Monday, January 26, 2009

New Year's Day Dinner!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Okay--I took one of these photos, Jam Guy took the rest. Guess which one I took.

The spread

Fried trout with black bean sauce and garden greens

Wontons, from our inexact family recipe

Changde Rice Noodles with Red-Braised Beef, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province by Fuschia Dunlop

and the somewhat incongruous but super-festive and delicious Chocolate-Cherry Upside Down Cake, from Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine: Recipes and Reminiscences of a Family, by Norma Jean and Carol Darden.

I know. We used the same camera and everything.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

RIP Stacey II.

Today we laid to rest a treasured member of our household, Stacey II, our betta fish.

Stacey II lived on the table in my San Diego apartment that served as a dining area, study zone, and entertainment center. I chatted with him every day that we lived there together. He was beautiful, with red and blue fins, and awfully assertive. He jumped for his food sometimes. He traveled to Santa Rosa with us in a Mason jar with holes in the lid, snuggled into the passenger-side cupholder, under a little awning of a Google Maps printout to protect him from the sun.

Yesterday Jam Guy and I noticed Stacey II--who was named after Stacey the First, a betta fish I loved and lost and deeply mourned when I was in second grade--was not acting himself. An internet search revealed that he most likely had "swim bladder disorder" and needed to fast for three days and then be fed a mashed up, peeled, thawed pea. We changed his water and made sure not to feed him, and by last night we were hopeful he was getting better. Today, though, he was clearly in bad shape, and he passed away this afternoon.

Jam Guy dug a hole in the garden, and we each said a few words for Stacey II. His little body will nourish our vegetables in this new year, and wherever he is, he is at peace and in a better place.

We will miss you, Stacey II. You were a good fish and a good friend.