Thursday, August 19, 2010
Hello. Two completely unrelated things:
Unless you are Amish or have been living under the sedimentary specimen that is sometimes referred to as "a rock", you already know that today's Groupon was quite the deal: for $25, you get $50's worth of credit at Gap retail locations across the country. What you may not have known is that this was Groupon's first real foray into the corporate world and that its success is raising some interesting questions.
As of approximately 5 PM CST, close to 18,500 Groupons have been sold in the Chicagoland area alone, making this the most popular offer in the history of Groupon by far. In fact, the sheer amount of traffic that the site received caused it to shut down for a solid chunk of the morning. I admit that I was among those 18,500 suckers who got incredibly excited and clicked that big tempting "Buy" button. Immediately afterwards, I asked myself when was the last time I'd actually shopped at the Gap. Eloquent words like "uhhhhhh", "durrrr", "I don't remember", "maybe never", and "I think I forgot to feed Bellatrix Babystar this morning" popped into mind, but I would've felt like a jerk calling in and canceling my order to some poor frazzled Groupon worker, so I didn't. And I guess I like some of Gap's stuff. (And I could always use the coupon for gifts. Or socks.)
But nevermind my (wasted) money - let's get back to the bigger picture here. Typically, Groupon gets a 50% cut of the margins from its partner. So in this case that basically translates into: Groupon is making a shit-ton of money and the Gap is taking a hit from its usual markup but will probably still end up doing just fine after everyone surpasses that $50 sweet spot and winds up purchasing their $69.95 jeans anyway. But what happens after this? Will Groupon return to its home-town roots and continue to feature local restaurants and businesses? Or has Groupon's appetite for the big corporate bucks been whet by this outrageously successful deal? What about its dozens upon dozens of imitators - what if they set up these mass-scale deals with corporations in light of Groupon's refusal to go mainstream? So many hypothetical questions that I suppose only time will answer - I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one.
Yesterday, after a day of browsing through Ree Drummond's fantastic website and repeatedly having to wipe the slobber off my poor traumatized keyboard, I went home determined to make my ancestors proud by cooking up some sesame noodles. I altered a few bits of Ree's original recipe, but I think it came out pretty well and more importantly, required very little time and effort, so it was a winner!
A handful of somen noodles, or any thin and preferably Asian noodles will work just fine
Some soy sauce
A tablespoon of sugar
A spoonful of water to dilute the sauce
A tablespoon of rice vinegar
Canola oil or EVOO
A dash of chili sauce
A half cup of chopped bok choy
To make the sauce, combine all ingredients (minus the bok choy, eggs, and noodles duh) in a bowl. I recommend adding roughly equal parts soy sauce, sesame oil, and either canola or extra virgin olive oil, but you should just make it however you think will taste best. Mix well and set aside.
Throw noodles into boiling water and keep an eye out on them - thin noodles cook real quickly! Add some more garlic and bok choy into a pan, drench in EVOO and soy sauce, and let cook on high heat for three or so minutes. When it's done, remove the bok choy, add a bit more oil, and crack an egg over the residual heat. I looooooove my eggs really runny (salmonella really makes it taste better, I swear), but you can cook it as thoroughly as you want.
Pour the sauce over the noddles, add the bok choy, and place your egg on top. Enjoy with a nice glass of merlot and you are all set for a nice and kind of healthy meal, I think.
Sorry for not taking any photos - I completely forgot :( But I know I'll be making this again soon, so I will try to remember then.