Monday, 5 May 2014

Not Quite Kung Pao

Most of the blogs that I follow are alive and kicking, full with recently posted recipes and photographs. Sometimes, I stumble across the odd abandoned blog, sticking out like a sore thumb. Once upon a time, I think to myself, there was a blogger behind that blog, feverishly churning out posts. And then something happened that made him or her stop, or put more optimistically, pause. I wonder what might have been the cause of the pause (doesn't that have a nice ring to it?). Was it personal tragedy that stopped them in their tracks? Was it happier news, like the arrival of a baby, that sucked all their energy, leaving them with an overflowing cup and no time to spare for cherished pursuits? Or maybe there is a simpler explanation. Maybe they just got bored with spewing verbage into the black hole that is the internet.

It has been months since I typed up a post. I do not have especially dramatic reasons for having abandoned my online corner for offline pursuits. There have been a few developments. In the last few months, I suspect that my edges have gotten a little rounder because I stayed far not only from the blog, but also the gym, succumbing to the long winter that is only just taking its leave. I chopped a few inches of my hair on a whim, only to repent at leisure. Most importantly, I know that my days on the East Coast are numbered, and that I will be moving to milder weather not long from now. Those few things aside, I have largely been myself, complaining about Boston's painfully long winter, shuttling between classes and home,  figuring out post-graduation plans, and cooking and baking when I have the chance.

Things have been more or less the same, but with one small difference. I took a writing class this semester with 17 other writers and one delightful professor. Over three months, we each wrote five columns, marked up each other's writing furiously, but always gently, and critiqued better known columnists out there in the real world. With all that space to write, maybe it is not surprising that I abandoned this one.

With my last class having passed me by last week, I am opportunistically returning to my old online corner, where I hope to stay until interrupted by unforeseen forces.

Here's a recipe that I tried recently. The original recipe is for Kung Pao chicken, but I changed the recipe in so many ways that I had Not Quite Kung Pao on my hands. Based on reviews, I made twice as much marinade and sauce as the recipe suggested, left out the water chestnuts (because I didn't have any), and added mushrooms and green peppers, and sesame seeds for garnish. Most crucially, I didn't use peanuts because my flatmate has a peanut allergy. Kung Pao chicken without the defining peanuts is not quite Kung Pao, but it still made for a tasty lunch. My only recommendation would be that instead of chicken breast, which toughens up when cooked, you consider using chicken thighs.