Friday is Bike Everywhere Day!
Plan your commute accordingly, Friends.

2013 Bike to Work Day celebration in Ballard, Seattle

Felt compelled to do this PSA:

Friday May 18th is Bike Everywhere Day!

I’m just going to leave this link for Bike Everywhere Month here …

Check it out for a map of the fun bike stations that will pop up around town on Friday. It’s a fun party atmosphere (er, starting at 6AM), and I’m hoping this year will be even more festive thanks to all those dockless bikes available for riding. By “fun” I mean free stuff like bike lights, chocolate samples (see: Fremont Bridge stop), music and free food. Check it out, Peddler’s Brewing is having a party 4-8 that day! The feature photo for this quick post is from a previous year’s bike celebration in Ballard.

How do YOU plan your commute?

Further Reading:

Shoutout to Tricia who, after a couple years’ convincing, finally talked me into bike commuting back in 2013, and the whole Bike to Work Team buddies I had downtown.* Miss you guys even more than that waffle breakfast we did, sniffle…

 

*Also: Shelley and Tricia who both biked with me on my first couple rides, and Tesia who helped calculate my [low] odds of accident per trip to allay my risk averse brain.

Stand-up Paddleboard:
Starter Kit Recommendations

Paddling in the shadow of Mt St Helens, OR

As the days yawn longer and air gets warmer, my snowboard powder dreams recede and give way to the echo of hypnotic rhythmic waves of a good lake paddle. Several friends asked me about my SUP (stand up paddle board) equipment, all in this last week, so I thought it was finally time I jot something down for you.

 

Q: Which paddle board do you have? Thinking of making an investment.
A: Woohoo, SUP! I have this one from Isle Surf & SUP:

ISLE 10’4 Airtech Inflatable Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board (6″ Thick) iSUP Package

This set includes the hand pump and storage bag, both are very handy. I love my SUP board, it has brought me so much joy and tranquility.

That said, here is a size chart you can compare to your height so you get the right fit: SUP 101: Paddle Board Weight & Size Chart (Isle Surf & SUP)

Q: You’re happy with it? Inflatable sounds awful, but look a lot cheaper than the non-inflatable..

A: Yes, very happy! I’ve brought it with me all over the Pacific Northwest since Fall 2016, a feat which would’ve been hard and much less likely with a rigid board since I have a Honda Civic so it would’ve been hard to carry and store. Once inflated to proper PSI, it’s quite rigid and stable. I suspect that a different rigid one would be extra maneuverable, but not nearly so grippy for those nice yoga stretches. To me, inflatable is worth the trade-off for portability. How portable? Well, I even took it on my back on an e-bike to get it from my AirBnB in Bend to paddle the Deschutes River the weekend of the eclipse. Yup.

Jökulsárlón Short Video

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Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)

Bonus entry!
I had leftover cucumber from that tzatziki (and leftover tzatziki too, but that’s a different puzzle), so I figured I’d make some delicious but simple cucumber salad, Japanese style. The recipe I’ve been using since 2007 is from this website with cucumber recipe files.

I halved it for my purposes tonight, but this is the full portion for ingredients below:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
  • salt (haven’t found I feel there is much added value with salting it)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

CucumberSaladIngredients_@0131007

Thankfully, the 30-day reduced sugar challenge I was doing with co-workers in October is over, so I am adding sugar to my heart’s (small) desire! I am either in denial, or I didn’t have that bad a sugar addiction as the books say most people have. I actually did quite badly last month, gaming the rules I was following, and the limit of 1 sugar item (like dessert) each weekend day actually turned into a quota, which I don’t think I was previously following. But enough of a tangent, back to the task:

1. Mix all the ingredients except cucumber together.
2. Add cucumber, toss to cover, and chill in fridge.
3. Eat (cold) in an hour, or tomorrow.

Leftover Cucumber
Leftover Cucumber
Marinade Mix
Marinade Mix

 

Hmmm, apparently I forgot all about the website’s recommendation to eat it with sesame seeds. I’ll have to try that too.

Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)!
Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)!

 

This week’s trial recipe ratings:

Novelty:  0, I’ve done this before.
Likelihood of repeat: 100%, since 2007.

This recipe has proven itself a tasty snack, side, and picnic item. It keeps pretty well if you need something that’s made in advance, and doesn’t need to be warmed up to taste good.

