Sunday, January 18, 2009

Supper Club, DS, and the Big Hole

Aaaaannnnnnddddd, I'm back. That wasn't too bad, was it? Did all 5 of you survive without my thrilling comments to keep you entertained last week? Yeah. Anyway. This week will be better. After Wednesday my schedule lightens up a bit. I will be back with Shrink My Butt Cooking Light Mondays and will try to be more consistent. As long as I have something interesting to say. Well, at least I'll think it is.

To begin, I FINALLY got to go out for Dim Sum today. I have been looking for someone to go with me for almost a year. People would say, "Oh, yeah. We should do that." And then we didn't. Then my Supper Club decided to do a restaurant version of the group in which we are too lazy to cook and just go out to eat together. We went to the Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant in Kent. For the uninitiated, Dim Sum is basically lots of little servings of foods, like appetizers, brought out and guests choose what they'd like to try. You pay per plate that you select. We had a great big table and as soon as all of us were there they just started bringing cart after cart of the most yummy looking stuff. I didn't know what half of it was, but I didn't care. I love to try new food and have new experiences. As long as it tastes good, I'm in. There was a giant lazy susan in the middle and things kept flying by. You had to grab stuff quickly before someone else took it. I missed out on a couple of things that way. We probably should have asked for two dishes of stuff. But oh, well. I'm sure I will survive.

A couple of these photos have plates of half eaten food or are way out of focus. I'm tellin' ya, it was every man or woman for themselves. I snapped the pictures as quickly as I could before things disappeared.

Here's our big lazy susan loaded up with goodies.

Shrimp in a mildly spicy sauce. Deep fried, heads on, not peeled. We ate as is. Yum.
(No, I didn't eat the head. I popped it off. POP!)

What was left of the fried calamari before it completely disappeared.
This must have begun as a LARGE squid. The rings and tentacles were pretty big.

On top, chinese broccoli with a yummy sauce poured over it. Two remaining fried shrimp balls.
Can you tell we really like fried stuff?

Maura and Dan enjoying the steamed Shrimp Dumplings. These were my favorite.
Fresh, hot and tons of flavor. I could have had a whole bowl of these to myself.

I have no idea what this was. But this was the last one and they went fast.
It was like a very large rice noodle wrapped around shrimp. The sauce was poured over and the dish was very good. Again, I would have liked more than one of these.

Here we have on top some kind of pumpkin dessert.
The disembodied hand is grabbing a doughnut-type thing. I didn't get one,
but heard they were yummy.
Below are deep fried spring rolls. Maura rescued the last one for me before they all went.
On the right, top are a steamed pork dumpling (I think, they disappeared.)
Below that are baked hum bao.

A closer pic of the hum bao. I always think I like these, but I don't. The sauce is too sweet with the pork filling. I do like the outside of the steamed ones, but those didn't make it to our table.

A closer, fuzzier, picture of the pumpkin dessert. The outside was kind of gelatinous
and had the flavor of  marshmallow. The inside reminded me of almond paste.
I liked it, but should have shared with someone. They were very rich.
And it didn't really taste like pumpkin. But still good.

We didn't try this but it was really fascinating to me.
A big wooden bucket full of a warm soy...beverage, maybe? It looked really neat.
We had a language barrier the whole time, so I never really knew what was what.
If you are a Dim Sum connoisseur, or just smarter than me, please write
and tell me what all these things are.
I am very curious about different cultures, especially the food.

Here's our demolished table afterwards. Look how big this sucker is!

There were more things than I could get photos of, sometimes because they never made it all the way around to me, sometimes because I was busy eating and enjoying. We also had clams in a black bean sauce, pork spare ribs, a beef dish I never saw, some kind of baked roll, don't know what that was. A couple of interesting desserts I did get to try. A fried sesame ball, which was batter wrapped around sweet bean paste, with sesame seeds on the outside, and the same type of thing that was green with a black bean paste inside. These were super sweet and I only ate half of one. I would have preferred more of the savory things, but I guess that's what I get for being near the end of the clockwise moving lazy susan.

All the happy eaters.
From left to right around the table:
Curt, Jennifer, Jill, Pat, Cheryl, Nancy, James, Maura and Dan

Do you see the look Curt, the guy on the left is giving me? I saw that face a lot. I don't know him well, but he didn't really get my take-pictures-of-everything-so-I-can-put-it-on-my-blog approach. Oh well, I'm a nerd. I get that face from people when I'm not taking pictures, too!

So after writing all this, I realize I need to go back to Dim Sum again. This time I want to try more things and eat less of the desserts. It seemed like the actual eating part just flew by. Fifteen minutes, done. Then we sat and talked, which was great. But I'd love to go with a smaller group where I could actually see the food and hear the servers and take more time to enjoy each dish. But other than that, it was fun and very yummy. And each of us only paid about $16 for the whole she-bang. That's including tax and tip. Quite a bargain. Dim Sum, anyone?

Okay, done with Dim Sum. NEXT!

Isn't this the cutest little purse? Don't you love it? I do!
Know what I keep in it?

It's a Nintendo DS.

In case you are not a 10 year old boy, this is the updated version of a Gameboy. My students kept telling me, "I have a DS." And I kept saying, "A what?" Then one of my teacher friends showed me hers and the Brain Age game she plays on it. I was hooked. So I asked for one for Christmas.

This thing totally rocks. It has a stylus (fake pen) that you use to write or tap on the lower screen, and information is on the upper screen. For a lot of the games you turn it sideways, like a book. The handwriting recognition is fabulous. There are only a few letters that I write funny, so it doesn't always get them at first. I also picked up this awesome program called Personal Trainer: Cooking. It's got a ton of recipes and spells out with pictures how to put things together. And the voice recognition allows you to use it to cook without having to touch it (if your hands or sticky, or you're busy chopping or something.) It's pretty darn cool. Technology is amazing. And now, I can say, "I have a DS!" See, Nintendo, I could be a spokesperson for you guys, too. Call me!


The Big Hole!

What are you talking about? you ask.
I am talking about this:

During the recent flooding, there were (I think) pumper trucks or some such thing working out in this area next to my house. I assumed there was just too much water  and they were trying to get it out of a drain or something. Gosh, I sound intelligent. I should be a plumber.

Then earlier this week, I came home to a closed off street and this:

I finally got out in the daylight yesterday to get some close ups of how big this thing really is. I am assuming a pipe broke maybe?

I had to get a little too close for comfort on that last one. See how the pavement is broken off? Weird.

It isn't too big a deal. We just have to park on a different part of the street. Except...on Monday I started wondering, Hmmm, I wonder if they'll be done by Friday. Garbage Day. This thing is directly in front of our back alley, which is where they do recycling and garbage pick up. Guess whose trash is still sitting out behind the house? Yep. That would be ours. And it's not that they CAN'T get to the trash. They would have to drive the garbage truck backwards to get out of the alley again. Which is probably not very easy. But I think they just saw the barrier and didn't even try to get through. So I am a little annoyed about that.

If this thing isn't fixed by next week, I'm going to leave a very nice note stuck to the Caterpillar there, asking them if they might fill up the hole with all the trash we are accumulating.

p.s. Yes, I realize I have now broken my pledge not to post anything Long AND Boring. Only Long OR Boring. Oh, well. Too bad for you. You already read it.

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