there was an in-office client meeting that swallowed up most of the staff. i was going to go running by myself, but alex expressed some interest so i held off until he was done with the meeting. instead, i went to chinatown to get a vietnamese sandwich and to check out the crowd. like this morning, i was surprised to see that chinatown wasn't very crowded, or no more so than a usual friday, about the same sized mobs of young people congregating on street corners or in restaurants, waiting for the next bus to arrive.
around 3pm alex was finally done and we went running. i wore my glasses on the run for the very first time, i usually change into contacts but the pair i have are old (they really should be replaced) and i was just lazy. it was 45 degrees, i wore my shorts and my black turtleneck. we ran the river (very little traffic), then when we came back, we made a detour to burberry because alex needed to buy a birthday present for his girlfriend's brother. i don't think i've ever been in a burberry, and i'm not sure if i ever will again. there was a pretty blue sweater but when i checked the price it got real ugly real quick: $595. for a sweater? even if it was on sale, unless it was discounted 95%, i could never buy it. places like burberry don't have sales anyway, and the people who shop here don't particularly care about price tags as well. alex picked out some socks and underwears and then we ran back to the office, alex carrying his posh burberry bag.
approaching 6pm the office started emptying out, first james, then dana and kristine (each with their charity pies), followed by carly. i was the next to leave, took another look at the chinatown bus stop but never really saw the insane crush of people i was hoping for.
i went to davis square, where i went over to julie's so we could go visit the fresh pond kitchen etc., still searching for the larger 6 oz. ramekin dishes. her roommate radha was playing trivia pursuit with her boyfriend in the living room. julie showed me the pecan pie she had made for thanksgiving with the hard-to-find pecan nuts. we left, julie taking her windy secret way to fresh pond that avoided as many traffic lights as possible. julie couldn't find the nova green ramekins that went with her other nova green collection of dishware, but i found 6 oz. ramekins, pyrex brand and cheap to boot, $4 for a set of 4 (julie tried to talk me out of getting them because they were sort of plain looking, but the price was too good to pass up). i bought 12 for about the same price of a single box set of 4 oz. ramekins i bought a few days ago. julie made a mess in one of the aisles, opening up boxes of mixing dish sets to see what's inside.
after kitchen etc. we went to the liquor store next door, where julie stocked up on alcohol for her family's thanksgiving. the family that drinks together stays together is what i always say. her brother, whom she called earlier, wanted busch beer and coors beer ("bad beers" is what julie called them).
i got a ride back to cambridge, where my parents dropped by. my mother brought some ramekins my sister had bought for me earlier from the somerville building 19 ($1 each), but they were in fact just small bowls; the pyrex dishes i bought were the better ramekins. after my parents left, i got to work. and by work i mean making 12 dishes of flan. 8 eggs, 8 cups of milk, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract mixed together in a bucket because my mixing bowl wasn't big enough. i also melted probably 3 cups of sugar in making the caramel that sits at the bottom of the ramekins. i used too much ingredients, so besides the intended 12 dishes, i also filled the 4 red ramekins i got from yesterday, as well a rice bowl. into the oven went all the ramekins. i looked at the clock and saw that it was only 8pm ("boy, that's early!"), but the battery must be dying because it was actually 11pm. normally it'd take an hour to bake, but since there were so many, it took 2 hours to cook. i kept on going into the kitchen every 20 minutes and poking the flan with a knife to check whether it was still soupy or not. when they were all done, i took them out from the pans of hot water to cool, then into the fridge to overnight.