Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sushi and Seagulls

The other day we took a trip to the Asian market. And even though it's just down the road, when you enter it's like you've been transported to another world. There are shelves full of deliciously unusual items: pickled bok choy, fresh tofu soaking in water, boxes of dried shrimp and other assorted creatures, bins full of fresh blue crabs and stacked aquariums filled with fish that watch you as you pass by. While we were there, a man and his son ordered two live eels. I wonder how you prepare those slithering things!?! I'm sure there's a recipe on the web.

Our intention was to pickup up just a few things to add to our miso soup. We ended up with a basket full of groceries! My daughter's favorite is the flavored soda bottles with a marble at the top. You push the marble down and it wobbles around the neck of the bottle. Fun games for kids!

So we ended up with so much food for dinner that we were eating leftovers for a week! We actually did make the miso soup stocked with yummies like baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo, egg and bok choy. We also made our own sushi rolls, spring rolls (with glass noodles!), pot stickers and heated up some Benh-Da, a crunchy cracker-like tortilla with black sesame seeds.

It took a total of 3 hours to make and we were finished in less than 15 minutes. Despite the short time, it was absolutely delicious.

Back to the Asian market... as we were leaving, I noticed seagulls in the parking lot. Since we moved here in 2001, I just can't get over the fact that we have seagulls flying around at all times of the year. Rob and I have lived in Key West and San Franscisco, so it's a given that seagulls are in both places. But I grew up in Pennsylvania and Raleigh kind of reminds me of it. I mean, it gets cold here, there are bonafide winters - most of the time. Plus, the ocean is not exactly within walking distance. Raleigh just strikes me as a land-locked location. So to see seagulls, which is such a "beach" symbol to me, is just kinda odd.

Well, it just so happened that we had a box of leftover bagels from church that morning, so Maddy and I decided to feed the birds. What fun it is to throw bits of bread to the gulls. The funny way they fight over them and look at you expectantly - waiting for the next little bit. The caws and sqaws they shriek, the way they fly down and catch pieces in midflight. I had birds waiting in line mid-air, watching each move I made intently. Once they got their bit, they'd sail off. It's so uplifting to watch them!
It made us both feel light and happy.

Like I said before, we were in a parking lot and it was a busy Sunday. So our little activity drew quite a lot of attention. People in passing cars slowed down to watch, smiling and waving. Those leaving the store would stop to watch a little of the "show". I was delighted to see such happy reactions from others. What a great way to connect with strangers...

So, all in all, our sushi-and-seagulls day was an unexpected success!

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