Happy and Sad

Seattle’s weather has never really gotten to me. I don’t mind mild cold or mild warmth, and I don’t mind drizzle, but on Monday I found myself cursing Seattle weather as I walked through rain that was just hard enough to soak through my cloth jacket and just cold enough to sting my face. I think slightly cumbersome weather may be more effective in annoying you when the only time you experience it is walking to lunch or attempting to maneuver around Seattle drivers who seem intent on making your day worse.

Not being able to spend as much time going to lunch with my bromance significant other, Aaron Shannon, has worn on me enough that I’ve starting searching for a job for him at my company.

I bought a new jacket and some new shoes aided by a Christmas-gifted Zappos gift card and a LivingSocial Deals discounted Amazon credit. My shoes have been complimented. I haven’t gotten the jacket in the mail yet.

Some other things that have been keeping my introspectively-oriented bout of S.A.D. at bay:

James Blake’s cover of Feist’s Limit to your Love – was this originally written by Feist? I like her version and I may like his even better.

A really delicious chocolate Bundt cake baked and shared with me by a very nice person.

Macklemore’s My Oh MY – I loved Dave Niehaus. One of the few things that makes me cry is watching Game 5, ALDS, Mariners-Yankees, 1995. One of the other few things is this song.

Speaking of Macklemore, he has moved up from my favorite rapper to maybe my favorite artist. Incredibly sentimental, he’s like the Bruce Springsteen of rap. His songs are just my type – being both nostalgic reminiscences about growing up in Seattle and intense metaphors about life, he reads them like you’re the only person in the room and he’s reading poems not to a beat, but in a way that will make you feel what he feels. Take this passage:

I don’t really collect cards anymore, just a box and some old cardboard.
Memories embedded in the dust, in the fires, that’s ageless like us
Living somewhere off in the drawer.
This is what you make of it, you only play to win,
Live it like we’re under the lights of the stadium.
Fight until the day that God decides to wave us in.
Right until he waves us in
it’s my city, my city, childhood, my life, that’s right, right in front of those lights.

The secretive amusement I get from doing 7 am client calls from my couch in my underwear.

Humblebrag

And another recipe, eaten as I spend an increasing portion of my life meatlessly (I stole this from a blog that is endlessly hip and classy in a way that mine never will be):

Black Pepper Tofu

Serves 3 generously

600 grams extra firm tofu, pressed
All purpose flour
Vegetable or olive oil
3″ piece ginger, chopped finely
1 serano chili, seeds removed, sliced thinly
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
8 large garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp peppercorns, coarsely crushed
3 Tbsp tamari (strongly flavored soy sauce)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
10 thin scallions, chopped into 1/2″ segments
Jasmine or brown rice, for serving

Cut the tofu into 1/2″ blocks and toss them in flour, shaking off the excess. Pour enough oil into a nonstick frying pan to create a shallow coat, and bring up to frying heat. Cook the tofu in batches in the oil, turning the pieces as you go. Once they are golden all around, and have a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, and add the butter. Once it has melted, add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 15 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the contents of the pan are shiny and totally soft. While you wait, crush the peppercorns, using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. They should be quite coarse.
When the shallots and chillies are soft, add the soy sauces and the sugar, stir; then stir in the crushed pepper. Warm the tofu in the sauce for about a minute, then add the spring onion and stir through. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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