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eG Foodblog: *Deborah* - Power, Convection and Lies


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Well, where am I?

Not much forrarder. The G4 will not boot properly (well, it boots but the dock doesn't work, and the date is wrong, but there's no way to change it as it hangs when you go to change it.)...I think I need to boot it using the OS disc, which is...somewhere in the disaster zone that is my study, where much of the kitchen had been boxed till these past few days.

:cry:

I shall do what I can, but having spent a good two hours over the evening rebooting endlessly, and cursing the contractor (his ears must be burning) and cursing myself for not shutting it off even though I didn't expect him to come in and start shutting off power (my ears aren't the only thing that's burning)...the Tiger OS is more sensitive to these crashing shutdowns, I never had these problems with Jaguar. I guess I should just be grateful that I have a functional laptop.

Apologies for the off-topic rant...I can usually count on my computer, and of course any other time, it wouldn't matter nearly so much!

I have swtched the hinge on the fridge! hallelujah for socket wrenches, say I. I can't get them as tight as they need to be on top, but tomorrow I shall have some strong men in the house who can tighten up a few bolts for me, if I ask nicely. I have unpacked some more things, and found many of my pots and pans. Baking apparatus still AWOL. Kitchen Aid on the counter! :wub:

I have to see if any of the stores I needed to get to today are still open, and then I will come back, have a nice coffee, and do some cooking.

We shall see how well the Wolf is calibrated for heat; I got a new oven thermometer!

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I love to see Pocky in blogs! :biggrin:

I think of you when I see a whack of Pocky! :biggrin:

hey, what flavor are those black and silver Pocky? Hmmn, can I T n T before they close tonight? Have you tried them yet?

S

your stove is making me drool - but I am getting my new dishwasher installed as I type - so I'm trying to be calm.

Black Sesame! of course they're good! I'm not sure how late the downtown one is open. I think the one on 1st Ave is open till 9:00.

A new dishwasher to go with your new fridge, eh? sounds like you're having a sweet little reno too!

Blog note: due to either some strange wizardry or perhaps the contractor turning off the wrong breaker switch when putting a dimmer on the dining room fixture, my G4 is having some dreadful hiccups getting restarted after an improper shutdown...so I may be stuck with my laptop :shock: prepare for typos! :unsure:

How have I missed those black sesame Pocky until now? Hmmn, tomorrow a.m. will have to secure a box!

yes, getting rid of crappy appliances our house' former owners felt the need to buy! not a reno, but our kitchen is like a different room with the new refrigerator :wub: and the new dishwasher is just an attept to have cleaner dishes - nothing compared to what you are doing! No Wolfe here, snif! Enjoying the blog and sorry to hear about your 'puter - if you need diagnostics we are well connected.

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Deb, sorry about the computer, that is truly a pain in the ass. Good to know that Tiger doesn't like unexpected crashes like that. I just upgraded and well, as long there are no large appliances plugged in upstairs, I should be fine. But you never know.

Have you spent most of the night cooking? Any hints at the menu? Enjoy playing with your Wolf. It should be a good night.

Edited by peppyre (log)
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I've spent most of the night shopping, actually! trying to cut down on what I will need to do tomorrow. I've just had a little bite to eat and at 1:00 a.m., I'm having my first beverage of the night...hardly seems fair :raz:

Photos of the Wolf's inaugural dish to come!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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And here is my trusty Enzo, ready to transport me and my purchases onward:

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I can fit quite a bit in the "trunk":

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various items, a whole frozen duck, and several ice packs that were in my freezer at work today

This Vespa is Pimping girl! It may share the color and trunk space of a Ferrari, but with all that chrome, it's bull horns short of a Texan Eldorado. :biggrin:

What might your libation be at 1 a.m.?

Edited by ChefCrash (log)
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*Deborah*, I am glad to see I am not the only one who's done some middle-of-the-night cake baking. Only with me it's usually the night before Thanksgiving, and the spiced pumpkin cheesecake has to go into the fridge before I go to bed.

Good morning! Hope the coffee was perfect and the power worked out. I am really looking forward to today's activities and plenty of Wolf porn shots :cool:

To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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I have to say 3:00 am is a little late, even for me! :raz:

This morning, I have had coffee, the second half of my Coffee Crisp from last night, and picked up a few things at Trout Lake market. Since I didn't find everything I needed, I'm going to Granville Island now, where I should be able to finish the shopping for the day and get back to do some hardcore cooking.

Much Wolf porn to follow! :biggrin:

Sorry to be so long with pics, I will download and upload when I'm back from GI.

