Friday, April 17, 2009

The kids are back

To quote the charming food writer and mediocre novelist Laurie Colwin: "Did people create families in order to keep themselves from wondering what the purpose of life was? With children it was a snap. Children were a purpose, and generally there was so much to do in their behalf that you might never stop to think at all."

I can handle the existential stress, but it's definitely restful to be picking up Star Wars figurines and mixing pancake batter after a week of somberly contemplating the horizon. What will I do when my purposes go to college? Is that why I ordered the bees? Why did I order the freaking bees?

Budget matters: 

On 4/15 Mark spent $11 at the supermarket on bread, lunch, etc.

Yesterday, after collecting the kids at the airport we went to Champa Garden, a Laotian restaurant in Oakland, and spent $55.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and haven't been already, you must, must, must go to Champa Garden. Order the sampler appetizer plate, a dish that stopped all conversation for ten minutes while we devoured every last crumb of rice ball salad, sausage, and spring roll. The kids must have been starving because they didn't stop eating long enough to complain that they don't like "Chinese" food. Champa Garden is in a funky neighborhood and looks like a converted corner liquor shop or laundromat, but of course that made it all the more exciting. We staggered out of there stuffed and very happy because of the fantastic food and because we're all together again. Honeymoon should last until noon today.  

Going forward: Two more nights of cooking from Fat and Milk to wrap up and use the caul fat, then I'm going to start Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen.


  1. I'm so excited that you're moving onto Into the Vietnamese Kitchen next...Can't wait!

  2. I love this post. And LOVE to have the kids back home! Your doing a GREAT JOB in the kid department, as well as writing. There WILL be no gap...

    On the another topic, okay to dropping the $$ bit, but do give us some observations on if it changed habits, increased awareness, or just bored you out of your mind.... Worth the effort or not? Do you count buying chickens and bees and seeds as future food expense? Maybe amortizeable? Oh what fun.


  3. Perfect take on Laurie Colwin, who remains one of my favorite food writers, but whose novels I find almost entirely unreadable.

    Go Vietnamese Kitchen! Since we moved to Pasadena, I've been indulging in Banh Mi, and can't wait to read your take.