June 25, 2022

Diary of a Quarantined Boy, part 1, day 1

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Woke up late this morning after having gone to bed pretty late. Since we're in quarantine with nowhere to go and no one to see, and it's a Saturday, I guess it didn't really matter. We could be lazy just like Gudetama (ぐでたま).

Speaking of the lazy egg... I bought a Gudetama toaster last year and had it delivered while my relatives were staying in our apartment, but I have never had a chance to use it. Sankala and I were pretty excited about taking it out of the box and putting it to the test.

So I did ask mom to get us some bread or toast. Unfortunately she didn't really get us the right type of toast... this brown toast came with almonds, walnuts, and raisins. So Gudetama's face wasn't really clear. Oh well... I ended up spreading some Nutella on it since it was the only thing available in the apartment, and washed it down with some crappy Nespresso Rio de Janeiro Espresso. Again, there were only a few capsules in the apartment left by my relatives...

We realized that the apartment was lacking a few things which couldn't wait to restock until we were out of quarantine, so I opened up my Foodpanda app on the phone again, and made my very first order from Pandamart. I remember watching all these ads for Foodpanda/Pandamart over the last year or two, and never thought I would need this. Oh well...

After spending a couple of hours cleaning the apartment, it was time for our first quarantine lunch. We decided to take advantage of mom's stash of goodies and do some simple "cooking"...

Marinated cucumbers - with some diced garlic and chili.

Pork dumplings with chives (韭菜豬肉餃), from Tseng Dumpling (曾餃子) - these kinda sucked. The pork had a strange taste to it... and it's not the usual.

Pork dumplings with pickled chili peppers (剝皮辣椒豬肉餃), from Tseng Dumpling (曾餃子) - these were, apparently, the best-selling item from this shop, and they were really, really delicious. The heat from the chili peppers was definitely there and would build up, so I had to alternate between one of these and eating something else, just to allow my palate to cool off.

The dumplings didn't keep me full for long, and I got kinda hungry in the afternoon... so I grabbed some of the fruits that mom left us - donut peach and banana.

Late afternoon saw Sankala embark on the quarantine activity we decided upon ever since this trip was planned. I had received this model of the Temple of Heaven (天壇) from Xiaomi (小米) as a gift a few months ago, and it looked really good. We figured assembling this out of 874 pieces would be challenging and take us a while, so we actually brought it back from Hong Kong - taking up valuable luggage space. We felt this would sit nicely in our apartment here.

Near dinner time, I made Sankala take a break so we could eat. Our second quarantine dinner saw Foodpanda deliver dishes from Mercuries Beef Noodle (三商巧福) so that someone could get her fix for Taiwanese beef noodle soup. Unfortunately this didn't work out as well as we had hoped.

Beef and tendon noodle soup (半筋半肉麵) - the soup turned out much too oily, and the spice mix seemed a little strange. The portion was also smaller than expected, but not too surprising given the price.

Marinated wood ear fungus (涼拌雲耳) - the marinade was a little on the sweet side, and came with shredded ginger and garlic.

Braised pressed bean curd (原滷豆乾)

Braised pig's ears (滷味豬耳朵) - a little smoky, which was nice.

Shredded burdock with sesame sauce (芝麻牛蒡絲) - pretty nice.

On top of what we ordered, Sankala had also blanched some water bamboo (茭白筍) mom left us, and we simply drizzled some sesame oil over them after taking it out of the fridge. Really refresing and delicious.

Since it's a Saturday night, I figured I'd pop open another bottle...

2008 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin - drank 30 minutes after decanting. A bit smoky, some woodsy notes but somehow reminded me more of darker wood, with more density.

After dinner, Sankala returned to her quarantine project, and I decided to join her. It took the two of us another 4 hours to finish constructing the model, on top of the 2½ hours Sankala spent before dinner time. But I do have to say that, as frustrating as it was to put this together, it looked pretty damn good!

I do like the little details, and the way those doors and windows can swing open or close.  Very happy that we finally got this done.  Now we just need to find a display case for it!

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