one day of processed food, one day of cooked food, right? so this morning, feeling my creative cooking juices flowing, i tried my luck at making another omelette. i had a hard time flipping the omelette over so i ended up with a half-flipped semi-circle omelette.
i also did some errands around the house. washed the pile of dishes sitting in the sink (i should learn how to use that dishwasher one of these days, i found the instruction manual last week), sent out my unemployment postcard and my cobra medical insurance check, hid all the renovation equipment temporarily in the bedroom closet, vaccumed the floors (especially all the fallen jasmine flowers in the kitchen), and did a load of laundry. i love doing the laundry, which for a lot of people living in the city, it's something they hate doing. i don't have to drag my laundry to the laundromat or even downstairs into the basement. the washing machine is right in my kitchen, it's just two steps from my bedroom. i don't need have a bunch of quarters to do a wash, it's all free. and afterwards, when it's all over, i throw everything into the dryer. when i lived at home, we had a dryer but it was really old and took 2 hours to dry. most of the time we just hang dried everything. so living in a place with a working dryer is very much a luxury. oh, and afterwards, taking out the warm clothes from the dryer and putting them on my bed to fold, that's the best part. i've been tempted on many occasions to just jump into the pile of clothes and roll around in the warm.
my father dropped by a couple of hours to teach me how to make hot and sour soup. after putting 6 cups of chicken stock and equal parts water into a pot, he was coaching me on the finer details of cutting as i sliced bamboo shoots into thin strips. into the slowly heating pot went the bamboo shoots, followed by some presliced straw mushrooms. then i started adding the flavoring ingredients, the white pepper (for the hotness), light soy sauce, dark soy sauce (for coloring), and crushed garlic. we taste tested as we added in the ingredients. we didn't add any salt because the stock and the soy sauce were already salty enough, and neither did we put in any msg even though my father brought some over. once the soup started to boil, in went the sugar (to add an extra dimension to the flavoring, and to counteract the vinegar) and the vinegar, followed by several tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water. last but not least went in a few battered eggs, dripped and mixed into the pot so as to create strands. we seasoned with some coriander and chives. we didn't have a few ingredients (chinese mushrooms, strips of pork, tofu cubes) but the soup came out fine anyway. the beauty of hot and sour soup is in it's layering of the various ingredients.
i called ikea with my order and asked them how much it'd cost to ship all the items i ordered. it'd cost me $194 through a trucking service and it'd take 2-3 weeks before my order arrived. so definitely it's cheaper to just drive to the nearest ikea and buy my furniture from the store. later during the rainy evening my sister dropped by with two rugs in the back of her suv, gifts from a friend who didn't want them anymore, and she was asking me if i'd be interested. they were too floral and too light color for me, so i didn't take them.
after a hard's day of freelancing programming stress, i decided to go with a bath instead of my regular shower. the fact that my bathtub is irregularly shaped seems weird to me, and i wonder if it's bad feng shui, not that i'd do anything to fix the problem. i practiced holding my head underwater, the only sound i could hear was my own heartbeat. in the bathtub in the middle of the night all alone, the quietness of my neighborhood was deafening. lying on my back, i read a chinese cookbook, and occasionally wiped my hand on a towel so i could reach across the bathtub and take a sip from the glass of cold water sitting on top of the toilet seat cover. and like that, my evening came to a close.