Friday, April 14, 2006

Oops, I did it again

I never learn.

Every freaking year I do it, and every year I'm sorry I did.

I'm a chocolate lover - not a day goes by that I don't have a nibble of some tasty dark chocolate. However, I'm not really a sugar fiend. In fact, I eat very little refined sugar - I just don't seem to crave the stuff, and in general, I'll pass it by in favor of a salty/crunchy snack, or a bite of chocolate.

But every year I succumb to the voluptuous horror of Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Marshmallows are good, and sugar-crusted marshmallow chicks are great. They're cute, and yet they put up a fight. Ever tried to bite the head off of a Peep? It is not a clean cut. They stretch and tug and stick to your teeth and fingers. Then finally, a gentle tug, and the decapitation is complete. If you shy from violence and gore, stick with a hollow chocolate bunny - you can snap the ears off with no sense of struggle. But the Peep leaves its mark on you - yellow stained fingers and gooey teeth. The most insidious part is the Peep is merely a gateway confection.

Inevitably a Peep binge leads me to crave the serious stuff. The Cadbury Creme Egg.

Something about the adorable yolk-in-the-center just gets to me. Plus, they're only available for a few short weeks. And they look so innocent - but in fact, they hide a sinister gutful of sucrose doom. If one is not accustomed to regular doses of sugar, the Cadbury Creme Egg is the equivalent of mainlining high quality, uncut heroin. The rush is heady and immediate - I once believed I was a hummingbird for a good 15 minutes. I ran around in a sticky, chocolate-mouthed haze, annoying everyone in my immediate vicinity.

Then, the crash. Oh, the buzz is fantastic, but the payback is a bitch. The sugar hangover is fierce - a sudden plummet of energy, a bloated and upset stomach, and a throbbing headache. Every year I tell myself that I will learn from my experience and cease these ridiculous binges.

But I never learn.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Uwajimaya is a HUGE market in the International District (The "ID") - enormous asian grocery, housewares, gifts, books, a food court, and an entire department full of Hello Kitty. I love Hello Kitty!

I ate at the food court on Saturday - Korean BBQ from Shilla. Tasty traditional beef BBQ over rice, mildly spicy, thin sliced, and super tender. It came with totally fabulous kimchi and some lightly pickled sprouts. Very yummy, and a total bargain.

I love browsing at Uwajimaya. They have a gigantic produce section with every exotic fruit, veg, and alien plant life one can imagine. Including durian fruit.

I almost bought one, but chickened out. Durian is a spiny, slightly football size/shape fruit with a creamy interior. Apparently it tastes vaguely like a custard, with a hint of banana. But the terrifying part is the smell. It has a horrible odor so strong and vile that there are many places in Southeast Asia that prohibit it. Signs on public transport in Singapore show that durian, along with flammable liquids and smoking, are strictly prohibited.

I read somewhere that eating a durian is like having a custard garnished with onions in a filthy public bathroom. Maybe someday I'll have the guts to do it. But not today.

Serendipity & Adventure

Eva Ruth Enders
Her favorite words were serendipity and adventure.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Ballard Farmers Market

The Ballard Farmers Market is my new fave Sunday destination. Not too big, but plenty of goodies to taste and purchase.

There was an artisanal pasta maker there who fashioned gnocchi and handmade ravioli that were just gorgeous. I had some last night - Nettle Ricotta Ravioli. Each one was about the size of your average Post-It, and the pasta itself was lovely - durham wheat, nice texture (not overly chewy), and delicious. The filling was fairly light on the ricotta (which I admit I love, and will happily eat by the spoonful if given the chance), and stuffed with nettles and herbs. They had a nice spinach-y, minty flavor, and good ratio of filling to pasta. Overall, very tasty, and a perfect early-spring treat. I'll definitely try his other varieties in coming weeks.

To market, to market...

Proof I live here now! Yours truly, standing next to Rachel, the famous pig at the Pike Place Market. (Please note the Taste Cafe & Marketplace t-shirt. I am nothing if not loyal.)

Fried Chicken!!!

Typically, I mock the Cult of Oprah. However, Ms Winfrey is a big gal from the south, so while I don't care what she thinks about home decor or new novels about women's struggles, I do care what she thinks about food.

And Ezell's fried chicken is her favorite. She apparently has it Fed-Exed to her homes on a semi-regular basis.

I had a 2 piece dark (I always get dark meat - much yummier and juicier than white), with mashed potatoes and gravy and cole slaw. The chicken was nothing short of perfect - crispy-shattery exterior, totally moist meat. Just awesome. The potatoes were not great; gummy and lumpen, with too much mediocre gravy. The slaw was inoffensive. But oh, the chicken!

If I had Oprah money, I'd have it shipped to myself too. You go, girl.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Horsing Around

Please note: The following post is graphic and not intended for the easily offended. If you are easily offended, a Republican, or from South Dakota, read no further. Oh, and go to hell.

Toad, you may ask, why did you move back to Seattle?

Was it culinary school? The weather? The food?

It was the fact that the top story in Washington last year was about a man who had been consensually buggered to death by a horse.

On March 1st, lawmakers passed (with a vote of 98 - 0) Senate Bill 6417, making sex with an animal, alive or dead, a class C felony.

How great is it that they needed to include the clause "alive or dead" ?!? You know, just so the necrophiliacs in the bestiality world are held to the same legal standard. If you scroll down to page 12 of the bill (link provided above), you'll see they apply the same exacting standards to the definition of human/animal sexual contact.

Insert your own My Friend Flicka joke here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunny in Seattle

Believe it or not, Saturday was a beautiful day.

First, I went to the Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum. It is called Shoseiari - The Arbor of the Murmuring Pines. Just amazing. The pond is filled with huge koi, and there are lots of very chubby ducks wandering and swimming about. Unfortunately, the Sakura (cherry trees) were not yet in bloom - very strange, as virtually every other cherry tree in the greater Seattle area is already in full blossom. Go figure.

Next, I went to Volunteer Park and visited the conservatory. It was packed with people, but even in the cramped space it was impossible not to be awestruck by the plants. Especially the orchids - like creatures from another planet.

The Roadtrip Scorecard

  • Largest number of “adult emporiums” in one state: 5 (Iowa wins with 4 Lion’s Dens and 1 Romantix)
  • Most times I heard the Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love in one day: 4
  • Number of Pro-fur billboards on I90: 3 (all in S Dakota)
  • Total ounces of bad gas station coffee consumed: 96
  • Number of mental breakdowns that dissolved into hysterical, uncontrolled laughter: 1 (in Montana)

The 5 Stages of South Dakota

The Kübler-Ross model describes, in five stages, the process by which people deal with grief and tragedy.

I humbly submit the Vargo model of the 5 stages of driving through South Dakota:

1. Denial – “There is no possible way I can still be in South Dakota.”

2. Anger
– “If I ever go on a killing spree, it's gonna be in fucking South Dakota.”

3. Bargaining
– “I vow to make straight A's, volunteer my time to needy children, and donate a kidney if I can just get the hell out of South Dakota.”

4. Depression
– “I swear I’m going to kill myself in South Dakota.”

5. Acceptance – Now entering Wyoming

Lulu the Wonder Car

I love my car!

Lulu, my beloved VW Beetle, carried me safely 2500 miles from Indianapolis to Seattle.

The only hitch I encountered was due to pilot error: a speeding ticket near Spokane, WA. (83 mph in a 70mph zone = $122). Damn those helicopters!
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