It's a cloudy day, which will actually work in my favour given the amount of heat I'll be generating today...

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Sleep? I think I've had about 12 hours over the past three nights...glad I don't have any more driving to do till tomorrow.

:yawn:

That's OK. My contractor has turned off the "easy listening" so I no longer want to commit hara-kiri with a Wusthof.

:blink:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Pics, at last!

Last night I went to Save-On Foods, a typical enormous North American market, to get a bunch of stuff, not just for tonight's dinner, but also household goods, since I have a kitchen coming online etc...

I only photographed the food, though:

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Then I went home and finally, finally got to cook on the Wolf. :wub:

Scrambled eggs, something I've missed terribly since I've been stoveless (three eggs, a little water, S&P, in lots of butter :wink:)

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And a Corona (forgot to take a pic, but I imagine most of you know what a Corona looks like!) and then a coffee and half a Coffee Crisp (supermarket checkout aisle impulse buy that normally I would have eaten in the car on the way home, but realized I had to photograph it :laugh:)

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Then I finally got to work with the cake. I was so tired, I neglected to take a lot of photos that I should have, I apologize. Here is the chocolate and butter melting stovetop:

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When the cake was done (you'll see it later!) I covered it in a tea towel to keep dust and cathair out while it cooled, then sank into my grateful bed for a few delightful horizontal hours.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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This morning, I got up bright and early. OK, I got up early, I'm not particularly bright today.

I had a nice long shower, then I made a coffee:

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Alas it's overcast today, so no fluffy clouds in the reflection. I also had the leftover Coffee Crisp half (breakfast of champions!).

BCinBC dropped by so we could go to Trout Lake Market together. Trout Lake is part of John Hendry Park, and it's a pretty popular place: dogs are permitted off-leash, and there's a good community centre. Here is a picture of the lake:

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Today was the first day, and we saw two other eGulleters in our brief visit: Daddy-A and J., and barolo. It was pretty busy there! although I don't have previous experience to judge by.

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I got some cheese here, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks:

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I also stopped at the Iron maiden stand for some smoked Albacore :wub:

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I like how the Ostrich purveyors purvey not only meat products, but also bones for your dog and beautiful ostrich featherdusters!

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On many peoples' strong recommendations, I got some Bad Girl chocolates to try:

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Then it was off to Granville Island Public Market, a combination local boon and tourist trap:

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Feeling a bit peckish, I stopped at Lee's Donuts:

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(hard to believe that Coffee Crisp half didn't set me up for the whole day, isn't it?! :rolleyes:)

Here is a terrible picture into the bag holding my six donut holes:

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I also stopped at South China Trading for some spices and Yuzu juice.

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And I stopped at several vegetable stalls and fish stands; the place was very zooishly crowded though, so I stopped taking pictures :blush: (at home, I feel like a tourist)

And here is the combination shop from both markets:

gallery_28661_2918_41939.jpg

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Looks good Deb. I did make my over to Trout Lake this morning after picking up my coffee but decided against it when I saw the throngs of people walking down Victoria drive and the traffic. Oh my, the traffic. It's so great that you can walk there.

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:yawn:

Sorry for the gap! once I started cooking yesterday afternoon it was pretty much nonstop till midnight! and as you can imagine, given my three hours' sleep the night before, I was too dopy to wrangle pics and laptop etc. once everyone went home.

I have the pics off the camera, and so much to show you!

Back in a flash :smile:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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So, where was I?

After I got back from Granville Island, I set about smoking my duck. Chef Tony Minichiello had demonstrated this during Advanced Serious Foodie class at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, but I have to say that I had seen some random TV chef doing it a few days before I saw Chef do it, and I stuck with the TV chef's version: no wood chips, 1 cup each of rice, sugar and tea leaves, snug in your bamboo steamer, lots of foil, wet tea towels to help keep the smoke in your wok.

First I prepped the pan:

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don't forget the foil! rice, sugar, tea, little rack that will be covered in caramelized sugar.

Then I got my duck:

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Happily, Chef showed us how to butcher a duck recently! The poor butchery however is all me, it's only my second time. :shock:

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The legs off. I left the rest of the bird intact for time reasons. I will get some breasts and a stock out of that though.

The duck fat I collected, soon to be rendered!

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And the finished legs. I think it took 30-40 minutes; I apologize but my sense of time yesterday was...weird! I realized that I haven't got a single clock in the kitchen, since I don't have a microwave in there at the moment!

