October 30, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

Filed under: Cooking, House — maryparadox @ 4:27 pm


I went to a house warming party the other day and met a girl there who was frying green tomatoes. Her name was Kelly and she said that it was actually pretty hard to find green tomatoes since you can’t buy them in the store that way, which was sad since she really loved fried green tomatoes.

The tomato plant in our back yard, after giving us an amazing yield, has a load of new tomatoes on it which don’t appear to be getting ripe, probably because the weather has changed and the nights are colder now. So I invited Kelly so we could help each other out and another friend joined us for the experiment. My kitchen is in the middle of a remodel so we put together a table out of saw horses and hung out in the dark.


The recipe went something like this:
Pick a bunch of green tomatoes, preferable ones which are just about to be embarrassed, but not quite.
In one bowl mix two eggs with some milk.
In another bowl put about a cup of regular white flour (we don’t recommend wheat, it tasted strange).
In a skillet pre-heat about 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil (we used canola).

Slice the tomatoes about a quarter of an inch thick. Dunk the tomatoes in the egg mixture then coat them completely in the flour.
Place the tomatoes in the skillet and let cook on each side until golden. Place cooked tomatoes on a plate with a couple of paper towels on it to soak up the excess oil. Salt to taste.

They were good! Not quite like anything else I’ve eaten, the tomatoes tasted almost fruity.

Another interesting thing I learned is that the tomatoes which had already started to change color, and therefore weren’t good for frying, but were far from red, were delicious! I’d been avoiding them, but had never actually checked to see what they tasted like. It ends up they are delicious, and taste almost salted. Since that night I’ve been eating them over toast and cream cheese. Mmmmm!


Happy October!

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 1:42 pm


I was hoping to make pumpkin pie this year from pumpkins grown in my garden, but unfortunately this is the biggest one we got. Beautiful, but not good for much more than roasting.

October 22, 2009

Kimono Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Filed under: Asia — maryparadox @ 7:47 pm
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Jackie and I spent a day walking around in the Asakusa neighborhood shopping and relaxing. It was raining cats and dogs. We tried all sorts of novelty foods and looked at every shop for kimonos. My sister really wanted one but we had no idea how much they were supposed to cost and the different quality levels. After several hours we got a pretty good feel for it — there seemed to be cheap packages at the tourist shops which contained a cotton or synthetic kimono, an oobe (belt) and sometimes shoes. There were used silk kimonos for around the same price or up, but they didn’t contain the belt, which is required to really wear the kimono, and the selection wasn’t as good. Then, after we had just about given up, we found a store which sold new silk kimonos for the same price, and cheap belts too! Jackie was so overwhelmed at this point she wasn’t sure she even wanted to buy one anymore, but the women in the shop were *very* good at sales and convinced her that she should try it on.

This ended up meaning they would dress her up properly in the kimono, which was a rather long process.

First there is some sort of undergarment which keeps the collar of the kimono in place.


Next they put the kimono over it and tie a small belt around your waist to pull the extra length of the kimono up.


Then they tie another two layers of belt around your waist to really cinch things in. Jackie said it was really tight.


The oobe goes over that. Unfortunately Jackie couldn’t see what they were doing, but it was some sort of crazy complicated knotting method we will never be able to reproduce.

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When they were Jackie looked pretty happy! I hate to say shopping is satisfying, but we were pretty happy by the time we left that shop. I even almost bought a kimono, but I managed to stop them from putting it on me, which would have been the kiss of death. I almost regret it, there was a beautiful orange and cream one that was totally “me”. Jackie is going to hang hers on the walking stick from Mount Fuji (more on that later) in her bedroom, which I can’t wait to see.


Interestingly, the oobe isn’t supposed to match the kimono. We had a hard time with that, so ended up picking one that matched on one side and was a contrasting color on the other. I think the combination looks great.


And for when Jackie does want to attempt to tie that crazy oobe again — there is an whole instruction book to go along with the kimono!

