As for my own writing, I've been working on a new short story tentatively called "Two Halves" about a chemistry professor who hires a young liberal arts major to help publicize his work. Scott and Michelle, this attempt is fully equipped with outlines and character sketches!
I recently made Kao Tom Pla, which is the Pla variation of the Thai dish Kao Tom. For those of you who don't know what Kao Tom is, it's boiled rice (Kao = rice and Tom = boil), and Thai people often eat it for breakfast or a midnight snack. You get a bowl of the boiled rice and there are toppings you can add to it like pickles and sweet pork and eggs and what have you. "Pla" means fish in Thai.
To make the dish, you need:
- A potful of vegetable stock (3 cups per person)
- Tilapia or other mild white fish (1 filet per person)
- Rice (1 cup of cooked rice per person)
- Oil (Corn or Olive oil works)
- Fish sauce
For the prep:
1. Start with a pot full of vegetable stock made from celery, carrots, onion and possibly lettuce. I strain the stock and salt it up with several dashes of fish sauce. Go ahead and make it a little salty since the rice and the mild fish will counterbalance it later.
2. Make some steamed rice like you normally would. I like to use jasmine rice, but I sometimes use short grained rice too.
3. Make some shaved garlic in oil, which is something that my mum always made vats of. Just chop up several cloves of garlic until the pieces are small (bigger than salt crystals, but not by much). Then, cook them on low heat with constant stirring in a pan with enough oil to cover them until they are golden yellow (they will get a little darker even after you turn off the heat, so don't go too long). Save both the garlic bits and the oil in a jar; it's good for a long time and you can also use it for stir fried vegetables and stuff.
4. Cut up fresh ginger into thin, needle like shavings (2 or 3 tablespoons worth), thinly slice some onion, and wash and pluck some cilantro (again 2 or 3 tablespoons worth).
5. Prepare your tilapia or other white fish by simply cutting into large chunks. I usually just cut each filet in half.
6. Then, right when you're ready to eat it, bring your broth to a boil, drop in the tilapia or other white fish and cook until it's just done (a couple of minutes, don't overdo it).
7. In a bowl, put in the steamed rice and top it with several ladelsful of the broth and 2 or 3 pieces of fish. I like to leave the level of the broth just low enough so that the fish sticks up above it to serve as a little island for the toppings.
8. Top it with as much ginger, cilantro, onion and toasted garlic as you like. (Go easy on the oil that the garlic is in for a lighter dish.)
There you have it!
What's Peanut eating? Still a lot of treats. But, he finished in the top of his class! He sat, he lay, he walked without pulling on the leash, he walked by a shoe full of treats without eating any, he came when I called his name, and he was the only dog in the class to stay for 30 seconds on the first try. I was very proud.
Does this fix his ear eating problem? It does when I can convince him that he'd rather eat a treat than an ear.