the chorus sometimes fell out of sync with each other and the orchestra. Even so, I really enjoyed the show, and I would watch it again in a heartbeat. I am 100% prepared to go back to Pennsylvania in 2025 for the Savoy Company’s performance of “The Mikado.” I don’t know that one so well, but I have two years to learn it.
Bonus: the show was delayed about 30 minutes by rain, which gave me a chance to visit the gift shop. I love gift shops. This one had all kinds of interesting things, but it was the little decorative dishes that caught my eye. I’ve been wanting to find a nicer rice dish for my grandparents for a while, and I ended up going with this one.
It wouldn’t be a proper outing without food. We went to an Amish buffet for dinner, which was fun because it’s been a minute since I’ve been to a buffet. Everything was good, but I think my favorite was the beef tips with gravy.
I was so full by the end that I only managed to fit in one paper-thin slice of the chocolate applesauce cake, which was too enticing to leave untried. This is the first time I’ve ever had applesauce in a chocolate cake. It was delicious and moist, and I will be learning how to make this.