Semi-Charmed Life

8Nov/113

Home Ec 101

I made marinated and cooked my very own dish for the first time last night!

Ever since I moved out, I became reliant on pre-marinated meats from a certain supermarket in Chinatown. It was easy and hassle free, but eventually I realized how crappy the cuts of meat were. Loads of fat everywhere! It's also more expensive by about a $1/lb, which is pretty significant.

I decided to give marinating my own dish because I saw my roommate doing it the other day and she made it seem pretty simple. I went to the market after work and brought home a few pounds of pork ribs. The whole experience turned out to be more laborious than I expected. First, the ribs I bought were still in strips, which meant I had to cut each one to separate them into bite sized cubes. It sounded easy in theory until I tried to wield the Chinese butcher knife and realized just how completely inept I was at using it. Prior to my new roommates moving in, I had used a shitty general purpose knife and I had never cut meat before. I didn't realize how difficult it was to do a simple thing like chopping strips of rib into pieces. First thing you need: accuracy. Every swing of the knife carried with it the fear of chopping off a finger. You can come down with the cleaver with less force but it does not cut as nicely. Every cut was like a golf swing. I would measure up against where I wanted to cut, give a few imaginary swings before actually chopping down. And I did all this really slowly.

The recipe also called for minced garlic. I've never really minced anything too fine before, and especially not with a Chinese butcher knife. It took me an inordinate amount of time to do a simple thing like mincing garlic.

I know this sounds retarded, but it was a humbling experience to realize how shitty I was at using basic kitchen cutlery. The finished product turned out pretty well though, and I'm super proud of myself and now I can cross off "marinating meat from scratch" from my bucket list and add it to my great list of insignificant accomplishments.

I have to say, living with somebody who cooks and is willing to give advice is awesome. Before I would randomly text or call a friend up whenever I needed to know how much of an ingredient I should use for this dish or how long I should be cooking that dish for. Now I can annoy my roommate.

Hopefully I'll be able to make a few more dishes by the end of the month, but for now I have black bean and garlic spare ribs in my utility belt.

My other roommate asked me if I'm going to go back to pre-marinated meats because of how difficult it was for me. I told him I'd stick with this because it's a skill I have to learn. I mean, something as basic as knowing how to use a cleaver should not cause me this much distress. It's like swimming. I don't really enjoy it but I feel like it's something I have to learn. If my future kid is drowning in a pool, I want to be able to save him. And if my kid is hungry, I want to be able to cook a home cooked meal and not have to resort to take out.

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6Jun/100

Swim First Noodles Later

Took my first swimming lesson at the 3rd avenue NYSC on the upper east side.

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I stayed for about half an hour after my lesson was over to practice some of the stuff we went over. I got out at about 1 in the afternoon. As I was walking down 3rd avenue, I happened upon Naruto Ramen.

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I ordered the Naruto Ramen lunch special which included a small plate of curry chicken and rice. The noodles were nice and bouncy and the broth was flavorful, but I prefer a heartier type of pork broth. Not a bad spot overall, but definitely not a place to bring a large group. As you can tell from the picture, it's bar seating only. It's also far as hell on the upper east side.

For now though, this looks like my lunch spot after my swimming lessons.

24May/102

End of Month Dinner: Daisy May’s

At the end of every month I meet up with some fraternity brothers of mine from Binghamton for dinner. Shit is no joke . . . you miss a dinner you owe a bottle at the next one. Unless it's for a good reason. "I'm broke" can't be one of them.

This month we ate bbq from Daisy May's. It was right by Danny's apartment so we ate on the top of his building.

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We even have a name for this exclusive dinner club of ours. It's a little corny though so I'll only tell ya if you ask me in person.

19May/100

Cheeky Sandwiches

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That's the beef sandwich I had tonight. DELICIOUS!

The worst part is that I had another sandwich right before. I had the fried chicken and biscuit sandwich, which was amazing. Their menu is sparse and the place looks like just another hole in the wall joint, but don't be fooled.

http://cheekysandwiches.com/

My review of this place on Yelp.

17May/101

Westville

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My review of this place on Yelp.