Its been a while since I have written something on the blog. My goal is usually to write about three blogs a month but that just didn’t happen— which was probably the result of lots of work both in the office and home, and also an impromptu trip to Hong Kong with my mom that was absolutely delightful!
Vacations for our tiny family of three (mom, dad, and I) have been jinxed since I’ve come back from college two years ago. Every time we plan something, the universe seems to want us to stay back to the point where we haven’t taken a trip together since graduation. My Graduation was in May of 2017 where mom and dad traveled to see me get my degrees but mom had to head home early for work. So, dad and I made the most of the situation and spent the next four nights in New York City— eating, drinking whatever we wanted. It was a great trip. All we did was walk from one food destination to the other and saw whatever came in between. But it was a great trip to begin the next stage of my life! Similarly, this time, dad couldn’t get time off so mom and I spent 4 nights in Hong Kong. We didn’t eat as much as we shopped but it was a great time— with mom starting a new stage in her life. I have had the chance to really spend time alone with both my parents and with each I’ve learned something new about them (and to think 24 years wouldn’t have been enough). Here’s hoping a family trip comes soon but till then, these’ll do.
I want to spend some time in this post to talk about how there are ladders in life. Everything that you do is gradual. You begin small and slowly progress upwards. I am closing in on two years of writing on this blog which I started back in 2017 when I had no job and two degrees. It’s gradual but now that I look back, I do see growth both in the fact that I am on my second full-time job and in the blog itself. Its time, effort, and a whole lot of other investments to run a passion and see it become something more than a project— to see it become a necessary mandate in how I run my life. I’ve become better at so many things through this process (brand strategy, content creation, understanding social media) and become worse at others (how to monetize food, how to cook for a large crowd, how to ensure all the food I make is eaten). I see the same with my parents. They really rose up on their own ladders. Mom and dad got married young and lived in a tiny apartment with a joint salary that would be just enough to feed two. Then as they got older (and added a non-earning member to their family), they moved a relatively bigger house which is where spent a majority of my formative years (about 12 years to be exact). It took them a lot of time but eventually, they built their own house which is exactly what they wanted when they started out 28 years ago.
Now I’m not unaware of the fact that they come from a space of privilege and that they were offered opportunities because of where they come from that allowed for them to excel. But hey, most of the people reading this also have privilege and more importantly, looking at them helps me understand what struggle and perseverance can look like. They have navigated this ladder in their own unique way, jumped a few rungs, fell through some but it helps me understand (from a rung way down below) of the journey that there is.
In summation, life is like a ladder. You start on a lower rung and gradually rise up the ranks as you gain experience and lessons. You are able to jump over rungs while others give way as you put your weight. For the most part, as you go through life and eventually look down from time to time, you will see yourself relatively higher than when you started. Sometimes it may small but if you look down sparsely, that distance upwards feels a lot higher. Cooking is similar. You begin by showing interested, motivating yourself to cook, and then begin learning the basics. This Honey Soy Glazed Chicken is not too far above the basics. It may seem daunting to someone still on the bottom rung, but if you’re anywhere in that basic zone, this should be a natural next step. A quick air brine, followed by two rounds of glaze is all it needs— perfect for a weekday dinner with rice or bread or that potluck you’re invited to on the weekend where you’re thinking of just coming with a box of Theobroma brownies. Don’t bring those brownies; just take a step up on that ladder.
Glimpses from the week
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Comfort in food comes not by making something complicated like a tiramisu or a galette (not going to lie, both of these are things I would make for comfort but we all know how extra I am), but with meals made with simple ingredients. Things you can find in your home, things that you use so often that you didn’t know that mixing them with other common ingredients can make something so filling and full of homey flavor. Something like a reduction sauce made of ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Sweet and sour chicken does not try to be anything amazing. It’s a mostly sweet sauce that is draped over beautiful golden shallow fried chicken and heat kissed veggies (heat kissed, for those that don’t understand the proprietary #architlost terminology are veggies that are added last to the meal just for them to infused with the base sauce without losing their structure. Sweet and sour chicken is like a romantic relationship. It is something that envelopes you with flavors that makes you feel complete. And, once done, you feel satisfied for making the meal, bad for eating so much, and soon enough you yearn for it again. Try this recipe and if anyone can answer why relationships and food are so similar, please comment below. Sweet and sour chicken—Link in bio 💫
500 grams chicken thighs boneless or breast
2 tablespoons veggie oil
2 teaspoons ginger minced
1 tablespoon garlic minced
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (if you are using salted butter, then use only 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon table salt
On a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil, place your chicken. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This is a quick air brine. It takes out the moisture from the skin and makes the chicken crispy while leaving the interior moist
Preheat an over to 200 celsius. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and honey and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat then whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the freezer. dd half the glaze and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss the chicken to coat. Arrange in an even layer, skin side up, and roast until browned, 10 minutes.
Brush the chicken all over with 2 tablespoons of the remaining glaze. Roast until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Drizzle the chicken with the remaining glaze (if any is left) and serve with lemon wedges