Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life Miracle


Life is interesting and full of surprise. There is a old Chinese saying the same as that in English is called, "Never says never."

Just after getting married for a year, one day something recalled my memory that there was a conversation with my boss and co-workers in my previous position as Chief Specialist in Taiwan. That evening before leaving the office, we all had a casual talk. My boss as a CFO and CPA asked us how many years of age difference we would consider to have a relationship with. I vividly remember my answer was a guy older than me up to ten years old or one younger than me up to four years old. I even emphasized my opinion about no acceptance of a too young man, when my boss further questioned me why I could not take a guy ten year younger. At that time, I was convinced that for such huge gap, there would be nothing we could share, it seemed like we did not even live in the same sphere.


God knows, what happens to me now! My hubby is 10-11 years younger than me. There are so many things we could share and he has been always supportive to me. Inevitably, he still likes 50-cents like rap music, I like my jazz and Madonna. But we share our thoughts and life experience with each other and are best friends and lovers. I remember at my teenager age, I dreamed for my prince coming to me like all girls. After several disappointed attempts, I asked God where he was, whether he was very far away or he probably had been born yet or too little to find me. That was deemed as a crazy idea and abandoned from my mind totally. Who knows, for past five years, I have been back and forward between Taiwan and US. He found me during my second trip to US. I could not forget his face on the first day we met. He looked like he found his puppy at Lost and Found.

Life is increditable. Just like this catus, you never know one day it comes out such blazely aureate flower like all those beatiful surprises to your life.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stewed Fried Tofu: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe















  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rock sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of ginger powder
  • some white pepper
  • some all spice powder
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 garlice clove, pressed
  • half or 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 package of fried tofu
  1. Preheat the wok and vegetable oil with medium heat
  2. Cook the garlic and the chooped root of scallion (i.e., the white part) for 1 minute
  3. Stir with the tomato until it is tender
  4. Add fried tofu cubes and stir for 2- 3 minutes
  5. Mix the soy sauce, ketchup and rock sugar together with white pepper, all spice powder and ginger powder
  6. Put the sauce mixture and the green part of scallion (or cilantro) into the wok and stew with cover for 3-4 minutes
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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Garlic Cabbage Stir Fry: A Chinese Recipe



garlic cabbage stir fry




  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, finely chopped

  • 1/8 tsp of salt

  • 1 tbsp of rice wine

  • 1/8 tsp of sugar




  1. Preheat the wok and vegetable oil with high heat

  2. Cook the garlic for 1 minute

  3. Put in the cabbage and continually stir to prevent browning

  4. Add rice wine if available

  5. Stir fry until the cabbage is tender

  6. Add salt and sugar for seasoning and immediately serve





Note: Never add salt too early and please wait until the end. Most vegetables will come out more water and the
vegetables themselves may taste too tough and lose their sweetness if you add salt too early. Some people
even just use salt-flavored rice wine for cooking cabbage in order to keep its freshness and sweetness.
Often I like to put some sugar instead of MSG for the reason of good health and to balance all spices.
If you fine your cabbage is turning into brown, either you should turn down the heat or just add a little
water to cool down your wok. But remember, dont pour too much water.




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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Saucy Soy Chicken: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe


cactus





  • 3 slices of ginger

  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed

  • 1 tbsp of veg. oil

  • 1 package of flavored fried tofu cake (cut into thin-pieces) or tofu skin or veggie chicken

  • 1 can of baby corn

  • 1/4 cup of fried peanut

  • 1 tbsp of soy paste (if unavailable, just put 1 tbsp of soy sauce)

  • 1 tsp of soy sauce

  • 1 tsp of sugar

  • 1/2 tbsp of miso pase

  • 1 tsp of black pepper

  • 1 tbsp of corn starch mixed with 1/2 cup of water




  1. Preheat the wok with veg. oil in high heat, then cook with gralic and ginger for 1 minute

  2. Fry the thin fried tofu slices for 3-4 minutes or until the skins get lightly crispy

  3. Stir-fry the peanuts and baby corn together with tofu slices

  4. Put down all the sauces and spices

  5. Have cover on the wok and steam for 2 or 2.5 minutes






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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rice Peanut Milk: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



