Day 3 in Ithaca (4th March 2014)

We spent the entire morning pottering around the kitchen! Woke up bright and early, went to the basement to get my hired help up, and I’d started stripping chicken thigh meat of the bone by about 7am.

I did about 3 thighs before LZ had finished his first one :P, and then Chris joined in the fray.

About 3-4 thighs were slated to be marinated with satay marinade, 1 thigh was earmarked to make chicken yakitori, and one thigh for the claypot rice, which we had somewhat unwisely chosen to start off in a crockpot. Switched a small amount of it to a rice cooker in the end since I’d finished grilling the satay/yakitori and Ze had finished stir frying the bok choy and still the rice had not finished cooking.

(Here’s the satay. Forgot to soak the bamboo skewers, so some of them caught on fire :P. You can see them getting a little charred near the edges of the pan)

And the yakitori with little bok choy flowers :)

I threw about 5 wieners (actually rather averse to the taste of lup cheong) and a packet of rehydrated sliced shiitake as well as several fresh button mushrooms into the claypot rice – american style I suppose. The claypot seasoning (I think from Asian Gourmet House) was not as good as I remember it to be.

Ze diced a cucumber and sliced up a red onion for dipping in the satay peanut sauce – I brought the prima pack version as well as another version that was just the peanut sauce, no marinade. The peanut sauce turned out to be slightly spicy, but no more so than the red onion, which got all of us!

Chris gave us enormous mounds of claypot rice each and Rich very little (for fear he wouldn’t like it) but he asked for seconds and there was none to be had! I didn’t know she had already distributed all the claypot rice that was made in the little rice cooker (that she’d inherited from us) or I would never have finished my portion. She forgot that he actually eats claypot rice – in fact she once told me it’s the only rice he eats, which was why I brought the sauce packets over. He did get to finish the satay though, and Buster never got any :P

I also baked a pandan chiffon cake in the morning –

It rose beautifully but the mixing bowl of the KitchenAid was too small to froth up the 8 egg whites I put into it to their full potential. The texture of the egg white was rather significantly different (creamier) than what I normally get in Singapore, not sure why.

We cut a piece for Buster:

I was too full from lunch to eat any of the pandan cake but I did package a box for Ed and a box for Raghu (since Ed likes green stuff and well, I’m willing to bet Raghu hasn’t seen pandan cake in a long time!) It wasn’t as good as my typical results in Singapore, but wasn’t bad at all. I think actually Singapore’s humidity keeps cakes moisturized – I don’t mean moist, like a pound cake, or a butter cake, but moisturized, like the difference between dry skin and supple skin. Our chiffon cakes actually get more tender because of the intrinsic water content in our air.

The roses I gave her still adorning the table.

I lazed about the house taking pictures of things (like the crystal fob I gave her from the German christmas market a few winters ago) and editing photos until it was 5pm and we finally left the house to take a look at all the prettily painted traffic light control boxes.

Chris says the town council recently hired painters/recruited volunteers from IC or IHS to paint the traffic light control boxes at every intersection (near the commons anyway) with flowers and buildings and things – whatever struck their fancy really.

We left just as the light was waning and while I did get lots of photos, I didn’t have time to pick up the cookies-by-weight at Wegman’s for the bell choir. So after Chris dropped us off at Tab (Ze was meeting Dave for dinner at Chili’s while I was filling in for Rachel at bell choir practice) she went to Wegmans and helped me pick out a box of cookies for the bell choir.

Being back at bell choir on a Tuesday night was like picking life right up where I left off. Everyone remembered me and it was wondreful being able to play the handbells again – their Easter songs are so pretty! And, I got to meet Yuna, who is one of the new girls Chris is discipling. When Dave introduced us on the front steps she pointed at me and yelled “Chris Scriber!!!” haha.

After bell choir we hung around to chat – Chris had helped to buy (and deliver :P) the lemon and raspberry jam filled cookies and several chocolate chip cookies (which were the most popular). I managed to try one lemon flavoured cookie en route from Elmira to Denver and it was…interesting. The bell choir people loved it though, which is what’s important.

Dave sort of arm-twisted me into visiting with him and Eileen up at his house at Asbury Drive with his sad eyes and sneaky words, so after he and Ze came back to Tab, after bell choir (I was tired out and ready to go home), I wound up grabbing a bite at Louie’s (my typical order) and eating in the car while LZ drove up.

(Grilled ham and cheese on white)

I was sort of mad at LZ for not just telling Dave that I was tired and had to go back. Bah!

Visiting with Dave wasn’t bad at all though, Eileen was tucked into a rocking chair doing the crossword, the paragon of elderly contentment. I should like to retire as cosily.

He showed us his bottle collection, model car collection, clock collection, and we visited with each other for awhile clustered around the kerosene heater they have in the middle of the living room. Scenes like this remind me of Mansfield’s Camomile Tea.

After visiting Dave we went on a late night ice cream spree at Wegman’s! Rich drove us out to Purity during the traffic light control box tour but it was closed due to construction! D: It was an incredibly sweet gesture though (and about the pinnacle of his sociability, so one has to grab on to it and appreciate it!) We felt just like kids whom he was bringing out for ice creams, just like how Lz’s mum wanted to bring us for ice creams after service at Bethel one sunday before we left, but the ice cream parlor was closed :/ I felt pretty badly for her about that, and also pretty badly for Rich because Purity was closed just when he wanted to bring us there for ice creams. Anyway we decided to pick up some ice cream at Wegman’s after visiting with Dave because Rich didn’t get his Purity fix earlier – I also managed to stroll around Wegman’s a bit more to pick up 2 papyrus cards – one with Hokusai’s wave for LZ’s dad, and a pretty pink one with flowers. We got 3 pints of ice cream:
– Wegman’s premium dark chocolate – my typical order
– Haagen Daz’s cappucino gelato
– Haagen Daz’s green tea (for Chris to try)

When we got home there was great rejoicing in the household – it’s a pity I didn’t get any pictures of our midnight ice cream party :)

Chris said Rich probably wouldn’t try the green tea when I said I would scoop all 3 flavours into the 4 bowls put out, but when he got his bowl he asked “where’s the green one?” So I gave him some in the end :P I’m not sure he cared for it, but the flavour of Haagen Dazs’ matcha ice cream is too mild for anyone to not like it. It gets totally overwhelmed by the chocolate though.

I guess this is how the Happy Endings Sundae got its name!

p.s. Wegman’s dark chocolate ice cream (only $2.99!) tastes as good as ever.



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