Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fun with Fennel

I've been super busy, but now I'm at home recuperating from a nasty cold. A couple of weeks back, I bought some fennel at the local farmer's market. What a lovely vegetable! I've experimented with it a bit; in salads, pasta, and in soup. For those of you who don't like the anise-like flavour, cooking it mellows it out a lot. But for superb crunch and flavour, fresh is the way to go!
Here, I threw together some romaine lettuce with tomatoes, fennel and lemon cucumbers (deliciously crisp, from the farmer's market), topped with some balsamic vinaigrette . Raw fennel bulbs are crunchy. Kind of like celery, but not stringy.

Here's a recipe I got from The Quick Recipe, from the writers of Cook's Illustrated. There were some really great recipes in here. I think I'm going to have to get my own copy some time soon. This is pasta, with tomato, basil, fennel and some parmesan cheese on top. Light and delicious!

And this pot of delight is a tomato, zucchini and fennel soup. It's made extra flavourful with fresh basil, chicken broth and white wine (the first time I'd ever bought alcohol for my own use). It was really simple, an example of the type of recipe you can find in books written by Brother Victor D'Avila-Latourrette. This particular recipe came from his twelve Months of Monastery Soups. What I love about his books is the emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. They're very healthy, and for the most part are very frugal, too.

Posted by Lana to Bumbling Bees - Food at 9/24/2006 02:54:00 PM

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Noodle Sauces

I've been messing around trying to come up with easy sauces to go on my regulation plain white Shanghai noodles since Boyfriend is no longer allowed ramen (see "Health Food Ahoy!"). For a while, I've been depending on my soy-sesame combination. That's this:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon or so of sugar
A sprinkling of toasted, crushed sesame seeds.
Toss with noodles. Serves 1.

But after eating that for 2 months, I got bored of it. So here's my new one.

2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sushi rice vinegar (the pre-sweetened kind)
1 teaspoon regular Chinese white rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 stalk chopped scallion (just the green bit)
Light sprinkling of chile flakes
Toss with noodles. Serves 1.

Tastes vaguely like soba. It's good! It'd probably be even better cold, too. At least, until I get bored again...

Posted by Kea to Bumbling Bees - Food at 9/14/2006 12:11:00 PM

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Goodbye, Central Star Ferry Pier

Here's a dying burst of nostalgia for you guys who haven't been back to HK in a while. They're demolishing the Central Star Ferry pier, and building a new one somewhere off by the IFC 2 tower. Here's an article. Click the link to see the picture of the new ferry terminal building - an awkward, Disneyish looking faux-colonial structure seemingly designed by cutting a lot of pictures out of travel magazines and gluing them together. I'm no expert or anything, but it looks like the architect borrowed a bunch of shapes from 19th century British architecture without understanding anything about the structure, proportions or visual balance of those buildings. This is our government's idea of historical and cultural enrichment, by the way. Perhaps I should be glad that it isn't pink, or covered in bathroom tiles.

When you come back to Hong Kong next time, the Central waterfront as you know it will be gone. They're putting a mega-mall on the site of the current pier. And then they're going to reclaim some land and put a highway in front of the mega-mall. If we're lucky, we'll get a strip of park in front of the highway - but nobody's going to bother to cross a highway to get to it, and so the waterfront will be dead, boring, ugly, and hostile to pedestrians - just like Admiralty. There's also some question as to whether the Star Ferry will be able to survive as a business in its new, inconvenient location. It expects to lose a full third of its passengers. Goodbye, Star Ferry, we loved thee well.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another vague attempt at tailoring

These are the most recent clothes I've made, mostly by reverse-engineering clothes I already had. I used a tank top to get the measurements for the width of the halter top. And I took the measurements for the pants from a pair of gauchos my mom got me from the US, but I made them long instead of mid-calf length. (Calf-length pants annoy me in some way I can't quite describe - it's like they're neither fish nor fowl, or something.)

I can write up instructions if anyone's interested.

Posted by Kea to Bumbling Bees - Sewing at 9/06/2006 07:04:00 AM