Wok Hei Achieved!

Nirvana Wok’s new 200,000 BTU propane burner is up and running and we have achieved wok hei - the taste you get when combustion occurs in and around a superheated wok. Peanut free (we used cashews) Phad Thai with prawns was the first dish on the docket - it’s being added to our menu. Found palm sugar, tamarind paste and everything else needed for the recipe at Seattle Super Market on Beacon Hill, which might be the best Asian market in our neighborhood other than the smaller but much closer to Nirvana Wok World Headquarters Mekong Rainier. The kids know of Seattle Super Market because I told them a guy died of Vibrio vulnificus – a rare bacterial infection – after being poked with a tilapia there. I should not have mentioned that to them.

It’s a great, inexpensive place with a huge variety of stuff and incredible produce. No website, no Twitter, no TikTok.

Leftover Salmon

Private label salmon burgers from Kroger were chock full of things that were not salmon and were oily but in a bad way, like the Exxon Valdez.

Clam It!

Clamshell packaging is plastic and plastic is one of the worst things that humanity has inflicted on the planet since World War 2. There is no need to use plastic for food product packaging and “100% recycled plastic” is a sketchy concept. If we continue to produce plastic at all it should be for medical/scientific use only. There is no need to package salad greens in something that will still be with us hundreds of years from now and no amount of virtue-signaling on the packaging can convince a sane person otherwise. Sadly, the conversation in mainstream media these days is about recycling clamshell packaging, not abolishing it.

Junk Food of the Week

Bought a five dollar Freschetta™ frozen pizza that was surprisingly delightful, even though our teen rejected it as “garbage.” True - a long list of potentially toxic and possibly unnecessary ingredients here might make this garbage to some. And sustenance to others. Loved the “naturally rising crust,” which was crispy on the bottom and gooey at the top - maybe I undercooked it?

The Freschetta supreme had sausage (the kind you’d expect from a frozen pizza) and pepperoni (this is pig snout trash no matter how artisanal your pizza is, and also always delicious) with red and yellow peppers and onions, which resembled fresh vegetables in the same way that a McDonald’s™ hamburger resembles a home grilled ground beef sandwich - not remotely, but tasty anyway. People need food, and not everyone has access to the fussy, expensive fare one might find served at a Seattle divorcee billionaire girl’s club luncheon.

One complaint: the pizza sauce here was too sweet. Do Americans really want sweet pasta and pizza sauce? I’d start buying jarred Ragu™ brand red sauce if they took out the sugar.

One weirdly pleasant surprise - the pizza resembled the photograph on the box after it was cooked.

Hooray for this pizza! Again, we can compare frozen supermarket pizza to how one should view McDonald’s™ - it’s a snack, not a meal. To be enjoyed infrequently.

–Alex