Monday, November 24, 2008

Finding the time...

"If you really want to do it, you'll find the time/energy/resources to do it."

That's what I've been thinking about the past few weeks. One of my bad habits is that I have too many interests and not enough time or willingness to do everything I want.

Which means...there are very few things I really want to do.

First and foremost is trying to get into pharmacy school (obviously). I've already applied to the two schools I want to go to, though I am thinking of applying for Hawaii-Hilo again, just so I have an excuse to go to the East Coast since they're interviewing people there now--or maybe just go to Vegas (since I've never been).

Second is working out and losing weight. After the realization that I've lost 30 pounds without much effort, I'm beginning to realize how and why I eat, how I work out, etc. I really have noticed the triggers that make me want to eat, and how I'm satisfied with eating less. Today, I found myself sad that I wasn't going to be with Howard for Thanksgiving, and also wanting to eat a huge dessert (I had only had a light dinner with my friend of Shanghainese salted duck, and stir-fried gluten, black mushrooms and bok choi). Instead, I just went to Maggie Mudd and had a small scoop of strawberry soy ice cream...and talked out my frustrations with my friend--and felt a lot better. I'm also realizing I'm hitting a plateau and need to do other things to break through it--probably have to do heavier weights and different exercises, and also different aerobic stuff. I'm tempted to do a triathlon, but don't have the time. A friend also challenged me to do an Alcatraz swim with her next summer too. We'll see how my shoulder holds up.

Third is connecting and reconnecting with friends. I'm totally loving my new place and hanging out with friends I haven't seen in a while. Which also leads to...

Four: Cooking. I made a fusion-ish fruitcake, the results of which are here:


I guess other things have to wait for now.

And in case I forget, happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Calamansi limoncello recipe...

So I'm in the midst of making my calamansi limoncello, and I'm super excited. :)

A few of you guys have asked me to post the recipe, which is so ridiculously easy (given that you can get access to 95% grain alcohol), but is very, um, potent. The cool thing about calamansi is that the peels are so thin that there's no pith, so you can just put the whole peel in without making it bitter, unlike using lemons or even tangerines (I made a tangerine infused vodka but it was too much work to take out the pith, so it ended up being a little bitter--blah). The classic addition after this is to make a sugar syrup, but I'm left with so much calamansi juice that I decided to make the syrup using that.

Part 1:
1 pound (1/2 kg) calamansi or other citrus (if you do use a thick skinned citrus, like lemons, use a vegetable peeler to get the top layer of the peel and don't peel the pith--it's too bitter).
1 liter Everclear (for my peeps in Cali or where you can't get Everclear, use a flavorless drinkable alcohol, like vodka).

Make sure to wash the calamansi well. Use only calamansi that are unblemished as you don't want any nasty stuff in the alcohol (it'll get killed, but it's a pain to take out).

Juice the calamansi--which in most cases, just means peeling a little hole in the fruit, then squeeze the juice out into a separate bowl. Place the peel in the alcohol.

Repeat till all the calamansi is peeled. Freeze the calamansi juice to use for the syrup, or for another use.

Place the alcohol in a cool, dark place, or the fridge.

The alcohol's ready for the next step after about two weeks, or when the peels have sunk to the bottom and have completely lost their color. Stir every few days to mix the peels and alcohol together.

Part 2:
Sugar Syrup:
Leftover calamansi juice (or use 1 cup water)
1 cup sugar (or to taste)

Mix the juice and sugar together, then boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened (you want a light syrup, not a caramel!). let the syrup cool.

Strain out the peels from the alcohol and throw out. Mix the syrup with the alcohol.
Wait another two weeks.

That's it. I usually drink it with citrus-flavored soda (like 7Up) or club soda.

I hope my dad doesn't think I'm a total lush...;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thoughts about Prop 8...

I wasn't surprised that Prop 8 (the amendment banning same-sex marriage) passed, and I'm honestly amused that people can't understand why it passed. Anyone who's lived outside of the urban areas of California (Inland Empire, San Diego, Redwood Empire, Central Valley, etc.) knows that the rest of California is just as red and conservative as the Midwest, the desert, etc. Anyone who's seen that homophobia is still a major issue among the black and Latino communities, and the Asian communities shouldn't be surprised.

And yet, when we focus all our efforts on the white and Asian people in the cities and suburbs, which don't comprise a majority; when we're too afraid to go and support people in the other parts of California who are fighting for our rights because we think it's pointless and dangerous; any time that we refuse to engage people in our communities and not call them out on their homophobia and racism because we're afraid of what they'll think of us; when we let our opponents set the dialogue and momentum and we're always having to respond; when we think that all we have to do is convince our own communities and not create strong coalitions across communities, we're dead in the water.

It's time for queer people to stop whining and start the dialogues and start the momentum. It's time to actively see who our allies are in the religious communities, communities of color, etc., and work with them to bring the message home. People against Prop 8 should've been calling for nationwide donations as soon as it started, and not just wait when the Mormons and other religious groups raised money. Friends outside of California were shocked that they received no calls for donations until 3-4 weeks before the election, and by that time, it was already too little too late.

It's time for us to step outside of our comfort zones in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and show active support for our allies in other parts of California (and not just send facebook links).

Unless we're willing to see that California is not just the so-called utopias of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and that queers and people of color in California are still being killed and targeted because of their difference, we're always going to have the same problems hit us time and time again, and things like Prop 8 will continue to pass.