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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ni hao ma?

You may have noticed that I have pendulum-esque interests.  One week, I'm obsesso on Henry VIII.  The next week, I can't stop reading about the dangers of soy (and then telling you about it). Another week I may be so far into a kombucha-making frenzy that I dream of scobies.

I'm glad to inform you that I'm on to the next one: China.  And bok choy.  But mostly China.

Well, I don't know.  Bok choy is pretty stinkin' amazing.  Can I just tell you a great recipe?  I modified it from what my friend from China said and I can eat it like it is a snack.

Recipe for Amazingness: Bok Choy and Mushrooms
Serves:  Me, or probably four normal people

You need: a NON-nonstick pan (those are poisonous), preferably stainless steel; a few baby bok choy (chopped up), a cup of mushrooms (also sliced), a tablespoon or seven of Kerrygold butter (because when would you ever cook without it?), cracked pepper and cracked salt.

Put the butter in the pan and slightly melt.  Sauté the mushrooms for a couple minutes (they take longer to cook than bok choy).  Add in the delicious bok choy until it is an amazing verdant bright green color.  Slide around in the pan for a couple minutes until you feel like you're on Martha Stewart's cooking show.  Crack some salt and pepper over the top.  Eat the entire pan of it before you get a chance to serve it to the rest of your family.

See?  Told you it was easy.

Now.  Where was I?  Oh yes, China.  Well, I wasn't really IN China, I was just talking about it.  

And I wish I were speaking it!  But never fear, Yangyang is here!

I totally love Yangyang.  Besides being totally beautiful and cute at the same time, she is a great teacher and helps you remember in a hilarious way.  I don't know if she is trying to be hilarious, I just think she is.  (Like her imitation of a microwave dinging as she explains one of the tones.  Did you know Chinese has tones?  Well, you will after you watch Yangyang.)

Although I've never been to China, I've traveled there in my mind through various books - The Story of Tea and Unbound are recent ones.  

I have to say, I think that the general stereotype that Westerners have of people from China is that they are very dedicated, hard-working, and quiet.  But after reading these books and looking a little further, I think that one ought to add exceptionally strong.  Through the books that I have read, I have watched women walk 6,000 miles on the Long March up and over mountains in sandals through snow.  I have been adjusted from thinking that everyone thinks of the individual first and then the group to knowing it is not this way everywhere.

Do you know that Chinese people say their family name (what we call our "last name") first?  Can you imagine what that says for you as a person?  You are part of your family first, and then an individual.  

It is fascinating, anyway.  I would like to learn Chinese very much.  It's on my to-do list.

(Speaking of learning, do you know about coursera?  It is a website that broadcasts university classes that you can sign up for to watch and learn.  You get to have homework!  YEAY!  I'm taking one in the fall on Egyptology, but it is also in Spanish so I can doubly soak my brain with exercise.  Just a thought if you have needs of high levels of educational stimulation.  And the cable TV salesman wondered what I do with my time without his product...)

Hey, enough talking.  On to learning!

Peace, love and zai jian!
Ms. Daisy

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