Friday, December 4, 2009

Lettuce Wraps and Work

I really like the idea of a lettuce wrap for several reasons. The first being that you are essentially wrapping something that is possibly, and in this case definitely, high in fat inside of lettuce. Wrapping up your own food and eating it also adds an element of fun, plus the crunch of the lettuce should compliment whatever is inside of it. Sunday night I made lettuce wraps that came out pretty good, and while I don’t totally remember how I made them, I’m going to try and share the recipe with you. I made them for five people so I would get one small chicken breast per person, 2 stalks of chopped green onion, about half of a tablespoon of finely chopped ginger, 4 cups of bean sprouts, 1 cup of chopped water chestnuts, 1 large shredded carrot, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter (I used smooth but it would probably also taste good with chunky peanut butter), 3-5 cloves crushed garlic, one very thinly sliced red pepper, half of a packet of spaghetti (to serve 3-4), one packet of Ramen noodles, one head of Boston lettuce and low sodium soy sauce. Bring water to a boil in a pot and cook the spaghetti. Chop up the chicken into cubes and cook in a pan with a bit of olive oil, add the garlic and ginger, followed by the green onion, carrot and half of the bean sprouts. After about 5-8 minutes, add half of a cup of soy sauce, the water chestnuts and peanut butter. Mix around the peanut butter with tongs or a fork so that it is evenly spread throughout the dish. Add the cooked spaghetti and remaining bean sprouts and serve with crushed, raw Ramen noodles (Rebs’ idea), extra soy sauce and Boston lettuce for wrapping. No need to add salt here, the soy does it for you.

This whole week has been pretty great and productive. Monday I had class, went to the gym and studied for a final. Tuesday I watched “Four Weddings and a Funeral” in my Media class, and took the British Life and Cultures final which I think went really well. Tuesday night I had yoga, which was unceremoniously followed by a helping of beef nachos. On Wednesday I was sent to the Piccadilly location of the restaurant to help manage the floor. It was a ton of fun and I even got to make a New Jersey joke:

Me: How is everything over here?
Customer: Everything is great, are you American?
Me: Yes I am, are you?
Customer: Where from? I’m from Arizona.
Me: New York, but the state not the city. I live on Long Island
Customer: Lawng Island. Hahaha. Do you live near JFK?
Me: I do, but I actually left the States from Newark Airport
Customer: That sucks.


Wednesday night I went with a bunch of my friends to see “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” which was being performed by an all-black cast featuring James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad. The play was great but those two actors literally killed it and I’m so glad that I was able to see them on stage (even though I was watching from the last row of the theatre, which was totally fine because we all paid just 10 pounds to see it!).

Thursday I went to the county of Buckinghamshire to go to the High Wycombe location of the restaurant. I got to spend a lot of time with my boss between taking the National Rail to get there and helping her tp pick out a “jumper” from Marks and Spencer. She is legitimately so funny and High Wycombe is a very cool area that I definitely would not have been able to visit if it weren’t for my internship. When you get out of the train station you’re in this quaint, cobblestone village with dark brown buildings and winding roads. The town is surrounded by hills which makes it quite windy, but the wind pushed us through the outdoor market and into the Eden shopping center (which is this half indoors, half outdoors monstrosity sort of stuck like a sore thumb in the middle of the town) where the restaurant is located. The structure for this location is a steep, upside-down trapezoid and is made partially of glass so you can watch people shopping while you eat.

When I got home later that night I made grilled tuna with some sesame seeds, a splash of orange juice, olive oil and soy sauce and placed it over an oriental-style salad with a dressing made of the above ingredients plus some balsamic vinegar. Today I went to the Mayfair location of the restaurant before heading over to the Head Office, which happens to be right near Abbey Road. My boss let me leave early today so I walked over to Abbey Road before coming back to the dorms and took a bunch of pictures. Unfortunately since it was just me I couldn’t do that infamous walk, but I did watch as a group of girls tried relentlessly to get the perfect shot for Facebook.

Tonight I am meeting up with my friend Janine who goes to Oxford (like for school, not just for wizarding around) who is the sister of my past and future roommate at American University. After that I will be going to sleep as soon as I can because my flight leaves for Rome tomorrow at 6a.m.! Ciao!