today was a shopping day. leaving the house, it felt like winter for a change with temperature in the 40's. with the unseasonably warm weather we've been having in new england, i was starting to get worried (you know, global warming and stuff), but now with the return of normal cold weather, i am at ease, though not as warm. i don't mind though, if it means polar ice melts aren't going to melt and polar bears won't go extinct.
i took the subway to central square and started browsing. buckaroo mercantile didn't have anything worth purchasing (i noticed the clerk sitting behind the counter surfing the web on a mac), and neither did pearl art supplies. i walked to harvard square, stopping by a hardware store to look for a 5 watt white light bulb for my aquarium. "this is going to sound like a dumb question," a girl asked me on the street, "but which direction is harvard square?" at bowl and board i bought a tea infuser ($3). "sorry, i ripped your receipt," the girl working the counter informed me when she gave me my change. it's been a while since i strolled down that stretch of mass ave and i was dismayed to see so many storefronts empty, old haunts now gone.
the globe corner bookstore didn't have anything i wanted either, although i just like going there, surrounded by a wealth of books offering various possible travel destinations. next it was the harvard book store, where finally i found a few items worth purchasing (naturally, 2 books for myself as well, nature related). since the demise of wordsworth, and barillari, and penguin books, there's been a dearth of bookstores in harvard square, a place once recognized as having more bookstores per square feet than anywhere else in the world. now there's just the coop, which only offer discounts to harvard alumni, and the harvard book store (not counting globe corner, since they only offer travel books). i've never been a big fan of HBS (i remember having to pass a camera store which reeked of photo developing chemicals just to get to the bookstore), but scarcity breeds necessity, and once in a while, HBS does offer some bargains. it's just always so crowded in there that rubbing up against strangers or politely weaving through a gauntlet of customers distracts me from browsing properly. finally, i stopped by the coop anyway, find another book i wanted.
back at home, i poured over several cookbooks trying to find a suitable recipe to make for tonight. i got inspired from an everyday food recipe and combined it with something from nigella lawson's repertoire. across the street i went to collect the necessary ingredients from the supermarket, the dusky sky a billow of cotton candy clouds seen from the parking lot.
before julie even arrived i started cooking: breaded chicken breast cutlet served with linguine (seasoned with just butter, crushed peppers, and capers) with a side of hasselback potatoes. the potatoes went into the oven first because they needed the most time to cook. julie showed up just when i finished beating the chicken with the meat tenderizing mallet. things would be a lot easier if i just had a fryer, but instead i prepared the cutlets the old fashion way, sizzling in pan of olive oil. hot splatter burned my arms too many times to count. despite the head start, it still took me until 8pm to finally finish cooking. julie and i had exchanged christmas presents, she gave me a pair of miniature coca-cola bottle salt & pepper shakers as well as a measuring drinking glass. i gave her the phantom gourmet guide to boston's best restaurants.
after dinner i gave julie a tour of the macbook pro, trying my best to get her to break down and buy one herself, since i'm always looking for people to video chat with. when she went home, i threw out the trash and did the dishes. i tried out the tea infuser, loading it up with a tablespoon of thai ice tea mix.