Podcasts Worth A Listen

I’ve been listening to podcasts since around 2001, when I’d board a shuttle on my college commute, threading my iPod earphones under a down jacket so the wire wouldn’t freeze and crackle the sound. Here’s my latest list of regulars on my Stitcher app.

food-related . curious about the world . storytelling & creativity . news

Food-Related Podcasts

Stories on food and its origins and how it connects us, plus a strong thread of hearing the less-told stories of how minority groups or unexpected narratives contributed to mainstream food culture.

Food Without Borders: Food writer Sari Kamin speaks with guests on how food helps connect them to their past, ease potential conflict across cultures and strengthen the future. She also explores the immigrant experience in the U.S. today.

Gastropod: food with a side of science. Heard their oyster episode just as I was putting finishing touches on my post about going to Taylor Shellfish on a road trip. This is current go-to podcast each week, as of Spring 2018.

Gravy: the Southern Foodways Alliance has been putting out some really exciting stories over there, exploring stories and histories of food from different cultures living in the United States that traditionally haven’t had a loud voice in the mainstream.

Heritage Radio Network: the only online food station, and a powerhouse of food-related segments.

Racist Sandwich: lives in the intersection between food, race, gender and class, and shares some very frank perspectives.

The Sporkful: funny, down to earth. “The Sporkful isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters.”

On the Radar

Podcasts I am still assessing, or that are good for context learning but not in my regular rotation.

Food for Thought: stories related to food in Seattle, under the NPR umbrella.

Special Sauce: comes from the Serious Eats professionals, hosted by Ed Levine.

The Splendid Table: American Public Media’s classic show on food.

Taste of the Past: with all the time spent listening to the ones above, this one doesn’t get my ears as much, but still makes it on the list.

Do you have a favorite food-related podcast that’s not listed here?

Please post in the comments and share, or tweet me @FoodtheWongWay.

Other Podcasts in Rotation

Curious about the world, looking for kindness, good stories, PNW news and inspiring life paths.

Curious About the World

99% Invisible: stories for those curious about the world!

Awesome Etiquette Podcast: I am a long-time fan of Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning’s etiquette podcast, which offers thoughtful, friendly advice on how to be kinder to people. Yep, they are descendants of the etiquette authority, Emily Post. I heartily agree with the sentiments on the Emily Post Institute, “being considerate, respectful, and honest is more important than knowing which fork to use. Whether it’s a handshake or a fist bump, it’s the underlying sincerity and good intentions of the action that matter most.”

Freakonomics: Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner, co-authors of the book of same name, “explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature”. This podcast regularly scratches my curious behavioral economics itch in life.

Hidden Brain: a conversation about life’s unseen patterns.

Lexicon Valley (Slate): John McWhorter explores the history and roots of different language questions.

Planet Money: like the title of this blog, the name of this podcast may seem misleadingly narrow, it touches on so many more aspects of our lives, and features great in-depth stories.

Storytelling & Creativity

Binge Mode (from The Ringer): I actually don’t have this on my Stitcher list, but Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion’s voices make it into my daily life via my partner’s podcast list through their dialogue based on binge watching various TV show series of the day. Other stories from The Ringer that I would otherwise not expect to care about seem to have one extra level of quality and compelling storytelling when Bill Simmons is involved..

Levar Burton Reads: Levar Burton reads to us! OMG, Reading Rainbow Nostalgia meets Star Trek #NextGeneration fandom meets new re-introductions to fiction from a fellow sci-fi fan. A recent read offered up an amazing listen of a short story by Octavia Butler, an amazingly insightful author (and one of the few racial minorities widely published in the mainstream sci fi genre a few decades ago). We should count ourselves lucky Mr. Burton is gracing us with his continued voice in the pool of narrative storytelling in this day and age.

The Moth Radio Hour: personal storytelling told from Moth events around the world that pulls at your heartstrings. I have actually been a paying donor of this podcast when it fit in my budget.

The Unmistakeable Creative: interviews with entrepreneurial people sharing their successes, failures, and inspiring stories.

News

Marketplace Morning Report: this is my perfunctory morning commute listen.

The Record (KUOW): local conversations from Puget Sound stories (KUOW is also 94.9 FM).

Seattleland: a newish podcast of local PNW stories, backed by Seattle Weekly.

Upcoming Food-Related Events

Living Breath Symposium 2017 - Books for further learning!

Following on the review of the First Food Tank Summit in Seattle, some upcoming food-related events, a few with social justice bents.

