Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

food slideshow - be careful, some pics maybe xxx rated!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Dim Sum

So, the next day after the crawfish boil, we needed dim sum. Yes, we "needed" it. So we decided to try Yum Cha Cafe. We got there in the morning, so there were not many people there. So, rather than being served at the table, you go to the counter and order what you want. I like this style of dim sum in the fact that you can see everything that they have. So we looked at all the food, and then we had a huddle - yes, just the 2 of us - and then we decided, and we ordered.

So, it was on the whole, pretty good. Well, for the price, you don't expect too much, and we didn't, so we weren't disappointed. We got mostly our standard dim sum dishes. except for the last thing. we went back and got it after the first round. It was fish or shrimp - there was something yucky about it.

We were disappointed in the soy sauce though. What is that shit? It's like artificial, with additives! I mean it must be cheap as dirt, it's thicker and sweeter and not soy sauce. So if we go back, I think we'll bring our own soy sauce.

So, after, we went to asian market next door. On going to the back of the store, I got confused and wondered if it was a grocery store or a pet store!

I have only ever prepared frog legs - frozen skinned ones. All you have to do is split them in half and cut the anus out. I really don't know if I would know what to do with a live frog. It would probably escape, then the cat would kill it - the other cat would probably be terrified of a frog - then the frog would be all dirty and gross and that would be that. A wasted life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

the happiest day of the year in San Diego

So, finally we've come to the annual LSU Crawfish Berl! The Food Pimp and I went back home for the weekend, then we intended on flying back to FL for another week and help my dear old dad get situated in his widower's life.

Okay, TFP did have to work that Monday, and we had to pay rent and stuff. And we couldn't bare to be trapped in that house with my dad for another week with no respite. But, was it all a very expensive excuse to fly all the way back to the west coast to eat crawfish from the east? You Betcha, Tiger!

So, our friends who introduced us to the crawfish boil - Mr. Male Nurse (formerly known as Mr. Future Male Nurse) and Mrs. Sexual Innuendo - were preggers and not going to the boil. So we decided to buy our own table - 10 seats. After the last year's asian drama crawfish berl 2009 , we decided we were going out on our own. We figured we could find 8 friends who would pay $47.50 each for all you can drink beer, 5# of crawfish each and fun and entertaining company in sunny mission valley. We were wrong. If it were free or we paid people, they probably would have come. But as it turned out, we got 2 couples to go. Last minute we got our friend Marin to go, for a free ticket in exchange for taking care of our cats when we left in a few days.

So, we had 3 tickets to get rid of. After posting an ad on craig's list, lots of emails, text messages and a couple phone calls, it was narrowed down to 2 buyers. We went early to take care of the transactions. So we were waiting outside the gate, and the buyer of 1 ticket bailed. So I told the other buyer, and he said he'd take it. So, the FP and I waited outside the gate. I told the buyer that I would have a purple sundress on. A couple girls had a purple sundress on. I had forgotten that purple is an LSU color, and a Mardi Gras color. Duh!! Anyhow, a black SUV drives up and asks if I'm... my real name. So, I said yes, we exchange money and tickets, and then the FP and I were free to walk through those gates. And we were in. And we stopped at a beer truck - seeing as how our table is alllllll the way across the field. And it was that Longboard Lager or something like that. It was cool and refreshing. So we got to our table, we plopped down, and we were grinning ear to ear.

We just sat there... and talked about the past month. About my mom, and my dad. And then we needed another beer. So I went to the beer stand nearby. Somehow, the guy asked me if I grew up in Louisiana or something, and I said FL - and how I actually had just come back from there. The guy said he was from Jacksonville, and he had just spent a lot of time there because his mom had cancer and passed away. So I said how my mom had had a stroke and passed away. So, we had a few kind words, hugged, and I brought the beers back. The FP, of course, asked what that was about. So I told him. I think he might have been worried that I was going to be one of those people that prefaced every conversation with, so my mom recently died of a stroke. I hoped I wouldn't become one of those people.

So, everyone started coming in. From there on out it was just drinking and talking and everyone being happy to be together. We hadn't all hung out in a long time. Our table mates showed up, and they seemed cool.

So, then it was time to get our crawfish. So we waited until the line built up a little. We were informed before that you want to wait a while, so you don't get the crawfish that were cooked earlier. So 3 of us went to wait in line. That way you can tagteam keeping your place while one person pees, and then another person gets beers. So then - there they were.