rice peanut milk





  • 1/3 cup of uncooked rice

  • 1 cup of peanuts

  • 3 tbsp of brown sugar




  1. Rinse rice
  2. Soak rice with cold water for 1-2 hours

  3. Deep fry peanuts until slightly brown

  4. Blend the rice with 1 cup of water until it becomes puree

  5. Blend the peanuts with 2 cups of water until it is puree, please do it separately from the rice puree

  6. Sieve out the rice and peanut puree into a big pot and add in 2 more cups of water

  7. Medium heat with the puree until boiling

  8. Turn off the heat and add brown sugar





Note: Make sure you sieve out those big crumbs of rice and peanut, especially the rice crumbs.
If you keep the big crumbs of rice, your milk may come out like congee or porridge.
During the boiling, keep stirring and prevent the bottom from getting burned.




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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tofu Burger: A Healthy Recipe



tofu burger





  • 1 box of tofu

  • 1/3 cup of sweet corn

  • 4 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked

  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed

  • 1/2 cup of flour

  • 1/2 cup of corn starch

  • 1 tsp of white pepper

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • 1 small red onion

  • 1 tomato, sliced

  • Some baby spinaches






tofu burger





  1. Smash the tofu and set it aside

  2. Have medium heat with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and then cook the mushroom and garlic for 1.5 minutes

  3. Take the dried ingredients mix well together with tofu, flour and corn starch

  4. Add white pepper, salt and veggie broth for taste

  5. Get 2 tbsp of the whole mixture, roll it in hand to help it stick better and then make a buger TK shape by your palm gently pressing the center

  6. Repeat step 5. until all ingredients being used

  7. Preheat the wok with 4-5 tbsp of vegetable oil and high heat for deep frying

  8. Place the tofu burgers into the preheat wok until they are done or lightly browned

  9. Prepare the veggie burger with onions, vegetables and tomato slices







tofu burger




Note: Please soak Chinese dry-preserved mushrooms for 20 minutes or till tender for ready-to-use.
Instead of deep frying, you may bake at around 350 degrees on a very lightly oiled cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes
and turn them once.




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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Creamy Peach Dessert: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



peach soup





  • 1 peach peeled, uncored and sliced into 1*1-inch chunks (or you may use papaya instead)

  • 10 pieces of dried longan

  • 10 dried red dates

  • 3 cups of whole milk (soy milk or coconutmilk for vegans)

  • 1 tbsp of rock sugar (2 tbsp if prefer)

  • 1 cup of water





  1. Boil a cup of water together with rock sugar until it is melted

  2. Put all ingredients into steamer and cook for 15 minutes




Originally, the recipe comes with papaya. The recipe is very popular in Asia, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Papaya is extremely good fruit to women for those expecting breast enlarged and breast milk enriched, since the food therapy has been proved by the Chinese herb medicine for past thoudsnads of years. Peach is proven to be very good to your lung and blood circulation.




Note: If your steamer has the outward and inward pots, then you may just cook until the extra water you put in the outward pot is gone or until the switch jumps up.
If your steamer is not the type as above, then add 1 more cup of water into your peach milk. Because when you cook the milk directly with the heat, the milk will easily become clot-like or the sugar may get burn. To add some more water is to release the risk.




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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Teriyaki Veggie Chicken: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



Teriyaki Veggie Chicken





  • 1/2 box of gluten

  • 1 table spoon of vegetable oil

  • Some slices of ginger root

  • 2 gloves of garlic

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp plum sauce (or rock sugar or regular sugar)

  • 1 table spoon of rice wine (not necessary)

  • 1/3 cup of cold water

  • 1 teaspoon of white sesames




  1. Cook some cold water until boiling

  2. Let the gluten into the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes

  3. Take the gluten out and cut into less than 1-inch pieces

  4. Have vegetable oil in wok and put in garlic and ginger for 1 minute

  5. Now have gluten mini chops in the wok until both sides of gluten are light brown and slightly crispy

  6. Add in all the sauces (plum sauce or sugar and soy sauce and rice wine) and 1/3 cup of cold water, then keep stir-frying for 3 minutes until all the juice is absorbed

  7. Place it on the plate and have sesames on the top






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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dewy Beauty


Catus is one of my dear's favorite plants. This catus is only 3 inches high. When the blooming season comes, the catus flower contributes another 0.8-1 inch for the little guy. This one is probably the smallest in our home catus garden, but it blooms first with surprising beautiful lotus-like petals.

