So, the other day I saw a snake in my office. It was a small one, about the size of a No. 2 pencil. Even though I knew it was harmless, it had me freaked out for the rest of the day. See, I spotted it while I was working — and I was on the phone with a customer. (I’m a work-from-home technical support advisor.)
In order to do my job effectively, I couldn’t just keep eyeing the snake; I had to look at my computer screen and enter in notes and try to focus on my customer. So, by the time I got off the call, I couldn’t see the snake anymore. It had already slithered off behind something. A little while later, I caught sight of it again… and again, I was on the phone.
I still have no idea what happened to it. It may be somewhere tucked away under the carpet, in my office closet, or behind my desk or wherever (and probably dead if so). I wasn’t too freaked out by it after the fact, little garden snakes happen sometimes. When I was younger, my mom found a dead garden snake under her bathroom counter, and she never even noticed it was there before. When we lived in the townhouse a few years later, a little garden snake managed to get in the carpet-crease between the steps leading upstairs. It happens, and most of the time they die before you ever notice them.
Less than a week later, just yesterday, I saw another one. This one was SO TINY!!! Not even the size of the earthworms I played with during Insect Investigation while I was in elementary school. This is it:
I found this one in my office bathroom. It was slithering across the faux-wood tile, and it wasn’t making much progress. Looked more like it was throwing a fit than trying to make any progress in crossing the floor.
The crazy part? I had stepped over it to get to the toilet before I even noticed it. I captured it with a glass and thick envelope, then set him free a few minutes after the video above was taken. I will say I’m a little concerned that I’ve seen two in less than as many weeks…
I’m lucky enough that I get to work from home — but that can come with a few distractions. Namely? When there’s a tiny snake in your office and you can see it while you’re on the phone with a customer… yeah.
Every Friday, while I’m sleeping in like a lazy ass, Bob gets up at around nine or ten to start the laundry. It’s become his ritual to catch up on all of his Gordon Ramsey cooking shows via Hulu while I’m still passed out and he’s being all sexy and productive with his weekend. So, I usually wake up to the sound of Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, and most recently, MasterChef: Junior.
So, anyhow, the point is that sometimes I end up watching parts of the show, and twice now I’ve seen Beef Wellington as one of the more complicated challenges for contestants of these reality shows. Honestly, a few of the ingredients turn me off, like the foie gras pâté, Duxelles (fancy mushroom paste), and mustard coating. I’m not saying it isn’t fine cuisine, but I have a really simple pallet when it comes to food. Despite knowing that I probably wouldn’t personally enjoy Gordon Ramsey’s signature dish, I was struck with inspiration to try my own, simpler (and cheaper) version of the overall concept:
Beef Wellington is essentially a pan-seared filet smothered in a fancy marinade, wrapped in a crepe, coated with another layer of fancy stuff, and wrapped in a layer of puff pastry. When it comes out of the oven, it looks like a loaf of yummy bread — which is what makes me want to try it. So, I thought of how I might make it without all the fancy ingredients by substituting them for cheaper stuff that I actually like.
Imagine this: Pan-seared sirloin steak, (I like it medium rare, personally). Now, after I get it cooked to almost medium rare, I’m gonna take it off the skillet and cut it up into circular-ish pieces about 2-3 inches across. I’ll douse it in my usual steak marinade, and let those soak in a bowl while I prepare the next phase.
The next phase would be taking either canned flaky-layer biscuits or canned flaky croissants and making a tortilla-like crepe out of the stuff that comes out of the can. Coat each side with melted butter. On one side, I’ll coat it with shredded mozzarella cheese. Then, on each little tortilla-crepe thing, I’ll put one of the pieces of the sirloin and wrap it up. I’ll stick each one inside the cups of a muffin pan, and pop it in the oven until all of them are golden brown and to die for.
Doesn’t that sound yummy?
Well, we’re going to find out tomorrow night. Bob and I got the appropriate ingredients tonight at the grocery store.
Update: It was a big hit with Bob, although I did underestimate how much the steak would continue to cook once it went into the oven. I kicked myself for that, and the fact that I neglected to take pictures to post here, but whatever. I certainly made too many; our usual sized sirloin made eight individual Wellingtons that were ridiculously filling eating only one. Bob was eating leftovers for lunch all of last week. (He said his co-workers asked him where he bought it, which made me feel kind of awesome.)
Bob and I have just returned from shopping at H-Mart — which is basically the Korean Walmart ’round these parts. He had never been, and it was extremely gratifying to pop his Little Korea cherry. xD
It actually feels like being in South Korea — as much as one can without actually going to South Korea, I suppose. I’ve watched (read “obsessed over”) enough Korean dramas to distinguish the language just by hearing it. So, the cacophony of indistinguishable voices you hear in any supermarket is that much more awesome because it foreign, yet recognizable to any K-Pop or K-Drama fangirl, and it makes me feel like Lee Min Ho or Jang Geun Suk might pop out of nowhere and give me a fangasm.
Uh… what was I saying?
Oh, right! Shopping at my local Super H-Mart.