We brought them back to the table. I had actually had tape in my purse, I think, so we had taped the paper on the table. So, they dumped them out!

And we all pretty much just dug in. They were yummy. Corn and potatoes were good too. See all the beers. The all you can drink portion of the boil was winding down, so everyone had to get 2 beers each every time they went. Even though after the "free" beer it was only $2 a beer, which isn't bad.

So, we pretty much demolished our crawfish... from what I remember. But these 3 tables behind us weren't really crawfish eaters - they were just there for the party, so they had all this crawfish for the taking! Piles! They had barely touched theirs. If I had driven, I would have loaded up every box and piled them into the car.

But, we were carless, and we were headed to True North - just like last year. Except this year there was some mormon gathering at the stadium. I mean they were everywhere. So the cabs had to follow a long route to get in and out of the stadium. So we split up into 2 groups to get 2 cabs. And I remember that it was a big debaucle, but we got there. I think we got there before the other group though.... but anyway, it was a good afternoon, more drinking. But we decided to break away and call it a night before there was even any chance of fighting to start. It was once again, one of the best days of the year, maybe the beers and the crawfish and the sunny sky and the company all seemed the more sweeter because I did not know if I was going to get to go to the crawfish boil, after all the drama and tragedy that I had gone through the past month. You can say that I did not take anything forgranted that day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I got crabs

So, the next morning, my dad was confused. He thought there was another funeral service that morning. We reminded him that we were supposed to go to Kissimmee to the... cousin in laws or whatever you call them. So my dad asked if we found the wine that was in the boxes in the garage. The only wine we knew of were these little individual sized gallo bottles with the plastic cup shrink wrapped on top like the cough syrup measuring cups.

So my dad said we should go to the store and buy 2 bottles. Then he said, we should only bring one bottle out, and if we need the other bottle, we could bring that one out. Really. He said that. His wife just died, we just had a funeral, all his relatives were there to support us - they were inviting us for dinner - and my dad wanted to get cheap on the wine. Now, people might say that he was reeling from the shock of losing his wife. But he's always been cheap like that. So we bought 2 relatively cheap bottles of wine, and we brought them both into the house.

My sis, Openheart and my nephew, Duwende, stayed in Lakeland, because Duwende was still barfing. When my dad asked why they weren't going, I told him. He started bitching about how my sis lets him eat anything, etc. I said, well, the last thing he ate was dirty old Golden Corral, which was your idea. My dad "didn't hear". Conveniently, over the years, he doesn't hear certain things, and then other times when I've sworn there are things he shouldn't be able to hear, he hears perfectly. Selective hearing.

So, the relative had all spent the day at Merritt Island getting the bounty for the night's dinner. I would have liked to go, but we had been held captive in Lakeland with my dad in the hot house. The new house had brand new energy efficient air conditioners - 2 - one upstairs and one downstairs - and my dad kept making sure the air was pretty much off or on 85. One time I looked at the thermostat and he had it set on heat at 63! Why? I don't know. The guy had lived most of his life without using air conditioning. Most of the percentage of time that they lived in the old house, the air conditioning wasn't functioning. In Florida. This is insane to me. When it's almost 100 degrees outside, the air should be on in my opinion.

Anyway,we got lost because the mapquest directions that Creepy Uncle H gave sent us in the back way where you need a card or key or something to get into the gate. So we tried to bumble around, and we went to the wrong side. My dad made jokes about how we took the scenic route. Ha ha, so funny. Funnily enough, he had been to this house several times. The Food Pimp was driving - he and I had never been to the house. But, my dad could make no suggestion how to get to the house, all he could offer was derisive ridicule. Funny guy he thought he was.

So, we brought in the wine. Both bottles. They had drinks set up in the kitchen, they were grilling on the patio. This was nice. Anything to break up the insanity of that house on New Jersey Road.

The FP got a drink right away. I was outside, and I saw his glass of wine, and I had to have one to. Oh, how I needed a drink.

Here is one of their canine companions.

So they had the spread out, but first was the soup!

This was just wonderful. It was perfectly seasoned. It was like I was sitting in somewhere in South Carolina or Georgia at some plantation restaurant. The broth was flavorful, the sweet big shrimp, the corn on the cobb, the beautifully poached egg!!! Sooo good! So so beautiful too!

A nice simple salad...


