England, part II: Oxford

On the night of my arrival (a quick train ride from London), A took me to the weekly formal dinner at her college hall.  It was my first time stepping into the kind of student dining hall that the Harry Potter movies have immortalized, at least in my mind.  We were served a three-course meal with wine (risotto, lamb, dessert) and a cheese plate as well, and it turns out the formal dinner is a tradition I heartily approve of 🙂

The next day, A and I enjoyed an afternoon meal in the shadows of the Bodleian:

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More pics after the jump!

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Week of 21 July 2008: It’s all about the summertime

I just realized that I entitled my previous post “14 July 2007.” Apparently my subconscious is a year behind schedule.

It’s amazing what some leftover fruit and yogurt can do:

Smooth, sweet, and slightly tart, this beaut was a great complement to a lazy summer afternoon. Speaking of lazy summer afternoons (I’ve experienced many in the last two months), they’re also ideal for light, playful lunches. I made a platter for two consisting of Jersey tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese (leftover from my bbq a couple weeks ago), and some chicken I found chilling in the fridge, all with a touch of black pepper. I served with some multigrain crackers, and the kick from the cheese made this dish golden. And the color on those tomatoes really is lovely.

For dinner one night, I made a vegetable stir-fry with carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, and jap chae noodles. Boil the noodles for a couple minutes and give them a cold bath. Cook the veggies in some vegetable oil. I tossed in the onions first with some garlic, then took those out and cooked the carrots, mushrooms, and eggplant. After those cooked for about 10 minutes, I threw the onions and the noodles in, adding salt and pepper to taste, as well as some sweet soy sauce and some oyster sauce. I added some corn starch in to thicken the liquid from the mushrooms, and drizzled with sesame oil before serving.

D also whipped up some chicken wings and drumsticks marinated with soy sauce, scallion, and ginger, which were finger-licking awesome.

Over the weekend, I had a low key potluck picnic with some friends in the park. Among the delicacies:

McDonald’s McChicken sandwiches contributed by some lazy bums :). I haven’t had a fast food burger in awhile, but I have to admit, this chicken patty nestles itself quite delectably in its bun bottom:

My good friend C made these wonderfully quaint cucumber sandwiches, which reminded me of one of my favorite plays, The Importance of Being Earnest:

We also had some subs, brought by some other lazy bums:

And I made a spinach, sun dried tomato, and bacon pasta:

Here is a recipe for a similar dish from Serious Eats.  I like mine better because the bacon adds so much flavor, and dare I say depth.  However, this dish minus the bacon would make for an excellent summertime vegetarian meal.  Some strawberries and watermelon, some touch football, and lots of mosquito bites = good times.