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Once I thought they were cooked enough, I turned off the heat and let them sit there in the smoke a little while longer

While the duck legs were smoking, I started to infuse some light cream with a chipotle pepper:

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I later added a second pepper and a good pinch of cayenne as well.

Then I had a nice Coca-Cola. I couldn't take another coffee!

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You can see a measuring cup with shelled peas on the left

When the wok etc. had cooled enough, I took the steamer off the rack, and this is what was left: :shock:

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Very very glad I used heavy duty foil, especially since it was a borrowed wok (thanks, Mooshmouse!)

Here are my peas, blanching in salted and sugared water:

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Since one of my usual boon Gullet companions, canucklehead, was out of town, and I was having such trouble getting a menu together in my head, I decided to invite HKDave, who comes to Vancouver periodically to study at Northwest and work in several kitchens about town. I met Dave the last time he was in town, and he has been assisting at Northwest during the Advanced Serious Foodie course, as well. He helped me solidify the menu and work out a cooking technique for the beef tenderloin. And when 12:00 or 1:00 came and I was fading fast and feeling a bit lost, I put out a call for help, and asked him to come a bit early.

Next up: some discipline in the kitchen!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Once Dave arrived, dodging the contractor and the carpenter, who were still working madly to get things in the dining room and bathroom finished, we went through the menu, and he did what I normally do, but hadn't this time: made a list. (Well, I had made a shopping list, but normally I have every minute of days leading up to a dinner party planned out, and this time, events conspired against me. As it was, everything except cleaning up my living room got done; it's a bit hard to clean up a room that is full of the furniture that will be going into another room that is under construction and full of tools!)

He went through the mise items that needed to be completed, and made me decide what should happen when (except when I flaked out, sorry Dave! and he had to get autocratic on me). He asked me if I wanted him to assist me, or if I wanted him to take charge, and of course I asked him to take charge, since he knows what he's doing so much better than I and I was running on two or three of twelve cylinders yesterday.

Do you guys know the movie, La Femme Nikita? Dave was my Victor le Nettoyeur yesterday. :cool: ...I was almost as much of a wreck as Anne Parillaud...not quite, but close! :laugh:

Here he is in action, trimming the beef tenderloin.

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It took me about half an hour to put my mitts on the correct box for the food processor (nothing like not having all your tools to hand to complicate matters!) but here are the peas being processed:

gallery_28661_2918_59527.jpg

The recipe I used was Rob Feenie's from the Lumière cookbook, but I diverted from the preparation rather drastically: I needed to add vegetable stock and water while the peas were being processed, so I didn't pass through a sieve or the chinois I borrowed from BCinBC. I conclude that if you have the fresh pea soup at Lumière, it is much smoother than mine.

Because Dave and I were both working full-bore, and I also had to keep jumping out of the kitchen to direct my builders, and then BCinBC and Mrs BC arrived early to do some IKEA construction, bless them, I don't have as many photos of the process as I could. Dave was doing prep like chopping shallots, getting ingredients lined up, looking after the meat, cubing butter, prepping the asparagus and blanching it, and directing me so I didn't wander off track or go curl up in a corner for a nap.

He made sure I got to do the inaugural grill on the Wolf, though: the asparagus!

gallery_28661_2918_49594.jpg

That grill is bloody hot! I had to put a silicone glove on to be able to manipulate the asparagus. The fan was going full-on at that point.

Action picture: on the left, the cream with chipotle. In the centre, the potatoes on to boil (thanks to a fab peeler, BCinBC!). Asparagus keeping warm on the rack above, drizzled in nice fruity extra-virgin olive oil and salted. Mrs BC's lovely bread defrosting/warming up on the left.

gallery_28661_2918_7001.jpg

And then the party sort of officially began.

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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By now, we have HKDave in the kitchen, actually he has just left the kitchen and doffed his apron; Mr & Mrs BCinBC, who have been doing yeoman duty constructing things, putting little felt things on the bottom of my new dining room chairs, and moving things into the dining room; Mr and Mrs Vancouver Lee (Van Lee had built the sideboard a few days before); and the Mouses (Mr. Mouse had levelled the Wolf beautifully for me the other day).

And people brought bread and flowers and cheese and wine, on top of the manual labour! you can't beat that. :wub:

Once the kitchen was under control, we opened the first (of many) bottles of wine: a Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut. This winery cellars its products in a pyramid. I don't know how efficacious that is, really, but the Cipes is a really delicious sparkler.

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We drank that with some of the lovely cold-smoked albacore tuna I picked up at the Trout Lake Market, served with Ponzu sauce (soy and yuzu, which is a citrus fruit):

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Dave sliced the tuna, that's why it's so neat!

