While many of my friends turned towards bread baking at the start of the pandemic, I made a beeline for pastries. I’d buy more than I could finish, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve always turned towards food as a way of comfort. In Asian cultures, food is our love language and rejecting it at any time is considered offensive. As I go through my Instagram and choose photos I want to share from my daily life, I’m realizing even some of the more mediocre photos of nothing actually mean something. Though small, they tell some sort of a story.
There were days in a row where I wouldn’t leave my house. On the rare occasion that I did, [Whole Cakes] would be a stop. Often times, that would be the highlight of a few days I had. I wasn’t at the bakery for more than 10 minutes, but I enjoyed selecting the pastry that I would have for breakfast upon returning to my home. Then I would pick out my afternoon snack and the slice of cake I’d have for dessert. It was a whole event. On one occasion, I went to Whole Cakes to pick out a box of assorted pastries for my brother and his roommates to share because picking them out for myself just wasn’t enough.
My thoughts wouldn’t process about why I was doing the things that I was, but it was clear what I wanted. I was seeking a normal activity during abnormal times. I could be buying anything from my pre-pandemic life, but pastries filled a void in addition to my own stomach. There’s something about a delightfully small treat that can make your days better. I’d go on to repeat this same activity every few weeks. The day that I crossed the barrier into being a regular felt like some sort of achievement. Wins like this were few and far in between during a pandemic.
What kind of person would I be if I didn’t master at least one recipe during the pandemic? It’s hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I was a woman living in the city with an empty pantry and a refrigerator that was always 30% full. After I returned from Thailand and understood that shelter-in-place was right around the corner, I guess you could say I went into panic mode. Since March, my kitchen has completely transformed. Like riding a bicycle, I was able to quickly figure out a few recipes that I could rotate through on a weekly basis. Since noodles are often my carb of choice, I needed something that was fast, easy, and incorporated whatever I already had at home.
My hope someday is that I’ll be able to share with you all some of my favorite personal recipes, but for now, we’re going to lean on Jean Wang of [Extra Petite] I hope you’ll all love this recipe and be as addicted as I am for her [garlic noodles].
At some point, we’re going to have to address how we feel about Asians being portrayed in shows like this. We tolerated House of Ho, but one episode into Bling Empire and I’m already finding it’s a lot less cringe-y. Actually, it is more comparable to Selling Sunset, which people (myself included) seemed to love on Netflix. In the first episode of Bling Empire, we get to know the players and the competitive drama between Anna and Christine. It’s wildly childish, but it’s not my life so I find it highly entertaining!
What We’re Listening To: Death Cab For Cutie – The Georgia EP
Death Cab has always been a constant in my life since I was young so we’ll never miss any kind of release from them. The E.P. itself is short and sweet, but we’ll take what we can get in this pandemic. My favorite tracks so far seem to be “Flirted With You All My Life” and “Metal Heart.” There’s a charming cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls” included that I also think is worth a listen.
What We’re Wearing: Hunter Rain Boots
We were in muddier areas this past week and it was the perfect excuse to slip these on. When I was living in Seattle, this was considered a staple. I haven’t had much use for them in California, but I knew I couldn’t leave them behind. Not only are they perfect for rainy days, which may actually be leaving us as we inch closer to spring, but these will protect you in any smaller streams that you may cross. Those occurrences are rare, but this actually happened this week!
What We’re Eating: Crab Arancini
I was craving pizza earlier this week and have a weakness for Beretta’s Margherita Burrata. It pairs perfectly with their crab arancini that they have as an appetizer so I added this to my order as well. It’s the perfect snack, but I’d happily and easily turn this into a meal. They also serve it with a sauce that reminds me of a sriracha mayo that I honestly need to just have on hand in my kitchen at all times.
Didn’t yesterday just feel like the longest day ever? For my friends and colleagues, that emotional weight has carried into today and probably will until Inauguration Day. I’ll save some of my own commentary because what I would have to say isn’t suitable for the internet.
In some ways, I woke up this morning relieved. I have heart eyes for Georgia and the work that has been done. Time and time again, they continue to show that your vote matters and those two wins will make a huge impact for Americans in the years to come. What we all witnessed happening at the State Capitol yesterday was appalling. I don’t think anyone (regardless of party) will disagree with me on that. There is an image I will unfortunately have when I look back on the 2020 election year and unfortunately, it has to be that. Selfies, climbing up walls, tasteless fur wearing and terror.
I would be remiss to make no mention of what happened yesterday. We spend so much time on Yow Yow! talking about other topics, but as much as I hated yesterday I also don’t want to forget that this happened. I still stand by my comment about remaining hopeful for 2021. This has to end. And instead my own comments, I am using the rest of this post to share the voices of people I really looked to in college or rather – the type of people I turned to at the end of the day for a recap – late night television hosts. We basically have the same sentiment.
Chances are if you asked anyone today if they were ready to come back to work, the answer would be no. And luckily for us, the universe was on our side because Slack had a major outage this morning. Additionally, a system that I use to do 85% of my work was also down. I used this extra time to grab myself a latte this morning before settling down into my work.
I also did something differently this year that I’ve never done before. After coming back from a 2 week vacation, I decided to give myself even more buffer time. I gave myself 0 meetings and 0 phone calls and instead marked my calendar for the day as “do not schedule.” This time was fully dedicated to getting through my inbox, organizing myself, and prioritizing what I needed to tackle first and who I needed to speak with. Any other year, I look forward to the first day of coming back and tackling everything. If the last year taught me anything though, it’s to embrace the slow. You don’t want to burn out too quickly after returning back to work and instead you want to settle for easing back into it.
So give yourself a break. You have the entire rest of the week, why not spread it out?
When the pandemic first hit, I was a little scared to travel farther distances. Luckily for us, I’ll likely never hit my cap of Bay Area spots to see. One of my favorite spots is a place less than an hour away and it has some of the best views. I’ve been known to flee to Half Moon Bay when I’m looking for some quiet, peace, and space when I feel stuffed up in the city. There also happens to be an amazing spot for sandwiches that I heard people raving about for years, but never tried myself until the pandemic.
[Dad’s Luncheonette] doesn’t boast a large menu, but what they have won’t disappoint you. Our first time there, Kevin and I got really excited and practically tried one of everything. If you have to make some choices though, get the Hamburger Sandwich, Mac & Cheese and always ask about the soup of the week and sweet of the week!
Currently, they’re on their winter closure, but will re-open later on this month!