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Everything posted by liuzhou

  1. It is possible that I may have escaped on the odd occasion for a pint or three of With a sister, two nieces, three great-nieces and two great-nephews in the house, I need the odd break - I'm too used to living alone, as is my mother.
  2. The day after the party, I checked out of the hotel and moved into my mother's house where I've been basically doing nothing very much. My younger sister has appointed herself as head cook, despite not being a very good cook. She thinks she is, but while she is a great baker, I beg to differ regarding any other kitchen skills. Still, it's edible. -ish. The first meal was steak-based. The steak was well cooked but the veg were boiled to death in true Scottish style and she over-relies on industrial shortcuts such as the potato croquettes she served with the steaks. The serving was also ridiculously large , provoking hilarity among the assembled family. A second meal was more sensibly sized and somewhat better. Seabass fillet, but again with the industrial potatoes and over-cooked veg. Spag bol. Bottled sauce. But tasty. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. She is a real carer, and we all tease her about it and she takes it well. I did go off to look at the local supermarket's selection. All the fresh ingredients were there. I ended up buying far too much cheese - brie, smoked goat's, Wensleydale, smoked Bavarian, white stilton. And a sourdough bread. And more oatcakes. Snacking on them throughout the day. Funky goat's cheese on toasted sourdough. She's heading back to London later today, so I'll probably be cooking again soon.
  3. Two "meals" from my recent flights from Hong Kong to Edinburgh, Scotland via Dubai on Air Emirates. HK-Dubai After the pleasant cheese panini (not pictured), I went with the noodles. This wasn't terrible, but the saucing was a bit over-powerfully flavoured and the greenery overcooked. DBX-EDI By the time they got to me, the turkey sandwiches had run out, so I was forced to settle for the mozz and cuke. It was OK. I did enjoy the date and ginger cake (to my surprise), but I can't find the picture I'm sure I took. For lunch, I warily chose the chicken chana dal*, but first I had to deal with the appetiser - pasta salad. It looked great but lurking under the orzo (which I love) and black beans was the dreaded yellow insult to food. Pass! Back to the chana dal. This was by far the least appealing dish visually, but was by far the tastiest. I would have been happy to pay serious money for that in a restaurant. I even enjoyed the milk chocolate mousse, despite a notorious lack of sweet tooth. Despite the c*rn disgrace, I had a really nice meal. At some point I forget, some cheese and crackers also turned up. I'll post the return flights when they occur. I'll have the dal for sure, should it be on offer again.
  4. Because ramen noodles aren't curly.
  5. I have tried, but they never germinated.
  6. If you had asked the question 23 year ago when I moved to China, the list would be very long. However, I can now get most things. online if not in the local markets or shops. The only thing that springs to mind now is fresh herbs other than coriander leaf/cilantro and mint. I managed to find some basil seeds and had a healthy crop when I left for three weeks in the UK. Hope they survive. I'd grow more but it's illegal to import the seeds.
  7. I can get it in China, so I'd be suprised if you can't. Not that I want it.
  8. 😕 I know Guinness is Irish! I used this cunning literary device known as irony! I'm surprised you didn't tell me off for describing Eggs Benedict as Scottish, too!
  9. I have a video of that moment which I've tried to post, but failed. I'll do so when I get back to China, but that won't be for a couple of weeks.
  10. @kayb Oatcakes with goats cheese.
  11. Thanks. Everyone agrees she doesn't look 90!
  12. Soon, we received reports that my youngest brother was pulling into the car park with my mother aboard. We had a long table like the Last Supper, but with the narrow end nearest the door. I was sitting to the left of Christ's empty seat. My mother came in and was immediately surprised at the size of the crowd, but didn't really register who was there and who wasn't. She headed to the narrow end nearest her, but was soon redirected to her alloted position at the table centre. She walked down the long edge of the table saying hello to family who live near her, then stopped, saw me, pointed in utter surprise, but I like to think, delighted. Here, captured by my daughter, is the moment she saw me. and here is the gathering. My family (almost - 6 were unable to come) I suppose I should mention food, but in the excitement I only photographed my meal. Fish and chips. Very good! Hours passed in seconds and then people started to disperse. I returned to my hotel and had a pint of and to bed, tired but happy.
