However, coffee drinker statuses never waver. We simply seek the next caffeinated thrill, whether it be iced lattes or affogatos.
Our household has always had coffee drinkers. Once upon a time, we even did daily Timmie's Drive-Thru runs and, if I remember correctly, my go-to choice was either an Iced Capp or Vanilla Yogurt. The menu has undoubtedly undergone several changes since then, and so have we, whom no longer pay for the painstakingly watery cups either.
However, coffee drinker statuses never waver. We simply seek the next caffeinated thrill, whether it be iced lattes or affogatos.
No summer is complete with a trip to Port Credit, and no waterfront experience is complete without ice cream, especially irresistibly creamyartisan flavours.
Solely operating during peak sunshine season, Scoops is a local favourite that took to offering sugar/waffle cones in a cup and 500 ml or 1 L takeaway containers in the face of the current pandemic.
Although Piña Colada sorbet was quite a dismal pick, Cappuccino Crisp did not disappoint. The velvety Maple Walnut we brought back was another winner that incoporated the best of conventionally Canadian maple ribbons with crunchy walnuts in a luscious vanilla base.
The return trip marked my first visit to McD's since Vancity Blitz three months prior. And while probably not the most health-conscious choice, Chicken McNuggets with honey and BBQ sauce were the ideal companion for makgeolli.
Loyal visitors of this space may be familiar with Ark + Anchor, or more specifically their croissants from de la terre.
As the yearning for pain au chocolat surfaced, my mind instantly flew to the website of my favourite stall in the Hamilton Farmer's Market. Lo and behold, free home delivery was being offered!
Unpopular opinion: The economic pillar shall forever supersede the social pillar.
If there's anything I retained from my twice-enrolled, once-failed, and once-grudgingly-re-enrolled second year environmental course, it's the concept of The Three Pillars. Prior to undergoing any work, a project should be evaluated against the economic, social, and environmental pillars as criteria for execution.
And while each of these elements are pivotal in decision-making, one tends to forget to nothing can operate in the absence of economics. For without capital, there is no funding for implementing environmentally sustainable measures. For without work, one cannot afford to sleep with a roof over his or her head, regardless of whatever respect society shoves.
I abide by a pragmatic approach to living, because where there is a cause, there is an effect - most evident in the re-emergence of COVID in areas that were once deemed to have entered a "safe(r)" zone. Regardless of the sun's position in the sky, work is work, and work needs to be done. I'm not one to protest sanity breaks, of course, and was more than willing to justify it with a cool cup of CoCo after a tumultuous Monday.
Being thoroughly drained by an endless assortment of tasks (the "cause") yielded an out-of-character meal of instant noodles (the "effect"). The foray into fast food was a result of exhaustion and a consequential reluctance to cook. For the wellbeing of my tastebuds, the so-called broth of dehydrated MSG particles was diluted with thrice as much water, then had its nasty, hollow aftertaste nullified with a turmeric cold brew.
I suppose anxiety is a common spur of sugar-laden creations, for a dream about emails set me off in pursuit for brown butter cookies. "But not just any brown butter cookies." my subconscious announced, "We're doing matcha."
An embarrassingly elongated roster of attempts in my back pocket, I opted to modify Tasty's edition, for I had not the patience to caramelize butter and strum my digits along the table edge as it re-solidified. Truthfully, it was my own fault; I oughtn't complain.
I'm not, really.
Brown butter is aromatic in ways unique to itself - an acquired redolence, if you will - and, just as many other bakers will heed, is worth every second of added effort. But alas, the luscious caramelized bits were nowhere to be tasted in the final product, overwhelmed by none other that sugar: a sickening sweetness capable of driving some to the point of lunacy. Admittedly, the texture was quite a nice mix of crunchy and chewy, though nonetheless a subpar formulation in my books.
Woe is me for straying from the great SK!
Whether spring is finally here to stay remains a mystery. Between the flurries, heavy showers, and odd bursts of UV rays, it's difficult to predict precisely the climate that Mother Nature has in store for us next.
Victoria Day long weekend was off to a swell start with summery temperatures, rendering it the ideal time for trail exploring - while maintaining physical distance requirements, of course. And for those that relish in A/C-prevalent environments or find barbecue grills foreign (me), oven baked hot dogs and orange-Ribena bubbles are the way to go.
Weekend morning rituals revolve about live airings of 화양연화, alternatively known as "When My Love Blooms". Following suit was the preparation of hot dog complements: Egg Salad with sweet corn kernels (and wasabi!) and a Pickled Cucumber-Onion Mix.
Rotini and SPAM were then quickly coated in tomato sauce to yield a fast food-appropriate ally. Neither canned meat (if we can address it as so) nor jarred condiments made many appearances prior to the arrival of COVID-19, however one can only chop so much and cook so much with one dominant hand and one dominant wrist.
