Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Bastard banh mi

In Awesomeness, New Orleans on May 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Yesterday, Alex drove me to Gretna, so I could check out the Hong Kong Food Market. Gretna is considered a part of New Orleans but at the same time could be a foreign country. There are people who have lived in New Orleans for years who have never ventured over to the West Bank. I hadn’t been there in about a year.

The HK food market is like one stop shopping for Asian anything. There is a fine dining restaurant, a jewelry store, a boba shop, a salon, and a number of other businesses set up in the same business complex, all catering to the diverse Asian crowd. The store itself is in an old supermarket, so instead of being cramped and cluttered, it’s pretty amazing to go into. We went in large part because I’ve been making bastardized Western banh mi sandwiches since my birthday, and I wanted to see what they were actually supposed to taste like. I also wanted to buy the ingredients for ramen, and I’ve been wanting to go to the Hong Kong market for months.

Back to the bastard banh mi- I had all the ingredients for rudimentary banh mi: pate, cold cuts, french bread, cilantro, tomatoes (although I’m not sure they usually go in banh mi…), jalapeno, mayo. I did not have Maggi sauce or the pickled carrots and cucumber I’d heard about. So, I went to Rouse’s to try my luck. I couldn’t find Maggi or anything resembling the pickled carrots I’d read about in Jaiden Hair’s post about banh mi, so I improvised. I made it first using a mixture of mayo and vegemite with italian pickled vegetables. That was pretty gross (if anyone has a recipe for vegemite that makes it less gross, please let me know) so I substituted soy sauce for the Maggi sauce with better results.

Yesterday, we picked up the real banh mi, and I have to say that, besides the strong pickled taste of the vegetables instead of the sweeter taste of the carrots, I wasn’t that far off. I sent Alex to work today with a simple banh mi type sandwich (just meat, mayo, Maggi, and cilantro) and he seemed pretty happy with it. Now he’s been at work, and I’m catching up on cleaning and writing.


A New Life

In Awesomeness, College Goals, New Orleans on May 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I have now lived in New Orleans for almost a year and an half. In the past year, I have gone from living in a constant state of unemployed terror to someone who has a number of possibilities in front of her.

Some of you already know from Twitter, but I have been offered a graduate assistantship at UNO. In the fall, I will either be working in the writing center or helping a professor with research. This will provide me with a stipend and free tuition, so I will no longer have to worry about maxing out my loans every semester.

The money from the assistantship will also allow me to travel in the summer of 2012. Right now, I’m thinking a trip to the UK is in order.

For the first time, I’m also looking into PhD programs. I’m hoping I’ll be working towards a PhD and enjoying a stipend and health benefits by 2013.

I’ve also been a bit surprised the past month, because I somehow managed to snag myself a boyfriend. This is surprising because I’ve been actively seeking a girlfriend since before I moved here and have been trolling (as much as it’s possible for me to troll) the Jewish queer events in New Orleans. The bf managed to go with the flow enough to skirt all of my objections, and it’s been interesting, to say the least.

Yesterday was my 29th birthday, so my mother has been in town for the past few days. She went home this morning and left behind two or more weeks worth of food and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. Included was about three pounds of liver pate. A few months ago, Doc Brite wrote about a Chinese market across the river that sells Banh mi. I’ve never tried it before, but I’ve decided to give it ago because of all of my pate. Bf is going to take me to the market over the weekend, and I’m going to buy the fixings to make homemade ramen and compare my banh mi with the market’s deli. I’m hoping I’ll have just enough to also buy some lotus buns.

That’s been my life in the past month. I’ve been getting things done. I haven’t been writing enough, but I’ve managed to finish a few books, finish up the semester as a professor and graduate student, and enjoy life more than I have in years.