Thursday, April 22, 2010

Birthday Contest!

I'm supposed to be enjoying my birthday, but instead, I'm trapped in my house as the contractors rip it apart and expose me to dust, chemicals, fumes and possibly worse. And I have to go teach for 6 hours straight later this afternoon. So it ain't looking good for my birthday.

How can I salvage the day? I can't drink anymore because my Acid Reflux believes that alcohol is the devil and must be purged at all costs. The last stomach wrenching session taught me my lesson and I shall never doubt Acid Reflux again. And since I can't leave the house, I can't go eat. And no one can come over because the house is like a demolition zone.

Well in order to make myself feel better, I decided to hold a contest. But what kind of contest? That is the question. Everyone gives away gift cards and books. But I was thinking of something my buddy Pacatrue did. When I won the March madness pool last year (or was it the year before?) he sent me a goodie box filled with Hawaiian treats - of which the best was this awesome dessert he made himself. Well, I'm not making any treats. This is, after all, supposed to be a good prize, not a bad one. So I'll save your stomach's from my trying to bake anything. But I can offer up a goodie box of different and interesting treats from my local Asian supermarket that some of you might not be familiar with. Such as this or this. What? Not interested? All right. how about this instead?

No, that's not a phallic symbol! That's a chocolate covered cookie and it is delicious! Below are some of the kind you can dip into a chocolate or strawberry cream. I like to lick the cream out with my tongue.

But my favorite cookie is this one:

They have a soft chocolate center. What's not to like?

Almost everyone has eaten ramen noodles at some point in their life, right? Ah those good old poor student days, eating ramen every day and desperately trying to think of creative ways to choke down the same old noodles. Now if only Ramenbox had been available to me back then, I think I would have been a better student! And here you thought ramen only came in oodles of noodles flavor. Think again. What about a spicy Korean ramen noodle called Shin Ramen? Eat at your peril! Too spicy for you? How about a miso flavored ramen? Or a green tea flavored one?

Ramen will make you thirsty. I bet a lot of you have never had this Korean drink sensation. It's called sac sac and it comes in a variety of flavors - but the only ones I like is orange and grape. They come with little pulpy pieces of the fruit with the drink and they are delicious. But be warned, eating the peeled whole grapes in the grape drink does have the consistency of eating eyeballs and are not for the squeamish.

Ok, since this is my birthday contest, I have to include my Mother's favorite snack because she did bring me into this world. So here it is, a bag of shrimp flavored crackers.

Personally, I think they taste like salty shrimpy styrofoam chips but this might be just me as my kids love these things too. But then again my kids will eat anything that has enough salt on it. Like the next item on our list. Dried, roasted, salted seaweed:

This is not only tasty, it is really good for you. No Korean household is complete without a pack of this stuff. Make some fresh, hot rice and open up a pack of kim (roasted seaweed). They are thin like paper and come in sheets. You cut it to the size you want. Then you wrap a square of it around a little hot rice and enjoy!

Here's one more of my Mom's favorite snacks. It's a weird Japanese cookie called a Monako, and it is filled with sweet red bean paste. This one I sort of like and sort of hate. The inside part is good and I like the sweet red bean taste of the jelly, but the outside part is really flaky and drives me crazy cause the flaky part sticks to your lips and the inside of your mouth and no matter how much you scrape at it with your tongue it doesn't want to come out, ever. But again, this might be an "Ello is weird thing" and not a "Mom is weird thing" as this is a very popular cookie.

Last but not least, I shall include my Dad's favorite treat before his dentures made it impossible to enjoy. Dried squid. Don't they look so good?

