Tag Archives: eating

A Hot Weekend

19 Dec

freesample

It was  just as regular Saturday morning. I woke up around 8, it was cold cloudy and gloomy, perfect sleeping weather, so I decided to go back to bed and take a 30 min nap. Hey!  it’s still early, it’s the weekend, I can splurge on a little extra sleep.  Fast forward  4 hours later and 60 text alerts later I find myself waking up once again. I swear I only closed my eyes for a second!

Why am I alarmed? Good question! Did I have an appointment I just missed? Did the turkey burn in the oven? Did my morning strip-o-gram come and go? No……. Its Saturday! And  Saturdays usually mean one thing, its Costco day! Better known to the uninitiated out there as sampling day! Now I don’t need to profess to all the practiced and proficient samplers out there that you have to get to Costco early in order to try ALL the variety of  samples. Also, especially important, avoid the crowds of amateur Hodge Podge samplers! There’s a real art to this people!

In a panic, much like Macaulay Culkin in Home alone when He realizes he is left all by himself, I clench my face , bellow a subtle” Nooooooooo!”and hurry to shower and get ready to meet up with my sampling partner in crime.  He is known in 13 states as the “Costco Casanova”, In Australia he is referred to as the “Auburn Adonis”, in Acapulco as “El Chulo de Costco”, he is even rumored to be the fabled “Spicy Kim Chi Swooner” of Costcos in Korea! Most of us know him as Master.  I quickly began to properly stretch and limber up for the activities ahead! Don’t want to repeat the sampling cramp debacle of 2008  again! Everyone knows not to swim for half an hour after eating, but nooooo! No one warns you to stretch before beginning sampling! Ha! That’s why this is not for the amateurs, timid or weak of heart! On a side note, the legwarmers and the “flash dance” outfit I wear to stretch and prepare still look ever as cool as they did in the mid 80’s! Awesome! just Awesome! dare I even say Legendary!  Ever so slightly in the background I hear the high pitched screech of a supercharger, then the thunderous roar of the engine…. Master is here! We first stop at the PO Box to see if I have any last minute Christmas gifts from my FB, Twitter or blogging friends (ehm! hint, hint).  I find an unassuming manila envelope and a pretty purple envelope (thanks Josef) waiting for me. Oh! As I glanced at the return address on the manila envelope, my heart skipping a little and my mouth began to slightly drool, it was the promised beef jerky from a fellow PGPeep.  It turns out I was one of the lucky 10 peeps to receive Mr. Keith BigBabyJesus Brower’s home made beef jerky. Since I wanted to savor every bite, and absolutely NO FOOD is allowed in the AMG, I decide (some might say FORECD with threats of bodily harm) to wait and not open my surprise beef jerky gift until I was safe back at the office.

Normally on a weekend, it takes about an hour just to find a suitable parking space. Add the fact that it is December and its one week away from Christmas, of course it’s a mad house in the parking lot! Not to worry, I have complete confidence in Masters driving ability. You need to have professional driving skills; I mean Grand Prix kind not just regular, I passed the DMV test so now I can drive skills. Reaction times must be swift, braking and acceleration response must be rapid. Eyes open for rogue shopping carts, unassuming people haphazardly waiting and blocking the street, cars pulling out without looking,  the  sense of danger on high alert, eyes wide open for that oh so prime parcel of parking space or any space at all for that matter. There! There! I shriek! A premiere parking space about to open by an elderly lady leaving.  Before I could finish the “…re” from me screaming “There”, Master had already gunned the engine, dropped into 1st gear and was drifting sideways in a billow of tire smoke into the parking space! Mere seconds after and inches behind the vacating car. Bravo! Bravo I say!

Once parked we went straight to the food section where the net haired maidens were distributing the various morsels of sampling delight. We have to make up for all the lost time! Me being the professional sampler that I am, I quickly mapped out my sampling route… Fruits, cheeses, guacamole, tamales, ham, calamari (that’s a tricky one… long lines for those), should I risk it? I turn and tell Master “Lets do this thing!” With the skills of a ninja I hit the first couple of stands. Not only do I get my own samples but I must also manage to get Master his samples.  Master knows the drill, he with his superstar looks distracts the ladies while I snatch the goodies. Boom! Done and done! Off we go onto the next table! Yet again, like deer in headlights, all the housewives swoon and look away to gaze at Master the Costco Casanova, Muha ha ha ha , I get two more samples!   All was going well until a lady bumps me with her shopping cart! Owwwwwwww! As I bend down to rub my ankle she quickly snatched the last two samples from the tray! Oh no you didn’t!!  Can this be! Could there be a woman unaffected by Masters remarkable charms? Can she really absorb all that enchanting alluring charisma and simply focus on the samples! How could this be! Is she far sighted? She cant see? Does she play for the “other team”? Or is she just a trained professional!

