Monday, December 12, 2011

My First Bento

Basically, I was just sitting there, cleaning my gas lamp, when all of a sudden I was overcome with a new obsession: Bento. Bento boxes are Japanese. Let's look at a common dictionary's definition of Japanese:
  1. Of, relating to, or derived from Japan, its language, or culture. 
  2. A person living in or coming from Japan, or of Japanese ancestry. 
  3. The main language spoken in Japan.
  4. Superior.
Indeed. When I asked the Stoic Man what the time difference was between Switzerland and Japan, he said, "Seven hours. And ten years." It's the future.

Bento boxes are small boxes in which food is arranged beautifully for later consumption, mostly at one's place of employ. Bento boxes are also very, very shiny. I got a three tiered thingy in pink. With a matching set of chopsticks. Did you know there are Hello Kitty themed sets? ...

So, today, I set about filling my shiny, shiny box with food for the graveyard shift. The content is not Japanese. I know, I should be ashamed of myself.

Tier 1: Salady things

pickled beetroot
pickled carrots
cherry tomatoes

The beets were cooked, sliced, and pickled in nothing more than red wine vinegar. They keep forever that way and are a staple in my kitchen.
The carrots were cooked - carefully, so that they are still somewhat crisp - sliced, and pickled in a bit of vinegar, a bit of oil, and garlic. They will end up tasting very garlicky. Keep that in mind. At work. I said I was on graveyard shift, right?
I found this hilarious assortment of six types of cherry tomatoes at Coop. I bought red, heart-shaped ones, yellow ones, and orange ones. Taste is same/same, but they are so pretty!

Tier 2 (the proteins): Tonkatsu and Edamame

a piece of pork
one egg, beaten
starch or flour

salt, pepper

As always, when breading meat: salt, pepper, put in some flour or starch, put in the egg, then the panko. Deep fry.
Edamame: steam.
Not as visually pleasing as it could be, but very tasty. Come on. Deep-fried pork. Just saying.

Tier 3 (the carbs): Mashed potato/sweet potato

2 potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
salt, pepper, chili for decoration

Cook the roots until soft, remove from water, mash. Destroy them. Obliberate, even. Add butter until sufficiently buttery. Add salt and pepper, when draped upon the plate or into the bento, sprinkle dried chili on top.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meatballs. Meeeeeatbaaaaalls!

One of life's great pleasures: Meatballs. I have recently perfected them, and they look much better than in the picture. Not to mention the taste. The key? Easy. After all, why would you fry something, if you can also deep fry it? The best thing about these, though, is the sauce. Courtesy of my friend Paolo, a genuine Sicilian and chef extraordinaire!


500g mixed minced meat
salt, pepper, a little dried chili if you like
one carrot, grated
a bit of ginger, grated
a clove of garlic, one medium onion, a bunch of parsley, all finely chopped
a cup or so of bread crumbs
one egg

Knead everything into a mass. Form balls. Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry. When pleasantly brown, remove from oil onto kitchen crepe, to remove excess oil.

Nameless and awesomely tasty sauce

one large onion
2 dl aceto balsamico
100g sugar

Okay, I'm guessing on the sugar. Think chutney; enough to make the liquid slightly thick, and create a sweet-sour taste. Anyway. Cut the onion into pleasing strips, sautee in butter. Add the aceto, then the sugar. Allow to boil for a moment. Let cool down, taste, add salt, pepper, and, if needed, more sugar. (If more sugar, bring to boil again.)

I used red onions. This is what it looks like when boiling.

... And Then I Lapsed

It happens. I am not a person of consistency. I do not keep a diary for this very reason. Of course, World of Warcraft is to blame, because there is SO MUCH TO DO!!

Sigh. The patch hath dropped, and I have valor points to farm on six characters, as well as gear for transmogrification. There are three all-new, awesome dungeons to run. And to make it all worse, the Darkmoon Faire is on until the weekend, and it's become seriously awesome. Did you know you can even increase your trade skill levels by doing quests at the faire? I KNOW! That makes it a total of 14 (yes. That's fourteen.) characters that want to go to the faire. All that, and I'm supposed to work, and sleep, as well? Also, it tends to make me overuse the word "awesome".

On both Horde and Alliance, I have one character each that I consider the red-headed stepchild. Meaning, I didn't really pay much attention to them. Iparra is a mage, and frankly, that's the problem. She can neither tank nor heal, which makes it difficult to earn my love. She can, however, look awesome in her freshly transmogrified gear. I call it... I don't have a word for it. Except awesome (see above). It's a lot of fun having her walk around like this, mostly, because people are going to think I'm a guy.
Khendran, my shaman, has made some amazing gear progress this past week. It's nice to replace a 333 mace with the 378 one Queen Azshara was kind enough to leave behind. Celebrations ensued, leading to a new haircut. Although, you know how it is with orcs. There are two acceptable faces, and three hair styles at best.

Iparra was also the first to brave the treacherous terrain of the new raid finder tool. A dps, right, what can go wrong? That's right: nothing. It was actually a pleasant experience. After I fixed my frame rate problem, that is. 25-man is hard on my machine. Two frames per second is not a place I like to be. She even got loot, which earned her the scorn of the top dps in the raid, we'll call him Mr. "I can kill the adds by myself with my 60K dps". That's a direct quote.
After this successful run, I stepped it up a bit and went in with Khendran, the resto-shaman. And behold, that was okay, too. It was a bit disappointing that the same shaman won all three tokens that dropped for our class. And that he found it okay to roll need on two shoulder-tokens on two different occasions. But that's people for you. Have I mentioned my shaman wears 333 shoulders, because Zanzil is being an ass about it?

And at some point, Blizz, we really need to talk about that shoulder-thing. This expansion is being a bit ridiculous in that regard. I understand they are prestige items, and I'm not asking you for tier gear for VP. But I should be able to purchase something better than ilevel 346 if my luck is rotten, don't you think? Not to worry; I know you'll do better next time.

And now, I must be off. There is just SO MUCH TO DO!!