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Saturday, September 15, 2007

7 of 7 Random Things About Me Meme: I Hate the Word "Foodie"

#7 of 7 Random things about me? I hate the word "foodie." It smacks of pretentiousness. It brings to mind expensive restaurants, small portions, celebrity chefs, and people with their noses in the air as they dine on organic, free-range such and such. Also, I think it's become trendy now to call oneself a "foodie." Ugh! I simply like food. I like eating, I like shopping, I like cooking. That said, I definitely do not search for the trendiest and most expensive restaurants. Not that I can afford to eat there anyway, but I'm generally much happier dining at a small mom-and-pop restaurant. This does not mean I'm cheap. I just prefer saving my money for more important things - traveling and books. :) Nor does this mean I'm a cheap date. Men! Some of them hear that and think they don't have to put in any effort. Yes, you do! ;) I like shopping for food. Gone are the days I used to go to the mall. I like browsing at Asian grocery stores and Trader Joe's. The former because I always find something unusual in almost every aisle at reasonable prices, and the latter for the same reason. I actually like to take my time when I'm grocery shopping so that I can walk up and down every aisle leisurely looking over everything. I like cooking. I like challenging myself to cook new dishes. I like being in my kitchen. I like cooking for family and friends. And yes, they must ooh and aah appropriately or I'm never cooking for them again. :) And to prove how much I'm not a "foodie," I'll show you some of the cheap, cheap stuff I use in my kitchen. No KitchenAid mixers or Kyocera knives here. My cheap stuff works just fine, and I truly don't have a desire to buy the best appliances that money can buy. I know, I'm a strange chick. I get more excited about making homemade butter with my $6 mixer and storing it in my low-tech French butter keeper than I do about the prospect of a KitchenAid mixer to do the same thing. And as you know, I love throwing tea parties. So here you go, scenes from around my kitchen. My microwave is very old. Nearly 20 years old actually! My mom bought it for me at a thrift store when I first graduated and moved out on my own. That was a decade ago. But hey, it still works! In front of it are some cute trivets I got from the thrift store. The hand-painted Moulin Rouge one was still in its wrapper and was only $2! The blue tiles were $1, the one on the right is actually Delft. So pretty isn't it? I'm so sad because a can fell out of the cabinet recently and broke my tile. :( Boo hoo! Real Delft too! :( But here's how I turned the tile into a trivet. Just buy one of those packs of plastic feet found in the hardware aisle, tear off the sticker, and paste it onto each corner. These work great for the undersides of plant pots too. No Le Creuset for me. My little tomato-shaped enameled cast iron pot is just perfect for one.
Tomato Enameled Cast Iron Pot
Same goes for my cheap little rice cooker. It only makes 3 cups, but I usually only cook 2 cups anyway so I don't need a bigger or fancier one. My knives were also holdovers from when I first moved out on my own. I think this cost me $10 for the set. The butcher knife was a few bucks at the Asian grocery store. Cousin Q said he was surprised I didn't have a fancy chef's knife set. You know, the kind where I can toss a piece of paper in the air and slice it with the knife. Ummm, when do I ever toss pieces of paper in the air and slash them with a knife? This set still cuts, and that's just fine for me. And any time anyone says they want to buy me new knives, I say no. It's unlucky if you're superstitious like that. Gifting someone with knives means the relationship will be severed. Remember my Hello Kitty juicer? Everyone loved seeing it the first time around. I bought it on clearance at Target. :) *Sniffle.* I stupidly stored my Hello Kitty waffle iron upright on top of my fridge so it can be displayed and it recently got knocked down and broke apart. No more Hello Kitty-faced waffles. *Sniffle.* What is up with me breaking things lately?! :( Cheapy $7 food processor. But hey, it makes pesto and nem nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork patties) just fine. Brioche tin! For free because Amazon has that great buy 4-for-3 promotion. And a teapot that is way too delicate for me. But after the third time seeing this at three different Marshall's/TJMaxx locations, I knew I'd regret not buying it. $10. Oooh, I can't wait until I have another tea party. And my other tea sets purchased in Vietnam two summers ago. The green set on top was only $3 with teapot, six tea cups, and individual dishes for each of them. The blue one in the center was only $3 as well, and it did used to have six tea cups but I broke 4 of them. :( That's another reason why I don't have expensive things. While I like my stuff, nothing I break is truly valuable, just sentimental. And the tea pot on top of the tiered tray was only about 75 cents! All were purchased at Bat Trang pottery village, outside Hanoi, where the whole village has been making pottery for about 1,000 years. And just to tease you with an upcoming recipe (I made my own curry paste!), is my mortar and pestle. To see how truly large it is, it's shown next to my old mortar and pestle. It's huge! And heavy! I love it! OK, phew! I finally finished this meme. Why did it seem so hard? And I hoped you liked some of the truly random things and scenes around my kitchen. Just surround yourself with things you like, and you'll enjoy cooking too.


