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Friday, May 28, 2010

Ask Wandering Chopsticks 9

What's up? says my adorable little niece. :)

I smile every time I look at this picture. She's soooo cuuute!

Ask Wandering Chopsticks 9

I tweeted last week about the treasures I got from the Salvation Army so I thought I'd share. All the dishes were buy 1, get 1 free and often sold in sets so it was an even better deal.

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 1

Like the cute little gray teapot for $2.29? But I needed to find something else for my freebie so I just grabbed the Star Trek glasses. Ha! :P The gray plates, the rose one, and the blue plate were my freebie for the stack of dipping saucers and chopsticks.

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 2

A lot of dipping saucers. I had a craving for banh beo (Vietnamese steamed rice discs topped with shrimp). The packaged mix said rice flour and corn starch, which didn't sound right to me. Corn starch would make the banh beo too firm. So I called my mom to get her recipe (And no, I'm not sharing it.), but I still needed little saucers to steam the banh beo. I have a lot of random saucers, but I didn't want mismatched-sized banh beo.

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 3

The blue tea cups were such a pretty color that I couldn't resist. Even though one was broken, so I was left with five, it was still a deal for $3.49. Especially because I got this plate as my freebie.

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 4

Which I plan to glue to this upturned goblet so I can make a cakestand. What do you think? Does it go?

Shoes were also half off, so all these shoes below were only $2 each. The beige wedges were brand new. Not really my style, but brand new! The red Steve Maddens aren't really my style either, but in pretty decent shape and $2. The Chinese Laundry heels are nicer in person. A nice pinkish-gold satin.

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 5

I went back again today because there was a secretary desk I was eyeing. Gone! :( Because the whole store was 50% off!

So I bought more $2 shoes. Nine West Mary Janes. I really needed a new pair since my previous Mary Janes finally fell apart on me last year. Gee, you mean shoes from Forever 21 don't last a decade? :P The boots are actually for lil' sis because they're a size 8! Like new! Leather! If she doesn't want them, I'm sure I can find someone who will. Or I could wear really thick socks?

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 6

Since everything was 50% off, the plates and goblets ranged from 60 cents to $1.75. The floral plates in the back? Limoges 22 carat gold, $1.15 and $1.75. I dunno why they had two price tags for the same plate, but a steal even at $1.75. Which stand do you like better? The thick one on the left, or the slender on the right?

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 7

I'm also thinking of making a two-tiered stand out of the blue plates, $1.75 each. Probably not with that 60 cents goblet though. I have a shorter light blue glass one in my cupboard that might work.

And what do you think of this last one? The $1.75 plate was from my trip last week. The 6o cents goblet is from today's visit. But the prism-like glass is the same. Yes? No?

Salvation Army Thrifted Finds 8

On Tuesday, because of DJ Jewelz and Christine of Folie a Choisauce's tweets, I got a craving for fish tacos.

On a Tuesday!

You know I'm all about 99 cents fish taco Wednesdays at Tacos Baja Ensenada!

I didn't get off work until 8:30 p.m. that night and was starving so I went to the Pasadena Rubio's for a quick bite. And saw actor Peter Kwong getting salsa in front of me. I thought he looked familiar, but I didn't know his name. He used his real name, which the cashier shouted out when he picked up his order. So a quick Google of "My Wife and Kids" and "Lauren Tom" and "Peter," turned up the "Restaurant Wars" episode where he played her husband, Eddie Hoo. They were Chinese restaurateurs who had to compete with the Kyle's Soul food restaurant. Anyone know what episode I'm talking about?

I grumbled to DJ Jewelz because the Rubio's fish tacos were $1.25 and didn't compare to Tacos Baja. But I got a story out of it, he said.

So yes, indeed. Only in L.A. can you make a fish taco run and also run into an actor. :)

I almost forgot to mention. Last week, while walking around old town Pasadena with my brother, his wife, and baby, we heard music and followed our ears to city hall where the Pasadena POPS presented Target Under the Stars to launch their summer concert series.

Notice anything unusual?

Look at the conductor.

Yup. Darth Vader conducting the symphony. It was the "Star Wars" theme we heard which made us walk in this direction.

Pasadena POPS - Target Music Under the Stars - Pasadena 1

Sorry, I was too busy trying to get a good shot and missed recording the symphony performing the "Star Wars" theme.

Here's Pasadena city hall in all its glory.

Pasadena POPS - Target Music Under the Stars - Pasadena 2

But I did manage to record Dennis McNeil and the Donald Brinegar singers performing "God Bless America."

Summer's coming all right. Anyone got exciting plans to share?

In blog news, I'm hosting Weekend Wokking for June so if you've got a SPINACH recipe, please email it to me.

I'm now caught up to March 2009 if you want to read posts in chronological order or to see if you missed anything.

Sadly, I've now removed the "Print Friendly" option because that made it too easy for people to copy and paste my recipes and photos onto other forums. Grrr!

Gosh, this was a totally random month! So, what's up with you? Got a recipe question? Restaurant question? Want to talk about your thrift store finds too? Planning on attending any concerts? Just want to say, "Hi?" Did you miss Ask Wandering Chopsticks 1? Or click on the "Ask Wandering Chopsticks" tag below for previous editions. Otherwise, what's on your mind? You have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 30.

1 year ago today, Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice).
2 years ago today, how to make broth for Canh (Vietnamese Soups).
3 years ago today, Ga Nuong Xa (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass).