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan

Filed under: Asia — maryparadox @ 7:15 pm

My sister and I went to Tokyo, Japan from August 8th-15th. Jackie was lucky enough to go to Kyoto the week before that but I had to go to Sapporo for work.

I’ll try to post our Japan photos over the next couple of days — posting them all at once has been a little intimidating. So here are our photos from visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market. We got up at 5am to try to catch the auction but somehow missed it still — either it was not on that day or we were too late. It was also POURING that day so we spent most of the time walking through foot high fish-water.


The fish were HUGE! The process seems to be to freeze the fish, cut it with a table saw (look how dangerous that looks!), thaw, clean up with a crazy huge knife, then haggle!

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New Glorious Mini-Camera

Filed under: Hsinchu, Photography — maryparadox @ 5:31 pm




Thanks to Peter of course!

October 1, 2009

Wardrobe Remix: Patterns

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 2:39 am
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Top Row:

Coat — Goodwill on Haight St, bought for burning man.
Sweater — Anthropologie on sale, cashmere!
Dress — Teabags on sale, terrible name for a company.
Jeans — O’Neill on sale, Christmas gift from my sister.
Boots — Harley Davidson on sale, from high school.

Second Row:

I wear this outfit all the time!
Coat — Prairie Underground on sale, gift from my mom.
Dress — Stolen from my mom when I was a teenager. It’s wool and she bought it from I.Magnin.
Tights — Black SmartWool from SockShop in Santa Cruz.
Shoes — John Fluevog from ebay, candy apple red mary janes which are even good for walking!
Headband — Hand-knit.
Earrings — Yard sale.
Necklace — From my mom.


Third Row:

Sweater — Hand Knit, Forecast from
Dress — Gift from my sister.
Leggings — Betsey Johnson wool leggings, greatest ever!
Shoes — Chucks, which are too narrow.

Fourth Row:

Dress — Vintage shop in San Francisco.
Belt — Goodwill.
Socks —
Shoes — Clark’s. Not as good for walking as I had hoped.

Hsinchu, Taiwan (6/28-7/4)

Filed under: Asia, Hsinchu, Work — maryparadox @ 12:20 am

The last time I went to Hsinchu (I’m here again now) I managed to persuadeĀ  my work to send my friend and coworker Devin along with me. It was great to go with a friend and he was much more outgoing than I was; when there by myself I just stayed in the hotel at night, but with him we went to a night market, explored the mountain side, went shopping, and tried lots of random foods.

Here is our little adventure in pictures:

We left the hotel and started walking towards a green mountain we could see in the distance. First we found a zoo where we bought ice cream in order to get change for the entrance. Unfortunately the “ice cream” was some sort of frozen banana mush. Yuck.


In the zoo the the animals were much closer than they are at home. These emus were only held in by a wooden railing which they could stick their heads through to nip at you. Their cage also bordered the outside of the zoo and they were mimicking a dog on the other side of the fence.

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After leaving the zoo we came upon a square with a bunch of motorized cars with Pokemon characters. We bought a mystery drink (tasted like Gatorade) to get change for the cars.



Once we had the change I had to torment Devin to get him to drive the little car around. It played music as it drove, which is did lurchingly, but I was happy with my photos.


We left the square and continued our search for the green mountain. Along the way I found this picturesque fence.


And soon after we made it to the mountain where we found all sort of amazing things. To start with, the mountain was a park, and the park had workout equipment and hula-hoops!


The park also had beautiful trees and this hilarious paper cups with pigs. There were a some other people in the park and mostly I noticed a lot of old people, which made me realize how little I see old people in the US. Are they more visible in Asia because they live at home or because they are still working?

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Most importantly, when we left the mountain we found a random restaurant on the road where a waitress happened to speak English. We asked her for a recommendation and she brought us two HUGE bowl of soup with dumplings in them. One was pumpkin and one was tomato soup; both were excellent.


Later in the evening hwe went to the hotel bar where there was a woman singing primarily Beatles songs accompanied by a karaoke machine, with a little piano thrown over the top to give it “class”.

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