Moved into the new place this evening and, while it’s an improvement in many ways (includes work-out room, working tea kettle, oven mitts!), it’s also has it’s share of problems. The air circulation is poor, there’s no main floor closet, and my spot is located so deep in the bowels of the parkade that I’m parking between the falsifiers and the sowers of discord. Still, it’s well-located next to a quaint little park where, today, the dogs enjoyed a late afternoon stroll amid the singing birds, the burgeoning bushes, and the homeless man relieving himself on a nearby tree. Ah, city life.
Anyway, this was in marked contrast to last night’s April showers –
Yesterday, we checked out three local comic book shops. I couldn’t help but notice that the friendliness of the staff is inversely proportional to the size of the store. Silver Snail Comics was by far the most impressive. There, I purchased a Dr. Octopus statue from a guy who seemed unusually irritated by the prospect of having to pack away an assortment of faux metal tentacles. Over at 1000000 Comix, where I purchased an Ultron statue, the guys were polite and helpful. I didn’t buy anything at Hairy Tarantula (a tight space tucked away at the top of a sketchy-looking staircase), but was so charmed by the ebullient Irish guy at the cash that I vowed I’d be back for all my trade paperback needs. And volume 3 of Death Note for Akemi.
We also checked out Sanko, a Japanese konbiniya on Queen Street West, where Akemi went absolutely nuts, picking up a rice cooker, green tea and sesame cookies, sake kasu, yuzu, nori, sakura-shaped cookie cutters, enoki mushrooms, and ramen. She suggested we also pick up some rice bowls, choosing a beautiful blue fish-themed handpainted wonder. For my part, I went with this –
As I settle in, I’m starting to do a little more cooking. Last night, it was Chicken Piccata –
Want to know the secret to juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts? Okay, I’ll tell you. Ready? Simmer the meat over low heat. Yep, that simple. Slice your chicken breast into two thinner slices. Pour some chicken broth in a pan. Toss in some rosemary, thyme, a couple of bay leafs, two cloves of garlic, and a chopped shallot, season with salt and pepper, then bring to a boil. Once it starts bubbling, bring it down to a low simmer, then lower your chicken breasts into the savory stock. Make sure the meat is completely covered. Leave it to slow simmer until it loses all traces of surface pinkness, then remove from the pan and season with salt, paprika, oregano or dredge in a seasoned flour mixture. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Re-dredge the chicken in the flour mixture (if that’s the way you’re going), then sear the meat, about a minute a side. Remove the meat, add another tablespoon of olive oil, add some chopped garlic, and sautee over medium heat. Then, add a cup of white wine (capers, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or whatever else strikes your fancy), reduce by half, add the chicken back into the pan and let it cook for another minute. Take it off the heat, toss in a tablespoon of butter, and baste the meat with melted butter-white wine reduction. Plate and serve.
Let me know how it turns out for you.
Finally – a couple of weeks ago, I found out that yet another one of my friends had had their yahoo account hacked. Figuring my four letter password made me a perfect target, I made it a point to change it to something a lot more complicated. So complicated, in fact, that when I went to check my email this morning and discovered I’d been logged out, I couldn’t remember what it was. After many failed attempts, I clicked on the “I’m too stupid too remember my password” button which directed me to the “Change your password, you idiot” option. Alas, the back-up email I provided two years ago when I first created my yahoo account is now defunct so I had to go the “Answer the personal questions” portion of the show. I got the first one but then, when it came to the second one, it told my my answer was incorrect even though I know for a fact that my favorite food when I was a kid WAS NUTELLA! “Smoked oysters?”offered Paul helpfully. I tried. It didn’t work. Neither did powdered doughnuts with milk, smoked meat, or duck a l’orange (actually, my late father’s favorite). And then yahoo informed me that I was locked out and wouldn’t be able to attempt to access my account for another 12 hours. Ironically, I AM able to access my yahoo email on my iPhone, but am unable to access my account (which would allow me to change my password and solve the problem). Suggestions? Besides subscribe to mobileme?
Finally, allow me to leave you with THIS awesome cat massage video. You’re welcome: