My ass is tired. It’s 2pm. I awoke at 7:30am (went to bed midnight-ish), cooked kids’ breakfasts, cleaned dishes, washed fruits, hulled strawberries. Logged my food in a journal. Am still exhaustivo. Down 7 lbs., week one of Weight Watchers (Hell to the yeah), yet oh, so, yes, tired. Will take a B-12 now to see if that helps, then going grocery shopping … yet again. I should pay rent there. I wonder if they sell Viviscal pills there. I just read about it in Vogue, that it’s THE THING for hair regrowth, thickening, strengthening. I always wonder how your body knows to give you the regrowth on your head and not your… tail.
I’m back. Nope, they didn’t sell the pills. I’m buying them online. Bought a whole bunch of Thai cooking stuff. I’m on a kick. Since I haven’t actually made it to Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand yet, I’m doing what I can from deep in the heart of Texas. Thankfully, I have the most beautiful cookbook to keep me true: Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
I loaded up on greens. Baby bok choy, basil, watercress, cilantro, scallions. Actually, most of that is just herb, ya know? Those don’t really count as greens, but I already have swiss chard and cabbage stocked in the house.
I spent HOURS in the Asian market (M & T) pointing to a page with words written in Vietnamese and Thai to people who were likely Chinese. They had no idea what Tao-jiaw was. Nor did I, which was super helpful (it’s fermented soybean paste, FYI).
“But it’s in my recipe,” I said. In truth, it was likely less of a “said” and more of a “whined.” I was cranky. They couldn’t find it. Nor could they find Thai sticky rice. I’m sorry, but what the fermented fish head is that about? No wild lime leaves either. No soup for you.
I’d officially like to bring one of my New York Asian friends to Texas, so they can walk me through the market and explain some things. Or any Asian who can cook. Actually, I’m not picky, you don’t even need to be Asian, just know how to cook like one. Meanwhile, how is this not a service? I don’t want a full-on class, though a one-off class would work. Mostly I’d love to find a guide who’ll walk us through a market, teach us how to load our a Southeast Asian pantry (with the best brand of fish sauce, for example), then we’d cook a single meal together. Is that too much to ask? Apparently not. Though Austin’s Thai-Fresh does look pretty kick ass.
In the end, I foraged the only bag of sweet glutenous Thai rice in the store (for sweet sticky rice with mangoes), made me some on an oil splatter screen over a pot of boiling water, with an upturned bowl over the rice. No sticking, no cleaning. Perfect sticky rice. Got me some black rice vinegar. Roasted chili paste. Bean sprouts, mangoes, and cans of coconut milk. But I decided against the vomit. That’s Edible Beef Bile for one and for all. And thank goodness there’s “NO WATER ADDED” because I’d really hate to dilute bile.