When it started coming out from its parent, it looked just like a tiny pink lint. I had no idea how long that would take it and how the bud would be. One or two days later, the bud kept growing out with the shape of fist like. The texture of the whole thing was sort of firm and the petals were thick and juicy and kept closed. The touch was very different from the softness and fragileness of rose petals.

Another day passed, the little pink held her fist tight like a baby grabing a candy with fear of being taken away. I was wondered when she decided to share her beauty with us. Surprisingly, next day during my break I took a glance at window and found that she was smiling widely toward me! Jeez, she looked so much a like our favorite lotus.

I was very impressed of her dewy beauty. Each petal around the center from its bottom to top turned into incrediably faerie-rosy. The rest part of it was so visibly lucid which made you barely believe the ravising beauty was belonged to the desert. She must cherish much the once-a-year blooming. Her insistence to present the most gorgeous look seemed to honor herself the great achievement during her struggle growth.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Freezing




"Do you need my coat? You look frozen! Come to our place, we will serve you food and keep you warm." "No, no, no, you dont have to pay us anything. Just share your story or talk to us as friends, if you like. That is good enough."

We have been given so much from people around us. Wish we could return something to the world.

The pictures were taken in the Metropolian Meseum of New York. The sculpture was described that most time the artist blended her own appearance to her sculpture. This one was pretty much presented the outward of her delicate face and body shape. My dear seemed to be touched somehow by the specific masterpiece. He tried to figure out what she was thinking at the time of creation and what her message was intended to deliver to others.

I assumed that the loneliness and the desire of warmth or help could be the message that she wanted to express. She probably needed not much of others, but needed just some concern, some warm hugs and smiles, some attention of her lonesome situation. Maybe she suffered cruel treatment or something she could not share with anyone else but herself. Perhaps, the society isolated from her and she was disappointed of not being understood or she just expected a friend's companion.

This sculpture may speak for you or me or anyone. If you find someone in loneliness, no matter physically or spiritually, please open your arms to keep her/him warm and spend some time to talk and listen to her/him.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Same Missing in Two Different Places




Mom called me this morning. On the phone, she said she missed me so much and sometimes she wished she could had forgot me and then she could had stop missing me so much. I could feel her tears wet her eyes.

Technology is more advanced than ever, however, it still can not bring us any closer than we used to be. Mom always says that now only telecommunication service helps us connect together, and I am like the kite. If she does not hold that string carefully, I could just fly away to somewhere she can not reach me and can never find me. She worries and worries if one day the string will be broken for some reason or one day she can no long hold it tight and the kite will be gone of her life forever.

She gets extremely anxious if she could not reach me. To her, the kite is away to the sky toward the opposite direction of her, and it also towes out her heart to go with.

Sorry again. On the same day, in different countries, two people connected in blood share the same missing.

Monday, April 03, 2006

That feeling is called "Missing"


Today I opened my picture files, my mom's picture came to me. That was the field trip we had been together last May when I went back to Taipei. Don't know why I stared at her in the picture for ... some minutes. Then, I realized the feeling I had in my heart was called "missing." Yes, I miss her very much.

My dear told me that he felt he took me away from my mom. It is true since now we are apart in two different countries which will take 22 hours by flight. At that moment, I was totally in such happiness and enjoyed my marriage life. I barely understood my mom's heart was bleeding and crying hard for living apart from her baby probably for the rest of er life. It is so difficult to reach each other whenever you want to see each other. Even though the transporatation and communication are convenient nowaday, we still need plan ahead for such long trip or wait for half day until each other wakes up or gets out from the work. One day I chatted with my mother-in-law that my mom was expecting if we could go back to Taiwan for work or something. My dear's mom immediately responded with sort of fear that "Please do not do that, my heart will be broken..." At that moment, I realized that was my mom's face I did not see behind the phone and that was why my mom got so depressed when she missed so much.

Love you, mom, and I am sorry for my leaving so far away and for my carelessness not to understand you sometimes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Moving


We are moving this weekend. It seems that we are always moving. Every place we stayed has special meaning and love memories to us, like the first place we met, the second we got married. Who knows what will happen to our third love apartment. Maybe that will be a start for a new career or a new born baby.

