Much hooting and hollering today over the prospect of a new Starbucks in Old Town Takoma Park. Will it happen? Who knows? (Jan 30 update: I can't find anything more recent about this brouhaha, so perhaps it blew over. But in whose favor? Since I'm not at the restaurant as much anymore, I spend much less time gossiping with local business owners about such things.)
Breakfast: Leftover Szechuan eggplant, leftover Bon Appetit green beans, leftover herb muffin, a few slices of Parmesan cheese.
Lunch: Last glass of flat guarana soda. Slice of 6-herb toast with butter, carrot slices, half grapefruit with a little sugar, handful of mixed green raisins and roasted peanuts.
Finally emptied the bottle of guarana soda so that I could make Jennifer Reese's ginger ale. The main challenge in this very simple recipe was getting the ingredients into the designated bottle. Reese instructed us to use a funnel, and advised not to worry if some of the ingredients got stuck-- adding the water at the end would rinse them through into the bottle. Clearly, my funnel was too small, because ALL of the ingredients got stuck in the funnel, and I had to push them through a little at a time using a chopstick. It worked out in the end. And I got a science demonstration: it worked much better to swirl the sugar and water with the chopstick (so that the sugar was suspended in the water), and let this thick liquid pour through, than it did to simply push the wet sugar downward through the hole with the chopstick. In retrospect, this makes sense. Also, adding the yeast meant immediate bubbles. This was cool. I'm a little worried that the bottle will explode.
Dinner: Madhur Jaffrey's Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry; white rice; oven-baked tofu marinated in soy, mirin, ginger and garlic powder; cabbage-and-carrot salad with apple cider vinegar dressing. The tofu was not that good. My daughter, who is a picky eater not in the sense of disliking unusual foods but in the sense of having high standards, did not bother to eat it. The Sri Lankan eggplant was powerfully flavored, practically encrusted with a wealth of spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, mustard seeds) and then bathed in coconut milk and lime juice-- in my opinion, definitely worth the effort for the unique flavor. What I wrote in my cookbook: "Yum. But intense. I am the only person who will like this, ever." Because I cannot think of anyone else to whom I could safely serve this dish. Maybe my father. But he never comes to visit.
Dessert: The mango-coconut pudding. My husband and I ate it while we were watching the first season of The Amazing Race, which happened a really long time ago now. My daughter ate hers in her bedroom while she did her AP History homework. Too bad, I usually count on desserts to create Family TV Time, but my now-high-school daughter is often too busy for that these days.
Snacks: Cup of sake. Too hot this time, which is also not delicious. I guess the traditional way is the right way. It was good once it cooled to lukewarm. Bite of the instant stuffing my daughter prepared one hour before dinner, because she always gets hungry one hour before dinner. It was insanely salty, but kind of good at the same time. I would eat the leftovers except I think she probably feels they belong to her. 4 cups coffee, 2 regular, 2 decaf, with half and half.