I can see some of you cringing already. You probably won't believe me when I say it tastes good. But if you like beef jerky, there's no reason you shouldn't like dried squid. Seems like the same concept to me and they both leave your hands stinky for hours. Ok I admit it. I hate beef jerky. But I guess if you grow up eating dried squid you've gotta grow to like it. Even my kids love the stuff. But what I give them doesn't look like the picture above. No way. If I gave my kids something that looked like that they would call the police and have me taken away for child abuse. No, like beef jerky, the dried squid we buy looks like this:

See? So they eat strips of white chewy jerky that tastes like squid. Yeah, I know. Still gross, huh? I can always include a can of bundegi instead. he he. But then again, some, all or none of these might show up in the goodie box. It could be a total surprise! That's the fun of it.

So what are the rules to the contest? Simple, first of all, you must be a buddy of the blog. See the box on the sidebar called Buddies? Just click on the follow box and that takes care of step 1. If you are already a buddy, then skip step 1. The second step is to comment here on which of these taste sensations you would be most interested to partake in and why. Or if you feel that a certain Asian treat should be included in the goodie box, please make a recommendation for me to consider. Either of these comments should also include a statement as to why you should be chosen to win. The one with the best comment will win a goodie birthday box from me.

The goal of the contest is to increase my buddies from the current 129- hey, what happened to a buddy? Who left me? What'd I do? (mope) Ok, the goal is to increase my buddies from 128. So to that end, I shall include a second prize. For those of you who are not feeling so brave, the second prize will be a choice of a $25 gift card to Amazon or a goodie box like above. This one will be a random drawing. If you are a buddy and you leave a comment on this post, you will be automatically entered to win. If you link the contest to your blog or tweet or facebook it, you will double your chances in the lottery. Just make sure you comment here and let me know you've promoted me and I'll enter you as often as you promote me!

So there you have it! A celebration of Ello/Earth Day with your comments providing me with free entertainment in my shut-in birthday day. Let the mayhem begin!


fairyhedgehog said...

Happy Birthday Ello!

I'm sorry to hear that your birthday isn't going the way you want it to, or the way that anyone would want it to! Total suckage. I hope you manage to have some fun today, despite everything. If not, can you have an official birthday some other time?

I've blogged about your competition, although I don't think I'm eligible to enter because of the cost of postage to the UK. But I was really interested to read about all those Asian foods.

If I was going to eat some of those treats there are two that appeal: the Hello Panda cookies, due to my long-term love affair with chocolate, and the seaweed. I've had shredded dried seaweed in Chinese restaurants and loved it.

I hope you have a better day than you're expecting.

Whirlochre said...

I'm going to plump for the dried squid — but only on two conditions.

First, it has to have been scented with Jasmine before it dried out.

Second, there have to be a dozen of them, knitted together with catfish whiskers into a dinky squidular bonnet.

Clad in my scented squid headgear, I ascend the 3000 foot bunjee tower, bow to the cameras — and leap.

Into the water, SPLOOSH — and the squid partially rehydrates.

Another sploosh and the squid goes slimy, releases its wondrous scent.

Three more splooshes and I look and smell fantastic, like the John hurt scene from Alien, only with the finest of aromas instead of film studio space crustacean slime.

Because you're joking that people eat this stuff, right?

Old Kitty said...

Hello Ello!

Just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday! I came over from fairyhedgehog's as I hear you are stuck at home with a demolition gang. On your birthday of all days!

Oh and such fun and very interesting food here! The strawberry dip cookie thing sounds yummy! And who can resist pandas?!?!

Take care

Wings in the Night said...

Happy Birthday, Ello!

Nobody should have to work on their birthday. Or suffer through remodeling.

Hope you can enjoy the day.

Wings in the Night said...

Oh. The FOLLOW button wouldn't work for me. But I have been having computer problems. So I added you from my dashboard.

Kappa no He said...

Oh, man! We just ate them all. We had peanut shaped and peanut flavored monakas in the house the other day. My son's fav too. Woof! Gone!

Happy birthday! (again). I'm sending over a giant cake. I'll mark it Fragile.


Christina Farley said...

Happy Birthday Ellen! I love your contest. So fun. Don't enter me cause I eat this stuff all the time. Peppero sticks? Too funny! Did you know my youngest was born on 11/11? Guess what he brings in for his birthday treat. Yeah. Peppero sticks!!!!!!