Imagine the rest of what happens in slow motion! I erect myself to full stature.  Somehow wind is blowing in my hair… My scarf flaps ever so rhythmically… I hear heroic music begin to play… I puff my chest and am about to yell like king Leonidas  “THIS…. IS…. PKITASS!!!!!!” and retaliate!  When all of a sudden everything went back to normal speed as the sweet aroma of a smoked salmon sample that Master quickly handed me calmed me down sufficiently to impeded my retaliatory actions! Never underestimate the power of smoked fish!  The lady smirked ever so condescendingly and left.  Perhaps I was unable to retaliate, but by gosh, if looks could kill! she would have been dead several times over. I think I have just met my Costco nemesis! Game On “Shin Hurting with Shopping Cart Sample Stealing Lady” or SHWSCSSL! Game On!

Back at the office, once everything was put away, I proceed to open my package. I was very very excited to discover what culinary delight was in store for me. I had heard so many good things about Mr. Brower’s beef jerky.  Remember the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when they finally open the Ark of the Covenant and all the ghost like entities escape and float around right before they turn demonic and kill everyone? Imagine the same thing… Just without Nazis or a bullwhip packing archeologist tied to a post.   As I slowly began  to rip the package open I immediately got a whiff of the meaty goodness that was to be in my mouth soon.  I had been pre-warned that it would be spicy and to take certain precautions while handling it.  Ha I say! Ha!  I’m of Mexican decent! I come from a long proud line of chili eaters. As a kid, we used to eat chilies as candy for Halloween!  How bad can it possible be? I take my first bite and proclaim with much bravado to Master, HA! It’s not as bad as they all said it would be.  However, just like in Raiders! the ghost angels quickly turned into demons and…. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! You have to give it a few seconds for All the wonderful spiciness to fully permeate your mouth! It doesn’t hit you right away, It actually lets you enjoy and savor the sweetness of the beef jerky first then when you least expect it BAM!

Over all it was a very tasty experience! So what if your mouth goes numb afterwards! Who cares if everything tastes the same the entire weekend! the taste of the  jerky makes all worth it.  Mr. Brower thank you for the treat, you can burn my mouth with your meat anytime.

 

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Tiki Tiki The Fearless (Update)

18 Nov

Sept 9th 2010 was the first day that Tiki Tiki started showing signs of being sicky. He was diagnosed with having Hydrocephalus.

“Hydrocephalus is the accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and is not normal for any breed, nor is it curable. It’s also known as “water on the brain”. When Fluid accumulates in the brain, it compresses the brain against the skull.”   Signs or symptoms include:

  • Crying out
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Extreme dullness
  • Seizures
  • Visual or auditory impairment
  • Spastic or clumsy walking
  • Circling
  • Head tilt
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • No motor skills
  •  

    On his last vet visit it was discovered that he also had a heart murmur, was missing a rib and a half plus his lungs make a clicking sound when he breaths. Poor guy just can’t get a break.

    From the sudden moment Tiki Tiki showed signs of sickness, his motor skills went from being a normal running puppy to not being able to stand up on his own at all.  Master and I are his feet. Tiki Tiki,being a smart little guy, has taught us how to speak doggy. He now can tell us when he needs to use the bathroom or wants to be picked up or is ready to be fed.  Some days are better then others.  Some days he wakes up with lots of energy and sit up or tries to stand up. Other days he acts like a little rag doll and sleeps all day.

    These past two days have been really good to him. He has had much more energy and  has been standing up for minutes at a time  (insert clapping here). What seems like a normal everyday thing for puppies his age is a big accomplishment for him.

    In every other way Tiki Tiki is a normal an extra sweet, loveable and  adorable puppy. He enjoys being held and kissed and Loves to snack!  Especially whipped cream and chicken; but not together. He will bark at strangers when they walk in or growl at Evilcat for getting too close. He can even play with Peanut in his bed . 

     

    Mad Scientist At Work

    16 Aug

    Master has decided to turn everyone in the office into his personal guinea pigs.  Amongst all the other titles he holds: Gigolo, lady killer, God’s gift to women, Daper Don, south of the border he is known as Suavesito, El Don Juan and Papi Chulo; but experimental chef is the one he enjoys using the most.

     And like every great mad scientist throughout history, he too has his secrete lab hidden in the back of the office. It is a fully equipped commercial kitchen that would put most restaurants to shame.  It has practically every piece of heavy duty equipment a trained chef would require, not to mention all the cool tools needed to experiment with the unorthodox science master calls his interpretation of gastronomy!  The office is by no means a restaurant; although we are fully equipped to act like one if needed.  Imagine more a museum of eclectic and unique items in corky yet amazingly classical setting.  As most things in the office are over the top, so is the super kitchen Master calls his lair. We take food very seriously here! Very Seriously! People have been fired for bringing McDonalds to the office! Dominos drivers are afraid to make deliveries on this block!

    Master at work, me in the back dancing.

    This Saturday Master decided to work on his BBQ technique and purchased half a side of pig to play with. 

