Tag Archives: cooking

Dragon year & breakfast

Last year was certainly one of the most interesting of my life:

  • I got MARRIED (sorry internet, no public photos)
  • Techyizu had an amazing year of events (register for Spring Barcamp 2012 here)
  • After 2 years of service to the environmental NGO JUCCCE (peep their new website!), I’ve left to freelance and look for new challenges.
  • I received a really bad-ass bike as a stag-party gift from my dear friends.  How awesome?  this awesome.
  • I studied some Chinese, spent time with amazing people from all around the world, visited Hong Kong, Vietnam, Chengdu, Beijing, Tucson, Portland and San Francisco.

The year of the dragon has begun, and we’ve taken these pseudo-vacation days as opportunities to do some house cleaning, fun cooking and goal setting.  We’re really excited for this year!  Goals for this year include

  • Serious Gym and exercise time whenever possible
  • Pass the HSK5
  • Positive career moves!
  • Blog more!
  • Travel more and blog about it!
  • Eat a proper breakfast every morning.  We got started immediately:

salmon on toast with poached egg. once an egg jockey always an egg jockey.


Best of luck in your Dragon year, and thanks for reading!  More articles about life in China, the Energy/Sustainability scene, and random detritus coming soon!

Baby Bok Choi

Girlie went on a grand business adventure to Xi’an and Chon Qing, which she summed up in this adorable bit of an email:

Could I put in a special request for comfort food and perhaps even a beer? “Comfort food” in this context would be anything home-cooked that does not involve any of the following, all of which I have eaten in the last three days: sea snails, mystery sea creatures, baby squid, gamy mutton, Thai chilies, whole fish or eels, quail eggs, copious amounts of chili oil, whole raw fish on kebabs for hotpot, three kinds of tripe in the same meal, liver balls, or shrimp in lemon curd, or meat of any sort still connected to bones or tendons.

I followed through for her and prepared to put her on a plain diet of her favorite things here: baby bok choi and noodles or  rice.  I went to the local food market which I’d found a week ago, and wandered around. Continue reading Baby Bok Choi

Great Moments in Useless Appliances

So there’s this contraption under our stove.  When Girlie first looked through the apartment, she understandably mistook it as an oven.

You see it there? looking all cute and oven like?

I opened it up after we moved in and noticed the racks were oddly shaped, and there were little plastic wheels–two things that roasting pans don’t need.  So I assumed it was a dishwasher, and fiddled with the controls long enough to make it turn on.  But there was no water!

It looks like a robot pirate

I called our management, and after a few weeks of asking the wrong people, we were informed today through our favorite translator, that it’s a DISH DRYER.  No, these things are not common in China: our translator was cracking up.  I took a peek in.  Yes indeed, there’s nothing but a box with a wee heater at the back.

that's a wee lil UV light there in the back

So there you have it folks, we have a fucking dish dryer.  We plan on getting a thermometer and finding out how hot it gets–Who knows? perhaps it’s the perfect low-and-slow cooker–but we wanted to share with you the brilliant over-engineering feat that is a DISH DRYER.  Thanks GE Profile, you have set the bar higher for the rest of us.

Thanksgiving Chefs

I don’t understand why people who don’t cook 364 days a year suddenly think they can cook a large meal that involves roasting a whole animal. –Matt from Biwa

The man has a good point.  I was in a fun position this year; I participated in another family’s traditions, in which the day’s schedule, alcohol list, recipes and soundtrack were (nearly) completely determined more than a decade ago.

So what’s a decent chef or excellent amateur cook to do?  Stay the fuck out of the way? Try to be helpful?  Well, my friends, I figured it out:

Tasting&Complaining’s Rules for Attending (Other peoples’) Thanksgiving Traditions (RATT):

  • Offer to do all the prep work, to their specifications.

Reason: They get to start drinking early and admire your knife skills.  You get to stay busy, thus not suspiciously silent.  Also, you don’t start drinking early.

  • Watch them cook per their traditions, stay out of the way, ask questions and compliment their recipes.

Reason: Practice with me:

“Wow, I didn’t think a recipe so simple would be so delicious!”

“French’s Onions make everything better.”

“Ok Uncle Trent, I’ll man the Fire Extinguisher while you fry that Turkey.”

“This pie is fantastic! did you make it? (only useful if you can see the Sarah Lee box from your seat)”

  • Offer to prepare the Brussels Sprouts.
Reason: Everyone who doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts will thank you for making them taste good.  The family pet will adore you for saving them the pain of being fed all the Brussels Sprouts surreptitiously.  The person who usually makes the Brussels Sprouts will relent quickly, because even they don’t think their recipe is any good.
  • Offer to clear the table.
Reason: You’ll only get through a few dishes before someone says “But wait!  You did all the prep work!” shoves a beer in your hand and shoos you out into the Rumpus room to watch the Lions get smacked around like a Piñata.
Mission accomplished.  Somehow you get a little credit for everything, but you didn’t make it much different from last year.  Bonus points if you can remember everyone’s name and turn the most ardent Bud Light drinker on to a microbrew, but don’t push it.

Cocktail Coquetry #1: The Vintage Slip

In line with continuing occasional series here at T&C, like Booze Crews and the now retired Sunday Supper Club, I’m introducing a new series, Cocktail Coquetry, in which I share new cocktail recipes developed by me or in my presence. Cocktails are relatively new to me, but local mixology-obsessed places like Teardrop Lounge, Clyde Common and the pending Beaker and Flask, all these new artisan distilleries and friends now sharing their sizable bitters collections have found me in the presence of good cocktail makings, beyond my usual liquor + ice.

The first cocktail to be posted here is so named for the attractive backdrop in the photos. Invented at a weekend brunch, the Vintage Slip is a delicious addition to the battery of brunch drinks, and, dare I say, slightly less ghetto than a Brass Monkey.

The Vintage Slip undresses for you after he jump.

Continue reading Cocktail Coquetry #1: The Vintage Slip