Home, sweet home.

Again!  I’m back and trying to be a good homemaker.  Because when you’ve lived in glistening hotels for two weeks, you realize your own pod isn’t quite so glistening when you come home to it.  All of a sudden the dust that has collected since I won’t tell you when looks so obvious.  Like why didn’t I see that before?  And the baseboards!  I didn’t even know what baseboards were until college.  They’re these cute random ledges on the bottom of your walls that seem only to make themselves noticed when they need to be dusted.

Also, when you’ve eaten glorious New Zealand grass-fed cows and sheep (because that’s what normal cows and sheep eat, apparently, without trying to be fancy), served to you by resident Kiwis, your own semi-edible creations of who knows what seem much less appealing.  But I’ve been inspired to keep learning how to do this thing called cooking.  After all, just what is it that all those restaurant chefs have that I don’t have?  Hours of training?  Impeccable knife skills?  Good creative and artistic sense?  Whatever they have, I hope it’s communicable.  Just two days ago, I made myself black bean soup.  Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to survive.  And beans have protein, guys, protein.  Protein is to girls with ridiculously fast metabolism and quickly returning hunger, as, as, a good fly trap is to a fly.  Sticks to the insides.  Sorry.  So this black bean soup consisted of items that were still edible in my pantry after our trip (whoever invented canning, bless you).

Let me tell you what was in it:

  • Black beans (drained, rinsed.  Why we need to rinse and drain our beans, I’m not sure, but the recipes all say to do it, so I do)
  • Chicken broth (the use within 5-7 days kind, let’s hope I use it within 5-7 days!)
  • Lemon juice (because I found out that practically everything tastes better with a fresh lemon squeezed onto it, so why not my soup?  And acid might brighten up the beans)
  • A generous pinch of SALT (FINALLY, I learned, salt is not to be forgotten folks)

It was interesting, semi-edible as I expected, but not edible enough that I would feed the hubby with it.  So I bought him pho.

Anyway, today, I decided to make a salad, and since I’m tired of store-bought dressings with who knows what natural flavoring or color in there (rumor has it that Raspberry Nestea is flavored with the secretions of beavers but apparently that is “mostly false”), I decided it couldn’t be too hard to make a vinaigrette.  A friend on the phone suggested I add some sesame oil to that vinaigrette, and so I experimented with some rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, and salt, in artistic ratios meaning, arbitrary and according to my heart’s desire.

But this helped me, along with some finger licking!  Thanks to that website, I may have gotten the proportions right!

Oops, dumplings been in the pot for too long.. gotta go!

 

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