Sautéed button mushrooms would have been a pleasant addition to the mix, though speed was the name of the game this time.
Monday comebacks, with the exception of GOT7's, prove tricky acts to support. The influx of emails, paired with abrupt realization of imminent meetings, tend to prevail over 8 AM live showcases. My roster of Not By The Moon promotions remain unresolved, while indulgence in ASTRO's Knock activities are slowly but surely underway.
Prior to the release of third instalment in The Book of Us, DAY6 announced a hiatus from promotions due to health and anxiety issues. The situation was unforeseen, especially given that the news had circulated within 24 hours of the drop of "The Demon".
Five days of on-and-off screenwork later, I finally had the opportunity to familiarize myself with Zombie.
It was dark.
Dark red makeup with bluish undertones to replicate bruised flesh.
Dark and tiny was the ̶s̶e̶t̶ room, seemingly teeming with torturous tension.
Dark was the aura emitted from the hallucination-like post-production effects.
But darkest of all were the lyrics to the song - radiating one's deepest, dreariest deliberations towards living, or the mere thought of not.
Zombie depicted emptiness in the eeriest way thinkable, as if the world no longer held happiness.
"Though I want to just dream on. / 꿈꾸도 싶어도"
"Tomorrow will be no different. / 내일도 다를 것 없이"
"Give me back my tears, they’ve run dry. / 마른 내 눈물을 돌려줘"
"I live counting the time 'til I close my eyes. / 그저 잠에 들기만을 기다리며 살아"
Two months into the stay-at-home regime and I've still yet to feel a longing for social activities. Again, haircuts and badminton would be great; weekly dance drills and the occasional Rec Room visit for coordination honing wouldn't be unwelcome either. While levelling up on the scale and experiencing torturous tingles from excessive muscle strain, I've simultaneously lost a substantial portion of hand-eye awareness. Though, as much as COVID-19 is an enabler of these unfavourable outcomes, alternatives are not out of sight. Humans are dynamic after all.
The weekend marked the last of my 8 AM grocery runs for the subsequent eight-ish weeks, concluding at my all-time fave of Sikgaek. If any, the virus has proved its greatest worth in enabling purchases of makgeolli at a consumer level; the sole prerequisite of the exchange was commitment in an accompanying food item. Yangnyum Chicken was the clear choice.
After hauling back some 4.4 L of kimchi, Wedding Cake Edition Honey Butter Chips, and some costly assorted rolls later - if only we had H Mart prices here, but I digress - I set out to craft yet another round of bread.
I opted for sandwich bread as opposed to sweet, pull-apart rolls with the aspiration of extending the batch's lifespan. The loaves were fluffy and delicate - just as advertised. My consumption preference was to toast and adorn with margarine or jam, however my lack of loaf pans also rendered them appropriate for garlic bread-making.
Hence, I set out with vigour, attempting the standout starters of the bygone Spaghetei. Parsley, minced garlic, and a thorough brushing of maple syrup landed me close to the 2016 memory, but, alas, my toppings had been too coarse for proper penetration.
Cravings for a chocolatey, cakey concoction were only amplified with launch of Alvin's mini series. I turned to the mentioned eggless mug cake for an oven-less single serving.
Results were subpar and chunks of flour were frequent - I'd recommend this UK-based alternative for tips and tricks. The supposedly speedy solution wasn't all that speedy either, so I resorted to proper execution - with a proper oven, with proper metric units.
Adapting the infamous zucchini pièce de résistance of many "healthy" baking blogs for the more pantry-friendly resource of sweet corn kernels yielded fifteen rounds of moist, chewy muffins that were tasty on their own, but even better with a side of cream cheese frosting. And yes, this contradicts the heart-healthy intentions of the origin recipe, though the aim had always resided with satisfying cravings within given limits. These days, we speak of limits on grocery store flour and sugar inventory.
Boredom is a state to which I cannot relate.
The thought of being idle is appalling.
The thought of being unproductive is repulsive in every aspect.
The thought of being lethargic and proceeding about without purpose does not entice me.
So while there are those that have been involuntarily bound to their homes without much work, the same simply cannot be stated for the remainder of society. At one end of the gamut are unconstrained souls, leisurely spending their days browsing Netflix while inverted on their sofa, and at the other are front-liners and employees working remotely in essential services.
With that said, being unduly occupied still overrules the inactive lifestyles led by many during this quarantine period. We're growing accustomed to the work-from-home procedures, inclusive of its around-the-clock responsibilities.
Things I learned during Corona (Rev 3):
Amongst my endless endeavours in the kitchen this week are the following:
1. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (thanks SKU!)
