Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dim Sum-day

Ok, ok that was a terrible pun...and no I am not at all sorry for it! Today Ben's parents took the two of us out to Dim Sum. Now usually (especially lately) I am not awake before noon and do a vast amount of snarling at anyone who tries to wake me up. Ben just had to say 'Amanda, want Dim Sum?' and I was up, dressed, and ready before almost everyone else! We went to Bo Ling's and had quite the feast, my new plan when we get settled into our own house is to use the amazing Asian store nearby to start making my own Dim Sum.

First of course was Tea, a delightful Pu-erh tea and certainly one of the best I have had. Even Ben who usually hates my fermented teas (says they taste like grave soil, hehe) liked this one.

This is just a general view of the yum haul. Those dumplings are one of my favorite things (probably not going to try to make them) Yu Chi Gau (shark fin dumplings) I go crazy for shark fin, so good! The vibrant green dish behind is Gai Lan with Oyster sauce which I will make in large quantities and just eat till my
 heart's content.

Of course there were BBQ Pork Pao (or Bao depending on dialect) which are one of Ben's favorites along with Siu Mai, Steamed rice in Lotus leaves (another one I am really excited to try on my own) Tofu Skins stuffed with mushrooms and bamboo, and various other yums (next time I think I might try the jellyfish)

One dish that Ben selected which I did not like was the Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce. The taste was fantastic, but ugh, the texture! I hate slimy or squishy textures, especially on meat...and these were squishy.

And of course, looking at the pictures is making me hungry for more! I will share any successful recipes when I start attempting them myself.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Exodus

This post will be mostly (ok entirely) words and no pictures. Just a retelling of my two day road trip from one home to the other.

Day 1
Morning came much earlier than I wanted it too, partially because I took some sleepy meds and they make it very hard to shake off sleep. First order of business was loading all my crap into the van, my perfectly sorted and beautifully organized crap. Of course all my totes and organization drawers did not fit so everything in the totes went into bags and stuffed in cracks..the van was full to bursting leaving me VERY little room to do much of anything but sit straight up (no napping for me on the trip) Only my totes and a table were left behind, not bad really! Before I knew it I was saying very painful goodbyes to my mom and Dusty, they were quicker than anyone would have liked but in a way the quick leaving made it easier for me to leave. First stop was a drug store (Dramamine time!!) and then Mikados, the best Hibachi and Sushi place in PA. Of course they were closed on Tuesdays, so no goodbye to my favorite restaurant, instead we went to Tokyo Diner, decent but not really as good. PA Turnpike time! We were on that forever with brief stops for munchies and tea for me, coffee for Sam, and water for Ben. The mountains were beautiful, knowing it will be a long time before I see mountains and long stretches of forest was more than a little depressing, but the Midwest has its own unique beauty. For all my dislike of PA I can always admit that it was truly a beautiful state. After several rainfalls, long mountain tunnels, and choose your own adventure books (don't rule out time travel) we crossed into Ohio where I did a little 'I'm Free' song from the backseat. It was about this point that Espeon decided she really wanted out of her crate and decided sleeping on my lap was the best way to weather the rest of the trip. I tried multiple things to keep myself entertained, working on my 1000 cranes did not work since it is really hard to fold tiny sheets of paper in a moving car, designing my Minecraft world was fun for a while...but mostly I settled on reading or looking outside. In Akron we dropped Sam off to stay at his grandparents for the night while Ben and I stayed at a pet friendly hotel. Across from this hotel was the most amazing thing ever....a combination White Castle and Churches Chicken restaurant. This was my first White Castle (they taste just like Krystal Burgers, a fast food chain in the South that I have sorely missed since moving) and getting to eat these little disgustingly good burgers with an order of fried Okra made me laugh and cry for joy. It was really at that moment that I knew I had finally escaped the evil clutches of Pennsylvania!

Day 2
I have to admit, the second day was a lot harder for me. The inevitable crashing that I had felt coming for weeks finally caught up with me, I woke up sore, sick, fevered, and my face had the oh so lovely butterfly rash...ugh. We picked Sam up from his grandparents, they were very adorable and his grandmother tried so hard to get me to was the last thing I wanted at that time but some toast settled my gut a bit. On the road again! Tao slept in her crate and Espeon stayed in my lap. It was somewhere around Illinois that the agoraphobia set in...the sky was so HUGE and OPEN and I felt so small and very much so wanted to hide somewhere dark and not under so much sky. I have always been mildly agoraphobic (more so with crowds and leaving the house than the traditional OH GOD THE SKY IS TOO BIG) but I really notice the vastness of it all in the Midwest. I watched the gradient colors and puffy clouds in wonder for about two hours just trying to comprehend it all. The rest of the trip was me getting increasingly paranoid about the sky being too big and hating being in the car. It is no secret, being in a moving vehicle for long times (ok sometimes any time at all) scares the hell out of me, there is a reason I take sedatives on road trips, it isn't just the motion sickness! We got to St Lois, that was awesome! Got to see the Gate to the West (bigggggg arch)  the Mississippi River and the city...of course the highway speeds, sharp turns, lots of traffic made me just a quivering mass of fear. When we stopped for bathrooms, gas, and liquid Ben had to more or less pry me out of the seat and hold me while I adjusted to there being too many people, too many cars, and too much SKY!!! Right around nightfall we ran into a huge amount of construction, it was at this point where we were violently attacked by a road cone. It was one of those moments where everything slows down you can see it coming and can do nothing to stop it! The cone just fell and smashed the rear-view window on the passengers side. It was at this point that I said SCREW IT and hid under the blanket. I remained under the blanket until we got to Kansas City and then Lawrence to drop off Sam. On the way back to Kansas City I was astounded by the utter lack of cars on the road we were on (a minor highway) Ben said it is normally empty at midnight but still it was weird and more than a little creepy. And then we arrived at his parents house, unloaded the essentials and passed out.

That was my adventure! I am still working with Ben's tiny annoying computer since mine died completely...soon I will be getting a new one!