Somehow, It’s Already Next Year

Wow. So, I wrote that really depressing post about that horribly depressing zoo all the way back in September, then I blinked, and apparently the next 4 months flew by and suddenly, it’s January, 2013. Being an adult is difficult. Or rather, being an adult with a full time job, a cooking habit, a newly formed Dr. Who addiction, and an inclination to procrastination is really difficult. I’ve been busy and cooking a lot of great stuff, and I’ve even started writing posts about some of the stand out dishes, but then I get sidetracked and lazy and watch a marathon of Dr. Who and suddenly it’s 2 am and a certain robot who has work remembers she isn’t actually a robot, but someone who gets tired and cranky without eight hours of sleep.

It took a visit home and my sister yelling at me to remember that I have this and apparently people read it (or at least, she reads it). A lovely two weeks of clean air, great (in both terms of quantity and quality) food, snow, clean air, quiet suburbs, seeing my friends and family, meeting the tiny baby nuggets that since my departure to China have been born into my family, and spending quality time with my most awesome cat.

But then the whole living with my parents in a suburb without a car thing really began to getting annoying. Like, tear my hair out annoying. So I chopped off all my hair (and so far, only my grandmother has asked if I’m a lesbian) and what seems like many, many hours ago got on a plane. Oh air travel. It’s just the worst. I mean, I am fascinated by the fact that I get to hurtle through the air at crazy speeds and travel around the planet in a day. But the check-in guy weighed my suitcase and even though it was only slightly overweight, I still had to take out 3 pounds or be fined $75. So I ended up trying to figure out what of my carefully packed suitcase could be removed. (I spent three days packing and repacking to fit everything. Have you tried to move across the world with only fifty pounds of luggage? Impossible.) I ended up with mismatched shoes in my already overloaded purse. Then, my carry-on suitcase got a bag check and they pulled everything out. The carry on that had also taken 3 days of careful and methodical planning to make sure everything would fit and not break. It took me twenty minutes to get everything back in, and the people of Logan’s airport got to see what kind of underwear I like to wear.

After an unpleasant 14 hours of writhing around trying to find a position that wouldn’t crush my tailbone or cause loss of feeling, finally touched down in Beijing. One step off the plane, one breath and the air just tasted like chemical burning. Clearly, I was home. And when I did finally arrive back to my apartment, I discovered that TSA had unlocked an old lock that was hanging off the suitcase nowhere near the zippers, and locked it around the zippers so I couldn’t open the case. Old lock, no access to key or combination: it took me ten minutes with a pair of wire cutters to wrench it off.

The important part of this story is that the fifty pounds of luggage was mostly comprised of culinary things: cookbook, pastry accessories, specialized utensils, fancy ingredients, molasses (seriously, there is no molasses anywhere in China, as I discovered when trying to make gingerbread, but more on that later). Updates on food in short order, as I go through the backlog of recipe drafts from the past 4 months (a couple real crowd-pleasers in there) and I’ve got plans for the rest of this winter. Screw new years resolutions and eating healthy. Soon to come, recipes for cocktail party nibbles, pies, cakes, impressive tarts, cider donuts and more.

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