A Different World! 8:38 p.m. 2003-05-31

Yesterday and today were dedicated to packing and moving - after sleeping until 10AM. Hey! I am supposed to have some sort of R & R before summer school comes!

Yesterday, I packed boxes and ran one round of errands centered in my current side of town. Then, my "decorator" (it's handy to have a mom that's a decorator!) brought over some paint samples for the living/dining/kitchen - well, basically the whole second floor!

It seems that my poor, beknighted husband did not fully realize the enormity of the painting job at hand. All day, he kept suggesting places before the kitchen area to stop the painting...

I seem to have a blue and yellow kitchen - at least most of my canisters and decorative pieces are yellow and blue. I also have purchased a lovely yellow Provencal (sorry - I can't do the cedilla!) tablecloth to go in there. The dining room is hung with a large silk Korean tapestry in dark red with gold and blue and other colors, with my two chair pictures (they are primary colors). The living room will probably have a blue and yellow and white Oriental rug, but my pictures there are more purples and pinks.

We'll make it work, using a light goldy-yellow color. Think Dijon mustard.

In addition to that, I have decided that we need to paint the master bedroom. This room has a lot of camel/terra cotta browns and equestrian art. Our duvet color is this awesome fabric that looks like big painted serpentine swaths of ochre, rust, buff, and blue/pewter grey. We are going to try a light grey on the walls in there. We are also going to paint my iron bed, which hasn't been painted since I was in high school (I have slept in it since I was six years old and shared it with my sister). We are going to experiment with a Rustoleum spray in crackly gunmetal grey! Funky!

We are going to leave the other rooms be for the moment.

There are other things that need to be done pretty soon: there is no garbage disposal, we may put in an over-the-range microwave oven, ceiling fans and overhead lights need to go in. We're getting a new sofa... Plus the repairs on the antique armoire.

Today, I had lunch at Costa Verde, a Peruvian seafood restaurant that I had heard about over a year ago and could never find. A lot of the food is either seafood (too expensive for solo lunch) or steak and fried stuff. I opted for two appetizers: the causa rellena appetizer, described as a "mashed potato ball with chicken or tuna stuffing," is about the size of one of those one-hand, plastic promotional footballs, only more egg-shaped and yellow. The other was an ensalada rusa - cold vegetables and potato in mayonnaise. I also had chicha morada, a purple corn-based spiced drink that tastes like an apple pie. I love it, and I loved the food, too.

Then, I went to check out Gaucho's Grill and Bakerynext door. Instead of the Brazilian style of grill, where waiters come around with different cuts of meat on swords (a la Fogo de Chão), you order a plate of meats that can include steak, pork, sausage, blood sausage, and tongue. You know I'll be giving it a try! I bought two pastries, called caja(?), which was a meringue base with a peach filling and dulce de leche, covered by chunks of more meringue. It was a little sweet, and more caramelly than peachy. (I am not a fan of the South American caramel - a little goes a long way.)

I am sooooo excited about the different cultures represented in the area, thought. In the same shopping center was a Mexican restaurant with Guatemalan dishes. I didn't even think that Guatemalan food would be different!

Still in an international mood, I made Beef Rendang for dinner. Of course, I did not make the sauce myself. Instead, I tried an Indofoods seasoning packet, and added stir fry vegetables. I got a kick out of reading the promotional materials for the packets on the website, in particular the part where it assures us that the spice packets are "Easy to cook, even for youth/men." Isn't that a gas?

I am going to try it next time in the slow cooker. If you are interested in trying these - I started out with Indian spice mixes, and am experimenting at the local international farmers market - you can order them at IndoMerchant.com. I also love the Sambal Goreng Ati!

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