So here we are. This will be my first post and hopefully the first of many. If you read the about me section, you will note that this blog intends to primarily chronicle my attempt to run a home furnishings shop and refinish furniture. But that alone could be boring as all get-out.

I’m also going to write about my life, the things I do, and whatever else interests me. Some of the posts will be about the goings-on at the store and ongoing paint projects, but many will not. This post will be a little bit of both.

It’s finally been getting cold around here, and with December fast approaching, the weather has been behaving accordingly. Madison (my terrific girlfriend) gave me a ride to the store today along with our brand new puppy Sylvia. There have been problems with the heat at Maison Decor of late and we’ve been in touch with our landlord Leslie to address the issue. Leslie came by on Monday to look at the thermostat, she fiddled around with it for a bit and it seemed that everything was back to normal. When we walked in the door today, it was chillingly apparent that the heat had left the building. The baseboards were ice cold, the thermostat mocked me with a reading of 55 degrees, and our hot coffees turned cold within minutes. I felt really bad for Syl as today was her first day in the store. She’s a tiny 16-week-old Schnoodle (Schnauzer + Poodle) who weighs about 6 or 7 pounds. We just picked her up on Tuesday and she couldn’t be sweeter. Now I was afraid she’d freeze to death. We brought her dog bed thankfully, and I wrapped her in my down vest for added warmth. She was fine.

Madison and I weren’t.

After about 45 minutes, Madison gave up and went to Target to buy a small space heater. Thank god she did. While we were able to watch the temperature climb to a measly 62 degrees, I fixated on hot soup for most of the day. On chilly days, I love eating Asian soups. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot and sour, ramen (not the garbage that comes in the orange cellophane wrapper), or pho, nothing does the trick better if you’ve got a chill in your bones.

For lunch, I called in to Myers + Chang, a great Asian restaurant right around the corner from the store. In their words, M + C is, “A funky indie diner setting, offering Chef/Owner Joanne Chang and Executive Chef Karen Akunowicz’s very personal interpretation of Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese specialties.” If you live in the Boston area and have never been, go. Like now. Anyway, for lunch I got the shrimp and tofu ramen, a delicious noodle soup with black sesame seeds. It did the trick, but I still wanted more soup. It was basically like soup city for me today.

I pass a Chinese supermarket on my walk to the train home, so I’ve recently been taking advantage of Ming’s Market, not only for their selection of Asian foods, but because their prices are drastically cheaper than the other markets in the city. While the ramen I had for lunch was an absolute delight, I decided to make pho for dinner.

I settled on beef pho, so I picked up Thai basil, bean sprouts, limes, mushrooms, chiles, rice noodles, top sirloin, and beef paste for the broth (sounds gross, I know), and fish sauce. I also like to add bok choy, which I already had, along with some onions and shallots that were kicking around in my fridge as well.

This type of rice noodles need to be soaked in water for up to thirty minutes.

The sirloin for pho needs to be sliced as thin as possible. I covered it with sea salt and pepper, and put it in the freezer for fifteen minutes. This firms the meat up, thus making it much easier to slice. Use a serrated knife if you want to keep all of your fingers.

I won’t bore you with an entire recipe, but if you want to make pho, just Google “simple pho recipe” and literally thousands of results will pop up. It’s super easy.

Fast forward 45 minutes, and I was eating this and watching Jeopardy! with Syl by my side while Madison was at work, making the big bucks. It was a terrific night. See you all tomorrow and stay tuned for tales from the store.



3 thoughts on “hi.

  1. Hello Justin…..Janet from The Empty Nest here! I’m a friend of your Mom’s and a fellow Chalk Paint Stockist . Loved reading this post and I look forward to many more. I too have gotten my oldest Billy (31) involved with my business. On Sundays, his day off from his full time job, he is learning all about using Annie’s paint. He seems to be just like you…a natural!

    Your little puppy is beautiful and I am happy to see you have a good woman by your side…makes life so much better.

    The Empty Nest

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