  1. i did not know this about knives. i was thinking of getting you one for you bday, but now i know better. i am reading your lovely blog instead of doing work.

  2. hehe.. my kitchen is old and run down-the oven is unreliable and i have a cheap mixer too! I believe that if we have the heart to cook and enjoy good food, than we will make it happen...

    That $7 food processor! cheap cheap.. no luck in finding one so far in Aus though.

    and u r so right with the teapot- Worth every single cent I think! So adorable and sweet!

    Keep rockin girl!

  3. I've heard that you can give knives as a gift but you need to put some money in with the knives so that you don't "severe the relationship"! ;-)

  4. ps. I love all your kitchen gadgets esp. the Hello Kitty juicer!

  5. You're such a foodie! I keed I keed ;) My mom has the same Le Creuset pot.

  6. I'm also no foodie, then (though I've used this word as my "tag" line in blog banner last time).

    (BTW, the kaya jam - I bought it from 99Ranch. Not sure SoCal 99Ranch stocks them. Brand of jam -Glory). If you happened to get it, try them without the butter first. That's the original toast. Try butter if you feel like something fanciful.


  7. Hippity,
    Oh, no, no, I don't expect a present from you. We just met! But thanks for thinking of me. :)

    Churning out good food from a crap kitchen is more impressive. If I had a state-of-the art kitchen, you'd expect good cooking, right? ;)

    Hmm. Money does work wonders huh?

    But it's not a Le Creuset pot. That's my point. :P

    Nah, that's just my interpretation. You can call yourself a foodie, I just don't like referring to myself as one. ;)

  8. I like the term "foodie". To me it is just someone who has a keen interest in cooking/eating. ... you know, people who are fun to be around....I would call you a foodie. :)

    I have a lot of old things in my kitchen, too (including me--LOL).
    My microwave was something like 28 years old when it died last year. It served me well, but I must say that the new model heats things up so much more quickly.

    I had a garage sale Mixmaster for years (paid $7 for it). When it finally died, I did buy a Kitchenaid (it looks just like the one Ina Garten uses if you watch FoodTV). I must say I do LOVE my KitchenAid. It's so much better than the garage sale one that wobbled as it turned. :)

    I didn't know that about knives as gifts. Now I will always remember it and never buy a knife for a gift!

    I always learn something when I visit your blog.

  9. Zoey,
    Don't mind me, I'm full of superstitions! Oh, I wouldn't mind having nice things, just saying I don't need it. And I'm content to keep using my stuff until it wears out on its own.

  10. so whens the next tea party?


  11. speaking of hello kitty...have u seen this? http://www.cakecentral.com/article163-How-To-Make-an-Edible-Image-Icing-Plaque.html

    its neat.

  12. I'm a sucker for hello kitty stuff too. :) Love your trivets!

  13. PeachyMango,
    That's too much work! I'd just stick a plastic Hello Kitty doll on top of the cake instead. :P

    Thanks! You like all my kitchen stuff! ;)


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