Nicely shucked, not as briny as our Pacific variety over here. So wonderful!

So, the neighbors came over. They were this cool couple - musicians. The guy makes a living as a John Lennon impersonator. Really. They were very nice... seemed very socially and environmentally conscious. I totally put my foot in my mouth - as if there was room there with the crabs and oysters and whatnot - I said "hippie" because I couldn't think of the phrases environmentally conscious, green, self sustainable.. idiot

But these guys and gals were the star of the show!!! Blue crabs! I never understood how delicious and valuable a natural resource they were until I didn't live in the Southeast. These babies were commonplace to me as a child. These were just so flavorful... nothing needed but maybe some hot sauce and vinegar or patis! So I didn't want to be a pig... I think I only had 2 or 3 crabs, I could have had a couple more, but the work is tiring.

So after dinner, we retired to the other room because American Idol was on and our hostess could not miss it! So after, we had dessert. A dessert I had only heard of but never tried. Sans Rival.

So, this took the cake, so to speak! It was.... without rival!!!!!! So, it's a cashew meringue layer cake with buttercream. It was ridiculously good. It was unbelievable!!! Really!!!

So, after such a memorable meal and great company, it got late. It was time to go. To tell you the truth I didn't want to go. They had such a warm and inviting house, yet cool (temperature) and all our relatives were staying there. And we had to go back to that big cold yet warm (in temperature) house with this hard old man who was impossible to please.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

funeral food

So, the next couple of days was just activity. Relatives, church congregation and friends stopped by, called, dropped off food. Here's some of what we ate:

Friday night, the next day after my mom passed away, we made corned beef hash - we thought it would be a fitting first meal cooked in the new house. I grew up on corned beef hash and rice. At least one morning a week, I had it for breakfast. When I went to college, my mom would make it every morning when I came home to visit. My parents bought corned beef by the case.

We didn't know where all the silverware and plates were, and there were going to be a lot of people coming through, so we opted for paper plates and plasticware. But somehow, we still managed to produce a lot to clean up after.

The night of the visitation, my parents' neighbor brought over lasagna. A big huge pan of it. Here's what it looked like about half an hour after she had brought it over. It's amazing that ever since my mom had the stroke I've come to value a homecooked meal even more. My mom will never cook for me ever again. I realize that I cook for a living, but it's not the same. For another person to willingly feed others out of love and sympathy - it's just the best!

Here's some curried chicken and rice that my cousin's sister in law - made. Good stuff.

Here is one of the few things that I cooked. I barely cooked the whole time we were there in Florida. I just couldn't do it. But the Food Pimp kinda took over that roll - my mom's roll - to cook and crack jokes and make everyone feel at home - part of why I love him. So what I did, was I took my mom's famous "Easy BBQ Spareribs" Recipe. I made a marinade with the ingredients for her recipe and I baked country spareribs cut into smaller pieces in the sauce. So it was pretty damn good - it had this hybrid adobo/bbq flavor.

So the food for the funeral turned out to be a big complicated mess. When we had talked to the bereavement director at the church, she told us that the church ladies would be providing food for the reception afterward. Then later on, I was told that one of the Filipinas would be organizing the community to bring pot luck food. So I thought that the church ladies' food and the potluck would be plenty. But somewhere along the way, it turned out that the church wasn't going to make any food at all. I think they were scared that there would be too many people, so they decided to let the Filipinas take care of it. So, I got a call. One of the ladies was willing to buy more food if my dad reimbursed her. My dad is old and confused at tight with money. I knew it might be a challenge to get the money from him, but I said to go ahead and do it anyway. In the meantime, the FP decided to make a few pans of spinach artichoke dip. So, the funeral was at 10:30 am. My sis, Openheart, and I were doing the eulogy. My other sis, Buffalo Rib, my bro in law, Creepy Uncle, and I stayed up til about 2 or 3 am finishing the program. It wasn't the best, nor was it accurate but we had very limited resources, and we were extremely tired at that time.

So the next morning, very early, TFP dropped me off at Kinko's to make copies, and he went to the store to buy groceries for the dip. We were borrowing a family friend's 85 Toyota, and of course, it conked out when the FP tried to leave the shopping center to pick me up. It was hot and humid and we were running out of time. So my sis had to pick me up and then pick the FP up and we had to temporarily leave the car in the shopping center.

