Fun Times, Exotic Ingredients, The Winners Are … and a Williams-Sonoma Surprise!

Exotic Food and Contests

It’s a Lotus Root

Wow, what a fun night at! I decided when I was in the Fresh World International Market to do my grocery shopping for the week today, that I would begin a new contest series. It would be all about exotic foods.

I picked up a fresh lotus root. I’d never seen one in person before and I knew that I liked them, so I thought I’d challenge myself to make something with it. I had no idea how to handle it, but it’s a root, how difficult an it be, right?

Air causes the holes

There were many other strange and odd looking things in the market and I took my time looking around today. I even tasted some of the samples which is something I just DO NOT do at a grocery store, but the ladies were so nice and I was curious to try what they were offering. At one stand a woman was making sushi with flying fish eggs, rice and seaweed salad. At another, a woman was making sweet pancakes. They were thick and chewy, but very good. I passed on the squid. I am not sure why … I like squid, but for some reason I just didn’t feel like it today.

All the while I was thinking about how I could execute this new contest when it came to me. I’d shoot photos of the vegetable in various stages of preparation and post them to the blog and then when people were in the channel, I’d post the link to the blog pages with the photos and ask two questions:

  1. What is this?
  2. What causes the holes?

What I didn’t realize was that I’d cause confusion with the title I chose for the blog posts. I titled them Animal? Mineral? or Vegetable? Some people thought that they had to respond with one of those words to get the first question correct. I think it worked out in the end. It was the first time we were doing this and I had Twittered about it during the day, but people were not expecting it, so they will be more prepared next week. I asked everyone to follow me on Twitter because I plan to send Tweets out with announcements and hints and info about the show and the contests now that I’m totally hooked on Twhirl for all my Twitter needs.


Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Guittard Chocolate Chips

You make this difficult. Ok, I suppose it’s me that makes things so difficult. I thought I’d rustled up a good contest — not easy, not too tough to execute, fun to play and easy to tally. But nooooo … I had to make it difficult. Each one of these is a learning experience and each time I get a bit more together, so next week I might have this down to a science.

Today’s winners of the Hickory Smoke Bags are:

  • Meggie
  • Number1fan
  • Tenten

Honorable Mention, and a small prize goes to:

  • David
  • bgbear
  • Texgal

I’ll need all of your addresses please, even those that I’ve sent prizes to in the past because I may not have the info needed on this new machine.

Thank you for playing and remember everyone, follow me on Twitter so you can be sure to be alerted to contests and show news!

Twhirl is my new obsession — it’s taken over my love for JTV! Well, kind of. I was riveted to JTV this morning when I got on and saw Nekomimi_lisa on having dinner with Yuta. It wasn’t that she was having dinner with Yuta specifically, but rather that she was in Japan, smiling and having what looked like a DEElicious meal that seemed to take hours. I was happy for her and while I thought I’d be just plain green with envy, I was content that we were finally getting to see life in another culture as I’d been hoping for all this time. was finally coming through with what there is to offer on a site such as this.

I had a great cultural experience during my broadcast tonight as well. After dinner I must have been pushed to the Featured Broadcaster spot because suddenly there were a few people in the room being rude and crude. I got rid of those that were particularly obnoxious, and the others went away when they didn’t get the loving attention they so desired.

One person that came in was speaking Spanish and rather than give him a good swift kick in the pants as so many other broadcasters and/or their mods do, I embraced the opportunity to try to understand what he was saying and to attempt to speak to him in Spanish. It turns out that Pablo is from Rosario, Argentina, so I put on my best Castellano and tried very hard. The best part was that I could not see him cringing at my mispronunciations or lack of verb conjugation or totally incorrect vocabulary. Instead I got to try and when he responded positively it gave me just the confidence I needed to continue trying!

I am convinced this is just what I needed to become fluent while living in Buenos Aires! I had a great time and it looked like a few other viewers were getting in the act as well.

We made a great Asian meal tonight with other exotic ingredients like wakame (seaweed) and edamame (fresh soy beans) and after dinner we finished making ice cream. French Vanilla with Chocolate Chips.

A Flattened World

As Thomas Friedman likes to say, The World is Flat and I’d say it’s getting flatter every day with Web2.0 apps like,,,, and more. Once YouTube launches their live video offering I’d imagine the floodgates will open and everyone and their mother will be broadcasting live and then we will all be living on one small, very flat planet with no one falling off the other side.

Tonight as we were getting the ice cream into the ice cream maker, a new viewer mentioned that her mom is a manager at Williams-Sonoma. What?! Are you kidding me?! She is apparently the manager at the Nantick Mall store in the Boston area. How great is that? First of all, it’s so interesting that young people are into Justopia Cooks and that they hang around long enough to converse with and while there are a lot of W-S stores around the nation, there just aren’t that many people that come to my channel so it was a surprise that another W-S employee (or her daughter) was watching.

Nothing that’s going to make the earth stop spinning, but surprising and coincidental enough to make me giddy.


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