Saturday, December 20, 2008

Travels and Anniversary

Mr. Bolsh and I had our 1 year wedding anniversary last July, but due to an unpleasant day before our anniversary we never celebrated. Since we've both been busy with our jobs, and other activities finding a weekend when it was just the two of us has been difficult.
We finally made time to celebrate after my recent trip from Vietnam. I made a very wintery meal for a summer celebration but it was enjoyed.

Golden Chestnut Soup from The Vegan Lunchbox and roasted brussel sprouts:

This chestnut soup was so delicious. Hearty, nutty, and sweet while still being savory. The recipe calls to roast the chestnuts for 20 minutes, but I found this to be too long and dried out, and even exploded a few chestnuts.

Last week I was in Vietnam for work. I had a good chance to try fruit I had never had before. I even got to try the dreaded durian fruit. The fruit that is known to be banned from some countries because the smell is cross between sewage and rotting raspberries. Lucky for me, or unluckily, the fruit was not in season so it was not as ripe/stinky as it normally is. I didn't find it to be too unpleasant. The smell was strong, but it was the texture that bothered me the most. It looked like a steamed rollover dessert. The texture was puply, not juicey, somewhat mealy like a soft apple, but not sweet. I didn't hate it so I would like to try it again when it is ripe.

At the market I did get to pick up some fruit I'd never had. All of it great. The red one is a plum, the red and green one a milk fruit and the one with black spots is Soursop/custard apple.

To share one other thing I really enjoyed from my trip to Siagon, beside the food, was the Reunifaction Palace. This building was so beautiful to eyes. I encourage all others who love great modern architecture to visit the building if they ever have the chance.

But back to food - Since the Bolsh family date night ended up falling on the first real snow day in Portland, we celebrated by making christmas cookies:

We used my favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then we frosted them using the following recipe:

Hard Cookie Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 - 4 tablespoons of soymilk or water (you'll have to play to get the right consistency)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or your favorite.
Assorted food coloring

1. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

6" of snow has made for difficult weather to return to after 10 days in 89 degrees in Siagon.

Because of my spuratic posting, this will probably be the last of my year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!