This whole week is very busy for us. After last weekend we browsed on line and visited all different sites, we start packing. My dear is extremely busy and exhausted this week as well. Besides driving three and half hours for commuting between his office and home, he has just start a evening teaching project. I am not very used to being alone at home, since we are always together. Last time he went back to his parents' place to pick up his car there, that night I got my tears out of my eyes because of the loneliness and tried to get myself very tired in order to get better sleep. Crazy, huh? This time is okay with me, because I have work to do. Packing!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Miss China



Of course we did not forget Crystal. We dressed her up as Miss China. Personally I loved very much the silk-made Chinese traditional dress. If I could fine one in that bright yellow for person, I would definitely had got one. That was why I loved and bought the dress for Crystal at my first sight in the store. I could imagine everyone could be so surprised for her breath-taking beauty in the dress. Crystal is the princess of the family and also a spoiled brat. She only drinks the water she witnesses you pour out from the running water. But she is also such sweet heart that she always keep you companying and makes you feel in need. That night Crystal was dressed up the Chinese one, she looked gorgeous. However, our princess was a little too big in that dress, she seemed to feel uncomfortable when she moved. She probably said,"Where did they get the dress? Do they try to remind me to watch my weight?"

That was the last entertainment for the 2005 Thanksgiving. We all had a great evening, thanked for Sammy and Crystal's great performance bring us so much happy moment.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Little Red Riding Hood

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Last Thanksgiving we gave Sam and Crystal some cosplay surprises.
Sam was the Little Red Riding Hood. He was so adorably cute. When Sam first got on his hook, everyone in presence became crazy for his new look and kept calling his name like fans meeting a superstar. Sammy was kind of shy, stayed where he was, and tried not to move anywhere. Sammy seemed not to use to the new hood or he tried not to cause any trouble. Sooner or later we figured out that was not all the reason. The hook was sort of too big for him which covered his eyes and blocked his vision to move. I wondered what Sammy was thinking at that moment, "Who can help turn on the light please?" "I did not remember the news said there will be a black-out today!"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Buddha Delight: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe


Buddha Delight, made of acorn squash and other goodies (see recipe)




  • 1 acorn squash

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 slices of ginger root

  • 3 pieces of bean curd (or alternative)

  • 4 Chinese dry-preserved mushrooms or sliced oyster mushroom

  • (Please soak for 20 minutes or till tender for ready-to-use)
  • 1/3 cup of green peas (or alternative)

  • 1 small carrot (or alternative)

  • 1/2 tea spoon of sesame oil

  • 1 table spoon of peanut oil

  • 1 table spoon of veggie broth

  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce

  • 1 tea spoon of white pepper

  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

  • 1 table spoon of corn starch




  1. Cut the top of acorn squash about 2 inches long

  2. Remove the seeds of acorn

  3. Chop the mushrooms, bean curds, and carrot into small rocky pieces

  4. Heat up sesame oil, then stir fry the garlic smashed, ginger root, and Chinese mushroom chops for 1 minute

  5. Add in peanut oil and heat up for 15 seconds

  6. Add in carrot chops and bean curd and cook for 3 minutes

  7. Put bean curd, green peas and cook for 1 minute

  8. Pour some cold water into the pot till it covers all the contents

  9. Put the veggie broth, soy sauce, white pepper, and sugar and cook till boiling

  10. Mix the corn starch with 1/3 cup of cool water, add into the pot and cook till the soup is a little bit thick

  11. Remove it from the stove and fill the contents into the acorn squash till it is full

  12. Put the acorn squash into your steam cooker and cook for 1 or 1.5 hours

  13. Serve the rest of contents on the top or as side dish together






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Slick Veggie Chicken: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



Slick Veggie Chicken, cooked with tofu chicken and other goodies (see recipe)





  • 1 package of flavored fried tofu or veggie chicken

  • 1 lettuce

  • 2 table spoon cooking oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 slices of ginger root

  • 2 scallions

  • 1 table spoon of veggie broth

  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce

  • 1 tea spoon of white pepper

  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

  • 1 table spoon of corn starch

  • 1 cup of water




  1. Rinse lettuce leave-by-leave by cool water

  2. Heat up cooking oil and stir fry lettuce quickly for 2-3 minutes till tender
    (Don’t cook for too long, the lettuce will come out with too much water later on)

