Monthly Archives: November 2011


My dad brought this for me from Tokyo as a housewarming gift.  It’s a daruma and it is in the wish-granting business.

According to my dad, you write your wish on the daruma’s right eye at the beginning of the new year, then paint over the whole eye with black.  The daruma stays in your house with one black eye and one white eye for an entire year.  At the end of the year, when (not if) your wish has come true, you blacken the left eye as well and then take it to the local temple to be burned.

We are lacking in Japanese temples here in the hinterland, but I am tempted to make a wish to my daruma anyway.  Will 2012 be the year?  I’m sort of counting on this.  Daruma, don’t let me down!


banana flower salad and panang tofu

One of the best things about where we’re living now is that we can drive up to see my family.  We don’t have to fly, we can be there in under 4 hours if we want to, and they can come see us too.

Even better, when we go up there we can stock up at the Asian grocery store.

Thai eggplant, pak choi, long beans, banana flower, shallots, chillies, wonton wrappers, egg tofu, fish sauce, coconut milk, curry paste, and spices.

Praise the lord and pass the ammunition!

Where I’m living now, I can’t get any of this stuff.  That shopping trip was like Christmas.  So I put it all in the car with a couple of ice packs, brought it back here, and today I got down to business.

I made panang curry with egg tofu (easy because the curry paste came out of a can) and banana flower salad.  Here’s how I did it:

Banana Flower Salad

This is something I ate in Burma but had no idea how it was prepared.  When I saw the banana flowers at the store I had to get one.  Thanks to the power of the internet I found this great recipe from Delhi Belle, which is Thai rather than Burmese.  It turned out just great!

banana flower salad

The banana flower is the great big red teardrop-shaped thing in the groceries picture above.  You eat the tender petals in the center and not the tough outer red petals, so there is a lot of peeling to be done.

banana flower with one petal removed. you remove those little blossoms too.

the edible part, chopped up and soaking in lemon water.

Never one to follow a recipe, I didn’t have any chilli paste so I pounded a few chillies in my mortar and pestle.  I ended up serving the salad in the mortar (it’s really big).  The rest of the dressing is lime juice, soy sauce, coconut milk, and sugar.

I cut up half a tomato and a scallion, then fried up some shallots.

This all got tossed together with the dressing and served!

 Panang with Egg Tofu

panang with egg tofu*

Egg tofu is … um … tofu made with egg.  And it tastes … um … different from ordinary tofu.  This completely unhelpful explanation has been brought to you by ginger and lime.

Along with the tofu (which is the stuff in the tubes), I used curry paste and coconut milk from cans, hot peppers, kaffir lime leaves, Thai eggplant, and basil.

curry ingredients

This is pretty easy to make since I don’t make the curry paste myself.

You stir fry the curry paste in a little bit of oil, then add the coconut milk and stir till it’s well blended.  When it’s boiling, toss in the eggplant, cut into wedges.

Cover this and let it simmer.  In the meantime, slice the egg tofu into discs and pan fry it on both sides.

Roll the kaffir lime leaves up into a cylinder, then slice very thin.  Slice the chillies on the diagonal.  Add both to the curry and simmer a few more minutes.

Here’s what my kitchen looked like at this point:

note the glass of wine: cook's prerogative.

Add the basil and the fried tofu and heat until the basil is wilted; serve with rice.

curry, salad, and rice


* Yeah, baby.

i’ve done it again!

(Gone totally MIA during ICLW, that is.)

I had such high hopes for the posts I was going to make last week, despite it being Thanksgiving, but as usual when faced with the choice between turning on the computer and playing another game of pinochle with my aunt and uncle, I picked pinochle.  All week.*

My husband and I drove up to the Ancestral Home to see my side of the family for Thanksgiving this year.  We haven’t been able to do that for a very long time and it was nice to see everyone.  In our new place we are a lot closer to my family (driving distance instead of flying) but farther from his.  I kind of feel bad about that, but we lived relatively close to his family for several years as well, so I guess it’s my turn!

We feasted.  We visited.  We played lots and lots of pinochle.

And now I’m catching up on my ICLW comments as well as the blogs in my reader.  A substantive post is coming, I promise.

* We’re kind of obsessed.

do i have toilet paper stuck to my shoe?

Every time I sign up for ICLW I either find myself with nothing at all to write about, or I am in the middle of some kind of emotional meltdown and write only about what a basket case I am.  Either way, I don’t exactly put my best foot forward for people who may be clicking over from the list.


Welcome everyone!  Doesn’t that introduction make you want to stick around and read more?*

I am 33 and have a tendency to take myself way too seriously.  I love footnotes,** music, and reality TV.  I started blogging in March 2010.  My husband and I have been TTC since August 2008 and … zero, zip, nada.  Not a chemical pregnancy, not a late period.  We were diagnosed in spring 2010 (me, uterine fibroids, removed the following summer) and fall 2010 (him, MFI, IVF/ICSI recommended).

We haven’t done any treatments but are seeing a new doctor in a few weeks and may be doing IVF sometime in the next few months.

Thanks for stopping by!

* Probably not.

** Yeah.


Welcome to this week’s installment of “things not to place inside your vagina.”

Via Shakesville:

Kotex recalls tampons due to bacterial contamination.


The original article at (linked in the Shakesville post) has lot numbers.  Check your stash, ladies!  This is scary stuff.


baby dance

Studies* show that the phrase “baby dance” is universally reviled by readers of this blog.  So what do you call it?

My husband is partial to “boinking” or “gettin’ it on.”

I usually just say “having sex.”

“Intercourse” seems too clinical, like we’re appearing in a David Attenborough documentary about mating habits.  “The pair engage in intercourse.  If the female is in her fertile period, the hoped-for baby may be only a few months away!  Of course, not all pairs mate successfully.”

“Making love” makes it sound like we will be retiring to our shag-carpeted boudoir to do it on a revolving bed while looking at ourselves in the mirrored ceiling.  While listening to Barry White.

“Fucking” is something that happens in a dorm room with the black light turned on and Phish on the stereo, after imbibing an indeterminate substance from a Solo cup.

Still, I agree with the commenters that just about anything is better than “baby dance.”  *shudder*

*And by “studies” I mean my having read the comments on my last post.  Science, people.

we can dance if we want to

So I’m charting again.  I stopped a long time ago because the futility overwhelmed me, but now that we’re here and I’m not a pathetic sack of anxiety I thought it might be a good idea to start again.

My husband was looking over my shoulder as I was on FF the other day, and we  had the following conversation:

Husband:  What does BD mean?

Me:  It’s dumb.  Are you sure you want to know?

Husband:  Come on, what does it mean?

Me:  Baby dance.

Husband:  Baby dance, baby dance, everybody take off your pants.