I called Albany John from the Asian Food Market asking him if he wanted anything.
So I wandered into that wonderfully huge aisle that contains nothing but noodles on one side. There’s just about every type of noodle you could ask for in there. Square rice noodle, stick rice noodle, egg noodle… you get the point. I was in the middle of the aisle, looking for anything that said Soba in big English letters.
It’s times like this that I actually wish I understood Chinese. You know, times with food involved. If I’m sitting at the dim sum table or somewhere in Chinatown, my Chinese miraculously improves from nil to almost comprehensive for about three dishes. Usually Albany John or my Dad will help me translate. Albany John’s white butt is fluent in Mandarin. He and my Dad like to rip on me for not speaking any form of Chinese… while speaking Chinese. To each other. Don’t even get my started on my grandfather, who will cackle with glee and rip on me for not speaking the language, while Mr. Taller-Than-Everyone-Else over there can roll with the punches. Meanwhile, I’m mumbling ‘Ai-Ya…’ since that is all the Chinese I have picked up from movies and my family to actually add to a conversation.
So, right, back to the hunt. I knew soba noodles were made of buckwheat, and saw a bunch of packages proudly blaring ‘BUCKWHEAT’, but only saw one that clearly said ‘SOBA’. It was a bit pricier than the others (by about 10 cents). But I have the habit of buying the wrong thing about 90% of the time unless it is clearly marked, so I picked them up anyway. Ten cents is worth knowing I didn’t pick up a newfangled buckwheat egg noodle monstrosity.
I wasn’t sure I would like them. I’d heard they were chewy, kind of hard, and not that flavorful. Well, hell, I looove these puppies after trying them.
They cook up in 5 minutes in boiling water. That’s it. Five. Minutes. The long part is waiting for the water to boil. Once you drain them, you can add them to soup, or cool them off with running water and chill them in the fridge. I opted for the latter since it’s been at 95% humidity here lately and there was no way I was going to be slurping soup in my hot-ass house. No freakin way.
After they cooled off (which takes a total of about 1 minute under cold water. Add ice if you want) I stuck them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of sesame oil, a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and a liberal dousing of soy sauce. I stuck it in the fridge with some scallions on top for 30 minutes to further cool and let the flavors mingle. You can eat it at this point, but I wanted some flavor penetration into those noodles.The texture isn’t anything weird at all. It’s like really al dente pasta, and has a nice flavor, but doesn’t taste very buckwheat-y either. It also absorbs flavors really well. I had mine with some boiled shrimp and a half assed peanut sauce for dippin’. It was tasty, quick, cold and filling.
What you don’t see here is “$9.99 all you can eat popcorn shrimp”. God, I miss you SO much Joe’s Crab Shack. I really should have tried to visit you when I was in Texas. It’s just a chain, but, oh, the good memories attached to it. (Ok, on further inspection, it looks like it could be an ad for Red Lobster. But if you slap ‘All You Can Eat’ and put something seafood in there, I will go ape-shizz over it.)
And if anyone in Sonic’s advertising department manages to stumble upon this page (obviously be sheer luck) – Please stop airing commercials here. For the love of all things Southern, unless you plan on opening a new branch in the area anytime soon (just to be clear, this is Albany, NY, not Albany, GA), you’ve got to stop making me salivate at the thought of cherry limeades. Cherry limeades. So. Good. With the syrup, and the cherries, and the teeny ice pellets…Damnit!
Wow, did I jump the gun on that one, eh?
I went to pick up my veggies today, and hoo-baby, is there gonna be nary a vegetable purchase for a while:
Let’s start with the bottom left corner and work clockwise. Or close to it.
The sliced open cantaloupe and the unopened cantaloupe just behind it (the tan ball shaped thing) I actually bought at the Delaware Ave Farmers Market, held every Tuesday from 4-7. They were a DOLLAR. I could not resist. The one I opened was pretty good, but not very flavorful.
The cucumbers are next to them.
Then there’s a big head of lettuce.
A gigantic bunch of carrots. I called these ‘Bugs Bunny Carrots’ as a kid. I’d always beg my Mom to buy them, then eat about half of one while shouting ‘WHAT’S UP DOC!!???!?!” before chucking it to the wayside. Supermarket carrots weren’t very flavorful, but these carrots were sweeter than any I’ve had in a while.
Skinny bunch of scallions; an adorable little head of cabbage that I am VERY excited to eat later on. I loves me some cabbage. Nother cuke…
The little whiteish blob is a white cucumber. They taste just like regular cucumbers.
Let’s see… we’ve got some more summer squash, a head of cured garlic, tomatoes, and back over to the melon.
Not pictured are the bags of basil and beans.
By the way, did you notice what the carrots were sitting on top of? An ENORMOUS squash. When I got there, we could get 7 summer squash. It’s kind of a lot to me. Maybe not in the one-a-day sense, but still, it’s a lot for someone who’s never eaten more than a squash a week, on a good squash week. I got strong armed by those tricky farmers into getting 4 more squash! Seems some other members of the farm share weren’t taking their share. And of course the gigundo one was thrown in there too. Evidently they’re like the little one of the same kind(yea, I’m bad with names. I think there was a brassica in the name somewhere), only at some point they morphed into these babies. Thanks for the extra squash, guys, and for the little tidbits of info I get every week.