Monday, April 28, 2014

Squid Brand Fish Sauce & Goya Sazon Illustrations...

I started thinking about what I wanted my next tattoo to be. Of course, there is (or should be) always a list of criteria that should be met: food related and life experience-centric.

I knew that I wanted something to commemorate the first time I had my core shook through the consumption of food; specifically Laotian food. When I lived with my high school best friend, her brother Bud, and the rest of her family, the concept of families sharing meals every day - outside of holidays - hadn't been exercised in quite a while in my own family. With my mother going through menopause and working 12-hour shifts at the hospital while I underwent teenage angst, our attitudes would sprint erratically just at the smell of each other's pheromones. Sharing a harmonious meal together was out of the question.

Everyday my surrogate family sat down on woven mats on the floor, legs crossed, pinching bits of meat and vegetables between their fingers and nestling them next to funky and floral sticky rice. All the platters were family style. It's an experience that sits directly at the frontal lobe. When I called Bud, who is now a talented and self-taught tattoo artist, and asked about getting a new tattoo...he was excited about the proposal.

"I think I want to get the Squid brand fish sauce tattooed on my arm, next to the Goya gandules," I said. Bud simply shouted, "Yes!" But, I had to come up with the sketches. I wanted a tattoo that looked like a messy illustration, so that's what I did. I also threw in a Goya Sazon illustration because it was sitting in front of me. I have a lot of Goya products sitting around.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saint Benoit Yogurt...

I went exploring the other day. Hopped on the AC Transit 20 line from Alameda into the Dimond District of Oakland. It's confusing because it seems like an extension of Fruitvale and Fruitvale seems like an extension of the barrio I grew up in, in Sacramento. Same wrought-iron fences; because chain-links are so declasse. 

There's a little pod of shops on Fruitvale, between MacArthur and Sloan; La Farine, Cybells ($1.38 cheese slice Tuesdays), Nama and a hippy market called Farmer Joe's Marketplace. This place is dope. It's sort of like Trader Joe's, Rainbow Co-op, Whole Foods and your corner bodega combined. It's got bulk items, English things (HP sauce, Bird's Custard Powder, Heinz beans, McVities), Indian spices, Clover dairy products, meat, baked goods...too many things to list.

I happened to wander the dairy aisle and got particularly enamored with a delicate looking glass jar with a gold foil top. Turns out, it was yogurt from Saint Benoit Creamery based out of Petaluma. Far more tangy than I've ever tasted and creamier than any yogurt deserves to be. And only $2. There was really no option but to pair it with the strawberries and gingersnap granola I had in my pantry, turning this yogurt into a breakfast for heathens.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sari material as curtains...

I'm newly married. My husband's apartment was...minimal, is a polite word. If he wanted to ever disappear into the shadows of the bay area, it wouldn't have been a problem. He could have left his apartment and no one would have known anyone lived there, except for the toothbrush in the bathroom.

Maybe I'm a nester...or maybe I just like looking at nice shit.

I was at the thrift store looking for table runners, which are hard to find second hand and expensive to find at Tarjeh (Target), when I noticed some Sari material in the "house fabric" aisle of the Eco Thrift near my mother's house. Since the apartment has taken on a sort of Boho-Broke theme, the 50% off Sari material fit the bill to be used as a curtain panel. I didn't even bother to use fabric tape and drape it over a curtain rod. I just used clear thumb tacks and hoisted it up. But, you could buy fabric tape and a curtain rod, if you wanted to do a stellar job.

And now I have a $2 boho-esque curtain panel for my bedroom.

My $5 Thrift Store Vintage Le Creuset Dutch Oven...

Last week I was visiting my mom, who lives in my hometown along the Sacramento River Delta, and we fell into our usual routine. Thrift shopping. Every day, virtually. And really, I couldn't have found this deal in the bay area because thrift stores out here are over-picked and over-priced. You definitely have to work harder to find the deals.

This is my new (used) $5 Le Creuset 5 1/2 qt. "French" Dutch Oven. I just love it. Everyone knows I collect vintage Descoware and Le Creuset. Some of it I use, some of it I just admire. I'm very happy that I was finally able to attain such a jewel. You know, because I'm an artist/writer and...well...I'm broke. Often.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bacon Bacon: The Food Truck Dedicated to the Noble Pig...

You can't blame someone for creating the quintessential homage to America's favorite animal product: pig. But, sometimes...too much of a good thing goes wrong. Pork belly fries and bacon fried chicken sandwiches.

Photo of truck is courtesy of: Andi Fisher
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Oakland, CA
A lowly food writer for Broke-Ass Stuart: