My cucumber was missing

Yes, my cucumber was missing. Literally.

But it was not as anxiety-causing as THE WALLET or THE PASSPORT.

Yesterday, I had sworn that I had put it in the corner next to my butter. It was slightly moldy on on end, but I was ready to take it on. Perhaps to make a the vermicelli salad with lettuce, carrots, green papaya, and cucumber. Then topped with some nice grilled meat. I thought about it after a long day at work on my long train ride (I had to catch the slow train)…and the slow drive back to my place.

My roommate and a friend were about to depart for a show at the Marsh. I debated going for a run but decided to prepare dinner first. So I looked inside the fridge, expecting to find the ingredients that I was searching for.

Carrots in the fresh compartment. Check.

Cucumber…not found?

I noticed an empty drawer. Completely empty. And clean.

My roommate had already left.

But my cucumber?! Gone! Absent! No mark!

Yesterday, I had considered using it in my dinner, but decided impulsively to make mashed potatoes instead with my brand new potato ricer (thanks to Williams-Sonoma). But today, I intended to go all Asian…but to my horror, my cucumber was gone.

I sulked. Instead, I ate a hard-boiled egg and two soft tacos with apples, jalapeño cheddar, green leaf lettuce. Yeah so the latter does sound interesting but nothing like the vermicelli salad that would have been a great lunch for the next two days.

I miss you, cucumber. You were a present from Chris. I remember the day that you arrived. There were two—I used one to make Chris’ palate cleansing salad for his deep fry birthday party. Then the other was supposed to be around today.

If only the cleaning lady didn’t decide to toss out my cucumber.

Was it the end? The last of the street food festival.

Note: The 2010 scavenger hunt is over (a concluding post will come soon) and we got first place out of 121 teams! This is a series explaining the background and thinking of our missions of the SF Street Food Scavenger Hunt 2010!

Well apparently, it was not.

At midnight right before the street food festival, we received word that events were going to take place at the festival. Well, OK THEN!

Like last year, Chris and I prepped. This time, we made sure that we had a map and memorized where all the booths were located.

And so we rushed over to the festival around 11 am. We kept checking our email, awaiting an announcement. Unlike last year, the email didn’t indicate a place to meet. So we waited. We talked to Caleb—the head of La Cocina. Nothing. And so we waited optimistically…and waited…and waited with when David and Jeff showed up.

At least we ran into Team Neverland.

Team DFT and Team Neverland!

And got a nice picture with Brody!

Then we wandered around, tasting foods here and there. We decided to meet up with Joey Chestnut!

Joey Chesnut loves TWINKIES!


And watched a Taco Challenge.

Taco Chowdown of 5 NORMALS vs. Joey Chestnut

Well, at least we were entertained. But where was this promised GO GAME finale?!?!?!

In the end, I tasted foods from businesses that I frequented anyway—including Three Twins Ice Cream, Aziza and Roli Roti. But it wasn’t the experience that we were hoping for.

Unlike last year, there were no gameday missions such as taking pictures of a celebrity-lookalike or reactions to our team name. Nothing…but what did the evening hold for us?

Mission FINAL: I wasn’t available

Note: The 2010 scavenger hunt is over (a concluding post will come soon) and we got first place out of 121 teams! This is a series explaining the background and thinking of our missions of the SF Street Food Scavenger Hunt 2010!

What does it mean when I am not available? I send my other team minions! Usually for the hunt, I took it upon myself to do most of the photo/video mission, assuming that others certainly don’t want to embarrass themselves. Bust most importantly to assert my creative vision. Ok, so I have some superiority issues! But like in any field, when you can trust your team members to do the job, you may be extraordinarily surprised!

There were two missions that I couldn’t do:
1. Visit the booth for Sukhi’s. I had tried calling them asking when they would be available. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market…and how would I have known to do that mission if I couldn’t be there. Rather we were busy eating this. And not to mention, wasn’t that a difficult mission? To send us all the way there when we were only notified barely 24 hours in advance? I wanted to see my parents, grandparents and my sister who was just visiting for one week—who I hadn’t seen for more than 8 months! That’s disrespectful, but hey all in good fun.

So our dear lovely team member took it upon herself to purchase a frozen dinner from Sukhi’s.

Grocery stores (*cough*) aren’t exactly friendly to people taking pictures. So I give many props to Cynthia for pulling this off!

And of course…a drum circle. I don’t know what the original prompt was, but it was to go to Revolution Cafe and make a drum circle. Extra points if you get others involved.

And Cynthia, Jeff, and Chris did…while I was wittling away at work. Chris bought all his drum sticks—expensive ones—from his Rock Band collection. As I heard, Chris and Cynthia practiced a drum beat on the caltrain, but basically tossed it aside when they arrived at the destination, which happened to be around the corner from where I live. The music was too loud.

Of course, as seen in the video…many people were completely stoned. And they were more than happy to participate in a random drum ordeal!

Cynthia got excited and turned the camera on its side thus the orientation switching in the middle of the recording!

Good job, team!

Mission #11: Random Access Memory

Note: The 2010 scavenger hunt is over (a concluding post will come soon) and we got first place out of 121 teams! This is a series explaining the background and thinking of our missions of the SF Street Food Scavenger Hunt 2010!

Mission: This quintessential high school “Betty” might not have the greatest M.O. for landing a guy, but when it comes to her choice in friends we approve 100%. Unfortunately, our favorite recently passed away, leaving behind a repertoire of cinematic gold. One we find especially delicious is a kind of Karate-Kid-meets-food deal. Find it, watch it, and revel in the delectable cheesiness. In the film, she finds solace in learning to that “perfect bowl of soup.” It just so happens that we know another hot Japanese “dish” that has mastered it. Any ideas who we’re referring to? (We’ll give you a hint: he comes from the same “stock” as people like Keanu Reeves, Rob Schneider, Sean Lennon, Tiger Woods.) Perform a scene from the movie.

Eric figured this out. Brittany Murphy. And the dish? Ramen! And…the movie? Ramen Girl! Apparently Cynthia had watched it on Netflix Instant (it was one of those American-made movies that did well overseas but was determined that it was fated to doom so was just straight to DVD).

We determined that it was Hapa Ramen. The owner is in the “stock” that people like Keanu Reeves was from. And I had been dying to try their ramen! So off we went to Off the Grid at Fort Mason on a Friday. So we unfortunately couldn’t find the guy that created Hapa Ramen. The mission at the time was to perform a scene from the movie and we would get a password.

Cynthia pin-pointed this one:
Brittany (realizing she really wants to cook ramen, runs back into the restaurant to talk to the owner): I want to cook ramen!
Owner (in Japanese): Ashita denaosu. (“Come back tomorrow.”)
Brittany (not understanding Japanese and looking confused): Uuuuuuuhhh . . .
Owner (in Japanese): Ashita, ASHITA. TO-MORR-OW.
Brittany (finally getting it, smiling and looking elated that she gets to learn how to cook ramen): Tomorrow!
Owner (holding up his right hand): Go ji gozen. (“5am”)
Brittany (totally not understanding what he means, still smiling, gives him a high-five)

Hilarious in context!

Wanting to decrease our effort, we decided not to shoot it and did our selected scene quickly. We got the password and attempted to enter it in. “La Cocina” was the word that the girl gave us—which is the name of the non-profit running the entire Street Food Festival. So we tried it multiple ways, especially knowing that Go Game has had history of not knowing how to spell words.

So we tried:

  • LaCocina
  • lacocina
  • la cocina
  • cocina
  • la cucina
  • cucina
  • LaCucina
  • No such luck. But in a few days, the mission page had changed to requiring a video! But we had not recorded one! And there were less than 2 days before the actual festival! So I hatched a plan and made it to during-the-day farmer’s market and re-enacted the scene from Ramen Girl. Fortunately, this time, I had watched Ramen Girl (I give it only 3 stars out of 5 stars). I do love my ramen.

    With only two of DFT available…we did some camera trickey. Chris was the cat and I was the…ramen girl! He would be the chef! And so we did it! It was one of the lesser creatively-acted-upon videos. And I uploaded it in a record time!

    Mission #10: Sugary Deliciousness

    Note: The 2010 scavenger hunt is over (a concluding post will come soon) and we got first place out of 121 teams! This is a series explaining the background and thinking of our missions of the SF Street Food Scavenger Hunt 2010!

    Mission: First, you’ve got find him, and though he’s not French he often rocks the toque. He’s slinging freedom pudding, and he’d love to hear about it. Grab your best judges (Paula was always our favorite) and go French Idol on the Freedom Pudding man. Extra points if part (or all) of your song honors the Francophone tradition. Take a video of your performance!

    Last year, we had done the rap video…and so it was clear that we could do this one quite easily. Now a song perhaps in French?

    The song in French that came to mind was Foux Da Fa Fa from the Flight of the Conchords. And American Idol? That would certainly lend itself best to the American Idol parody from MadTV. Ok, so done. But how would we execute it?

    Last year, I had fallen flat on my face for not being able to create a great video. This time, I wrote a script and got people involved. We planned every step with costume changes studying the shots. Cynthia carefully organized the video….and so on a Sunday (after recording the creme brulee cart bit at Off the Grid on a Friday), we did it.

    Some highlights:

  • One bike from me, one bike from Ta-ching—that one that I wasn’t exactly super comfortable to ride in
  • Chris not being able to shave off his mustache for two days and having tons of people giving him weird looks
  • Multiple wardrobe changes courtesy of my huge t-shirt collection
  • The pink flower hat that was gotten for FREE from a nearby garage sale on early Sunday
  • The run to Cala Foods for the grocery cart scene
  • Nobody harassing us at Cala Foods about buying things
  • Multiple baguettes purchased
  • My inability to say “Monsieur”
  • Chris completely forgetting his British accent
  • Cynthia’s great ability to walk backwards while filming—she claims that it was due to marching band in high school
  • The chaos with iMovie that caused over 3 hours of troubleshooting on a LATE Wednesday evening