Food, of course.

Today seems to be my day for making thrown-together food. Breakfast and lunch I bought, but dinner consisted entirely of internet recipes gone berserk.

In the afternoon I had a craving for cake, but if I was going to have cake it had to be proper cake, and I just couldn’t bring myself to use as much butter as all my recipes demanded. So I switched to muffins. I found a nice vegan muffin recipe on my favorite vegetarian recipe website, Veggies Unite, and was going to make it and have muffins instead of cake. I guess I must have been tired because I used a half-cup measure instead of a fourth-cup when I was measuring, and wound up with way too much liquid in the batter. I thought I would just add more flour and baking powder etc, but then decided that since I was no longer following the recipe I might as well improvise some more. So I threw in some whole wheat flour, wheat germ, golden raisins, sweet white wine, and rolled oats. I was a little apprehensive of how they would turn out but as I cleaned up the kitchen I noticed a lovely lovely smell coming from the oven. The muffins were great, a little dense but not really very heavy, very moist, and chewy. In a slight alteration of the quote, as Wallace said to Gromit, ‘They’re not like any muffins I’ve ever tasted,’ but I enjoyed them very much.

After all that, I didn’t really feel like exerting myself to cook dinner, but I didn’t want to spend more money to eat out, so I decided to hunt down another recipe from Veggies Unite. I found one for a basic throw-everything-in-one-pot soup, and adapted it to what I had in my kitchen. Water, a cube of vegetable bouillon, two kinds of lentils, pearled barley, balsamic vinegar, yellow onion, green onions, garlic, a little packet of steak seasoning I got for free as a sample (no steak extracts in it, just things like garlic powder and cayenne pepper), spices, tomatoes, and some rainbow chard. After it had boiled around for an hour Erik and I had it with some more of those muffins. It was very hearty and tasty and just right for a fall evening (even though it was warm today). And it required practically no watching and no work (don’t let the long ingredient list fool you), so I was able to read a book while it was stewing.

I’m starting to like this complete culinary improvisation thing. The other night I made something at Erik’s using eggs, tomatoes, and sherry, to complement the dish he’d made with cabbage and Chinese vegetables, and that turned out to be a nice dinner too. I guess I don’t usually improvise like this because I usually have such specific cravings as to what I want and don’t want to eat, but lately my cravings have come in between meals instead of at meal times, so I eat nice healthy improvised meals and have things like croissants and chocolates in between mealtimes instead. 🙂 What that signifies, I have no idea.

I miss my family and friends. Not that I don’t ever talk to them or see them, but I miss the constant contact I enjoyed during the summer and last semester. I miss seeing my family more frequently, and I miss my friends that I used to see a lot more often last semester. Some friends I’ve spent more time with this semester, and that I like a lot, but I miss people like Ying and Margaret and Huy. Friends abroad I can do nothing about but write lots of letters, which I have been trying to do, but Berkeley friends are another matter. I spend a lot of time with other people, but there just isn’t enough free time in anybody’s schedule to spend all the time I want with all the people I want to see. *sigh* Oh, well, I’m already very fortunate.

Life is good, and I am happy. 😀

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]