This week has been a fun one for food, so I think a few awards are in order.
1) Funnest Food Day for Kids, of course, goes to the inimitable Halloween. There is just no other time when you can go right up to strangers–in their own homes, no less–and instead of getting shooed away or kidnapped, be given sweet treats.
2) Most Mess Made with a Simple Cake Mix goes to me. I baked Halloween cupcakes for my office, topped with Milano halves to look like gravestones, and managed to make an astonishingly prodigious mess. This was a one-bowl operation, a simple mix-and-bake process, so it was already noteworthy when I managed to get chocolate batter smudged on the counter, the stove, and my elbow. Then I discovered a big blotch of it on my shirt, under my apron.
People actually pay me to cook, and I’m able to prepare several dishes from scratch in a single cooking session. Yet somehow I ended up with the simplest recipe possible all over myself and my kitchen. I have to give myself a hand.
3) Biggest and Tastiest Bowl of Soup goes to the curry laksa at Cafe Asia on I St. I think the restaurant keeps sturdy plastic to go containers in stock just for leftover noodle soup. The one I ordered is a sea of coconut milk broth with just the right amount of kick to make you sit up and notice but not keep you from eating. The veggie version (which I think still contains some fish sauce in the broth) is filled with thinly-sliced carrots and napa cabbage and your choice of noodles, then topped with fried tofu. The veggies are put in there raw and cook just a tad in the hot soup, staying crunchy up until the last bite. And I made another whole meal out of the leftovers from my sturdy plastic container. At $9 a pop, you have no excuse to not try one of these two-meal bowls of yumminess.
A word of warning about Cafe Asia, though: Don’t go to the one in Arlington. That will bring you only heartache and boring udon. Even omnivore friends, who had a much larger selection, haven’t been thrilled with the food.
Please congratulate our new winners! Tune in next Friday, when the tradition of prizes at the week’s end may or may not continue!