  13. I arrived at the birthday venue far too early, but the logistics were that I could either be early or unforgivably late. We all had to be there when my mother arrived. This means that there may be a decided lack of images of Guinness in this post. I didn't want to be half-cut by the time she arrived, so, to my eternal shame, I requested an alcohol free drink. They gave me some revolting concoction which they called "non alcoholic cider". Now, in British English, "cider" is apple based and alcoholic. The American term ""Apple Cider" baffles me. This obnoxous "drink" was 90% sugar and 10% cherries. Disgusting. I felt quite nauseous by the time any action happened. Anyway, I was sitting at the bar of the restaurant, near the door, so I could see everyone who came in. The first thing that confused me was a young mid-twenty year old girl who came in and looked me, screamed and threw herself into my arms. This, I assure you, doesn't happen on a regular basis. This tall, beautiful woman looked vaguely familiar and it clicked that she must be my niece. She is now 27 and I hadn't seen her 19 years. Minutes later, her younger sister arrived together with a bunch of children who meant nothing to me. Then the first niece ran out to the car park and dragged her mother, my sister in. I haven't seen her for 19 years, either. She just stopped dead and stared at me in confusion for what seemed a long time, then ran as fast as she can (not fast at all - she is a large woman) and gave me what is probàbly the biggest hug she ever gave me. Next was my daughter, one of only two people who did know I'd be there along with her two daughters and with whom I've been in constant contact on Facebook, but hadn't seen for 12 years. Almost finally my younger brother, his wife and his daughter and children were there. The scene was set. All we were for waiting for was the star of the show.
  14. There is zero chance of me getting a tattoo. I loathe them nearly as much as c*rn!
  15. Yes, I experienced that syndrome. I remembered the walk from the station to that beach being a long one, but it only took about 4 minutes.
  16. I've already had a few oatcakes! Right next door to the place I ate the Ploughman's is a bakery I first visited about 60 years ago. They have great oatcakes. Several were purchased and consumed in the hotel.room wiith goats' cheese at strange hours of the night / morning when the jet lag started demanding food.
  17. I can now identify the secret, exotic destination I mentioned elsewhere that I was travelling to (and reveal why it had to be a secret). After a 42 hour journey by bus (2), train (4) plane (2) with various stopovers waiting for connections, I reached my first destination. A mysterious country called Scotland, full of wild people and strange food. Despite having been born there, I know very little about the place and haven't been there in decades. But I am now. The reason for the exhausting trip, which I have been planning for 10 years, is that Sunday (30th June 2019) was my mother's 90th birthday. She was expecting a simple lunch with my youngest brother and his wife, but when she arrived at the restaurant she found nearly all her 5 kids (including me), all her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Only one of the 30 knew I was coming - my daugther. Big surprise. I arrived on the Thursday and went to the hghly recommended hotel I had booked in a village a mile from my mother's home to recover from the jet lag and hide. Things began to go wrong. The hotel was closed and locked! A woman from the shop opposite saw me being confused and came over to tell me that the place had closed months earlier, dishonoring dozens of paid for bookings including wedding receptions and other functions. The crooks had taken my booking and payment on the 4th of June, despite them having closed in February. As far as I can see their website is still open and acepting bookings. I have reporteed this to the police, and I paid by credit card so should be able to get my money back. Not however, what you need after such a long, exhausting journey. Fortunately, the woman also directed me to another (better and slightly cheaper) hotel nearby where I was able to get a room for my required number of nights. I had a pint or two of that Scottish classic: and collapsed into bed. Only to wake up at 3 am craving my dinner! No chance. I had to wait for breakfast. Next day, I headed to a nearby seaside village where I lived as a kid. After exploring my childhood, I became a little peckish, so visited a nearby award winning restaurant/cafe that I'd heard of. I ordered the Washed down with a bottle of Despite the pie being out-of-focus, it was delicious. The roast ham was equally good and there was lots of it. Good home-baked bread.fine cheddar. But the star was that chutney. I had to ask what it was and ended up buying a jar to take home to China. The cider was very refreshing on an unusally warm Scottish day. After a happy nostalgic day, I went back to the hotel, downed a pint or two of and slept some more. On the Saturday, I visited Edinburgh, where there were some things I wanted to buy. But also for more nostalgia. By chance, I passed the cafe where the first Harry Potter book was written. I've never read any of them. Then lunch. I knew what I wanted. Haggis (centre), Neeps (left) and tattie (right). Wonderful! Also later visited the Oxford Bar, famous from Scottish crime writer, Iain Rankin's Rebus series of detective novels where I had a pint of Next morning was the big day. I had breakfast in the hotel. Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and spinach. Very Scottish! Then headed to the surprise party venue. Coming soon!
  18. It's sashimi , not sachimi. Sashimi is raw fish or meat.
  19. Of the many pies we make in Britain, I can only think of one which includes kidney but, for the benefit of the awful offal-haters, we cunningly disguise the fact by calling it "steak and kidney" pie. And yes, @Anna N, they are the best.
  20. You're meant to look through those glasses not drink from them. Easy mistake to make.
  21. I would never judge an entire cuisine by one book.
  22. I'm old enought to remember watching this.
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