I continue to work to wrap up this first edition of The Albino Asian Cookbook. I’ve finished my final testing on the recipes. After almost a decade of experimenting, I’m finally happy with my General Tso’s Chicken, and I just put the finishing touches on the Seafood Curry, which is probably my favorite seafood recipe yet.
From this point on, it’s a lot of editing, registering an ISBN, and doing all the behind the scenes work to get the book launched.
Why is a children’s book ranked fourth in my favorite books list? It’s simple really: Peter Pan isn’t a children’s book, much as Gulliver’s Travels isn’t for children. Unfortunately, when most people hear the title of J. M. Barrie’s book, they think of the Disney animated rendition, or worse the movie, Hook.
I fell into this camp until a little over seven years ago, content to keep my knowledge of Peter Pan purely theoretical. Then I started talking to, flirting with, and dating this young woman whom I later persuaded to marry me. Abigail was planning to do her master’s thesis on Peter Pan (though I think choosing to write a thesis on something indicates both that you love it and don’t want to love it anymore). Of course, I did the one thing any intelligent suitor would have done; I located a copy of Peter Pan and started reading. Continue reading “4. Peter Pan”
I was given the compliment during a nonfiction writing workshop in my senior year of college. The class sat in a circle of tables and chairs, with the elderly, bearded professor, Douglas Atkins PhD, seated near the doorway while the early afternoon sun lit up the room. I wasn’t the best writer in the class or even the second best; I fell into the competition somewhere after those two positions. Still it was my turn to be critiqued.
Having my essay analyzed by my peers felt akin to how I imagine the nude model for an art class to feel; I felt exposed and wanted to hide behind the furniture. It wasn’t that I felt my writing was bad, though the essay was far from a masterpiece. Rather, I cringed inside at the idea of having such intimate thoughts and feelings, my thoughts and my feelings, captured on paper and revealed to others.
Then something happened that I didn’t expect. One of my classmates compared my writing to E. B. White, and others, Dr. Atkins included, agreed. It was something about the sentence structure, the reflective tone, and the fascination with nature, they said.
Inwardly, I rankled at the comparison. I even took insult, not that I let on, and immediately dismissed the comment. White and I were nothing alike, save perhaps our love of nature. If I’d considered White further, I probably would have concluded that he was a pretentious rambler convinced that each of his thoughts was riveting. Continue reading “The Compliment I Rejected”
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
Part 1: 2012
Midnight prayer walks are my favorite part of the summer. I was in high school when I initially began meandering around our neighborhood late at night and praying. Much to my parents chagrin, I’d slip out the front door as they were heading to bed, though when I informed them that I was praying not prowling, they were hard pressed to criticize. Kansas summer heat is tenacious; even at night, long after the passing of the sun, the ground exudes warmth. Still the shift in temperature makes evening ideal for such an activity. Lightly dressed and often barefoot, I’d pad through the darkness, skirting lamplight, seeing less but feeling more: the caress of a breeze, the gravel between skin and sidewalk, the brush of an ungainly insect.
Mornings have seldom held any appeal for me—to me, waking is like dying—while something about the end of day and human activity renews me. Though weary in body, my mind revives and creativity comes out to amuse anew. Emotions I haven’t had a chance to sift through drift to the surface, and thoughts, unfinished and unfettered, are reborn. From a young age, I was taught that God, while Creator, is also our friend. Accordingly during my late night ramblings it’s been perfectly natural for me to share my reflections with Him—at least normally. Continue reading “In the Cool of the Evening”
I generally do not consider myself to be a fan of Charles Dickens. I’ve read a number of Dickens stories including Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations and can’t claim to have especially enjoyed any of them. For my twenty-first century taste, Dickens can be boring and longwinded. Still, A Tale of Two Cities is the book I’m encouraging my wife to use as the novel for her literature course.
A Tale of Two Cities takes the best of Charles Dickens—his ability to capture humanity—and makes it succinct. Even though the story spans decades, the plot moves fast, and because the story takes place during the French Revolution the narrative carries more weight and resonance than the typical Dickens story. Continue reading “5. A Tale of Two Cities”
Introduction: I rarely equate Thai chili and comfort food, but this dish has a rich, spicy chicken broth base and is loaded with onion, garlic, and ginger. Some people make chicken soup when they do not feel well, but I make ginger chicken instead. Serves 2-3. Continue reading “The Albino Asian Cookbook Preview: Ginger Chicken”
The Albino Asian Cookbook is a longstanding passion project of mine. Having grown up in the Philippines, I love Asian food, and I love to write. This project combines those affections.
This is a short collection of my favorite Asian recipes, dishes I’ve tinkered with over the last decade. This is quality over quantity. I eliminated a large number of recipes that I simply wasn’t satisfied with.
Several recipes are simple and easy, while a few are complex and labor intensive. Either way, these are the meals I find myself returning to year after year. Continue reading “Introducing The Albino Asian Cookbook”