La Belle Epoque: Sunday Treat

La Belle Epoque: Sunday Treat

Ayako was making fun of my homebody-ness today at her store, Marigold and Mint.

It is taxing for me to work with bunch of people in so many different level during weekdays so I limit my weekend just to see very few close friends.  I sometimes don’t even see anyone but Archie.

Sunday started with Starbucks Reserve, Kenya Sangana, very blight and juicy coffee in bed.  This is one of my favorite moment of the day.  Then, I met up for a coffee at Milstead in Fremont with a couple of friends who will be traveling to Tokyo and Kyoto with us.

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Last stop of today’s outing is Marigold and Mint.  Ayako showed me this French tulip called “La Belle Epoque” and I fell in love with the vintagey color of this flower.  She made a small bundle of these tulips that are looking so lovely in my living room now.

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All I will do this afternoon is read.  Nothing else.  This is my favorite way to spend my Sunday with Archie and my chunky Chihuahua.

Rika’s Asparagus vs. Dad’s Asparagus: It’s Spring!

Rika’s Asparagus vs. Dad’s Asparagus: It’s Spring!

My mom sucked at cooking asparagus.  It’s more like my dad actually.  He liked vegetables well done (ugh) and she cooked them the way he liked.  I didn’t questioned why my dad liked vegetables cooked that way but I never liked it.  He almost eats anything raw.  Fish, beef, chicken, beans and so forth.  I always thought asparagus tasted like wilted old grass when I was a kid because of this.  I was never a fan until I was in my early 20’s.

My friend Rika and I went out to eat and drink a lot.  We explored the culinary wonderland of Tokyo.  We ate French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Ramen, Cuban, German, Hawaiian, Greek, Jamaican, Burger, Pizza, Cajun…you name it.  One day I saw her eating asparagus raw.  I had never met anyone who eats asparagus raw until then.  Light bulb moment.  Ah!  Why the hell didn’t I think of that??  I don’t even have to cook it!  Since that moment on, I haven’t cooked my asparagus until they get wilted.  Never.

It is spring.  My favorite farmers market vendors sell precious green asparagus.  They are beautiful.  Now this is my favorite way of cooking asparagus – lightly sautée in a bit of olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.  These green stalks have such an ear pleasing snap sound as you bite into them.

Two interesting lessons from my dad and my friend.  Dad, I am sorry but this is how I cook asparagus and I hope you would like it someday.

Spring Came Early This Year: Daffodils and Kathy

Spring Came Early This Year: Daffodils and Kathy

Spring has come this morning.

Working in a corporate environment is challenging.  You enjoy working with intelligent, knowledgeable, dedicated, passionate and friendly co-workers and you become friends with some of them.  It is a challenging time for all of us at work.  I am about to lose someone who is very close to me and who is nothing but helpful,  always willing to assist me and always there as a good friend.  I won’t be able to work with him any more in the same group.  We get a cup of coffee together every morning, joke around a lot like brother and sisters.  I have been quite confused, sad and emotional since I found out about the news.

Kathy came by this morning with a hint of spring.  She was holding a bouquet of daffodils (so delightful and charming!) and said to me that I looked quite down for a last few days so she bought something to cheer me up.  What a thoughtful person she is.  If the world was full of these people, I guarantee it would be a better place.

Like Dalai Lama said, “The planet does not need more successful people.  The planet desperately need s more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds”  Kathy, you are truly one of them.

I decided today is the 1st day of spring this year because of the daffodils I received this morning.  It has been raining 3 days straight in Seattle now but who cares.  Let’s celebrate the arrival of spring together.

Happy Spring!

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