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Layered cake

Seth came home with rice ball meals from the Japanese supermarket in San Mateo, along with a small baumkuchen, a big baumkuchen and the really tasty and fluffy cheesecake in a packet that I liked the last time we bought piles of treats from there. I don't believe I've ever had baumkuchen, although I've had lots of a layer cake like it while growing up, the Indonesian layer cake, lapis legit. I love lapis legit. It's possibly my third favourite cake after black forest gateaux and (my mother's) rocky road cake. Mom's rocky road cake seems a bit different from the American version, in that the marshmallows and nuts are folded into the frosted layers, rather than smothering the cake. Baumkuchen, as it turns out, is Indonesian layer cake without the cardamom-flavoured layers. The texture is similar, being spongy and fluffy like a cloud, yet dense. I learned tonight the original baumkuchens are roasted on a spit to create the layers. I liked the small baumkuchen quite a bit. We shall slice the big baumkuchen very carefully over many days while thinking moe thoughts.

Also, I mentioned before that I love supermarket onigiri. While I can make onigiri at home just fine, there's something charming about supermarket onigiri. It's so convenient and tasty. I had a salmon onigiri and sweet seaweed onigiri. Apparently, the market Seth gets it from sells these onigiri combos with karaage chicken, pickles and rice balls. The spouse handed this plastic bag to me full of stuff and essentially told me the packaged salami was his, but everything else inside was mine. Luckily, I am too old to pepper my posts with little hearts.

Tomorrow evening, we're taking our first real holiday this year over Thanksgiving for our fourth anniversary. Seth helped me figure out a hotel we could hide out in with rooms that have soaking tubs, and I whittled down a long list of restaurants so we could choose one together for dinner. I had this hankering for French food this anniversary around, and it turned out downtown had a lot of really interesting options. It was that or seafood, and we can still have seafood. I have never been known to turn down Dungeness crabs. We finally picked Cafe Bastille, where I am starting to think I might be ordering all kinds of small plates over the main courses. Duck liver pate sampler! Fish dumplings in crayfish sauce! Roasted bone marrow gratine! Dessert!

Mostly, I think we will be hanging out together enjoying the local company. We've not taken a holiday this year for a variety of reasons, and having a holiday together is really special. We have had sick days, lots of sick days, which don't entirely count. I will be trying out Cthulthu Gloom, which is like regular Gloom, except more squeamous, and unlike most Cthulthu games, you are supposed to attract the King in Yellow. I discovered, while looking for hotels, that the W downtown is pet friendly and actually cat friendly, providing complimentary box and scoop for your kitty while you stay. I wished I knew that the disastrous year we turned up at Vitale with Sif. We are not bringing the cats with us this year, Seth said so. But I have found curious instructions on how to set up a webcam on a PS3 to view from a PSP (PS Vitas have yet to include chat support as of system update ver 1.81), which means I can have Patapon while spying on the cats. I think. I need to test this out tomorrow. In any case, photos of the cat well festoon every wall on the Vita, and Seth's phone is almost exclusively used for the photo-taking of cats.

I am down to my last month's worth of three one-pound bags of black tea. I am not out of tea by any means (or any time soon), but I need to figure out where I'm getting my next regular source of tea for milk tea. The English Tea Store, where my current bags come from, has interesting teas, but all the teas I got needed at least a brief rinsing before each brew to prevent them from getting uniformly astringent. My idea on The English Tea Store is that it's a great place to get bulk teas to mix at home, but will take a while at to find teas to drink on their own, much less mix. The tea inventory is huge enough that it would take me a good while to find something I'd like, but the prices are very reasonable. My sister-in-law sent me teas from the Coffee & Tea Exchange out in Chicago one Christmas, and I absolutely adored the teas there, so that's another real option. Their plain black teas are well strong enough with fascinating flavours, and that goes for their cream tea-types and straight Chinese types. Numi Tea is also a regular go-to, although I will admit my experience with Numi this year has been weirdly hit or miss. Their Chinese Breakfast is still wonderfully strong, rich and mildly astringent, but my experiments with some of their other teas have been either peculiarly weak, whether bagged or loose leaf. I don't generally recommend their bagged teas, for I do find them remarkably watered down, especially since they are a little bit on the pricey side. I have liked their Decaf Vanilla and Chocolate Pu-erh, but while mild and delightful in their own ways, I like my tea with quite a bit of oomph. I suppose what I'm saying is like my caffeine, for the caffeine and tannins, they are good.

Breakfast tomorrow: cheesecake in a packet. Stir fried mushrooms?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
I am very fond of Cafe Bastille. And soaking tubs, too! I hope you two have a lovely time.

I am not a tea expert, but http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/ seem to know what they're doing and have nice things.
Nov. 21st, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

You're the second person to recommend Mountain Rose to me. I think this is a sign! I've always been interested in their seaweed selections, until I discovered folks up north who would mail order local sea palms (that are ridiculously delicious). Mountain Rose is reasonably priced too.

Also looking at Aroma Tea Shop (http://www.aromateashop.com/store/), whose real store I've been to up in Sunset. The owner is wonderful, but they specifically source their teas themselves from Taiwan, so different tastes/flavours/selections from the Indian teas I prefer for breakfast.
Nov. 24th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
I've ordered herby things and containers from Mountain Rose; I don't know their teas, but I've been satisfied with their other products, if that means anything.
Nov. 25th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
I do think you were the one who originally pointed me at Mountain Rose. It does mean something, knowing that you had a good experience with them. :)
Nov. 21st, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
I am older than you and I still pepper my posts with hearts sometimes. So you're not too old for it! XD

Also, I think you drink more tea than I do. This is amazing.

And, cheesecake in a packet?
Nov. 21st, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Har. XD

I honestly only drink an average of two cups a day. 2 regular tsps of leaves, infused twice. I cannot believe you drink less tea than I do!

Cheesecake in a packet is Koriyama's Deliciously Light Cheese Cake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julietbanana/2419675550/ It reminds me of Japanese cheesecake I'd get from Jusco. Light, fluffy, cloud-like. What Sif would be if she were cake.
Nov. 21st, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Ok. No, I do drink more tea than you. I guess it sounded like you go through more because you're using loose tea. I'm addicted to Yamamotoyama tea bags when I'm at work. I always keep a stack. Most of my loose tea lives at home.
Nov. 21st, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
I would drink more tea bag tea, except I've been unsatisfied with most of the ones I've tried. Too weak, usually. I do keep around some green tea bags and caffeinated peppermint for a quick pick me up. Yamamotoyama tea bags are actually really nice, when I remember trying them before. :)
Nov. 21st, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
>>What Sif would be if she were cake.

Nov. 21st, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
I am glad that I prepared a cup of tea before logging on to LJ.

Hmmm ... I have some tea that is too astringent, and I was planning on giving it away ... I didn't know that you could rinse it. Do you use cold water? For how long?
Nov. 21st, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, add some fresh hot water onto the tea leaves first, just enough to cover, and immediately pour it away. Then do your regular steep. It cleanses off any loose dust from say, other teas that may have accidentally got in, or bugs and dirt.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )