Today was culinary-wise an excellent day, and otherwise very mundane.  I went to the Bok center for 3 hours, attended the plenary session of my China in Africa class, and crammed for a Chinese Quiz at 10:30 this morning. However, I have done nothing but eat well today–I had 30 minutes between the end of Chinese and the beginning of a meeting at the Bok in which to make lunch, and I set myself the ambitious task of making some noodles with a poached egg. At this point, my noodle dish does not really resemble Xi’an style Biang Biang Mian, but I find it delicious nonetheless. I think I’ll call them Spicy and Sour noodles with Whatever You Want. The chile flakes I brought here are so potent that though it looks like I’m hardly using any, a few go a long way in any dish. I also use paprika and cayenne, and I do the traditional method of placing the spices/garlic/onion on the top of the dish and pouring smoking hot oil over them. I could eat this all the time but I’m pretty sure the white flour and oil in the dish make it very… basic, nutrition wise.

But the exciting addition today was an egg that I poached! I didn’t want to clean another pan, so I poached the egg after boiling the noodles after Hannah told me she poaches eggs all the time and it’s not that hard. I did all the things–added vinegar to the water, created a vortex of boiling water with a spoon, and cracked the egg into the center of the swirl! And then I left it alone for 5 minutes! and it was perfect! I couldn’t believe how doable that was? Like yeah I had a few egg wispies that got all weird, but overall, I think I did an excellent job. And it was so soft and pillowy and wonderful and added great savory flavor (and some needed protein) to my noods.

After class, Sophie and I met outside and I gave her another taekwondo lesson–we covered the middle block and punch! We’re well on our way to doing all the components of Tae Geuk 1! But I’ve found that after teaching for 45 minutes or so my voice gets really hoarse. I think a combination of not talking much during the day these past few days, and also the cooler air, and also having to speak louder than I would normally since I’m farther away makes it draining for my voice.

For dinner, I fried up the salmon Nancy got for me–I wasn’t really sure what to do, since I’d never cooked fish before, but like most things, pan frying it felt the easiest. You can see in a panic of checking whether it was done or not, I may have cut it up a bit too zealously, but that’s fine. I made a quick sauce out of lemon juice, garlic, and butter, which probably negates any health benefits of eating salmon–but it was exceptional.


I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed–I feel like I’m so busy during the day between my tasks, school, and generally making sure that I am cooking and cleaning up, that I haven’t really noticed how many days it’s already been. I look forward to Sunday, my first Day of Freedom, but I just had a moment this afternoon where I let myself sit on my stoop in the sunshine and drink my coffee, and it was nice. I was really content.


Then I went back to being stressed and frustrated, but eh. Everything has its season.


Take care and much love!