Flour – Joanne Chang

Lunch time was over, I thought, but why were there still so many people?

It was 1.30pm. Ken and I had checked into Flour Bakery and Cafe at Farnsworth Street. I had a mission – to check out the acclaimed sticky buns.

The cafe was crowded and before us was a long queue. I was afraid that we would not be able to get a table; I had wanted to chill here. Thankfully, the customers left after they had finished their meals and we were able to get our seats.

I like the casual setting of this cafe, the friendly staff and above all, the affordable food. Where would you find a nice cafe with good pastries and cakes and drinks that are around $2-$3 each? I had my first bite of the sticky bun and instantly felt in love with it. Ken’s grilled roast chicken sandwich experience would have been perfect if not for the relatively long waiting time. Since good food has to be given time to prepare, we were quite all right with it.

 

Of course, I must also admit that I went because of the owner/pastry chef Joanne Chang. I had read about her and felt that I quite like this lady. I’m not sure if it is due to the fact that she is an avid runner that struck a chord with me (she has competed in every Boston Marathon from 1991 – 2006). Perhaps, it could also be her personality? Outgoing, open and personal (or maybe it’s because I like her loft kitchen?). Whatever it may be, I like this honors graduate of Harvard College enough to purchase her newly published cookbook.

So, it’s not the sticky buns that I first tried my hands on. It would be something really simple like the Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Adapted version – pg108). I’ll reserve sticky buns for another day.

I do think that I would be going back to the cafe again. =)

Chicken macaroni soup

Today was windy and it made running very difficult indeed – the breathing part, I mean. And it was indeed a very quiet day with few people on the streets. Perhaps, they have gone back home for Thanksgiving.

Following the advice of ZM, I decided to do something soupy and since the fridge has drumsticks and I really wanted to finish up the macaroni, it would not be difficult to guess what I would be preparing.

I love chicken soup, especially with dear ginger because to me, it is really comforting. Using 3 drumsticks (remember to clean them with kosher salt), 8 slices of ginger, scallions and 3 garlic cloves (crushed), place them in a pot and fill water to a level that is 1.5 inch above the drumsticks. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cut carrots into stripes. I’m using carrots since that is the only vegetable available in the fridge. I would have used caixin or lettuce if I have them. When the water is boiling, reduce to medium heat and remove the scum. Cook until the meat is ready and tender. Then clear the soup by removing the ingredients in the stock. You may want to add soy sauce or a little salt to add to the flavour of the stock. I just added a drop of soy sauce since the stock was already rich the way I like it.

Fill another pot with water and add a tbsp of salt. It’s time to blanch the carrots (first) and to cook the macaroni, the latter for about 10 minutes. Once they are cooked, place the macaroni, carrot stripes and drumstick on a bowl and pour the stock over them. Garnish with coriander leaves. There you go, a simple lunch for two!

=)

Soon after moodiness engulfed me, I received comments and email from concerned friends, giving me useful tips to survive this period. Thank you, dear friends. I’m touched!

That same night, the Kahs called us and asked if we wanted to try out driving a mini cooper. It was A’s birthday and her hubby rented that car for her since it was her favourite and they thought of us! They wanted me to try driving here since I expressed fear in doing that; I still had not gotten used to left-hand-drive and the traffic here!

So, it was with great trepidation that I manoeuvred the machine and my first time driving an auto-car! The three passengers were ever so encouraging and guided me on the directions. So there you are, my first attempt at driving in the US and I made it! My goal? To drive out of the city and come back safely!