Friday, April 15, 2011

Sacred and profane

I'm singing with this church choir on Good Friday and Easter Sunday this year. I really like singing with this church choir. How much? Well, last year on Christmas Eve I sang in a service with this choir and in doing so passed up an opportunity to eat at Frances. And you know how I feel about Frances. Anyway, you know, I haven't really been to church much, so for me sitting through a service is kind of a new and fun experience, and it's also been kind of enlightening to see how all of these liturgical texts that I've been singing my whole life as a chorister actually fit together into a sequence of thoughts about the universe.

So I've been having choir practice from 7 - 9:30 on Thursday nights now, and then it's another 20 minutes before I make it home from the church in North Berkeley. Then last night I got home and realized--oh snap--I am supposed to file my taxes in the near future or something. I should do that tonight. But first I'm pretty hungry. But I don't want to wait for anything to cook, not even for tortillas to heat or potatoes to boil.

So I dug out another present that my old roommate John left for me in the pantry before moving out: a package of Maruchan oriental flavor ramen. Maybe coming home from choir practice and making ramen is not something that is particularly noteworthy in the blogosphere as a whole, but I feel like in the context of this blog, it's an experience involving food and it's one that I haven't had in six or seven years or something like that.

Inspired by this serious eats article, I threw in a few thing that they suggested: kale, egg, sriracha, cilantro, scallions. All tasty, all healthful, all filling, all stuff that can be prepared in the time it takes for water to boil. I was just about to tuck in and eat when a flash of inspiration struck me: BACON FAT. My friend Mason once told me about this ramen shop in Seattle that has like three settings: normal, rich, and ultra rich, where extra richness just signifies the amount of pork fat that is drizzled into your ramen immediately before serving. And if plain pork fat is good, then how can bacon fat not be even better? I say this a lot, but: this is the best idea I have ever had.

So, yes, bacon egg chili kale instant ramen. Not going to lie, this bowl of ramen actually way more satisfying than when I spent six hours making my own noodles, stock, and tempura yams. Maybe that has to do with the presence of bacon fat and the absence of parsnips. Seriously, parsnips are the worst damn vegetable.


  1. Mmm, ramen. Have you ever eaten uncooked ramen noodles? They're pretty good. Kind of like potato sticks, but more flavorful.

  2. I had heard that was a thing but I didn't really believe it existed. I still kind of don't.