Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seaweed and Potstickers

The other day, in the middle of a sleet storm, I suddenly decided I needed seaweed and potstickers. The seaweed was because I read an article about seaweed helping to prevent the body from absorbing fat. (Up to 75% of fat consumed!)

The potstickers were because I really love potstickers and if I was going to get seaweed from an Asian market, I should get potstickers at the same time.

After roaming the market not being able to read more than half the packages I picked up, I ended up with a jar of shredded seaweed and a huge bag of potstickers.

While in line at the register, the woman behind me asked if I knew how to cook the potstickers. I said I was just going to read the package. She gave me very specific instructions for how to boil the dumplings three times before browning them in hot oil. When I asked her if I had picked a good brand she said she didn't know -- she always made hers from scratch. (Made me think of my great grandmother and her pierogies. Could not imagine her buying them -- ever!)

It felt a little weird being the only caucasion and not being able to read the language. But when the woman in line offered advice on how to cook the food, I felt better. It was no longer people looking at me just because I was different, she wanted to be sure I knew how to prepare the food correctly. I felt accepted!

So, not sure which item it is on my 50 new things list, but shopping in an Asian market is on it! And it probably will not be my last time there.

Followup: I ended up following the package directions for cooking the potstickers. They fell apart and stuck to the frying pan. I really should have listened.

I bought the totally wrong seaweed. I think the stuff I bought is for adding to recipes. It is fishy tasting and not what I expected to find. I ended up locating a toasted seaweed snack at Trader Joe's. Though it still has a slight fishy taste, it has a light toasted texture that is nice. The pieces are very thin and crunchy and are lightly salted. I think I could eventually get used to eating it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Being Dogless

Monday of last week, we had to put our dog down. Rylee was a beautiful yellow lab with a great personality! She was very sweet and loving. She was a great dog! She was 12. It was definitely her time, and she looked at us with those big sad brown eyes and seemed to say she was ready.

As some of you might recall, last year about this time, our dog Ozzie died. He was only 6 and had a seizure of some type in our kitchen and died suddenly. Later that year, we had to put my mom's little poodle down, too.

So, last year we went from having three dogs to just one. Rylee had not done well as an "only dog" before and we were worried about her. In fact, we got Ozzie 6 years ago because she was so lonely and sad after Annie (golden retriever) died.

Maybe because she was older, maybe because she saw Ozzie die, and maybe because we have play dates with Page (the black lab mix puppy who belongs to our daughter), Rylee did OK being alone this time. Actually, Page is so energetic and tiring, maybe she was afraid we would get another puppy who would never leave!

So, for the first time in over 23 years, we are dogless. Though I have been frustrated with mud tracked in my house constantly, dog hair everywhere and too much barking, I'm having a little bit of difficulty adjusting.

Friday I came home to a totally empty house for the first time ever. There were no kids, no dogs, nothing -- just me. A house feels so different when it is that empty, when there is no one to greet you.

In the mornings, I look into the kitchen corner where Rylee slept. It is still a surprise not to see her there or standing at the back door waiting to be let out. She was always so happy to see me in the morning -- wagging her tail like crazy.

So, I'm not sure I ever want another dog. I've been saying for years how tired I am of having a dirty house. I'm tired of dirty floors. I want new rugs that will actually be clean for more than 5 seconds! I hate dog hair on everything. I'd like to walk out in my backyard without having to watch where I step.

At the same time, the hole in my heart where Rylee and Ozzie were is bigger than I thought it would be. I cannot believe how much I miss them both. (I think I miss Ozzie more now because we are dogless.)

We stopped by Petland last night before going to a movie like we usually do and it was hard. The puppies were as cute as always. They have lots of foo foo dogs I would never own, but are fun to look at. I was doing pretty well until I saw the yellow and chocolate labs. I remember when Rylee was that little and cute!

So for now, I guess I'll go ahead and clean my rugs because I know it will last. I'll wash the walls in the kitchen where they would lean. How can dogs get walls so dirty! And I'll really clean the dirt out of my hard wood floors knowing they won't be covered with mud after the first winter thaw.

Then I'll just see how I feel.