Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Slumber party

Finally life is settling down a bit and getting back into my routine after a busy weekend following my hectic week of travel. Puck came over early Saturday morning and crawled into bed with me so we had some nice morning snuggles.

We had intended to visit the parents in Staten Island that day, but since we woke up late we decided it was going to be too hectic to drive there for only an hour's visit and back. We had a leisurely breakfast, followed by a rather intense relationship check-in, because we haven’t actually seen each other since the ice cream social a few weeks ago. In keeping with our history of small moves, we agreed on a change and voiced some of the things that needed to be said. We both used quite a few tissues, but ended on a positive note and our relationship is certainly the better for it.

So not going to Staten Island was good because it also gave Puck a chance to chill after that while I went to Chinatown and got ingredients to make my peanut sesame noodles for the House Penguin Slumber Party that night in Springfield, MA. My version of these noodles is based on a dish my dad used to make, but his is far superior. I just made it up to be as close to what I remember, but I’m sure I’m missing some kind of secret technique or ingredient because it doesn’t quite taste the same. Here’s my recipe:

8 oz jar of peanut satay sauce
1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sambal oelek (southeast Asian chili sauce)
2 bunches of green onions, sliced diagonally
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jar of chili bamboo shoots
1 package of round white Chinese noodles

Combine the sauces and vegetables (except bamboo shoots) in the bottom of a large bowl while noodles cook to a firm texture. Drain noodles and mix with sauces and vegetables while still hot (to melt the peanut butter and soften the vegetables), adding bamboo shoots on top with some, but not all of the chili sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Serve room temperature or also tastes good stir fried.

At 5 pm the noodles were ready and we went downstairs to meet our friends at the garage across the street to get Yoshi. To fit everyone in, they helped me take out my Christmas tree and two of my large storage tubs and bring them up to the apartment, which was a great help since my back still hurt from softball. Then we all piled in for the 3+ hour drive to Springfield.

By the time we got to the party, things were in full swing. One girl whom I met at Wicked Faire along with one of our hosts, Dark was in the kitchen laying nude on a massage table being drizzled with colorful melted wax and candles to be a birthday “cake.” Upstairs at the food table I met Sarah and Rose, two roommates from the western Massachusetts area – unfortunately, Sarah couldn’t eat my noodles because she can’t handle spicy food.

Downstairs, I walked into the living room and sat down in a chair because my back was hurting and met a lovely woman before another girl, um, distracted her from talking to me.

As the evening entered the wee hours and local people started to leave, I set up the air mattress for Puck in the living room. I had a dream that I was a prostitute who drove around on a motorcycle, taking her tricks back to a motor home parked under a freeway overpass, but I did actually sleep quite well.

The next morning we ate leftovers for breakfast and played card games on the floor, while other people had a sing-a-long in the next room with a guitar and lyrics on the flatscreen TV. We left in the early afternoon, dropping everybody off before heading down to Staten Island to visit Puck’s family. The nomadic sister Ella and her husband Sasha are back home from their year-long sabbatical, so it was nice catching up with them.

Finally, we came back to the apartment to park Yoshi and took the subway down to Union Square to meet up with Peter (Puck’s other from the Netherlands) and have a late dinner at Max Brenner’s. We had a gorgeous sesame-crusted salmon with a wasabi mayonnaise aioli and I had probably the best milkshake ever, a chocolate hazelnut concoction. Puck and Peter both had spicy Mexican chocolate coffee.