  3. Place the lettuce in a big plate

  4. Slice the flavored fried tofu or veggie chicken and chop the scallions

  5. Stir fry with garlic, ginger root and scallions for 30 seconds

  6. Add in fried tofu slices and cook for 1 or 1.5 minutes

  7. Put veggie broth, soy sauce, white pepper, sugar into the pot

  8. Mix up to 2 cups of cool water with corn starch and cook with the contents for 2 minutes

  9. Before serving, filter all the water in the lettuce plate

  10. Have the gravy on the top of the lettuce






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Eggplant Inspiration: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe





  • 2-3 Chinese eggplants or 1 regular eggplant

  • 2 table spoons of olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tea spoon of rice vinegar

  • 1 table spoon of soy paste

  • (1 table spoon of soy sauce mixed with 1/3 table spoon of sugar)



  1. Cut the eggplants into pieces about 2-inch length and 1-inch width

  2. Display them standing on the plate and put olive oil on the top of them

  3. Steam for 10-15 minutes

  4. It is ready to eat now, or you may like to serve till it cools down




Dipping Sauce

  1. Have the chopped garlic mix with the rice vinegar and soy paste

  2. Pour some eggplant juice of the steam plate into the sauce




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Snow Peas Snack: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



snow peas


snow peas





  • 1 package of snow peas

  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt

  • 3 cloves of garlic and have them chopped

  • 1/2 tea spoon of black pepper

  • 1 table spoon of olive oil




  1. Put the whole package of snow peas into the boiling water and cook till the water is boiling again

  2. Remove the peas from pot and rinse under running cold water for 1 minute

  3. After filtering all the water, put all peas into a container or bowl

  4. Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic and blend well together

  5. It is ready to serve now or you may like to put it in refrigerator for 20 minutes, that tastes good as well






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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Veggie Gravy: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe


Ingredients: peas, carrots, onions, apple, and potatoes (see recipe)



Chopped, carrots, onions, apple, and potatoes (see recipe)



Onions fried in the wok / frying pan





  • Half onion

  • Half apple

  • One medium size potato

  • Some lima beans (You may use any kind of beans or peas or add some celery is fine too)

  • One skinny carrot

  • Some salt or veggie broth

  • Some white pepper




  1. Have everything chopped beside lima beans

  2. Heat up the pot with some vegetable or peanut oil, then put the onion into the pot and stir fry it till it goes brown>

  3. Add in carrot and potato and cook them about 2 mins

  4. Add in lima bean or celery and cook for 30 seconds

  5. Put in some water into the pot, the amount of the water is about just cover all your contents
    (You may add salt, white peper and vegetable broth at the moment. Or, you may wait till the end)

  6. Cook in high heat with cover till the potato is tender (about 5-8 mins, you may test it)

  7. When it is done, you may use the blender, even it is still warm.
    Mix them till it is creamy and soft

  8. Add some salt, white pepper and the broth into the creamy soup



Once I used coconut milk to draw a heart on top and showed that for my hubby. That was just for fun, not necessary to do so. The brown onion will contribute some kind of meat flavor and makes it smell good. Hope you enjoy it.





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Stray Puppy

Stray black puppy dog in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

During our walk towards the Fishermans Wharf at Dan-Shui we befriended a puppy. Assuming he was without a home, since he smelled of trash and there were numerous other dogs strays in the area, we encouraged him to travel with us along the shore. With little encouragement he followed us for about a half mile, where we stopped at a seafood restaurant. I waited outsided, while Anna bought a piece of bread and some water. This commotion attracted a few larger dogs, affflicted with sores and open wounds. Watching these animals reminded me of a passage from The Path to Enlightenment by the Dalai Lama:

Feeding stray black puppy dog bread and water in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

“It is said that Asanga, dissatisfied with his understanding of the Sutras on the Perfection of Wisdom, entered into an intensive meditation retreat that continued for twelve years. The retreat, however, was without success and, frustrated with disappointment, he gave up and left. On the wayside he encountered a half-dead bitch ridden with worms. Great compassion arose within him and he decided to remove the worms. To avoid harming the worms, he cut a strip of flesh from his body in which to put them. Suddenly the bitch transformed into the Bodhisattva Maitreya, and the purposes of Asanga’s retreat were fulfilled. Based on his vision of Maitreya, Asanga later wrote down The Ornament of Clear Comprehension, an elucidation and abridgement of all the vast doctrines concerning the paths, practices and stages found in the Sutras on the Perfection of Wisdom.” (41-42)

