cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Tag: thesis


A month from submission, I am officially in thesis mode. Which is why I have set up a date with myself over the weekend to make a crochet bathroom rug. (?)

I have recently discovered what to do with radishes, and that they are wonderful! Sliced on labneh and olive oil toast, sprinkled with sumac. Or roasted with balsamic vinegar. Salad shmalad!

If you want to know how eating habits have changed in the US over the past four and a half decades, you can check trends out here.


Slow, check. Working on steady.

It took me four hours and thirty-odd minutes to write two paragraphs with a total of five citations. This is progress!

I used to think grad student stereotypes were grossly exaggerated and only applied to sissies. And so this is the year of Learning To Eat My Words And Not Judge.

For next time I panic and don’t work: it’s not difficult to write. It just takes time and moderate concentration. Just follow the directions, make sure to check off all the boxes and it will get done, slowly but surely.

First sighting of WinBUGS in the wild

Getting by

It’s almost eleven on a Sunday night and I’m sitting, exhausted, in front of the computer with no other lights on. The room is slightly chilly because Montreal spring doesn’t come till May. The skin on my hands is brittle and dry from washing so many dishes, and the smell of fish sauce hangs faintly in the air. I am tired, but thinking of the assignment I have to turn in tomorrow that I haven’t yet finished and the interviews I have to transcribe this week, as well as the rest of the interviews I need to schedule and do as soon as I possibly can, lest I never finish this project in time. These days are focused on just getting through this project.

I made this tonight, and fell in love. I think this is how pad thai is supposed to taste: light, fresh, flavourful, with a hint of tangy bitterness from the tamarind.

For 2 servings

5 ounces pad thai rice noodles, preferably the thin kind
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
6 medium shrimp, peeled
1/2 cup small cubes of pressed tofu
1 tablespoon sweet preserved shredded radish, rinsed, chopped into 1″ pieces (didn’t use and was fine)
1 cup bean sprouts
2 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
4 garlic chives, 2 cut into 1″ pieces (I used scallions)
1/2 teaspoon ground dried Thai chiles, divided
2 tablespoons crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts, divided
2 lime wedges
Place noodles in a large bowl; pour hot water over to cover. Let soak until tender but not mushy, 5-10 minutes. Don’t oversoak. Drain; set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg; stir until barely set, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, if using. Cook, stirring, until shrimp and egg are almost cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Add tofu and radish; cook for 30 seconds. Add noodles and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sprouts. Add tamarind water, fish sauce, and simple syrup and stir-fry until sauce is absorbed by noodles and noodles are well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped garlic chives. Add 1/4 teaspoon ground chiles and 1 tablespoon peanuts and toss well. Transfer to serving plates.

Garnish with remaining 1/4 teaspoon ground chiles, 1 tablespoon peanuts, and lime wedges.