bye bye sugar! + luxelinks.

Hi there. Took a couple days off b/c, yeah, I'd been blogging a lot and a break seemed prudent. Also I got tired of thinking about my diet, if you can believe that. So I just ate fish and kohlrabi and nuts for a couple days. You didn't miss anything.

One of the worst things about the post-drinking, not-smoking time is the swwweeeeeeeetttt ttttooootttthhhh. It's bad. Chocolate becomes way more significant than normal.

I came up with an unorthodox solution though: I bought some chocolate that is so intensely bad that it literally makes you not crave chocolate anymore. The ingredients are: Ecuadorian cacao, banana fructose, cacao nibs, cocoa butter, and non-GMO lechitin. I love chocolate and banana together under most circumstances, so this looked very promising. Plus: it's totally fair trade! All locally produced in Ecuador by local people. On the back it emphatically proclaims: "Fair prices and empowerment for farmers!"

It tastes like.....space chocolate. Chocolate you might be forced to eat in space because normal foods don't work up there. Or like if someone made an especially delicious piece of blackboard chalk, delicious compared to regular blackboard chalk. Everything is wrong with this. Bad.

Except: it does cure your chocolate craving, nearly permanently. I bought a bar 3 days ago and there are still 4 squares of it left, and I no longer have any desire at all for chocolate. Mission accomplished, I guess.


In other Unsatisfactory Purchases news, today after my desperately-needed haircut, I stopped by the Wednesday Haarlemmerplein market and bought these from a newish butcher there:

I know I said I was off the pork, but...circumstances conspired to put me in the wrong place at the wrong time. I bought two truffle sausages and two "lavender/ginger" sausages because, well doesn't that sound adventurous?

There's a reason that not everyone is making lavender/ginger sausages. Inappropriateness. Like biting a pork-flavored air freshener. The truffle ones were OK, truffley, but kind of unimpressively so. Neither deserved to tie the shoes of those pikante merguez I had last week from the Moroccan guy on our street. And these were 4 times as expensive. Bogus.

Pikante Merguez is a pretty good name for a racehorse, or for my North African noir alter ego.


Speaking of circumstances and conspiracies, last night I found myself on the Zeedijk with time to kill and a rumbly tummy. I thought: hey, why don't you check out one of those places that you've wanted to try up here but that if you tried them on a date and they sucked you'd be really angry?

So I did, I went to China Si Chuan Kitchen on the Warmoestraat. And.....it was totally satisfying. I feel safe in saying it's the most Sichuanish place in Chinatown, if not the only one. Very few Cantonese dishes, almost everything Sichuan. I had, eh...the Sichuan duck in onion sauce: very thinly sliced duck with lots of julienned onions, ginger, peppers, and carrots. Really good and surprisingly light (possibly explained by the fact that I'm not much of a white rice eater).

Looks like it would be easy to order something that was swimming in chili oil, so if that's not your thing you may want to stick to the dry-fried dishes. Service was very sweet and efficient and it's a cute room. I'd go back in a second. Not cheap, but nothing on the Zeedijk really is except for Kam Yin. Go here instead though. My Chinese "friend" Xue says it's very authentic, and completely comparable to Sichuan restaurants in China. I say "friend" because she's one of those FB friends that you don't really know very well. I met her like 3 times 5 years ago. Like that. Anyway.


OK, that's all for now. I'm probably not going to be cooking much of interest over the next couple days, need to reconnect with my studying. Took another 70-question practice test yesterday morning and got a 90% (yay!) but I was doing way too much guessing. I don't want to have to guess at all.

I had an entertaining/sobering discussion about the test with my hair guy Alex and we agreed: there are certain kinds of immigrants who will be totally fucked by this test. If you haven't been to a university and don't know how to study, or are someone who is kind of "kept at home"...yeah, no dice. But I guess maybe that's the point.


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