Walking along shore with stray black puppy dog in Taiwan by Fisherman's Wharf

Lotus Pond - National Botanical Garden

Purple lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden



Within buddhist iconography, the blossoming of the lotus from the mud of its surroundings symbolizes the attainment of perfect enlightment despite immersion in the constant suffering and imputities of samsara (or mundane existence). A lotus' color is also significant. According to ReligionFacts.com , white represents "the state of spiritual perfection"; red, "love, compassion, passion"; blue, "the wisdom of knowledge"; and pink is the "supreme lotus...associated with the Great Buddha himself." Dieties are often depicted with a lotus of a particular color. For example, Manjushri, the boddhisattva of wisdom, typically holds a blue lotus.


The pictures are of the lotus pond at the National Botanical Garden (Taipei, Taiwan). The building in on the right of the pond is the National History Museum.



Lotus pond and National History Museum at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Pink lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Pink lotus in pond at Taiwan National Botanical Garden
Purple lotus in pond and National History Museum at Taiwan National Botanical Garden

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tea Culture


Grandson and Father-in-Law at wedding dinner

I had the good fortune of learning Chinese tea culture from a number of tea enthusiats in Taiwan. My most notable teachers were Yi-Song Wu (my father-in-law) and Ding-Shuang Won.

Yi-Song Wu's Woolong tea, my only refreshment aside from soymilk while at their home, is soley responsible for inciting my new-found passion for tea and tea culture. Eventually he taught me the methods of making this tea. Since then I have drunk essentially nothing but tea. (For my musings on the spiritual, environmental, and other benefits of tea drinking see Tea Culture - Part IV, Benefits of Tea).

Examing tea pot collection quality

First, one must select a good teapot. The quality of a teapot is evident to the trained ear by the sound made gently hitting the teapot cover against the rim of the teapot (as shown in the picture). The sound reflects the thickness the pot, which must be neither too thin or too thick. Also, it is important that the clay is of a type with ample porousness, which allows the pot to absorb the flavor of its contents. So that teapots can fully soak in the flavor of tea, they cleaned only by scraping the insides and rinsing with boiling water. Ideally each teapot will only be used to make one type of tea so that over time the teapot will develop a single distinctive flavor. It is said one merely nears to pour hot water, without any leaves, into a well-aged pot to produce tea! (More on teapots on Tea Culture - Part III)

Tea pot collection and four seasons and woolong tea

One begins to make tea by filling the teapot with boiling water. This is merely to warm the teapot and can be poured out after a few seconds. One then places roughly 1.5 tablespoons (one tea-leaf scooper full) and fills the teapot with boilnig water. This too is discarded after a few seconds (this round is 'for the pot'). After, the leaves can typically produce six rounds of tea. Each round consists of filling the pot with boiling water and waiting for roughly 50 seconds the first and a few seconds longer each subsequent round before serving. High quality tea may produce over six rounds of tea, but generally the tea will become too weak after this point.

My Kitchen: Apple Crisp

Yesterday evening while I was peeling and cutting some apples, my dear browsed some funny vedio on line. My dear said, "What are you doing, my dear?" I replied to him, "Hmmm, honestly I have no idea what I am doing now, just let my feeling show me the way I sould be." He laughed but did not come over to figure out. What I said was the truth, at the moment I just tried to make some new dessert before these apples went bad.

Then, I started put all the apple chops into the pan and boild with some water to make them tender. While waiting for the apple chops, I squeezed the lemon juice to mix with brown sugar and cinnamon power for my syrup. My dear called me again, he said "Hmmm, what is that? What are you making? Tell me. I seem to smell some apple!" "Oh! my dear, you are right, that is apple smell," said I. Now I really sensed my lovely brat was just like a little boy curisous for the dessert but also did not want to drop his toy-computer. Anyway, he was a little funny to me.

