when i finally got up today at a time i am too ashamed to mention, i got dressed and took a quick trip down to harvard square to pick up a drug prescription. coming back, i took an exploratory route and walked through the streets behind my house. here were truly suburban houses, not densely packed condominiums but large single family homes with a front yard and a back yard. throughout cambridge there are pockets of such area, little suburban oases amidst the urban congestion. and because cambridge is such an old town, many of these houses have amazing historical architecture that you wouldn't easily find in other american towns.
i decided to make spicy vietnamese beef and noodle soup, only because i had some beef leftover in the freezer. i originally want to make something with the crockpot but couldn't find any interesting recipes. my father came by a little bit to deliver some ingredients, and those that he didn't bring, i ran next door to star market to get the rest (the guy behind me in line was buying a loaf of bread, some cheese, and a deodorant stick). after he left, eliza hoover dropped by briefly to give me a check for the html work i did for her. she talked about her spring break next week and of course we talked about the possibility of war. after she left, my parents came by again with my sister to have dinner at my place. i didn't follow the recipe exactly, it called for oxtails when i used stew beef, beef broth when i only had chicken broth, refrigerate the broth overnight when i just simmered it for an hour, and instead of straining the soup i just had it as is. the result? the soup was too light and a little heavy on the star anise side which gave it a kind of sweet chinese medicine taste. it was okay but it's no pho, not sure if i'll make it again. maybe if i followed the instructions next time, things might turn out different.