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Author Archives: azuki726

About azuki726

I love reading and am an avid bookcrosser. I enjoy reading non fiction, manga and Asian literature. I love LUSH! It makes my day beautiful! 90% vegetarian now and blaming the 10% on my hubby.

Farewell Holly

Yesterday I learned of the sad news that a BookCrosser and BookObsesser I know, NWPassage – real name Holly, passed away.

While I have never met her in person, we’ve known each other via the online community.  Over the years, she had sent me books and I her.

I read her blog, and her post on Dec 31 2011 brings tears to my eyes –

“The internets tell me that following a diagnosis of stage IV stomach cancer, on average a person lives 6 months without treatment & a year with. So my six months are up. If I’d lived a hundred years ago, I’d probably be dead or nearly so by now. So everything from here on out is a gift from modern medical science. And I am grateful. But also greedy. I want more, all the life I can get, damnit! But I’ve also more or less, most days, come to terms with the fact that the length of my life is pretty much out of my control. True, that’s the way it is for most of us, but most people have the luxury of ignoring that fact at 33 – I don’t.

What this whole stupid fucking cancer experience has driven home to me, is that I love my life. I like vegging out, puttering around in a house I love. Cuddling with the most amazing man in the world on the couch, watching our stories. Harassing my cats. Curling with Team Awesome & hanging out with my friends. Going to work Monday through Friday with great people. Visiting my family. Traveling with my honey, whether it’s somewhere exotic or just to the next town. This is what I want, for as long as I can have it.

It’s funny, I always thought I had all this wasted potential, that someday if I just got my shit together I’d do something amazing. But maybe it’s OK to just enjoy this quiet little life, and never set the world on fire. Maybe just enjoying each day is more than enough.”

On BookObsessed, we decide to have a Read-a-thon in June in her memory.  For those of us who have books on our TBR shelf from her, we will read them during the Read-a-thon.  Otherwise, we will pick something that she liked, some books she had enjoyed reading, by checking her Permanent Collection shelf on BookCrossing.  We will also do a fundraising (usually by how many books the group will read) and donate the money to a cancer cause.

I can’t think of a more befitting way to honor a fellow booklover.  Please join us in this read-a-thon!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Random Thoughts

 

Rutabaga Soup (Azuki’s Cooking Series #6)

Last week I bought some beet at the supermarket. However, when my husband went about preparing a smoothie, he said, hey this is not beet! I was like, what do you mean? Sure enough, this little thing is most certainly not a beet. I had no idea what it is, but tasted it and decided that it’s not something you eat raw or put into smoothie.

Finally I got around to doing some sleuth work, and determined that my little infiltrator is a rutabaga. Then I googled around for a recipe.

I cut the rutabaga in chunks, along with potatoes, carrots and onion. I added in some spices, bay leaves and pepper.

After they are cooked I pureed them in my blender. I prefer my soup a little chunky.

I like my soup a bit chunky, so I went easy on the blending. Then I heated it again in a pan, adding a bit of cooking wine and salt, to final adjust the taste.

I topped it with some scallion and shredded asiago. It was very delicious!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Cooking, Food, Vegetarianism

 

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2012 in Review

Really love this feature from WordPress.com.  Didn’t post as much as I’d like this year; kept snapping pictures and thinking, I should blog this, and never get around to.  Hopes for 2013!

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Random Thoughts

 

Goji Leaves

A few days ago when I went shopping at the Chinese grocery store, I found some goji leaves.  I don’t remember seeing them here in the past.  In fact, I haven’t seen this vegetable for a long, long time.  All I remember was when I was a kid, my mom would make a soup with it, and I would absolutely hate it.  The leaves have a certain bitterness and like bitter melon is something you have to develop a taste for.  

I suppose it’s nostalgia that made me pick up a pack of goji leaves.  We decide to make a soup with it.  Usually it’s cooked with liver and goji berries, to make a soup super-packed with vitamin A.  