Somehow, we got ready just in the nick of time. A limo came for us, and we got to the church just before the service was supposed to start. And then I realized I forgot the programs! Someone suggested we roll without them. But after we had stayed up all night, and driven across town to have internet and printer access, we were going to use them! So luckily, Silent Bob was there, and he was all game to go get them. They were in the truck in the driveway. So, he raced there and back just in time.

So, we made it through the funeral. Our eulogy was actually pretty easy. I wasn’t nervous, I pretty much knew what I wanted to say, I made people cry.

So at the reception, there was Sam’s Club food – pinwheels and whatnot. Once again, everything just looked unappetizing. I knew that I had to eat, so I had some random food. I knew one of the family friends had made pancit, and I tried a little of the spinach dip also, and some other Philippine dishes. Before we knew it, the 2 pans of spinach dip was gone. Everyone loved it! They were all asking who made it, and they wanted a recipe. It was ridiculous. It was like a joke. The one church guy was a caterer. He had brought some food leftover from a party he had catered the night before. He came over and asked the FP for the recipe, because he really liked it. So the FP’s spinach dip was the hit of the funeral! He wrote down the recipe, but by the time he was done, the catering guy had left.

So, that was it. We went back to the house. The cousins took my dad shopping for bathroom rugs. My sis and the FP went and jumped the Toyota. It didn't work. Then they like shook the car or banged on the hood or sparked the alternator or something, and they got the car back to the house. We weren't sure what to do with it at that point. We would have to notify the owner about it.

Later, the shopping entourage came back with like 4 bathroom rugs. This was deemed a success, because getting my dad to settle on anything and buy it on the same day is a rare event. My dad insisted that everyone go to Golden Corral.

You know, it was kinda exciting all the choices, but after my first plate of bad choices I was pretty over it. All the cousins had bought my nephew, Duwende, entirely too many toys. So they bribed him by saying after he ate so much he got to get a new toy. He ate a lot. So much. The next day he threw up for 24 hours straight. Coincidence? Maybe? Foodborne illness from improper sanitation at the Golden Corral? Possibly?

Friday, July 16, 2010

that day

So, I returned to Lakeland, FL exactly a week after I had returned. It was basically the same flight I took the first time. My mom had become unresponsive and was transferred to palliative care - which means ceasing all treatment and focusing on comfort. This means imminent death. When I saw her, she didn't have that same recognition in her eyes. It was weird, because the nurses didn't check in as often, she was not hooked up to any kind of IV or machine, they only turned her every 6 hours as opposed to two, because at this stage in life, bedsores were not an issue. She was dying.

So, the next day, Martha went with my sisters and my dad and I to the church and to the funeral home to plan my mom's funeral. No one was sitting with my mom, although I knew friends would be visiting her. I wanted to be with her, but this was part of the obligation.

Martha thought it would be nice to go have a sit down lunch before going to the next funeral home. I didn't want to eat. I didn't want my mom to be alone. But this was the decision that had been made. We went to this New Orleans style restaurant in Bum Park - Munn Park. I think it's called Harry's I had been there once for drinks. I already knew I didn't like the place, and that was the last kind of restaurant I wanted to go to. But that's where we went.

The Food Pimp got the gumbo. Always and forever, the rest of our lives, unless by chance we somehow were to move back to New Orleans, TFP will pretty much order gumbo any chance he gets in any restaurant.

So, it was okay. It had too much thyme or oregano in it, that kind of ruined it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been good.

So then we got the crawfish etouffee - also too much dried thyme or oregano.

And we got the jambalaya... ditto for the too much dried herb.

My sis and her hubby got these sauce fish and chicken dishes, which actually looked pretty good. So, we were waiting there to pay. That took forever to get our bill, then my dad decided to pay, so that took forever. Then we were going to go to the other funeral home. But then Martha got the call - my mom's breathing had become erratic. So, we rushed to the hospital, but we got there just a few minutes too late. That was it. She was gone. My mom. It was so weird. Not really any moment of peace. We were there a few minutes, the hospice lady was there looking on, asking about which funeral home to send her to. Then the father from her church showed up. Then we had to start telling people and make arrangements.