When the apples were warm and tender, I added some nutmeg and the syrup, blended well together, and served in a big bowl. My little brat was so surprised and said "Wow! That is my favor!" He moved up so fast but he did not forget to leave some for his beloved.

OS: That was the first time I made the apple crisp. I was very happy he loved the dessert and enjoyed very much when he said it was his favor.

Written by a woman very enjoying her hubby's love.
Check out my Butternut Squash Recipe .

Lovely Katie

Cute and beautiful chinese baby


Our Aunt-in-Law just went back from China for picking up her lovely cuties. She sent the family some pictures from time to time when she stayed in China with other adoptive parents from US. After all these long waiting days, Aunt finally got her baby, a really lovely cute little thing, a blessing from heaven.

By looking at all thoes pictures, everyone could tell how happy she is and that is such rich satisfaction. I feel it is so amazing a little movement such as adoption could really changes life among the baby and the adoptive parents. Katie is no longer longly any more, she got parents' love and care since the day they met. Katie got much more facial expression and more smiles on her face, since she is in charge. I am surprised of her change since I vividly remember her longly face and shy look from her first picture. Just for one month, there is so much happiness and blessing being brought to the family, Aunt, and Katie. This time I learn the power of love and the magic of baby.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blessing Jade & Gold

Beautiful, smiling, happy, Taiwanese baby
Beautiful wife and relatives at wedding dinner
Note: picture #1 is my friend's baby; picture #2 is my friend and her aunt-in-law and uncle

The jade can be used for the purpose of the protection from evil spirit or the blessing for easy raising. In Asia, when our friends have new born baby, the parents celebrate at her one-month old and one-year old. The custom has been kept for very long time, since thoes time frames play as the indicator that baby is healthy sufficient to survive. At baby's one-month old, people usually give her gold jewlry (24K) or red envelope with some money as blessing her such a precious treasure to the family and as protection from the bad spirit as well.

You may think red envelope is useful for every cheerful occation, such as new year or wedding or new baby. That is because we believe the bad spirit is afraid of red. We often have the red envelope(s) in the pillow case for couple days. So, you may either consider jade or red envelope underneath your pillow case for good luck.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Butternut Squash Dessert: A Chinese Vegetarian Recipe



Butternut squash dessert (see recipe)



Butternut Squash Dessert sauce made of lemon juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar (see recipe)














  • You may use either butternut or acorn




  1. Just cut it in half, remove seeds and membranes

  2. Either steam by a pot or steam cooker or by microwave on high, flesh side down in 1/4 cup of water for approximate 8-10 minutes or until tender.



Syrup

  1. Peel some lemon skin

  2. Squeeze the lemon juice into small pot

  3. Mix with 2 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar (if any)

  4. Cook till it boils. Do not keep on top of stove for too long, it will get burn

  5. Serve the warm syrup and lemon grass on the top of the warm butternut squash




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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Farm Trip III: Antique Objects

Antique phonograph


I saw grandpa in law had one made in Germany in better condition....
As I remembered, my uncle should keep many black musical records at home.
I wonder if he took them away when he moved out lately or my mom probably threw them all away.....sigh, what a pity.
I miss something old since old things retain part of memory of your or someone else life.

Antique iron and camera

Have you ever seen the iron like this?
I had heard of this kind from grandmom but it was my first time to eyewitness it!
Just pour hot water into the metal container under the handle. By heat transmission, your dress shirt will be pressed perfectly. But your arm may get sore later on.

Camera? By the first look, the camera seemed like a pencil sharpener to me. I was very impressed that the antique camera looked pretty mini-smart. I wondered if it still could make any good pictures, because the old ones usually made with good quality lens.

Antique flashlight

Although the flashlight is not very delicate, it is interesting.
See, it is made by the wok's cover and small lightbulb. Simple and easy invention.

Antique rice steamer, jars, and cooking utensils

Those are some old-fashioned rice cookers and steamers. On the top row, the wooden case is rice cake steamer for the New Year or special events. The two-layer, bamboo-made steamer at the middle is for buns, dumplings or dimsum. On the bottom row, there are two metal rice cookers placed around the wooden ladle. Left side of them are some clay water jars.
Even I make rice everyday, I have no idea how to use this kind, do you?


For more see Farm Trip I: Plowing and Farm Trip II: Harvesting.