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ramen thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for ramen chefs.

Because making ramen from scratch is really freaking hard.

We followed the recipes as best as we could.

And at first, everything seemed great. Look at this pork belly. Awesome, right?

The noodles, sadly, were a different story. This was the first time we'd ever made any kind of pasta from scratch, and we had some issues with the noodles sticking together.

I also think we let them sit around too long after cutting them, which made them even stickier, and when we did cook them, they turned into one big doughy clump that sort of resembled a lumpy brain.

I chose not to take a photo of this.

So we went into survival mode and substituted with instant noodles. (Thank god we had a few extra packages in the pantry!)

Despite the noodle disaster, I was still very excited to watch our bowl of ramen come together.

The end result:

It was good (and I think we deserve bonus points for being brave enough to attempt this), but we definitely need more practice, especially when it comes to noodle-making!

noodle me this

Clearly, I am ramen-obsessed. (Duh.)

I'm the girl who goes to Hana for dinner and asks if there is any ramen left from lunch service. (It's only on the menu at lunch.)

I love it when I get lucky.

I've also been known to order takeout from Shimo in times of desperation.

Unfortunately, takeout ramen doesn't really translate so well, especially when you're attempting to assemble it in a parking lot and eat it in a car. Also unfortunate: Shimo is no longer around. (I have my thoughts on this, but I'll save those for another time.)

And I can't wait to check out Ken Ken Ramen's new permanent spot -- I liked their pop-up, and I've heard they're expanding the menu to include a tonkotsu broth. (The more I eat ramen, the more it seems the thick, creamy tonkotsu is my favorite.)

And I look forward to CIM weekend (I'm not running the full -- I'm doing the relay this year to pace Cynthia through her first 26.2) largely because that means I get to visit Shoki. Yes.

So imagine how absolutely thrilled I am about our Thanksgiving plans. Yes, folks, we've decided to screw the turkey (which I never really liked very much in the first place -- it's always too dry) and are doing something Much More Interesting: Ramen from scratch. This includes the broth, the noodles and all of the toppings (hello, runny egg cooking lesson).

Fingers crossed it all works out!

not running in monterey

This weekend: The Big Sur Half Marathon.

No, those drinks aren't alcoholic. (Although we did end up with pints in hand shortly after this photo was taken. And we also went through three bottles of wine at dinner. But we were with a large group. And dinner was at Passionfish, where the wine list is at retail instead of restaurant prices, and all of the seafood on the menu is sustainable -- no tuna! Yes, you should go. Immediately.)

Anyway, as I was saying: Half marathon.

Guess what? I didn't run it. I've been sick with a bad cold and cough for the past week (yes, hacking up a whole lot of disgusting-ness), and even though I brought all of my race gear and the weather conditions were absolutely perfect and the course was fairly flat and would've been ideal for a PR attempt, I resisted. That's right: I said no to pneumonia.

This is huge for me. I normally try to tough it out, even if the pain is excruciating (SF Half, anyone?). But my goal is to practice more self-control and be smarter about knowing when I need to sit one out: Rest now, run stronger later. (And trust me, 2012 is going to be absolutely insane event-wise, and I'll need all the strength I can muster. But that's for a future post.)

So this was what it looked like from the sidelines this morning:

And this was the view from the finish line, as I waited for my friends to come across:

Side note: I wanted to strangle the announcer when he asked if there were any runners spectating this morning and then said: "Isn't it tough not to be out there with the rest of them?" Thanks, man. Way to make a girl feel good.

Despite the DNS, the weekend was fun. And of course, there was a stop at Kahoo for a bowl of kotteri miso ramen on the way home.

And when we drove through San Francisco, we were greeted by this:

I took it as an omen of good things to come.

ups, downs, in-betweens

Where does all the time go?

Once again, work is the culprit.

Random thoughts on film shoots: This time of year, it's tough finding a vineyard that still has a decent amount of leaves that aren't brown or about to turn brown. Also, filming pretty much never runs on time. Ever. But it sure beats sitting at a desk all day.


In other news, this is what my side looked like a week ago:

The bruise is fading now. However, the embarrassment over my clumsiness lingers. Grove Street in Healdsburg will forever be remembered as The Place Where I Fell Into a Planter. I need a redemption ride, and soon.


Yesterday I went for an eight-mile trail run at Lake Sonoma. Only I didn't actually run eight miles.

Three miles in, my stupid psoas started screaming at me, and I had to stop running and hike back out. I got lost and ended up -- wait for it -- pressed against a hillside in the middle of a mountain bike race, hoping I wouldn't get run over.


On a more positive note, I had ramen twice this past week.

First, there was Ramen Dojo, where sesame oil and fried garlic took the spicy tonkotsu broth to a whole new level of slurptacular (yes, I'm making that a word):

Then, there was a shoyu bowl at Hana, a.k.a. the source of the best ramen in Sonoma County:

I feel slightly less bitter about New York now.


Also, it's truffle season.

You can't complain when someone shaves a fresh white truffle onto your plate.

in the wee hours

Thanks to the time change and two hungry, yelling cats, I woke up at 5 this morning. (One of said cats insists on sitting in my lap right now, making it very difficult to type this.)

The upside to not sleeping in: I can watch the New York City Marathon. (Sending good thoughts to Layla and Lee Anne! Enjoy every second, ladies!)

Yes, this is slightly painful. I know deferring was the right choice, but it still hasn't been easy. Both my mom and my friends texted me photos from Ippudo this week.

Mom: "I had this for lunch!"

Ulysses (who's in NYC for work): "Ippudo! I love you!"

Thanks, folks -- way to rub it in let me live vicariously through you.

To try to take my mind off of the DNS and the ramen I am not eating, I went for a 32-mile ride in Healdsburg yesterday.

Pretty, right?

Of course, in classic Michaela fashion, shortly after I took this photo, I had a clipless pedal incident and tipped over. (Seriously, how many times must I lean the wrong way before I finally learn?) And then two miles down the road, I had yet another spill at a stop sign and ended up in a planter in front of a whole bunch of people. The fall was so dramatic and stupid that a man in a large truck actually pulled over to ask if I was OK. Yup, I'm a winner.

At least my cat loves me no matter what.

what could've been

I am trying not to think about this.

You know what is even more frustrating? My mom is there right now. This very second. Unlike me, she didn't cancel her plane ticket when I deferred my marathon entry. And my dad didn't cancel his, either — he flies out to join her Saturday. I am imagining them hanging out with David Chang and getting orchestra seats to "The Book of Mormon" and catching a throwaway glove when a Kenyan decides he is warm enough.

Damn it.

Dear NYC 2012: I'm coming. This deferral crap won't happen again.