Thursday, October 15, 2020

Recent Small Joys

Featuring the Slip Silk Pillowcase (affiliate link) in navy and the L.L. Bean Wicked Cozy blanket (affiliate link) in shade blue. 

Things have picked up a bit at the office, so I haven't been able to blog quite as much recently. Here are a few things that are bringing me some bits of joy and levity these days, as my household continues to observe fairly strict social distancing. 

1. // With the help of Hadilly's comment, I decided to go ahead and get the L.L. Bean Wicked Cozy blanket (affiliate link) I mentioned a few weeks ago. The twin size is suitable for use as a throw blanket.)The plush fleece texture (thicker on one side of the blanket than the other; the thicker fleece side is visible in the photo above) is delightfully cozy and the blanket is quite warm. I ended up choosing the medium blue "shade blue" color instead of the darker navy blue-gray "raven blue," which I think was the right choice to go with the rest of our bedding. 

I'm really enjoying this L.L. Bean blanket, I've basically taken every available opportunity to snuggle up under it since it arrived (after washing and drying it once before use, following the instructions on the label). I'm almost tempted to get these as a Christmas present for everyone on my gifting list! 

2. // Following up on my commitment to make a conscious effort to support Black-owned businesses, I recently bought some additional loose leaf teas from Blk & Bold Specialty Beverages. This time around, I got more of the passionfruit black tea and also tried out the chai green tea. Both are quite good.

Whenever I've wanted to buy a new book since June, I've purchased through The Lit Bar's (a Black woman-owned independent bookstore in the Bronx) link. Most recently, I got a copy of Allie Brosh's new book, Solutions and Other Problems. Brosh's writing and art style are as great and charming as ever. She's also been posting plenty of supplemental content on the Hyperbole and a Half Facebook page. (There's also a preview chapter of Solutions and Other Problems on Brosh's Blogspot website, with some additional supplemental content for said chapter.) 

I also have some pieces from Black-owned businesses on my fashion-related shopping wish list: The Lingua Nigra "Shower of Faith" baby fringe earrings are beautiful, as are the longer and more dangly "Fringe Theory" earrings. I can't decide which one I would prefer, but because I'm not used to wearing long, dangly earrings, I should probably just stick with the shorter "Shower of Faith" design. I also really like the Olivia top or dress from Two Days Off, both of which are made of mid-weight linen. But because the season for wearing linen has now passed in NYC - it'll be too cold soon - the potential clothing purchase will probably need to wait until next spring or summer. 

3. // Here's a fun discussion topic that started on Twitter: "[W]hat's your cultural background, and what is the pinnacle of comfort food for you?" I'm a Taiwanese-American of Chinese descent, and I have... several comfort food items I'm quite attached to, it's very hard to pick just one. 

My top choice of comfort food is Chinese-style steamed eggs, which in my household were made more plainly and simply than in most recipes people write for this dish. This is the general idea, but I often don't use any toppings - just the eggs, water, and a bit of salt are enough - and I don't use any techniques for trying to get a smooth, silken texture on the eggs. But I also really like scrambled eggs with Kraft singles - basically this Pioneer Woman recipe, except that our household often used a microwave to make this dish when I was small - and find them almost as comforting as the Chinese-style steamed eggs. Both these egg dishes were common breakfasts for me throughout my childhood. 

And there are a number of other favorite comfort foods from my childhood as well, including char siu pork, pho, and - somewhat bizarrely - KFC mashed potatoes and gravy. You can probably guess that I was a child who really liked to eat! (And speaking of people who liked to eat when they were small, I enjoyed the anecdote about Taco Bell in New Yorker writer Jiayang Fan's Grubstreet profile, that when she was 11, she could eat eight or ten tacos at a time. I was able to eat almost as many at that age. And I would definitely still eat Taco Bell now. I didn't typically use the hot sauce packets though, I only gained my tolerance for spicy food as an adult!) 

This last food-related section of this post is turning out to be a bit of a grab bag, so I might as well throw in a link to this recent profile of Sohla El-Waylly in Vulture. She was very outspoken in calling out some of the pay disparity and other racial discrimination issues at Bon Appetit in relation to their YouTube channel (which is now completely dead to me due to Conde Nast's atrocious handling of the situation). In the interview. Sohla discloses that she was ultimately offered a fair contract with back pay for continued video work at Bon Appetit, but that she chose not to accept because other team members weren't offered the same. (I think that's a very brave, admirable decision.) Instead, Sohla is now working on videos with the Babish Culinary Universe and Food52's Youtube channels. 

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