Ann said...

Happy Birthday Ello!

Dropped by via fairhedgehog to commiserate with your demolition circumstances.

The Panda cookies do look good.

Hope your day turns glorious.

Colleen_Katana said...

FIRST of all, Happy birthday!!!

Second, Yay giveaways!

Third, I cannot believe I wasn't already a buddy of yours. I tend not to use google reader or any of those things, so I don't always bother with the "follow" button.

Fourth, I'm twittering about you right now.

Fifth, The cookies with the red bean curd? I've had them at an Asian Fusion restaurant once and they are A-Ma-Zing. Sean and I went searching for them in various stores around Brooklyn, but we live in a very Polish neighborhood. And they basically had no idea what we were talking about when we kept saying over and over: "It's this dough...and wrapped in it is this sweet, red bean paste..." The blank looks continued. "It's an Asian dessert..." needless to say, we're both kind of lazy and after only two grocery stores, we admitted defeat and gave up. Did I mention the laziness?

Although, the dried squid is also kind of appealing to me as well. A friend of mine is Vietnamese and he also always has dried seaweed (I think that's what it is) that he eats like potato chips. They are equally delicious and my mouth waters when I think of them. If I don't win, I think I need to go on another quest for these snacks...

Jonathan H. Liu said...

Happy Birthday! We're going through renovations but fortunately we're not living in it at the same time... good luck!

I've never had sac sac so I'd be really interested in trying it. On the other hand, I love dried squid (and the bonus is that I wouldn't have to share because the rest of my family thinks it's gross)! Being three hours away from the closest Asian market can be pretty tough sometimes.

(I've also tweeted about your contest... @jonathanhliu)

Jeanne Ryan (Serenissima) said...

Happy Birthday Ello!

The only thing in your post that made me twinge was the link to the silk worm larva. Eeewwww. The other stuff looks oh so yummy. But the one that made my mouth water the most was the roasted seaweed. Love that stuff!

Hope your day is filled with many HAPPY surprises!

JaneyV said...

Felicitations on this magnificent occasion dearest Ellen. I hope that - at the very least - your builders are of the *hawt* variety. (If you're going to have builder's butt-crack inflicted on you at least make the buns fine, I say!)

As to the competition - I fancy the seaweed. I grew up on an Irish delicacy called dillisk which I loved and carrageen is a fantastic substitute for gelatin for those who don't fancy boiled cow hooves in their jello. We, from the West of Ireland know the value of a good seaweed I tell you. Yet another thing the Irish and Koreans have in common.

Lana Gramlich said...

Happy birthday & many, MANY more! Those dried squid look awful, but I still eat ramen noodles! Gotta love those!

Angie said...

Happy Birthday! And probably more useful, happy and quick and successful work-on-your-house! [wry smile] Yeah, I had my turn with the jackhammers and the power saws for months late last year, so I can definitely sympathise.

That sounds like a great goodie box. You should give it to me because... [cogitate] well, because I actually Followed your blog, and I've never done that with anyone before, ever. I read blogs through an RSS reader, and I have everyone I read linked on my sidebar; I don't want to have to track yet another way of connecting to blogs. But I followed you, so you're very clearly just that special. :D


pacatrue said...

I should do this, because I'm supposed to get another package ready for this year's March Madness winner, so you could send a prize to me, which I would forward to the winner. Of course, I would never do that, no no. Umm.. no. (Do they believe I wouldn't do that yet?)

My son likes the Pandas the most and the strawberry yamyams. We can buy those at Target here. I like the seaweed, but no one else in my house eats it, so we rarely buy it. Therefore, I'm in for the seaweed.

Natania Barron said...

Well, a happy birthday to you from a new buddy.

For some strange reason I am drawn to the squid... I really think I'd like it. But then again, I'm weird. HYa for weirdness!

jjdebenedictis said...

