my mother called me this morning to ask when i was getting the mulan smoked duck for her birthday. i suggested this yesterday, but she said we were having korean takeout instead, so i told her she could have one or the other but not both. but in the early afternoon i rode down the cambridge mulan anyway to pick up a half smoked duck ($17). when i called to make the order, they told me it'd be ready in 5 minutes; it took me 10 minutes to ride down there. i was surprised that the restaurant was actually opened for indoor dining; they changed the layout so now all the tables are along the perimeter of the restaurant while the center is empty and open. there were 3 tables of customers, one along each wall. mulan is the first chinese restaurant i've seen that has indoor dining: all the chinese restaurants i know are takeout only.
i stopped by whole foods to pick up some tofu (most things there are expensive, but tofu is one of the few items where it's cheaper than even chinatown for some strange supply chain reason) before returning home. i finished the rest of the bagged salad for lunch, figuring i'd save my appetite for tonight. i called my mother suggesting we order from bonchon instead, which was not only cheaper but closer (harvard square), but bonchon is primarily a korean fried chicken joint, and don't have a wide selection beyond the chickens. we ended up deciding to still from bab korean bistro (brookline-allston).
i went out again, this time to market basket to pick up a few things. although there was no line at whole foods (though there were plenty of shoppers inside the store), there was a line 2 dozen deep at market basket. i had a feeling this would be the case so i was ready for it. the line moved along fairly quickly, i probably wait less than 10 minutes before i got to go inside. i was amazed that nobody complained, or even sighed with incredulousness; everyone seemed to know the drill, got dutifully in line and waited. it actually made me feel proud in our single-mindedness, although a few people were standing too close to one another.
i finally finished watching woman wonder 1984. i only watched a little bit at a time so i could savor this very delectable morsel, prolong the experience. unfortunately this latest installment of wonder man isn't that good. you think being set in the mid-80's would be right up my alley, but there was even a single 80's song in the entire film i don't think. how can you do an 80's movie without 80's music? the villains were also stupid. max lord is too much of a trump caricature, and i go to the movies to escape being reminded of trump. cheetah woman? how can wonder woman lose against cheetah woman? i also think pedro pascal and kristen wigg were miscast. especially kristen wigg, i'm not a big fan of hers, but she keeps starring in movies that cater to my nerd-base demographics - the martian, ghostbusters reboot, now wonder woman. the best part of the movie was early on, when steve rogers miraculously come back to life (i won't spoil how). in the first film, it was wonder woman who was a fish out of water being introduced to modern (early 20th century) society; now the roles were reversed, with steve seeing the future world 70+ years after his death. i would totally watch a whole movie (no, a whole series) of just wonder woman taking steve out to see things and his reactions. there was just a tiny bit of that in the film, i wanted to see more.
my sister was picking up the order at 5:30pm. we were eating at the cafe because my parents said it was the most geographically convenient spot, although i personally wouldn't preferred eating in belmont instead. i arrived around 5:30pm. i gave my mother the duck along with a red envelope stuffed with money, the traditional chinese birthday gift. my mother told me how much my aunt gave me and i couldn't very well give less than that so i increased the amount. my mother said she'd save the duck for tomorrow night, so she can spend new year's eve drinking chinese baijiu and eating smoked duck.
my sister came back at 6pm with our food order. the restaurant didn't give us any side dishes (korean food is famous for its side dishes, although my sister said when she ate at the restaurant they only had 2 side dishes at most). also either my sister forgot an item or maybe the restaurant accidentally left it out, but my father's seollung tang (ox bone soup with beef brisket and thin noodles) was missing - but they didn't charge us for it. fortunately we had enough food that even with one entree missing, there was still more than enough to eat with leftovers. i ordered the kimchi jjigae - kimchi and pork stew - because it was the safest and cheapest soup. it was okay, but the best was the dweaji sundae gukbab - bone soup with pork meat and korean sausage. the broth tasted like smoked duck, and the soup was filled with sweet pork intestines.
after we finished eating korean, my sister took out the green tea cake she made for my mother. we lit some sparkling candles as both my parents tried multiple times to blow them out. the cake was surprisingly good, and i normally find my sister's cooking meh at best. i actually ended up eating two slices, but my father didn't finish his so i finished it for him.
i left for home by 7:30pm. after a shower, i settled in for a quiet night of black tea and some leftover roasted chestnuts my aunt gave my parents earlier. i've never had roasted chestnuts before (we used to just boil them), they were pretty good. makes me want to go out and buy some raw chestnuts as well.