Later on, we went to the house to get it ready to stay in - our cousins had arrived and were going to stay in the house with my dad, and the FP and I decided to stay there so that my sis and bro in law could have the other bed at the hotel. It was weird and creepy to stay there - in the house my parents were building that my mom never got to stay one night in - but it seemed fitting in a way. I imagine that she would have wanted us all to stay in the house.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So, on my first trip to Lakeland, FL, I left after 2 weeks. My mom had had a stroke, and she was had been in the ICU, but she had been moved to the regular stroke ward. In Tampa, there was a cute artists' contest from participating organizations involving playhouses. Here are some that I liked:

The sick thing about the exhibit was that each playhouse had signs posted about how we were not to touch or go into the playhouses! What kind of sick mind games were they playing? It's like having an ice cream shop where you are only allowed to look at the flavors, but you can't buy them or eat them.

I flew through Houston. I figured, since there was no telling how long gulf oysters would be available, that I should have some at Pappadeux in the airport.

So, these oysters were pretty good. But why did they feel the need to "garnish" them with chopped parsley? That kind of pissed me off. They are oysters! They don't need "garnish"! except for cocktail sauce and horseradish! The french fries were nice and crispy. The oysters were plump and sweet and meaty.

So, I went home. I went back to work the next day. It was strange not being in the hospital, calling and not getting clear answers as to my mom's condition. So, on the weekend, the Food Pimp decided we should go to Palm Springs to relax for a bit. The room rates were still cheap enough that we could justify going. So, we went. We ate at some italian restaurant for dinner. There was only one man in the place, but the server was quite a lady. She was an older lady - a real talker. She was intrigued to know how we found her restaurant. We really just drove down the street until we found someplace that wasn't a diner or a chain or mexican food. She said how her place was much better than so many other places - a hidden gem, really. The man that was eating was a regular, and he swore by it. We got a caeser salad. She tried to talk us into sharing the small portion. I think we got the large anyway - we were hungry. The salad was actually really good - just enough salt and lemon and anchovy flavor and cheese.

I was trying to decide between the lasagna and something else - I picked the lasagna because the other diner was eating it and the Food Pimp pointed out how it looked good. I don' remember what the FP got, because the lady was always there, and I didn't feel like fielding questions about why I was taking pictures of the food - and I didn't trust that man to not say anything either. Anyway, it was...okay. Not bad, not great either though - satisfying, anyway.

So, I looked through all the publications in the hotel to find somewhere good to eat lunch at the next day. I realize that these are advertising media, but some good restaurants advertise in these things. You just have to kind of read between the lines and stuff. Anyway, I figured it was Palm Springs, and there were a lot of jewish residents there. There must have been a good deli or two, right? We didn't have much money, so we had dreams of pickles and a good sandwich. I looked in the phone book, we drove around. The only place I found was Sherman's which had lots of full page or at least quarter page ads in all the magazines. But, it was supposed to be a real kosher deli, opened in 1953, family run. It sounded like a potential winner. So we went. It was busy. All - I mean all the other patrons were jewish. I really believe we were the only non jews in the place. Which was a good sign. A great sign! So, the pickles. They were great. We didn't get refills though.

Stuffed cabbage.

Obviously, this place was not strict kosher - they had beef cabbage and bread and butter on the same plate. I can't tell you why, but it all went together really well. The buttered rye, with some of the stuffed cabbage on it, was really delicious. And it had raisins in the tomato sauce. I hate raisins in savory dishes, but this was an exception. I guess it was braised for so long that there was none of the sweetness left in the raisins themselves, it had diffused into the sauce, but the sauce was balanced, not overly sweet. And the flesh and pulp were cooked out of the raisins so they didn't have that sick pop when you bit into them.

TFP got some type of reuben. The pastrami was delish, and so thin! I believe the coleslaw was... coleslaw. Nothing exciting there.

Baked beans... canned?

Okay, I decided to get one of the most ridiculous things on the menu. I mean, I never knew if I was going to go back here again. So I got..

Corned beef and latkes. Latkes instead of bread. With applesauce and sour cream. Paper thin corned beef. Thick, dense, starchy latkes. Really, a nice idea, not the greatest execution. I think the latkes had to be very thick and very tightly bound to hold together in sandwich form. I think I ate half of it. But I liked the idea. And I liked the flavor combo - corned beef, fried potato cake, applesauce, sour cream. Yum.

So, we headed back to the hotel pool I left my phone in the room, charging for a couple hours. When I checked my phone there were 3 missed calls. My 2 sisters and Martha. My mom was going downhill and the doctor had recommend that we all go back to the hospital. So the Food Pimp and I packed the Element and drove back to San Diego to book me a flight.