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It’s my first time preparing this vegetable myself, and I didn’t realize that there are thorns on the stems.  At first we gingerly plucked the leaves one by one off the stems, until my husband remembered how his grandma used to just run her fingers down the stem and the leaves will come off easily.  Hence preparation became much faster.  

The leaves are supposed to be added to the soup at the last minute, as they are tender and wilt easily.  This type of soup is called  “Gwan Tong” quick boil soup, in contrast to the other type that cooks for hours at lower heat “Bo Tong”.  Unfortunately my husband didn’t remember that part of his grandma’s cooking and I was busy preparing other dishes.  Therefore when I turned around, the leaves had turned yellow already.  It’s still delicious enough and next time hopefully we’ll be more successful.  The leaves can also be stir-fried as well.  From what I found online, the leaves are as much as nutrient superstar as the berries, and are a rich source of lutein, lycophene and other antixidants. 

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Random Thoughts

 

What Kind of Tea am I?

I found a link to this tea quiz from someone’s blog, and after a few questions I was told that I’m a Chai.

My first reaction was, no way!  I hate Chai!  (It’s weird because I do love Indian food a lot, but I just couldn’t stand chai)  However, after reading the description, I suppose it does fit me pretty good.  I do like trying different cuisines, like Ethiopian, Tibetan, Malaysian, Indonesian, Peruvian and more.

There are many subtle sides to your personality. You are difficult to decode.
You are a complex and deep individual. You have many nuanced beliefs, and your mood frequently changes.

You are a creative and expressive person. You draw your inspiration from the whole world.
You enjoy exotic food, music, and travel. Your tastes are very international.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Food

 

Walle has a Fuzzy Navel!

About two months ago, poor Wall-e was feeling rather poorly.  His droppings were really watery, and he drank a lot… he was just like a water pipe.  He also started pulling his feather out. As we took him with us on a trip I thought it may be the stress of travelling, but one morning he looked really bad.  His eyes were half closed and he looked like about to topple over.  His movement was somewhat weird.  Then he started vomiting.  It was scary.  After a few minutes he looked fine, and by the time we brought him to the vet he was actually chirping.

Our vet took some blood sample, and determined that our bird is diabetic.  We couldn’t quite understand why as we are both, honestly, rather healthy human-beings.  (My friend asked me, what did you feed your bird?  McD?)

Anyway, our vet put him on Harrison’s bird diet.  I told him my bird never liked any pellet I feed him, but we really don’t have a choice.  Wall-e doesn’t like greens and other healthy veggies.  He would pick out the seeds, grains and fruits… and end up with way too much glucose and fat.

Surprisingly, Wall-e took to the pellets immediately.  I read the ingredient list and couldn’t figure it out.  I am positive there is some undisclosed stuff that makes it so addictive. Happy to say that he has improved a lot and has gained back his weight.  (He was at 25g, then dropped to 20 and now at 27g)  I was feeling guilty that all he ate is brown pellet, when I used to spend so much time cooking, chopping and mixing grains, pasta, beans, veggies, nuts and seeds for him, making sure each batch of food tastes different from the next.  So with approval from the vet I gave him a little broccoli, tofu, carrot and brussel sprout.  To my dismay he just flung them all out, apparently annoyed that such stuff has the audacity to appear in his food dish.  When I gave him back the pellet, he sang as he ate.  Oh well… so much for a meal made with TLC…

You can see his naked belly.  He does look very cute though standing on one leg.

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“Hey take your camera away!”

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After we changed the diet, his feather starts to regrow.  The feathers at the bottom grow out really soft and fuzzy.  It’s almost like a glow in this pic, ha ha!

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Here is a clear view of the fuzzy navel!

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And he’s the latest pic, taken two days ago.  Back to his handsome self, almost!

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Animals

 

Snow Bunting

Just chanced upon this blog post:

The Birds are Back in Town!

Honestly, I didn’t know what a bunting is. But looking at the bird, its cuteness is way off the chart. She looks as round as an Angry Bird, almost like a snowball. She looks all puffed up to brace for the coldness.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Animals