Race, Economies, Workers & Borders

April 3, 6-8pm at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship – Sanctuary, a Community to Community Development & Northwest Washington Central Labor Council event.

Slow Food Regional Conference

April 14 & 15 in Carnation, WA

The 2018 Living Breath Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium

May 4 & 5 in Seattle, WA (on the UW campus, on the grounds of the Coast Salish Peoples)

Menus of Change Annual Leadership Summit

 June 19-21, in Hyde Park, New York

Got some intel on more?

Write me! Contact details after the ‘read more’ link.
Continue Reading

A Review: Food Tank’s First Summit
in the PNW

Food Tank Summit in Seattle, 2018

2018 Food Tank’s First Summit
in the Pacific Northwest: Growing Food Policy

Have you ever attended a conference and walked away super inspired, then wondered a week later if anything stuck?

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Food Tank’s first summit held in the Pacific Northwest. In the end, it was a net positive. Having taken time to mull things over, there are even some unexpected learnings which will stick with me and help me grow going forward. Writing this review actually helped me process some of it, so thanks, Dear Reader!* I’m hoping the food-interested folks reading this, and the others who participated will help keep this learning going.

To skip the narrative storytelling portion, skip to the actual review part.
 
Continue Reading

Gluten-Free Pot Sticker Wrappers

Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: the cutting phase
What’s more Chinese than wheat-filled porky pot stickers?
Being a good host who makes all your guests feel welcome, that’s what.
In 1980s Minnesota, growing up a first generation American-born child of Chinese immigrants, Asian produce and processed goods were not readily available at the grocery stores on University Ave in Saint Paul. For special occasions, my parents would host parties and invite all our family friends over to help fold dumplings. They’d mix the pork filling and procure wrappers and get everyone –ethnic Chinese or not– involved in trying their hand at wrapping the dumplings.  I still remember one time our friend Javed found the filling so fragrant (it’s the toasted sesame oil in the pork) he asked if he could eat it raw. Was it that he grew up partly in Germany? Not sure, but sesame oil sure does make things smell good. Then my Mama would boil and/or fry round after round to fuel yet more dumpling wrapping. Some times my Baba would buy wrappers, other times I remember him mixing the flour and water and letting is rise, then rolling it out (by hand or by pasta roller), to be cut by the rim of an aluminum green bean can.
In light of this childhood memory, I was excited when K conceded to hosting a few friends over for a pot sticker* party for lunar new year with only a week’s notice.
New challenge: make gluten-free wrappers for my friend Jillian, so she could join in the fun!

Continue Reading

Travel Pro-tip: How to Pack Beer to Fly Home in One Piece

How to pack beer in your check-in luggage home.

“How do you pack beer home when you fly?”

-My old friend Kyle (readers may know him as the one who married an Iowan named Susannah*)

This was the nudge to finally draft this post I’ve had in mind. I hope those of you over 21 find it handy as we head into holiday travel this year. Kris and I like to bring a little craft beer back from travel as a souvenir to enjoy with friends. We’ve logged, him especially, a lot of airline miles with beer in luggage and gotten some routines down to accommodate.
[insert 10/22 photo of luggage, brighten and crop, draw arrow, caption: you can see I went with multiples of optional step 4]

The Beer-Packing Formula Continue Reading

Pro-tip Tuesday:
Unintended Extra Groceries + Tote Hack

Do you ever go grocery shopping and discover that you’re picking up 150% more than you intended to buy, that you are really hungry, and now you’re trying to figure out how to bike or walk it all home?

I recently picked up a new trick for those reusable sacs (usually cloth or polyester of some sort) with sizable handle-loops. It keeps me covered when I am carrying way more than any sane, less-ambitious urban nomad would carry. Continue Reading

Need an Easy Dinner Next Monday?
Food-related blog news.

Panko-Crusted Chicken with Zesty Lemon-Garlic Pasta, Salad

Dear Reader,
I am sharing a bit of exciting news — as of today, my good friend Sarah Yee​ and I are starting a little food business! As you all know, we both love to cook. Now, we’ll be channeling this passion and skills into cooking for our community through Josephine.

What’s Josephine?
Josephine is an awesome community where approved cooks sell their home cooked meals to friends and neighbors. You order online, pick up the food from my kitchen and take it home to enjoy! Each meal, Sarah and I will be taking turns leading, all while we get to cook together and learn from each other’s recipes. Continue Reading