I've said it already, though I'll state it again: Few changes have taken place in my day-to-day activities, minus the arduous ordeal that is hour-long grocery shopping trips.
But humans are dynamic after all, and so while "unprecedented times" are here, the theory of natural selection applies still
I'd like to think that I've adapted to the lengthy lineups and costlier checkout totals, as the outcome of these successive trips are expense reports, (food) trend forecasts, and the most important result of all - mitigation measures. Undoubtedly due in response to my efforts was a treat in the form of Wonton Chai.
Cravings are more or less kept at bay by the ability to reproduce a similar enough product in the comfort of one's home. Mild exceptions remain, with Pocky being one of them.
Those that hadn't been on too friendly of terms with their kitchen haven been coerced into a changed mindset.
Yet those previously accustomed shall simply yearn for undertakings of greater difficulty.
Crafted from scratch were a series of lunch and dinner items, which sadly proved unsuccessful in lasting longer than several days.
Dish #1: Macaroni x Ground Beef x Sautéed 'Shrooms x Tomato Conpoy Compote Feat. Fried Egg
Seemingly effortless, there was a tremendous amount of preparation work involved. Other culinary techniques were also deployed, though somewhat subconsciously in my regard: boiling, marinating, sautéeing, pan frying, and, finally, broiling for a crunchy gratin-esque covering.
After a weekend of mayhem, I started my week off solid: An event known none other than GOT7's long-awaited comeback.
Oh, swear Not By The Moon.
Amidst this global pandemic, there are two types of people:
Similar to how loss from war was depicted in mandatory Canadian history courses back in our high school days, it's definitely difficult to empathize with certain emotions without firsthand experience. That said, there are those that can predict and responsibly take precautions, yet there are those that refuse to believe in reality until perpetually undoable realities culminate from their lack of prudence.
The situation is constantly evolving and, in order to survive, so should the actions that we, as citizens, must take. Humans are dynamic and it is my utter belief that even when confronted with such a tremendous degree of uncertainty, all residents are to fulfill their responsibilities and due diligence. Beyond acceptance, it is even more crucial to respond appropriately in order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and its unpredictable aftermath.
Things I learned during Corona (Rev 2):
I've never one to be a last-minute packer, or a last-minute anything-er, as a matter of fact. Howbeit, I've found myself asking others time and time again whether certain tasks are "really all that urgent" - whether they deserve the "p" word (that I've learned to distinguish as "priority" and not "please").
Six hours of tossing and turning later, I was airport-bound. There, the lengthiest domestic security check was endured, and I soon came face to face with the new terminal's retail and gating developments. The restructured appearance came as an utter surprise; remaining consistent was my old friend, who greeted me with a smile, as if three-and-a-half years had not elapsed at all.
A banana, apple juice-ginger ale hybrid, and a foamy airline Breakfast Sandwich tied me over until arrival at YVR.
Whilst awaiting the buzzer of the baggage belt, I ventured up to the Departures floor, where a Vanilla Latte was secured with much glee. Ahhh, coffee.
I then proceeded with my surprise landing plans. Lugging four pieces of luggage across the pedestrian overpass, onto the SkyTrain, transferring, then rolling back onto the vehicle was no easy feat. Eventually, after far too hefty of a fare deduction, I made it to Aberdeen.
When posed with the question "Why do we have leap years?", I frankly wasn't sure how to respond.
"It's a part of the calendar." I had answered matter-of-factly. Though, in reality, I hadn't ever pondered this topic, but merely accepted it as a recurring event that would rear its head every four years.
The second month of 2020 had flown by amidst my seemingly endless duration of sickness. It concluded with a bang in the form of Eric Nam's second opening act-accompanied concert, and third ever visit to "Canadia".
Superseding the unexpectedly long evening was a gloomy work-from-home instance, that later unfolded into an unavoidable round of errands.
The opportunity for indulgence lay before my eyes, and a trip to Wonton Chai simply that could not be refused.
I opted to swap my regular order of egg noodles for flat, rice noodles instead this time. The short strands were plump and spongy - an indication of being overcooked. Other elements, such as tender cubes of beef brisket and springy fish dace balls, remained consistent.
Fried Fish Skin was then taken to go, along with the remnants of my midday meal and an order of Plain Wontons.
Heavy snowfall and plummeting temperatures welcomed me back to the South Core. Oh, and did I mention loathsome transit delays?
Lunch walks were contained within the warmth of the indoors, which, while comfortable at first, were ultimately deemed too toasty for maneuvering within at a speedy pace.
Who Am I?
I'm the one that talks fashion and K-Pop randoms behind Quirky Aesthetics, the one who contributes honest opinions about commercial beauty items on Review Junkie, the one that obsessively shares photos of food on Pinterest, the one that loves her DSLR more than her own being and the one that wants to work in the transportation sector for a living.