Now that it is Spring break I am spending less time reading for class, and more time reading for fun. Even though I love a good book, reading for fun means looking through cookbooks for me. There are so many good ones out there, each with their own story and killer recipes to be inspired by. Homemade by Yvette van Boven was given to me as a birthday gift last fall and I quickly made the lamb chops in a crust of lemon, mint and pistachio nuts (with mint sauce!) and the pear-hazelnut tart. Both recipes are splattered in my book, and I would make them again in a heartbeat. They were truly stellar. The book even gives you recipes to make your own cheeseboard, including the cheese! What’s more to love?
More reading for class. This time it’s for my religion class, and it’s The Lover. Written by an acclaimed Israeli writer, this book tells the tell of a husband searching for his wife’s lover who has gone missing during the Yom Kippur war. Told from multiple perspectives, it is an engrossing read thus far. You would think that Israeli literature could be a bit one sided, but it is surprising how often it is critical of itself.
I’m sure many prospective students zip in and out of Poughkeepsie, leaving, thinking that the city doesn’t have much to offer. I also know students here that don’t get off campus nearly enough, or ever.
Both situations are a shame.
Poughkeepsie, and the surrounding towns, has a surprising food scene. Well, not too surprising, since the Culinary Institute is close by. CIA grads have open restaurants ranging from casual to upscale, but they are not the only ones we depend upon for good grub.
The best hole in the wall I have gone to so far nearby is most definitely Palace Dumpling in Wappingers Falls. You don’t go here for your typical chinese take out. There is no beef and broccoli on the menu. The place is so unassuming, it’s in a shopping mall after all, but they serve the best dumplings, noodles, and simple salads. Choose from pork, beef, vegetable, seafood, even lamb and egg dumplings–and then concoct your own dipping sauce from a mixture of soy, sweet and chili sauces. For a side stick to cucumbers dressed with a horseradish vinaigrette, or go with the more adventurous agadir vegetables, a type of mushroom, that my friend affectionately calls condom mushrooms. Call it how it is.
I write this mid-slurp of another hidden gem on the menu. The spicy noodles, a thick soup of noodles served with bok choy and bits of spicy pork. It contains tons of Sichuan peppercorns so it is spicy, but it’s really best the next day when the noodles have the chance to absorb all of the sauce.
I wouldn’t be compelled to write this right now if it wasn’t worth the hype.
Last night FlyPeople (the dance group I am a part of on campus) performed in a Beyoncé musical. It was a sort of impromptu, campy sort of event with tons of skits, dancing, and laughs. We performed to the song above, and the turnout to the event was great. Sometimes I think Vassar should have more of these drama camp style events that are fun for both the people performing and those watching.