Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fake Fried Rice

Apparently, we’ve been unknowingly doing some Follies advertising while we practice in the gym. :O
S: Hey Farrah, no dancing today?
F: We just finished! We were over in the basketball courts.
S: Oh, no wonder.
F: Yepyep. Are you coming to Follies? :D? (This is some shameless advertising on my part, because I kindasorta make up 10% of the acts.)
S: Well, I gotta tell you, I’m gonna have to come. I saw you dancing in the gym the other day and it was sexy as hell. If I’m not failing GI too badly, I’ll definitely be there.

Enough storytime for the day.

For the record, I’m only calling this “fake” fried rice because I tend to make fried rice with day-old rice. This ended up being more “sticky” (possibly because we used short-grain, not-day-old rice…?). To me, it’s still fried rice in the sense that you throw a bunch of stuff (in this case, all kinds of veggies) + eggs into it and bam, you’re done. It’s probably one of the fastest, most highly variable BS recipes out there, and it’s especially good for getting rid of leftovers. This was made while I was living at Swathi’s house for a day last month. :O

“Fake” Fried Rice

-rice, cooked
-veggies (in this case, there were water chestnuts, carrots + green beans)
-soy sauce
-sesame oil

1) Heat some sesame oil in the wok and throw in the egg, then add a little more oil and throw in all the veggies.
2) Add the rice and toss to mix well. Stir fry for a couple minutes and add soy sauce.
3) Stir fry for a couple more minutes and…you’re done! Serve hot.


mind, how far you have fallen

This is a story that is either a result of…
(1) my complete and utter lack of faith in humanity,
(2) proof that I have been hit on by one too many creepers, or…
(3) the fact that I possibly have a dirty mind.

I think it’s the first two, but what do I know, right?

Not too long ago, I started volunteering at a local nursing home as a music entertainer, which really just means that I play piano on Sunday evenings at their supper social, when they’re all eating dinner together. While we’re still on the subject of music, I’d like to mention that I grew up in predominantly-Asian suburbia. Asian supermarkets, bubble tea, fobby Asian mom sun visors, SAT classes by junior high, A- Asian fail, Hondas and Toyotas galore. Davis was very much the same way, and to be honest, where I lived in New Jersey was pretty similar. (I suppose the college town atmosphere helped.) That said, I’ve never really lived in a place where I was actually part of a minority. For the record, I was a terrible Asian and was more often than not at the bottom of the smart barrel, but I managed to make it into medical school, so mayhaps I managed to do something right! (I think I can safely attribute most, if not all of my accomplishments to hard work/dedication as opposed to pure genius/intelligence.)

I make up 25% of the Asian population in the town I live in. (It’s a little less skewed if you throw me into the percentage in the town my school is in, but still.) The closest Asian supermarket is in the next state. As a result, I’ve actually started to learn to make Chinese dishes with one of my friends here (go figure, I’m friends with almost all the Asian females here; I swear it’s not because I’m racist. My mentor introduced me to Kosina, so she was the first friend I made here. There are 5 including me, so it’s not really as bad as it sounds.). Most days, I don’t notice the difference. It’s just when I’m really craving Thai/Vietnamese/Indian food. Or some other variety of sushi.

But there are definite differences here that I never actually thought about. Musical preferences, for instance. I was classically trained as a pianist (I don’t like saying this because it gives off this impression that I should be really talented, and while that may once have been the case, it no longer holds true). Here, the musical taste amongst the locals tends to be gospel, country, or bluegrass, none of which I’ve ever learned (unless you count playing church hymns). I couldn’t even tell you for certain what bluegrass was. :/

This long diatribe was really just to explain why I was encouraged to not play classical music while I was volunteering. (Much to my dismay, I was told that most people here probably wouldn’t appreciate it. :[ ) My plan of action was to just play a billion church hymns and then throw in a classical one here and there and hopefully, people would start to like it.

But on day 1, about an hour in, after hearing that I was most used to playing classical, someone in the audience said, “Hey, play some classical!”
F: :D!!!

They loved it! :D (There is hope for me yet!)

Here’s the story I meant to write about. (Finally.)

While I was playing, one gentleman who’d been visiting stopped by before leaving and said that he was going to check himself in on Monday just so he could hear me play; he said my playing was beautiful, and that he looked forward to hearing me play again. (I was pretty flattered, not gonna lie. :O I was plunking along on an electric keyboard and had been making a pretty healthy amount of mistakes.)

Later on, I went to talk to my volunteer coordinator and here’s the conversation that ensued:
I: Did a silver-haired gentleman stop to talk to you?
F: I’m not sure…unless he’s the one who said he was going to check himself in on Monday?
I: Did he say anything else to you? Did he ask you if you wanted to make some extra money on the side? At the hotel?
F: . . .

My silence was due to the fact that I was completely shocked and insulted. My initial thoughts = that he was propositioning me as a prostitute. In my defense, when you’ve been stopped on the streets of Hong Kong whilst wearing jeans and a modest t-shirt to be asked, “How much per night?” and have also been the unfortunate witness to someone masturbating in public while staring at you, I think my initial thoughts were not altogether unreasonable.

After I recovered with a very incredulous, “…what?” (mind you, I tried to keep all the insulted-ness and disgust I was feeling to an absolute minimum), she told me that the man who’d stopped to talk to me was the head hunter for Jim Justice (the guy who owns the Greenbrier, aka the place where we had our med school prom. If you want to rent a room there, the cheapest rooms appear to go for >$400/night). He was apparently extremely impressed with my playing and wanted to know if I’d be interested in playing for the Greenbrier.

