28 February 2013

Four salad men and a daiquiri poet

Research papers or PhD proposals don't count, right? Yeah, I write those and sometimes a speech to kick off a university business meeting. The rest of the time I play with recreational haiku, and that's that. So I'm no writer, but once in awhile I date some daiquiri. When the calendar showed 1-1-11, I headed off to a beach town, the Thai Royal family's summer home. I did balance the table with something healthy.

Now we don't play with our food but we certainly can have fun:
Guess which writer loved daiquiri: Edward Thomas, Randall Jarrell or Robert Frost 
Clue: "The land was ours before we were the land's..." Read at JFK's inauguration
*More on writers and what they love to eat here.*

Someone once said 'it takes four men to dress a salad. One for the salt, one for the pepper, one for the vinegar and one for the oil." 

Can you name which men? Here are your choices:
a. yeoman, barman, monk, gamekeeper
b. wiseman, madman, miser, spendthrift
c. marksman, poet, undertaker, painter

Now have some coffee before finding your answers below

"Robert Frost loved daiquiris. At the Waybury Inn near one of his favorite dining spots - Frost would begin every dinner with a daiquiri. But only one daiquiri." THE AWL

"It takes four men to dress a salad: a wise man for the salt, a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar and a spendthrift for the oil." ~ Anonymous

Leisure research, a memory of celebratory dining and its association with literature are to me sunbeams of joy to a quiet day off work. I hope you had fun guessing. 

Shared with Mellow Yellows * Inspire Me Monday * Color Connection * Food * Food Trip * Share the Joy * Creative HomeAcre * Favorite Things

25 February 2013

Grab a stone

"Bangkok on the cheap," says one site about a series of free concerts in Lumpini Park. The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra performs Sunday afternoons in January. Most concert-goers are picnicking at the same time: families and couples twittering and applauding in between bite-size pizzas, sausages in bamboo sticks and oishi tea. Like always the Thai government provides mats for people to sit on. For 'soloists' who come late, well they just have to grab a stone. I did. The guy in blue probably got tired of squatting on the grass with guy in red so he sat on my stone when I stood up to take a photo -

Since it was my first time to watch this concert I had to find it by asking people along the way. This was by the sky train route -

Inside the park; sweet hues by the wayside -

Lumpini Park lake -

Silom side, Bangkok's financial district, in the distance -

A park guard told me to 'trong pai' (go straight) and pointed me to a gazebo from which speakers with announcements in English can be heard so I followed the voice -

I was glad to finally find the freebie after navigating such a vast park. A vocalist sang Reflection from Mulan and there were a few more recognizable pieces like Moon River and that soundtrack from Born on the Fourth of July -

21 February 2013

My first Replay

I want to write a book about shoes that's full of footnotes. ~ Jarod Kintz

My only recollection of noticing Replay merchandise was around 13 years ago when an ex-boyfriend mentioned that he liked the brand. Recently I was browsing in the shoe department of Central Plaza and noticed an attractive sign.

Now what made me decide to check this pair out? Nah... it's not nostalgia for a past love. The new resolve to treat myself now and then is one. It fits and does not send me waggling on the glazed floor of my playground, a.k.a. lecture rooms, so that's another one. But the number one motivation for this purchase is the 90 percent off factor! I paid just US$13.35 instead of US$135.45. Quite a steal, isn't it?

Sold to shoe lover me.

Pelican brief dessert

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer
Butter pan cake with warm chocolate, green tea ice cream and red bean jam

This dessert plate arrived on my table and I had my nose glued to The Pelican Brief. When I remembered to take a photo, the green tea ice cream had began melting. But who cares? This is one of those feel-good moments when you're doing two things you love simultaneously!

20 February 2013

Unknown reasons

What spirit is so empty and blind that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed? - Michelangelo

 Why is the Mom in this family picture smiling? Oh, I know. The Dad is wearing shoes.

But my mother was also smiling in our family photo. All three of us look about the same age as this family. Mama said she explicitly told Papa that day long ago that we would sit for a family portrait so we were to don something formal. But lo and behold Papa came in flip flops! Mama wasn't very happy about it. She still placed our picture neatly in the family album though. Family is family, slippers or stilettos.

What is unknown to me, besides the identity of this family, is how Father (rest in peace, Pap) ended up in the photo studio wearing slippers when he wore shoes virtually all the time. In fact we only saw him wearing slippers during his retirement.

Ah well, so much for shoes. I have loads of them but I don't want to ramble on about why I have more shoes than umbrellas when I live in a country that blazes hot all year.

I could probably attempt an analysis, but there are more interesting Unknowns to explore this week at Sepia headquarters.

11 February 2013

Les Miserables brunch

Les Miserables hit big screens in Bangkok on January 31st, weeks behind Europe. At least that's what I remember a friend in Sweden said to me last week of December 2012- that they're all crazy about the musical. I love buying little treats to celebrate films I enjoy watching. This time I tried the warm chocolate cupcake from Coffee Beans by Dao. I also browsed a sprinkling of quotes by LM genius Victor Hugo:

 "To love another person is to see the face of God."

“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.”

"He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two.”

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”

05 February 2013

Dasa book cafe

When Dasa Book Cafe claims that they are the 'best secondhand bookshop in Bangkok,' I believe them. Not only am I a frequent customer here; I have also visited other secondhand bookshops in the city but I like Dasa best of all.

Their site has a page that explains the name Dasa, and I quote:
"dāsa" came from the name of the late venerable Thai Buddhist Monk called "Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu".

The word "dāsa" itself means "slave" or "servant". It's the word from an ancient language called "Pali" which is the language that Buddhist monks use in chanting and in their regular rituals or ceremonies. We chose this name because it conveys the meaning that all book lovers are "slave" in the sense that they can't live without books or reading. The name also has a nice Asian touch to it and is also quite catchy.
Even though the place may not look attractive on the outside, I'd still say it's one of my favorite haunts. 

Inside it's cozy

and conducive to browsing.

Sometimes I would climb up the second and third floors and browse some more

Often I just stay in this area where the English-speaking assistants are. A white guy (I'm guessing the owner) works quietly near the coffee corner cataloguing books in his computer.

01 February 2013

Cherry chocolate cake

Check out the spoon: beside the color which is my fave, it's obviously disposable. But this is something sweet with a double meaning. Latdawan, a Management major gave this little treat to me. When I smiled at her, "what's this for?" she shrugged, "nothing" then browsed her book. I'm a bit chary about accepting gifts from students; don't want to be compromised come evaluation time. Fortunately, I didn't have to with Latdawan. She's one brainy student.

When it comes to cakes, I always love it moist. Here's a recipe from Linda Larsen that you may want to try.


1 (18- oz) package chocolate cake mix                        1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract                            1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar                                                               1 (21-oz) can cherry pie filling
6 tablespoons butter                                                     1/3 cup whole milk
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips         2 eggs



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9" pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, then beat 1 minute at medium speed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cake is set.

While cake is in the oven, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and milk in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir with a wire whisk until the chips are melted and frosting is smooth. Pour over warm cake and spread to cover. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Note: You don't need to refrigerate this cake because of the milk in the frosting. There's so much sugar and fat in the frosting that the milk doesn't present a safety hazard even when left at room temperature.

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