Saturday, April 18, 2015

Food and Books

My adventures today were going to an international food fair and the book sale at the library.
I've been looking forward to the International Food Fair for about a year. Last year, my friend and I were going to go, but when the kids on campus rioted they cancelled everything having to do with VEISHEA, and this was one of the events. At that time, I didn't know if they were going to be doing it again. So, this year, when I read on facebook that they're going to do it, I have been impatiently waiting for about a month. Sadly, my friend had to work today, so she did not get to go with me, but I got her some stuff to try.
There were food stalls from African, Asian Pacific, Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Pakistan, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese student groups.
Quite a few years ago, my parents and I did go to this, but it was really crowded and whatever we ate, I guess we decided it wasn't worth the money. Now, that I'm into trying new food, I want to try whatever I can.
Last night, they posted the menu online, so I googled everything, printed out the menu and marked what I wanted to try. I didn't try all that I wanted to, and I found some other stuff to try as well.
So, it's in a giant hall on campus, it was quite a bit less crowded this year, but that could have been because there wasn't VEISHEA, so mostly just people from Ames and surrounding areas.
The things I wanted to try were:

 Lime cake from Africa, I decided not to when I saw it, it looked like plain cake and I thought I might not like lime cake. I don't like lime anyway.
Cek Mek Molek and egg tarts from Malaysia. I did end up trying these and bought more than one. Cek Mek Molek is basically sweet potato deep fried, very good.
Bacon Mashed Potato, Bubble Tea and Sweet Sticky Rice from China. The Bacon Mashed Potatoes weren't anything different, and they were very dry, plus I didn't have a lot of space to mix the bacon into my mashed potatoes. I didn't try the bubble tea, I'm not a big fan of tea, so I decided not to try that. The Sweet Sticky Rice was just that sticky rice with a little bit of sugar on top, I think it would have been better if there was more sugar.
Indian Pokada and Rooh Afza from India. The Indian Pokada is a fried snack, there's looked like onion rings, I did buy these, but then I saw that they were onion, so I gave them to my friend. Rooh Afza was a drink, I'm still not entirely sure what it was, but it was pink and had cinnamon in it. I bought two of them.
Black Rice Porridge from Indonesia. I didn't buy this, for some reason I decided I didn't want stuff I'd have to sit down and eat, and I guess I figured it was like rice pudding which I can get here anyway. Of course, a few of the dishes I did have to sit down and eat, so I'm not that sure why I didn't try it.
Bulgogi from Korea. When I looked at it, I saw it had onions, so I didn't buy it, it looked like beef and onions. I did try their O-Rice though, this was tuna, rice and mayo rolled into a ball. I thought it was rather bland, but I'm going to try and mix more mayo into it, see if that helps anything.
Naan and Lassi from Pakistan. Naan is a flatbread, I was thinking it would be something more. Lassi is a yogurt based drink, I've had Lassi before but I really like it, so I got it again.
That was everything I wanted to try before hand, I did try a drink called tropical twist, but sorta only because I had two tickets left and I was ready to leave.
I bought my friend Chicken Tandori and Indian Pokada from India, Beef Shots from Asia Pacific, and an Egg Tart from Malaysia.
I may have spent a little too much, $3 to get in and $30 on food, but I think it was a good way to try new foods without having to buy a whole dish somewhere, plus part of it was for a friend. I also took along some Ziploc bags to keep some stuff for later, here's what I brought home:
The bread is Naan, the dark balls are Cek Mek Molek, the yellow balls at the top are the Egg Tarts and the white balls are the O-Rice.

My second stop of the day was the book sale at the library, I figured since I was dropping off the food for my friend anyway, I'd stop in at the book sale, plus tomorrow I'd only have 20 minutes to peruse on my break and I have a couple other things to do on my break as well. The semi-annual library book sale is usually an Friday through Monday thing, Friday you can pay money for an early entrance, a lot of people do that. Last night there were so many people with so many boxes and bags full of books, I actually had a dream that there wouldn't be any books when I got there. Saturday is free admission, Sunday is free admission with half-price on everything, and Monday is $1 admission, take as much as you want. I try to go on Sundays, but like I said I have other things to do tomorrow, I decided it was probably a bad idea to go on Monday.
I did a pretty good job of not buying too much, especially since I have a pile of books from another city's book sale from January that I haven't gotten around to reading. Here's what I bought: Heaven's on Earth by Mark Holloway, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher, What Cops Know by Connie Fletcher, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, A Window on Main Street: Life above the Corner Drug by Virgil Lagomarcino, and Brothers Blood by Scott Cawelti. All but A window on main street are social science books, I just love reading these.

Now, I'm home and I'm going to jump into some of my books.

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