I am trying to post more, even if it is mundane ramblings. The weekend was good but busy as always. I bought an iPod and I am loving it. As Erik and Emily attest, it really does give you a sense of personal space in a crowded city, however, I seem to be oblivious to everything including people talking to me.
On Saturday after my classes, Erik and I went to a new Spanish restaurant right by our house, and it was so tasty. Then he flew to Germany.
Next week is Chinese New Year, which starts on Thursday, February 8. I have off on Thursday and Friday, yeah! We are learning a lot about this, the most important holiday in the Chinese culture. I will write a few more blogs about everything I've learned. Also, I'll post some photos of all the decorations, as most public spaces are decorated. On Friday, the second day, there will be a huge fireworks display in the harbour, and we should have a primo view for it. As a result, we are having a party. Our Christmas party was all westerners, so this party is going to be mostly Chinese. The guests are primarily Erik's team from Gore, all of whom I know. To be nice and accommodating, I am serving all Asian food at the party, and I am daunted by the prospect of it. Virtually all of the dishes I've planned will be new recipes meaning I've never cooked them before. Wish me luck!
Here is the planned menu:
shrimp crackers (purchased)
assortment of pickled radishes/kimchee (purchased)
Asian inspired crudite w/Asian dipping sauce
Chinese chicken wings (chicken wings are very popular here)
fried shrimp balls
steamed veggie dumplings
lettuce wraps with chicken & noodle salad
warm crab rangoon dip (Americanized interpretation of a Chinese dish)
BBQ pork (purchased)
Chinese candies (purchased)
Due to the party, on Sunday, I spent the whole day shopping for stuff for it. More accurately, I spent the whole day shopping with the excuse of looking for party stuff. Entertaining at home is very rare here, so finding things like cocktail napkins is pretty tough. One of the dishes I am making is steamed vegetable dumplings, so I needed to buy a bamboo steamer. You would think this would be an item readily available here, but no. The steamers are rather "old school" so the department stores don't carry them; you have to go to a small mom-and-pop shop. I am thrilled I got them with help of directions from my co-worker. I should have taken a picture of the store (will do next time I'm in Causeway Bay) because you would never expect it to have bamboo steamers. The whole shop was about the size of my closet in the townhouse. I also bought a wok, but got it at Ikea since it had a nice steamer attachment.
Since Erik is away, I made myself a treat, macaroni & cheese, which believe it or not, Erik doesn't really like--so weird. I had to buy some flour for it and the biggest bags sold here are so tiny (many things are tiny). You can see from the picture, it isn't much bigger than my palm, more the size of a bag of coffee. I am also posting two pictures of artful produce, both of which happened naturally. I wasn't trying to arrange them in a cool or attractive way. Note the oranges and tomatoes: that whole platter of stuff cost HK$15, or around US$2, and it was delicious.