Archive for the 'Food' Category

This Is How Success Began

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
 Photo by Crjphoto

Photo by Cjrphoto

Is it risky to give up on your cushy corporate paycheck?  Is it scary like hell to venture out something new on your own?  The answer is absolutely.

Last weekend, I joined 30 other people to attend a food tasting party of my friends’ new adventure into entrepreneurship and into the land of opportunity.  The new endeavor is to create a high-end and sophisticated cupcake outlet.

Given the numbers of recipes on the initial menu, all of us were assigned with a task to bake two of the recipes.  I forewarned my friend about how horrible I am at baking, I assume I got the easier ones.

Can’t Save My Life with Baking

My preparation leading to the evening party was worth noting.  I started my day with a list of ingredients to buy from the grocery store and came home to kick-off the baking of the cupcakes.

I have to admit that I am a very creative cook and can improvise some tasty dishes out of just about anything in the fridge.  But when it comes to baking, I am so hopeless.  My limited baking experience includes home-made bread (not too bad at that). But when baking pastry-type of desserts, my creativity was only reflected in ripping open a Betty Crocker box and throwing in some eggs and milk.

Any Hair Left on My Head?

Needless to say, my entire afternoon was extremely frustrating.  Batch after batch of ingredients were poured down the drain because I messed up the sequence of mixing the ingredients or the batch of muffins didn’t come out right.  My poor family had to witness a bitchy and moody version of me (which is very rare, mind you).

I was so shamed of my final products that I didn’t want to go to the tasting party. In the end, I went and held my head up high in the spirit to support my friends’ new endeavors.

The Tasting Party

The tasting party started off with a delectable meal prepared by my friend.  It was a huge hit and I didn’t even get to have some second helping.  Then it proceeded with the dessert portion of the meal.  All of us, with a spreadsheet in our hands, had to taste 30 different types of cupcakes with different ingredients and toppings.  As gentle as we could manage with the tasting portion, we were still comatosed with sugar and icing in the end.  They all blended in taste and our palette became undiscriminating.

But we had such a terrific time exchanging the “war stories” of baking that afternoon.  Many people had similar experience like mine attempted to pull all the remaining hair out of our heads.  One neighbor told us that his muffins came out “topless” because they decided to explode in the oven.

We congregated around the living room and cast our votes for each of the recipes.  We were not shy in rendering our opinions on what to add and what to subtract from the ingredients.

We Celebrated

In spite of our baking ordeal and undeniable fiasco in producing perfect final products, we were there to celebrate our friends’ courageous spirit to charter their own ship down the sea of entrepreneurship.  In our hearts, we all hope and pray that this new venture will be a huge success.

Does Occupation = Self-identity?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Our Love for Pho – Prelude to A More Serious Question


A week or so ago, I took my daughter to meet a friend for lunch.  We met up in our newly-found Pho joint.  For those of you who don’t know what Pho is, it is a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup garnished with Thai basil and a variety of other vegetables.  I know for sure my daughter and I can’t live through a week without having Pho.

We happened to sit next to another couple who have enjoyed Pho as much as we have.  They know many hangout places in town and naturally we struck a casual conversation over where to go.

Who Am I?

Near the end of the conversation, the gentleman asked me what I do.  For a few seconds, I was simply stunned and I had to think quickly on my feet to come up with an answer.  I told him that I am just a housewife and he concurred with my self-professed identity.

In my mind, I wonder if he indeed would guess I am just a housewife or he was just being polite to me.  The truth of the matter is I used to so naturally describe myself as what I did.  I would have said that I worked for a company and my job function was such.  Introspectively, how untrue it was to use my profession to represent who I am.

So what should the right answer be?  Should I say I am a mother, a wife, a sibling, etc. or should I elevate my thoughts to a much higher level to share my mission in life?

What would be your answer to this question besides the typical occupation = self identity scenario?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.