reason #1 - i came home and did not have to worry about studying, wedding planning, creating a portfolio, or some other such non-work work for the first time in over a year. these blissful, free evenings will be short-lived, though, as they'll soon be filled with a science-y class. blah! i may rock at standardized tests, but science...not so much. i didn't get my mom's genes there (her whole side of the family has done up to post-doctoral work in some sort of science). and then i need to start and finish a side job i promised a friend's parents i'd do a long, long time ago. and then there may be big changes after that. whew.
reason #2 - #1 led me to get all ambitious and attempt use some ginger and green onions before they went bad. in my cooking. from scratch. on a weeknight. don't ask why i even bother buying produce. i tried blu's/cooking light's mapo tofu recipe.
i love cooking light. thanks to skims, who introduced me to its wonderful recipes in college. like the one time we had time to cook together in those 3 years (she was a year ahead).
i also luuuuuuuuuuuuuurve tofu. my grandmothers thought i was the cutest little tofu-eater. i'd eat it raw, lightly pan-fried and dipped in a soy sauce/sesame oil/rice vinegar/red paper flakes/garlic mixture, in soondooboo (spicy tofu casserole/stew), cold and seasoned in a ponzu sauce + mooh/daikon (bigass asian radish), etc. i even had an aol 3.0 screenname involving the words "tofu" and "yuja" (woman/girl/female, in korean). hey, i was in a fob-ulous stage at the time.
mapo tofu was also one of my favorite dishes to order at the joonghwa (koreanized chinese food) restaurants we frequented while growing up. i grew up either eating it only at restaurants or adding tofu to this [scroll all the way down to "mabo tofu sauce"] pre-made sauce. i never knew it was so easy to make from stuff we almost always had on hand in our house. cee gave the blu/cooking light recipe her stamp of approval, and she's actually chinese, not a wanna-be like me. so i dove in. i prepped, i cooked, we ate, and i cleaned up in just over an hour. awesome! too bad i got home at my usual 8 pm or so. :( . luckily, the bear enjoyed it so much that he said it was worth the wait. i also did not make a huge mess, make any dish-killing mistakes, and cleaned while i cooked. these are really big accomplishments for me.
bear: this tastes chinese.
me: that's because it is chinese. haven't you ever had it?
bear: maybe. it's not a usual bear order.
me: [wordy tater's other comments about her history with tofu edited out here]. you're the one that's half chinese!
#3 - trader joe's organic iced tea lemonade, aka perfectly-proportioned-and-mixed-arnold-palmer in a plastic bottle, as a nightcap.
#4 - it's my late dad's birthday. i'm usually a bit melancholy on this day, but for some reason, i was blessed with really good memories today. i even reflected a bit on his epitaph, "he loved and served," in a pensive yet joy-filled way randomly and throughout the day. long story short, he wrote it himself by