tomato Tag




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Something is happening here, and if you had any loved ones residing in Beijing, you may have felt this.  Perhaps from the shaken jitters that come through their voices, perhaps even traceable within their text messages… the emotions, raw and rampant, running uncontainably even from the choices of their emojis on Instagram.  Because over here, since about 3 days ago, something big is happening.  The most freakishunfathomable… borderline-scary natural phenomenon is rioting through the very air we breath, and the very reality we see, and frankly, it’s freaking everybody out here.  Emerging from the darkness, the elderly are moving cautiously and slowly out of the shadows of their dwellings, looking up, teary in disbelief.  The children, curious and enthusiastic, holding their hands out into the rare glistens and ask, Mommy, what is this?

What it is, is that for the past 3 consecutive days, the historically soupy and oppressively smoggy sky of Beijing, has been, impossibly blue.

I’m not talking about the-government-patting-themselves-on-the-back or the this-should-be-harmless-enough-to-leave-my-house-without-my-gas-mask kind of greyish relative blue.  I’m talking about… the Swissland-kind of blue, the 3D clouds-kind of blue, the mystical, unicorn-kind of blue that the Chinese has only seen or heard in movies or from the tales of strange, faraway travellers.  And maybe, it’s no big deal to you, but in Beijing, it’s nothing short of a miracle, like Moses parting the Red Sea and finding a 20 dollar-bill on the sea-floor while crossing.  Which is, literally, impossible.  As pathetic and outrageously sad this may sound, in a day like this, we almost owe it to ourselves to go outside and do something as mundanely rare as… having a fucking picnic.


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cherry tomato vinaigrette and gorgonzola bruschetta


Dear shrink, I’m… wondering if I can now be qualified for that zoloft + xanax prescription we talked about last time, you know, and let’s throw in a couple of diazepam for good measure while we’re at it?  I assure you that I have no previous record of substance abuse, in fact, I hardly drink alcohol for God sake, oh why because I’m naturally fun.  But you see, it’s my kids… my kids who are competing in a race to my emotional hell by turning rotten-sick on me one after the other.  Oh HELL, it’s even making me babble uncontrollably about it on my food-blog, right, a FOOD-blog that’s supposed to be about escaping to gastronomic neverland,  not… Anderson Pooper on real world shit…  Damn it!  What the hell am I talking about, you see?  I need meds!

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summer and couscous in istanbul


I’m never much of a person of faith and spirituality.  Evidently since Jason and I started slowly leaving our footprints around the world, we left an obvious trail seeking gastronomic truth instead of spiritual babble, pinning destinations on the map not for the yearning to hear the echoes bouncing off the cold marbles of St. Peter’s, but to sink our teeth into the godliness of a cool, fresh Roman burrata.  Not to hear the chanting of monks on ancient scriptures, but for the serene noise coming from the skin of a Balinese roasted pig cracking in between teeth.  The antiquated pagoda from a time bygone can wait, my Vietnamese bún chả in the now is getting cold.

We go with our guts.

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tummy yumyum tomato soup


Who here shares a rooted enthusiasm for heads raise their hands (… what?).  To an undiscriminating extend on varieties, I love all types of heads (… what did I say?…), duck, fish, chicken, whatever.  Not that there’d be a fight but I seize it from the table at every encounter, nose-up thinking I am the only person in the party who knows what.  I’m a head-snob.  And on behave of myself, I’m filing a complaint towards America where under-informed citizens don’t appreciate heads, or serve enough of them (I think I hear agreement of some sort…).  I go quietly fury especially when I see shrimps heads being discarded on their plates, thinking they must be CRAZY passing that intense creamy foie-gras of-the-sea that’s just one loud sucking away.  Tsk tsk tsk… unworthy of a good head.

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Deathly Scalloped Potato Pizza


It’s barely spring and the apartment isn’t even warm yet, but these days every root vegetables in my kitchen seems to be in a hurry to grow up.  There’s a pot that my cleaning lady set by the window with green stalks surging so high that I almost thought she was bribing me back (aww, you shouldn’t have…).  No, the bottom lies the shallots I bought a few weeks back.  And there’s those deceiving heads of garlic cloves each hiding inside its white jacket, only to be exposed when smashed open that they were secretly stretching out mini antennas to listen in on my conversations with my doughs (puff now, my little one… hush hush).  Then there’re these baby potatoes.  Oh my potato-babies… how it hurts me that they are in such hurry to grow up and leave my loving nest.


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