When the Cipes ran out, I poured some Joie A Noble Blend 2005. We like their wines a lot.

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Then Dave and I repaired to the kitchen. He sautéed the fresh local spot prawns I got at Granville Island Market, and made a beautiful beurre blanc, the first of many lauded sauces of the night. I may have some of that on some scrambled eggs for lunch. I seasoned, portioned and garnished the pea soup, which had been chilling.

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A finished plate:

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While I was serving that, Dave put the tenderloin to sear (just salted a bit):

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Nice piece of meat, eh?

Here is the table (Dave is still searing, about the only timing issue we had; once it was seared, he put it in a hot oven with a rub of dijon and fresh thyme and S&P):

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BC, Mrs. BC, and Mrs. Van Lee; the second bottle of Joie, I think

Everybody just oohed and aahed about that sauce, really delicious!

Then it was time for the red: a Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve Summit. They could call it Summit Summit Summit and I wouldn't even ridicule them, I really like this wine.

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We got the meat up to 122ºF, and while it was resting, I reduced some red wine and some port:

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Then made a sauce in the searing pan, deglazing with some balsamic and the wine reduction to incorporate the sucs, with some demi-glace for body and S&P. This sauce was extremely tasty. Every last drop was brought out by popular demand!

Dave sliced the meat up, and I plated with the shredded tea-smoked duck mashed potatoes and the grilled asparagus:

gallery_28661_2918_36353.jpg

I'm not sure how that meat looks on your monitors, but holy, it was beautiful, juicy, red, tender as can be. The mashed potatoes...it was my first time making them--I had some at Brix once, and thought they were great--potatoes, light cream, butter, the duck, and a little vegetable stock to mix it up wihtout making it overly rich. It certainly won't be my last time.

We took our time eating this, and Mrs. BC's bread was in high demand on its own for flavour (a hint of rosemary) not to mention as a sauce-mopping instrument. Notice the cleaned plates :laugh:

gallery_28661_2918_170815.jpg

Mrs. VanLee, HKDave, VanLee, Mooshmouse

Then it was time for dessert!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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:wub:

There are simply no words to describe how ridiculously delicious your red wine and port reduction sauce was, db. Between that and HKDave's beurre blanc, it was a veritable sauce-travaganza! We were a tableful of fortunate guests indeed; from the Smoked Albacore Tuna all the way through to the last course (which I won't divulge until you do), dinner was stellar. The meat was absolute perfection.

I hope you fried up some of those insanely delicious potatoes as Bubble and Squeak this morning. :wink:

Bring on the dessert!

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Deborah! These photos of your table, the top covered with delicious food and the chairs holding people to share with, I'm very happy just seeing the visual evidence of such a great meal!

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VanLee took over sommelier duties and kept the Mt Boucherie flowing. Peppyre arrived for afters, and alas, missed the end of the Mt Boucherie. :sad:

I went into the kitchen to get dessert ready; Mrs. VanLee rinsed off the new cute Port glasses (from IKEA, like almost everything else in my house that isn't a Wolf range :laugh:). Since we were having chocolate, I had to let everyone try the Sumac Ridge Vintage Pipe port-style wine, which I really enjoy with chocolate.

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Here is the 3:00 a.m. cake:

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Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

I used some Valrhona 61% (? 61 or 67%) dark chocolate, and some Callebaut semisweet, about half and half; and added a shot of Jameson's.

Here is the rather unphotogenic cook..one day someone tall will take my picture, and I will have fewer chins! :wink:

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This is a good dessert for a dinner party because you can make it ahead. It helps a lot if you remember to take it out of the fridge an hour before serving, also (oops), as the chocolate tastes so much better at room temperature.

Here I am, whisking the sauce anglaise, made with the chipotle/cayenne cream. The chipotle made it a more complex flavour, worked quite well.

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And a plated portion:

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And here are all the cheses that we were too full to eat :laugh:

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Colsten Basset Stilton, a Neal's Yard Dairy cheese; the Applewood Smoked Cheddar I am addicted to; Little Qualicum Rathtrevor and Island Bries; and a Leerdammer, which I've never tried but looked interesting to me in the store.

And that was that! everyone left around midnight, and I had a lovely sleep, thanks very much :laugh:

Here is this morning's coffee; the clouds you can see have pretty much burned off, and it looks as though it will be a good day for Daddy-A's Luau! I have to get cracking for that, wow, it's noon already.

gallery_28661_2918_6885.jpg

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
       
       
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
       
       
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
       
       
       
       
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