Oh, seaweed! I love that stuff. I don't love having a thousand bits of green welded to my teeth afterward, but while I'm eating it, I'm a happy girl.

I will decline to enter your contest because I have food intolerances and the seaweed (and, regretfully, probably the squid) would be the only thing I could eat, but I will wish you as happy a birthday as possible given the circumstances.

It's a delight to know you, Ello, if only virtually, so the anniversary of your existence seems a fine thing to celebrate!

Carrie Harris said...

ZOMG. I love seaweed and yamyams, but dried squid?!? I love you even more now.

Happy birthday, sunshine. Can't wait to eat dried squid at our celebratory party of crit group awesomeness.

Anonymous said...

I would greedily devour everything on this list, having grown up with the stuff, although I agree about the outside of those Monakos, it's weird how they're dense AND flaky in exactly the wrong proportions. That said, Sapporo Ichiban noodles were a staple of my adolescent and young adult years...

Nandini said...

Happy Birthday Ello!! Sorry about the construction. What lousy timing! Would love to try the goodies you're offering up, so count me in!!

Kiki Hamilton said...

Happy Birthday Ello!!!

I'm game to try any it. er. I think. the salty shrimpy things sound quite tasty!

Loved all the pictures - even that last lumpy dead squid looking thing. Not thinkin' I'm going to be eatin' that one even if by some far fetched chance I do win.

Anyway - Happy Day to you! You are a special, funny lady and deserve all the good things that are coming your way this year!!


Vivian Mahoney said...

Happy Birthday, Ello! Just think, your house will be all pretty again and what better way to start a new birthday year in new surroundings?

Yum. Dried squid. I only get this when I visit my parents, since no one else in my household will venture to try it. One of these days I will succeed.

Bernita said...

Happy Birthday, Ello!
Too bad about the dust and the noise ( but it will be so nice when they've finished.)
I've has a strong desire for Monako red bean paste cookies ever since I read about them in a story.
The dried squid sound good too.
The only reason I can offer up as to why I should be chosen to win is that I've just sold my novel...

Rena Jones said...

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

My oldest would probably love all those things on your list. She spent some time in SE Asia recently and I know she misses it. She came home with a bunch of those things you pictured first. The chocolate covered cookie things, except I think they were called Poky Sticks or something.

I hope you can get the workers out of your house soon. Been there, done that!

Kimbra Kasch said...

Happy Bday - and the mess will be worth it when the house is done.

And no dried squid for me - thanks.

I'm not sure you'd like some of the Danish cuisine my hubby has around our house either.

writtenwyrdd said...

Okay, let's list this in order of importance:
1. Happy birthday!
2. Sympathies on the construction disaster zone that is your life.
3. And ACK! I have the same alcohol problem. It's like drinking lava and not to be borne! May it improve some day.

Martha Flynn said...

Happy Bday!!!

It says it's unable to buddy me now but I will try again this afternoon. Now gimme yummy food! I love all of that stuff. I also loved the dried pork that you can put on top of rice. It puts in those clear plastic canisters. Mmmm.

laughingwolf said...

this may be our equivalent to your edible seaweed, we call it 'dulse'

Unknown said...

Happy birthday!! I meant to comment earlier, but allergies took me and killed me dead. I got better.

So I take it from your most recent post that you're looking for some entertainments since you're camped out with the move and all? Well I would tell you my bestest joke, but...

I'm a bit depressed.

See, my husband was cleaning out the fuel line in his truck, and had drained all the gas from the engine and had it laying in pan. And along comes my dog, who drinks up every single bit of the fuel. He immediately jumps up, runs around the house like five times, then flops over. Just falls down.




...[wait for it]...

Did he die, you ask?


He just ran out of gas!

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That's the only really good joke I have, and lemme tell you, it's so much fun to tell it to my high school students!

Unknown said...

Thanks for share! Happy birthday ^^!. I am working sàn gỗ

playbazaar said...

Satta king
i like this very much

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