new adventures in comfort food
Even before quarantine, I always preferred staying at home to going out and even eating out. It was a good time to discover what my comfort food was, and experiment with whatever was in my fridge.
I enjoyed getting restaurant and even grocery deliveries, and was grateful to be able to order whatever I wanted when sheltering in place. Although I tend to have a repetitive taste — I just cook my favourites over and over again because they’re easy and I don’t get tired of them.
Lately since new cases have finally, finally been going down, I’ve enjoyed venturing out and reacquainting myself with the neighbourhood. Some of the little family-owned stores have been ordering more imported stuff that isn’t stocked at the big groceries, especially American products like Flaming Hot Cheetos, Hershey’s Cookies n’ Creme bars in various flavours, and my much missed Arizona Iced Tea.
It’s always fun to find good food in unexpected places. I recently found out that my online pen shop has its own beehive, and that I could buy little jars of Welsh honey along with my ink samples. It makes breakfast after morning journaling more meaningful.
The best discovery was the new Asian grocery away from the main road and five whole minutes closer to my house, stocked with Hong Kong milk tea, a new selection of snacks and staples, and best of all…
Jackfruit!!! It isn’t as juicy as it is at home — it’s a little dried out to help it last longer — but it was delicious after going years without.
I do have a hard time finding duck at regular supermarkets, but I don’t need to. At the Asian grocery I was able to find not only several different serving styles of duck, but a whole roast boneless duck, removing all the stress of cooking for this newbie.
I had never heard of cheung fun before I saw them at the Asian store. At first I simply ate these yummy rice noodles steamed with a dash of oyster sauce, but then I discovered I could pan fry them with Chinese sausage (kikiam).
Now it’s one of my standard quick meals, where I can just throw it in the pan with some basic veg and protein.
Another home-brewed recipe I’ve been dying to try is Hong Kong milk tea. I buy it at the store but I wanted to have a big bottle of homemade milk tea all for myself, the way I make my batches of iced coffee. I used this recipe by the Spruce Eats, with the condensed milk heavily edited for my lighter tea.
Instead of using a dark Assam or English Breakfast tea, I used the pale but still caffeine-rich Milky Oolong, a tea that’s between black and green in strength, with a lovely vanilla-esque fragrance. With a splash of condensed and oat milk it makes a drink that looks like a cup of cream but smells heavenly and gives a gentle lift.
Now I’m ordering in less and cooking more. I’ve been looking forward to making meals and enjoying my time in the kitchen. And next time I go for a walk or search up a new ingredient online, I might find my new favourite meal.
Originally published at https://wonderwanderwomen.blogspot.com.