Um. Hell yes!? That would be beyond the realms of awesome, and I could offset some of this crazy med school debt that’s been accumulating. *-* I hope it really does come to fruition. *-* My audition is tentatively set for March 2nd (ironically the same day as our school’s talent show fundraiser), so I hope I get it! As long as I’ve compiled enough music that would be considered “easy listening,” I should be fine. I feel like most of the music I like to play tends to be rather depressing-sounding. Or “contemplative,” as my personal spin doctor, Elspeth, puts it.

[On a sidenote, I may also get to practice piano in Carnegie every week. *-*]

Just so this post isn’t completely without pictures, here’s a lunch I had at church the other day:

Quinoa Squash Gratin

This is a super comfort-food-type dish (but healthy!). My friend made a batch yesterday and gave me some to take  home after the movie. :D Recipe adapted from here. I didn’t last much longer after eating it. Dropped off into a food coma (that may or may not have been helped along by the massive loss of blood yesterday).

Quinoa Squash Gratin

-1 tbsp EVOO
-1 medium onion, chopped
-salt, to taste
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1 1/2 lb summer squash, diced
-1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
-1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
-freshly ground pepper, to taste
-3 large eggs
-1 cup red quinoa, cooked
-1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 oz)
-1 bunch kale

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a two-quart baking dish or gratin. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant (~30 seconds to 1 minute).
2) Add the squash, kale, jalapeno, thyme and rosemary. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is tender but not mushy (~10 min). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
3) Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and stir in the squash mixture, the cooked quinoa and the cheese. Mix well and season, then scrape into the baking dish. Place in the oven, and bake 35 minutes or until it’s set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot.

free night off

The server was down today, which means…that we got to have lives (sad how that works, isn’t it?)! We had a quiz that actually went fairly well (by that, I mean it was actually reasonable in the sense that they really tested what they said they’d test on–no waiii! :O ).

I was greeted by a sweet potato muffin this morning!

I went afterward to volunteer at the blood drive, then off to a lecture lunch that reminded me of my love for ex phys (I miss it and Davis :[ ). My mini med school group was supposed to have a meeting afterward, but none of the guys showed up, presumably because they all forgot(?). We foolishly forgot to exchange numbers (or rather, I meant to ask, but I wanted to ask with the whole, ‘Can I have yo numba?’ deal but decided against it, in case they’d never seen the mad TV skit of it), and since the server was down, we couldn’t email each other. Our internet dependency thing is a little frightening. :/

I went to donate blood and actually wasn’t rejected this time (yay!). It wasn’t too pleasant of an experience (I would have preferred if the guy had told me what he was doing). My arm also went numb and I turned extremely pale/got pretty light-headed (I was kinda expecting that though). I am apparently somewhat of a messy bleeder when someone shoves the needle into my arm and moves it around. But! I’m helping someone somewhere out there, and I’ll finally know what my blood type is! I may do this again anyway though (once I manage to shake the feeling that my life’s juices were quite literally draining out of me), since it’s kinda nice to be able to help someone out.

I managed to make it home safely?

Against my better judgement, I went to go over hula with my friends afterward (our performance is this weekend!). I managed to not pass out though. Afterward, since the servers were still down (which means we can’t access email, lectures, recordings, material, everything in the world…), we gave ourselves the night off to celebrate, and went out to see a movie (Silver Linings Playbook!). :D The theater downtown was super cute. Movie tickets are apparently only $6, and our town is apparently so small, they don’t actually give you a ticket. They just let you walk by. They also serve popcorn with nutritional yeast! (Gives it a cheesy flavor but without the actual dairy.) I think it’s kinda cool that crime rate is super low here and we don’t have to worry so much about people breaking in, robberies, burglaries, etc. For better or worse, almost everyone I know never locks their door. It’s going to be weird having to get used to not being able to do that elsewhere.

Blueberry Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

I was playing piano at the nursing home today and generally speaking, when I (a) run out of songs to play or (b) there are only a couple people left, I’ll usually stop playing so I can go over to hang out with them. I was playing mostly “easy listening”-type pieces today, so when I went over, one of them told me, “You managed to put her to sleep! Several times!”
B: I was not asleep! Only partly.
D: You’ve tamed the savage beast!
B: You’ve tamed the savage beast!
D: It makes my day to hear you admit it.

They’re so cute. :D

As per our usual tradition, we had another post-course celebration/potluck after Respiratory [back towards the end of January]. (You can generally assume that almost all the posts I write are written into the future because I’d never have time otherwise. :x ) That was also the weekend of PAX’s international festival, and since my neighbor went home for the weekend, I saw no reason to head back home (I was tired/sleepy, it was late, and it gets kinda lonely there sometimes because it almost seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere when I’m the only one there).

So instead, I holed up in Swathi’s apartment for the night/most of the next day and we attempted to study and be productive, but mostly just ended up talking and making food. She likes to kid that to me, she is Adam’s replacement because I invariably end up sleeping over at her place whenever he goes home for the weekend. Recipe obtained from flour-ish.

Blueberry Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
-1 3/4 cups rolled oats
-1 ripe banana, mashed
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (I think we’ve been using kefir in place of actual buttermilk)
-1/8 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup honey
-2 tbsp canola oil
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-3/4 cup blueberries (frozen worked well)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2) In a large bowl, combine: flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3) In a medium bowl, combine: applesauce, buttermilk, banana, sugar, oil and egg.
4) Make a well in the dry ingredients and fold in wet mixture. Stir until just moist, then fold in the blueberries.
5) Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes.