an entry on food that becomes an entry about something else

I’ve already gushed about Shra’s beautiful Honey kittee, just because I can’t help it, but there was more to my weekend than seeing her. ;b

On Friday, Erik and I had dinner out at India Palace on University. We intended to go to Khana Peena, but when we got there we were confused about their dinner offerings, and anyway there was some extremely raucous person eating there, and we didn’t feel like having to listen to him during our meal. So I asked Erik, should we go south and eat at Kamal Palace or Great China, or should we go north into the great unknown? Erik turns toward the north and takes a dramatic step forward and intones, “To the great unknown!” I love Erik. We wandered around and decided on India Palace because I still felt like Indian food. It’s a very pretty place–they have a huge, gorgeous mural on the east wall and there’s an upstairs that is apparently rather swanky-looking. I was almost intimidated by the waitpeople, though–one doesn’t expect such courteous, discreet service for $9.95/entree. I was initially going to get my old favorite, palak paneer, but when I noticed that their bengan bhartha was a house specialty, I ordered that instead. A good call. Erik had the special of the evening, a thali (combination plate) with lots of different items. After tasting my food and all of Erik’s I found that the things I liked best were the house specialties. Everything else was okay, probably fresher and better quality than what I can get at Naan’n’Curry or Curry in Hurry, but not flavored quite the way I like. Erik’s food was an amazing deal, too. Normally their thalis are like $20, but his was $9.95 and included rice, chapati bread (first yummy chapati I’ve had), dessert (super yummy gulab jamun), and delicious chai tea! A good experience. Next time I will go back and have their navratan korma.

Saturday we got to meet Honey, of course, but our visit to Shra was made extra-special by Jackie’s presence! 🙂 Now that she’s back in Sacramento I look forward to getting to see her more often. And we had Togo’s for lunch. I don’t know why that should merit a mention here, but somehow it does.

Oh yes and on our way back from Davis, Erik and I stopped at Ranch 99. Since we’d missed both the Berkeley and Davis farmer’s markets, and I needed Shao Xing wine, I figured I’d just save us a trip and buy my groceries all in one place. I can eat non organic food for a week. Well what terrified me was that I’m perfectly capable of spending $55 at Berkeley Bowl and the farmer’s market, but my Ranch 99 food–which was not meager in quantity, and I got all kinds of yummy treats like fresh rice noodles–totaled $22. So scary. I got a huge bag of bok choy, enough to last me most of the week, for $1.47. The bok choy I bought from the farmer’s market last time was seventy-five cents per head (or whatever you call a thing of bok choy). I got a bunch of green onions for thirty-nine cents, compared to $1 at the farmer’s market. My Shao Xing wine was $2.89; I think the cheapest sherry at the supermarket is $4. I could give you more numbers but you get the idea. I’m delighted to have saved us some money, but it really bothers me that there’s such a difference in price, especially for produce. I love shopping at the farmer’s market. Being out in the sunshine, talking to the vendors, listening to the musicians, the sheer variety and quality of the food… it’s just a lovely experience. And I prefer their food, because it’s better for you (fewer or no chemical pesticides), more interesting (Green tomatoes with stripes! oval-shaped orange tomatoes! little yellow tomatoes! Roma tomatoes, which they sell at the supermarket, just can’t compare.), better tasting, better for the environment and for the growers… don’t get me started on why organic produce and free-range animal products are better. You’ve probably heard all the arguments anyway. It bothers me that this arguably much better way of growing and selling costs so much more than the conventional way. If I knew more about it maybe I could tell you it costs more because industrial agriculture is government-subsidized, but since I don’t know that for sure I can’t say. It may very well be true. Anyway hopefully I’ll be able to keep up doing what I’m doing–not spending very much on anything except food so that I can buy the best food possible.

Sigh. I’ve been thinking about money a lot lately, a lot more than I wish I had to. Part of it’s the money issues of my own that I’ve been having, but another part comes from knowing that in less than a year’s time I might be entirely on my own and having to figure out all of my own budget, rather than getting help (a lot more help than I like to admit) from my parents. I’ve been talking and thinking with Erik about this a lot recently, because it’s not going to be too long before the two of us are a household and will really have to consider these kinds of things. I figure that if I can’t get my monetary act together while I’m a student and single, I’m going to be in a lot of trouble later.

Is it too shocking to say that Erik and I will be a household before long? I think it would be unnecessarily closemouthed to not say that when I’m thinking it. It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone, and anyway “soon” is a relative term. Anyway I’ll stop here. Don’t want to write too much shocking stuff at once. ;b Just kidding–there aren’t any other shocks up my sleeve. But I’ll just let you digest the one before I start going off on further ruminations.

Now I’m hungry, and I still haven’t done any schoolwork today, although I have cleaned my toilet, bathroom sink, shower, kitchen sink and counters, dish rack, and email inbox. ;b And here’s a random thing that shows I must be sleepy – I meant to type “consider” and it came out “soncier”. And I just did it again, while typing that sentence.

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