    I’m not sure what exactly goes on in his lab. All I know is that he started around 1:00 and spent hours mixing spices and herbs. He made dozens of rubs and a myriad of marinades. Sometimes the true mad scientist in him would emerge and he would push the envelope and mix volatile spices together just to see what would happen. Needless to say, the building had to be evacuated more than just once! Thank goodness for that industrial ventilation system in the hood! After hours of work preparing the meat with injections, rubs, and marinades, the ribs were slow smoked for hours and hours. We finally Ate at 8:30! 7 hours of work for super ribs! Can you imagine! Caramelized smoky crust, so succulent that the juices would freely run down the side of your mouth, so tender the luscious meat simply falls of the bone! You don’t even need any teeth!

    If being experimented on is going to be like this; this little guinea pig does not want to be freed from the lab. Oink Oink Baby!

    The CIA & A Korean Hangover

    26 Jul

    It’s Monday once again and I’m sure you’re all SOOOOOO very anxious to find out what I did this weekend! What shenanigans did I get myself into? What adventures did I go on? Let’s see what did I do? Saturday I went on a very dangerous task at Costco to purchase some needed items. Just finding a parking space on the weekend at Costco is an adventure in itself. I won’tsay what was purchased because that’s not important, nor very interesting! What was important was that I taste as MANY free samples they give out as possible! It has become very difficult to navigate through the gaggle of shoppers lined up for freebies. It is even more difficult to disguise yourself, on the fly at Costco, so you can get more than one sample from the same sample stand! Needless to say, I am a wonder with hats and other clothing items they sell at Costco, the CIA would be impressed! All I need to bring with me is a fake mustache from now on! I think the sausage vendor is getting suspicious! Once I felt I had accomplished my mission, I returned to the office, and like the lazy bum that I am, had really nothing else to do. I grabbed my usual jug of ice and sat outside with my entourage of doggies. Master and I tried to get them all in one picture but somehow when he said “cheese” they thought it was a treat and would run to find “cheese”. I think we got 9 out of 10 in the picture not bad if I say so myself.  

    Now dinner that’s where things get fun and interesting! Master suggested, in his infinite wisdom, to go to an all you can eat Korean BBQ! I’m not one to say no to a free dinner, so off we went! Have you ever been? If not, I’ll walk you through it! First, and oh so so so very important, you make sure to bring an appetite. Not a regular appetite, I’m talking about the industrial strength, haven’t eaten for days, last meal of your soon to end life kind of appetite. Once seated at your table, you are brought a bowl of soup and all sorts of side dishes called “banchan” in korean. This includes: kimchi (a traditional Korean dish, made of fermented vegetables with varied seasonings), Kongnamul (Cold boiled bean sprouts with sesame-oil), Japchae ( glass noodles accompanied with a variety of vegetables and beef in a slightly-sweet garlic sauce), Pickled seaweed (Self explanatory), Korean-style potato salad (made with apples and carrots). Along with all these side dishes they also give various salty, pungent, tangy, and spicy dipping sauces, a very crisp and lively salad, rice paper and a bowl of steamed rice. Oh let’s not forget the GINORMOSE plate full of raw meat! (do I hear angels singing Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh in the background?) The meat consists of paper thin slices of brisket-(my absolute favorite), Bulgogi-(Literally means “fire meat” thin slices of sirloin that is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil garlic and other ingredients), Gailbi-(generally refers to a variety of grilled dishes that is made of cross cut beef short ribs), Pork Belly-(Imagine a super thick super size piece of bacon). Once you get your meat, you cook it right there at the gas BBQ that’s built directly into your table!!! When you think that your meat supply or side dishes have diminished to dangerously low levels, you simply ring the bell and the waiter brings more of what you ask! What a perfect concept!  

     All you can eat Korean BBQ is not for the week of heart or for amateurs! It has taken me years of training to get to my current plate count. Needles to say we stuffed ourselves silly! Master and I could both sense the amazement within the wait staff when we kept ordering plate upon plate upon plate of meaty goodness! I wonder if we broke any internal record for the amount of meat eaten in one sitting by two people. I never understood why all the waiters humbly bowed in amzement and clapped vigorously as we left? Huh! Wait a minute! Maybe we did break some sort of record! Needless to say, I ate sooooo much meat that, on Sunday, I woke up with a Korean BBQ Meat hangover (it’s a real medical symptom! Look it up!) and could do nothing all day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!! 
    An all you can eat Korean BBQ meal is a very fun and yummy experience that everyone should try at least once.   

    Getting ready to eat.

    Chipotle & Tiki Tiki

    19 Jul
    Sundays are Chipotle Burritos days!  If you’re familiar with Chipotle, then you know how BIG their burritos are! But if you have no clue as to what they look like, then Tiki Tiki would like to show you.  

    Tiki Tiki beside a Chipotle Burrito

      By the way SiSI and I both chose steak burritos and Tiki Tiki approved.

    Tiki Tiki eating a Chipotle Burrito

    still eating

     

    Chipotle and Tiki Tiki