  1. hi wc - wow what a post! first of all, your neice is adorable. love how she is "waving" to the camera! so cute!

    what cool bargains you got from the thrift store. i like the idea of making two plates into a cake stand. that's really creative. the plate with the narrow diamonds look pretty neat - kind of 50'ish, atomic/jetsons.

    and omg, your shoes - $2???? love the wedges and the peep toes. and those boots - i love love love pointy toed shoes. i'm a size 8/12 :) so those won't fit me!

    it's always fun going to thrift stores - you never know what you're going to find. i used to like looking for those big old wooden fork and spoons that Filipinos hang in their houses. i collect those. one time I found a really nice wooden carving of Tinikling Dancers - they don't really make those any more. now it's hanging in my office at work and I always get compliments on it.

    other thrift store finds - children's books for only .10 at purple heart! that's how i built up my daughter's library when she was a baby. a Mork doll (i mean, 'action figure') for .50! a giant wooden carved fork and spoon for $5! a vintage bowling bag for $2 (looks like the kind Woody Harrelson used in the movie 'Kingpin'), and a RARE paperback copy of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (the novel by Cameron Crowe in which he went undercover at Clairemont High in San Diego, that the movie is based on) for $1.00! It's going for $50 or more USED and $95 MINT on alibris. The hardback sells for at least $150 and up (I once had an opportunity to buy it at a used book store, but I balked at $60 for the hb)!!! D'oh!!!

    summer plans - going to toronto, niagara falls, a few other small towns, and visiting my blog friend C from the blog Life in Manitoulin in Manitoulin Island. she lives on a farm! we are so excited to finally meet her and her family.

    i think we will probably do a lot of day trips and explore diff't places we haven't been to before, along with going to parks/museums with our daughter. maybe we can also meet up during my vacay. i'd love to have lunch with you again. :)

    sorry for a long comment!

  2. Oh! Your niece is so beautiful! What a great pic : )

    You did FABULOUS at Salvation Army and I am quite jealous. Amd I adore the blue 1950's plates - you are spot on right, they would make a great tiered stand. (Envious sigh)

    Congrats on a great haul!

  3. Hi wc,

    What is your most memorable memory, and/or moment that is dear to you?

    ^ you get what I'm trying to ask right? For some reason when I reread that question, it sounds off. hmm maybe some grammatical issues.

  4. Adorable is the word for your niece! Great face expression. :)

    Discount stores are always fun to visit. I got a nice deal today at Sports Chalet though, even if it is not a thrift store! 110 dollars hiking boots became 40 dollars. Steal! Funny purchase since an employee thought I was a out of towner and not a local since I bring my DSLR everywhere I go.

    I've been to the Pasadena Rubio's location twice before yet I did not bump into any actor :(. Lucky you!

  5. CC,
    No apologies for long comments. Great finds and a packed schedule sound cool to me. I hope you have lots of fun on the island. Isn't it funny how women remember exactly what we spent and what a bargain we got out of something? You don't want to sell the Ridgemont High book for some cash? :P I built up a lot of my personal library from the city library's bookstore myself. And yes, let's try to meet up again this summer.

    Not too matchy matchy? I admit, I like things to go together. Must be my libra self liking things paired up.

    So broad! I have lots of great memories of lots of things and places and people. :P

    I usually leave my DSLR at home. Too inconvenient to carry it everywhere. I mainly use it to finish off recipes at the end, but otherwise, it's my point and shoot everywhere I go.

  6. WC,
    Ha, that's what I did with mine when I first got it. Mainly I was afraid that someone would steal it, even if it was so large. (talk about an iPod nano! So tiny it feels like it's not there) But as time progressed my thoughts changed to maybe something could be very interesting and memorable outside to take pictures of. But hey, I don't need to carry a purse anywhere so that greatly changes how convenient it is to bring one!

  7. wc - actually i don't want to sell my 'Fast Times' pb copy. it's not in mint condition or anything, more like "okay" condition. it has a prime place in my library's bookshelf! :)

  8. She's waving, even as she finds her head too heavy to lift. ;)

    Wow, look at all that loot! What a score.

    Oh, I never thought of gluing pieces together to make cake stands! What kind of glue do you use? Is the resulting piece washable? Handwash only?

    What else was I going to say... Ah yes. JS and I forgot about Weekend Wokking, but we'll try to whip something up tomorrow! We hope to get it posted soon, perhaps on Tuesday? (I hope, I hope.)

  9. Too bad, they werent size 4 :D

    Love the dishes you got there!

  10. I love how you bought shoes that weren't really your style simply because you couldn't resist the bargain! I do that way too often and have nearly 4 dozen shoes that I don't wear - I just like looking at them. O_o

  11. I guess actors gotta eat at Rubio's Taco Tuesdays too huh? :p

    Let's have a banh beo party and classily sip martinis out of your Star Trek glasses!

  12. ETE,
    I do have a bigger purse that can accommodate my DSLR, but I'm still too lazy to take it out. :P

    That's how I feel about some of my bargains. They're worth more to me knowing that I got a great deal and can use them, than if I sold them.

    I will do a post! I bought epoxy which makes it very tough and washable. Although, it just occurred to me that if you wanted it as a single use, regular old glue and then washing so it'd split apart would be great too.

    Size 4! You've got some tiiiny feet!

    I do that far too often and end up with too much clutter!

    Haha! OK, once I perfect my banh beo recipe, I'll invite you over!