Friday, January 28, 2011

Mycology 101

On this lovely sunny Friday, we went a-mushroom picking!

Mushroom picking is tedious tedious work. You walk slow, crouch so close to the ground, and squint your eyes so hard you see double and feel lightheaded. Never go after a meal. I had the pleasure of hunting before and after lunch and I must say, the discomfort increases with food swimming around in your tummy.

Unfortunately, I think we started out too late in the day. All the animals must have foraged and had their fill. We found a few mushrooms half eaten... But all the mushroom/fungi we found, we put in separate ziplock bags and then placed them in an insulated lunch bag filled with ice. When we got home, J took out the his mushroom/fungi encyclopedia we got from the library and tried to identify them (to not much success). And then the J-man wrapped our specimens in aluminium foil to take 'spore prints' -- collecting the spores.




The J-man tried to proclaim a few of them edible, "Hey! This one smells just like a mushroom!"
err... NO??!!!
I had equally protested vehemently. This is one hobby that can go horribly horribly wrong.

But I can't wait for spring to get here! The weather has been too cold for anything good to sprout. We need more sunshine and warmth! And some more dried deer/cow poop.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oishii ne!

We miss our Japanese food!

Back in Shanghai, there was a nice little hole-in-the-wall eatery called 有马 (i guess that must be kanji) that is within walking distance from our apartment and from my school. 
[info]princesszhing  do you know how to say that in japanese?

We would spend our Sunday /Monday lunch money there just because it was such great food at great prices. For about 50RMB (which is about SGD$10) you get a salmon don bento box set which includes a miso soup, a potato salad, 2 small appetizers and a great big bowl of salmon don. It's best to go during lunch because of the set lunches. Dinner is a la carte, and prices are a little steeper, but once in a while J and I will indulge ourselves in pure sashimi heaven. It was so good i could almost eat it every day! My work mates and I would go there on Saturdays (again!) for lunch before our afternoon classes. They have an upstairs section where you sit on tatami mats, but can cheat a little if your legs got tired / numb (they have a hollow under the table for you to stretch your legs out).

Best of all, you know that the food is authentic and Oishii! when the owner is 1) Japanese , 2) his customers are Japanese, and 3) they get super busy during dinner time even with the prices.

So everyone was sorely disappointed when the owners decided to up and move to another location, out of our walking range. We were happy that they were expanding their business and opening a bigger restaurant, but we really did want to keep our little Japanese delight close at heart (and at hand).

Here is a tribute to the owners of 有马 and to their awesome food:

Home-made oyakodon

And premix miso soup (sans shellfish)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trail mix


Currently reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods and i'm so inspired!! I want to do the Appalachian trail!!!!!

I love Bryson's writing style. It's easy to read and humorous at the same time. He also packs a lot of side information into the book. That was what made me read the otherwise daunting-looking The Short History of Nearly Everything. He makes reading non-fiction real fun.

But can you imagine? A 6 month hike beginning from Springer Mountains in Georgia all the way through the east coast towards the end point Mount Katahdin in Maine! A total of over 2000miles! What an adventure!!! But, the J-man and I are probably too baby to be "thru-hikers", people who finish the whole trail at one go. Not to mention how we would have that amount of time at our disposal. More manageable would be to attempt the trail section by section. I took it as a sign from the heavens that we must attempt it because as I sat down to read the book, Nat Geo decided to show a documentary about the AT at that same moment.

I think somewhere along the years we have plans to do the John Muir trail as well. The J-man is rather sore about not getting to Yosemite on our last road trip, so I think we will need to attempt that at some point.

So many trips, so little time!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

 Made a trip to the local library and I decided I needed  a book bag, just so i can carry my library books around in a more glamorous way than in my Walmart re-usable grocery bag. I had made a dozen or so bags for loved ones a few Christmases ago, but never thought about making myself one. So i busted out my machine again yesterday and finished the bag in a matter of minutes (this is a marked improvement from the lengthy hours i sat at my machine three years ago, fiddling with seams and pins and thread). 



And we bought a food processor in keeping with our resolution to eating healthy. So far, all is good. But we've not yet gone past the first week of the new year. 



Have faith. 
We can do it. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


This is what transpired after an attempt at healthy grocery shopping and healthy eating (in keeping with our new year's resolutions! *ding ding*)

Healthy eating recipe #1: Ratatouille

The desired dish


The ingredients



The results


YUMS!! *thumbs up*

The J-man should so go to culinary school.
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