Sunday, 28 July 2013

San Antonio Green Market (A post for me.)

Start Time: 4:50pm

Warning: Feels. Don't read... Just skip the long essay before the pictures.

I've been lacking in motivation and inspiration recently. It's very unfortunate that sometimes I allow my emotions to get the better of me, and when one part of my life is not perfectly dandy, it influences the others. It shouldn't be that way and I shouldn't mix matters. Besides, food is supposed to be my escape; it has always been my happiness... When did that change? I don't think it necessarily changed, but maybe I've just been down. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been unhappy or anything... But I have been less than content. A big part of it has been my confusion about numerous aspects of my life. I don't know why but it seems almost impossible to make a decision. It feels like a burden, a simple thing such as a decision. Other than being confused, I've been a bit disorganized, which has perpetuated the feeling of confusion and demotivation. I need to reorganize my life, make it all make sense again, but it's harder to do that than I thought. Or maybe it isn't hard and I really am not trying enough. I'm sure telling myself than I'm no good at cooking or writing or work or anything else, isn't helpful or conducive to my goals.
I have been looking for inspiration however, and decided to go to the market - something I have been putting off for a very long time. What I didn't realize is that I was looking in the wrong places for inspiration and motivation. I cook and I eat because food is something I love. Yes, I may see some fresh vegetables at the market and become excited. I may even think of all the great things I'd like to make with it. But, at the end of the day, when I'm home and in the kitchen, looking at those ingredients sitting on the table will not make me cook. I will only cook when I want to, and when I realize that just the simple act is going to make me feel good - happy, inspired, motivated.
While writing this post (at this very moment) I just thought about something that's related, if even in the slightest. A couple weeks ago, I was cooking, and a lot too. I tried new recipes, some of which I was dissatisfied with, but I tried. Some of those, were not for me. And that was a lot of motivation - to actually do it. I love creating something that makes someone happy or feel good, if only for a moment, and if even they forget by the next day. But, then I stopped. Not because I couldn't, not because there wasn't anyone to cook for, not because the food was inedible. If I knew why, I could say it... but I'm not so sure. And that's a real problem for me - never really knowing what's wrong, so not knowing how to handle/fix it. It's a problem I've had for quite a while but I still haven't figured it out.
My mind is far off now. I've been trying to write this post for two + hours now and I keep stopping and starting. And every time I stop, I lose my train of thought. I anticipated having trouble writing this post (I mean, I have been lacking motivation), hence the start time recording. I haven't been writing because I have no clue what to say (though according to this post, it's a lot). But with reference to food... I feel like I can't write... I have ideas, I know what I would potentially like to say, but I just can't communicate it. That's the main reason for my lack of posts as well as the briefness of the two recent posts.
By now I've forgotten half the things I need to say, changed my mind about some of it, and have been a bit repetitive, so maybe I'll close this one off. The point of this was for me to attempt to understand (however little) how I feel/think by writing a bit about it. I may read this post again (and maybe again) and hopefully realize how ridiculous the way I've been feeling is, and maybe I'll realize (more so) that the solution is to suck it up and make things brilliant again. The bad news that I received recently - I didn't mention it here - shouldn't dictate my pace or my worth and abilities. It shouldn't and it won't. Better things!

(Click Photos To Enlarge)

Back to the green market.
There wasn't as much variety as I expected (with regard to vegetables and fruit). It may just be the day that I went because there are different (more) vendors other weeks. The San Antonio Green Market is open every Saturday from 6a.m. to afternoon. Here's a little information from their Facebook page:
Green Market offers a mix of fresh produce (including unusual indigenous fruits, vegetables, herbs and seasonings), specialty foods (pastelle, payme, cocoa powder, goat's milk) and artisanal items (wooden bowls and platters, handmade soaps etc), which may vary from season to season. 
Enjoy food and beverage (hot or iced coffee, fresh juices, currants rolls or pies) in a shady spot where you might meet friends or lime for a moment. A Nature walk is included for the more energetic or children. A carpark is also provided.
My favourite part of the market was the setting. It was so calm and pretty, a great place to relax and have breakfast (arepas, empanadas, local delights: bake and saltfish/chokas etc.), and pick up some goods while you're at it.

End Time: 8:36pm

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Friday Lunch at Jaffa

It hadn't occurred to me until yesterday, just how long it's been since I've written... anything. That also means I had completely forgotten about lunch at Jaffa, and only remembered to write about it when I did the brunch pictures post. I didn't take many pictures for this visit either, but, I will most definitely be returning, and will get pictures then. Their international lunch buffet goes for $190.00 TTD tax inclusive, which includes wine and coffee/tea. On Fridays, however, it includes sushi!

Here are some of the things that were available:

Potato-Pumpkin Soup
Shrimp Bique

Beef Empanadas
Three Other Types of Bread
(and butter)

Sushi (5+ types)
Sashimi (tuna and salmon)

Shrimp Cocktail
Crab Salad
Deconstructed Garden Salad (including olives, croutons, mushrooms etc.)
Mediterranian Salad
Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad
5+ Dressings
Cold Cuts (ham, turkey etc.)
5+ Types of Cheeses (and crackers)
Chicken Liver Pate

Fried Rice Pilaf
Steamed Vegetables
Snapper (can't remember the preparation)
Tandoori chicken
Linguine Pie
Pork Loin
Beef Tenderloin

Ice Cream
Creme Caramel
Creme Brulee
Chocolate Mousse
Coconut Mousse
Gateau Opera
Carrot Cake
Sponge Cake

Red/White Wine

We obviously would not have been able to try everything, but all that we did, were great. Their (hot) lunch station isn't my favourite part, to be honest, but some of the options are quite brilliant. The tandoori chicken was delicious, and my sister tried the fish which she said was wonderfully textured and flavourful. The sushi was good as well... Not the best, seeing as it's not their specialty, but definitely good. My sister was a bit too excited when she saw the sushi and filled up on that a little too early. It may also be because it was her first visit there and she wasn't sure how to pace herself well. She also took some soup at the beginning which she could not finish. I've never really been quite impressed with their soup. It's okay, just a bit too strongly-flavoured to be a starter. The cream based soups are far too intense unless you're also taking bread for dipping. Eating it as is hasn't been the best idea yet... but I've only tried few of their soups, so I cannot make a generalization. I will be returning for afternoon tea this week, I'll post some pictures then!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Brunch at Jaffa

Mussels (with pico de gallo and tamarind sauce),  BACON,
shrimp, vegetable samosa, breakfast sausages, chicken drumettes, beef turnover.
(Click Photos To Enlarge)

My sister and I decided to visit Jaffa for brunch last Sunday (again), and it was, as usual, quite lovely. The options weren't as much as their holiday-brunches but it was still A LOT. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the lunch station. But, I did manage to get a few of the other parts. I love having brunch (lunch and tea as well) at Jaffa and I'd definitely recommend it. We always have a really good time.

Juice Bar

Cheese Plate - Crackers - Pate

Chicken-Brie Soup

Dessert Station

Cutest little tarts!

Beautifully-textured Chocolate Mousse

I don't know why I've been neglecting my blog so much lately... I feel like there's so much to say but I don't know how to say it. I've also been lacking in a bit of inspiration and motivation. I really need to find those back. I don't like the feeling.