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Showing posts from January, 2010

My First Dinner Party Hosting of 2010

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Enter Joo, Ivy, Zoe and Jin.  First thing...restroom and water.  Ah, Zoe darling needed a cup of coffee.  Next we break open a bottle of Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet to go with an appetizer of pumpkin pizza.  Yeah I know it sounds weird.  Just go along for now.  Next course...no next course. I give the tour of my apartment and point out Suzhou Creek, Ctrip headquarters and Songhong Road.  We argue about my plants releasing carbon dioxide while I sleep...then go into the kitchen to finish up the rice dish.  I sauteed some mushrooms and zucchini, adding a bit of salt and instant chicken granules, then about 4 cups of cooked brown rice.  This is the side to slow cooked bbq pork ribs which the butcher proudly chopped exactly opposite of what I was looking for...never mind.  And made 1 clay crock of medicinal chicken, slowly baked in huangjiu, olive oil, carrot and celery with some dates and wolfberries added in for flavor.  One big salad with homemade dressing and voila...dinner was…

Eating Adventures

Once again I ate my way through a memorable culinary weekend.Lunch on Saturday was going to be at Element Fresh, but when my friend and I arrived it was already full so we made the executive decision to go to the French restaurant Salaya nearby instead. First came pieces of fresh baguette with an olive tapenade.Next came a lovely leek and potato soup to continue to whet my appetite.Finally my grilled seabass arrived with some sautéed carrot and green beans.It was so delicious my only regret was not to have enough room for the brilliant chocolate cakes freshly baked that all of the other customers were receiving. The next event came at dinner as my Malaysian Chinese friend Joo decided to host a dinner party.She had been cooking up a storm for 3 ½ hours for 9 friends.We greedily tucked into her fresh panko prawns, herbal soup with pork, braised huangjiu chicken, curry vegetables with tofu and lady fingers (okra in American English), and a braised lettuce dish; and for dessert were brown…

Year in Review

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I finally have come up for air - sometimes it helps just to remember to breathe once in a while.  Wow does it feel good!  I really did appreciate that crisp air of the northwest for a few weeks over the holidays.  That was a good little recharge.  Now we'll see how long it lasts... Now, this is not in any particular order, but a short list of some things I am proud to have accomplished in the past year.  I need to keep this list handy because I tend to forget the past quickly.  -made it to Okinawa and snorkelled for the first time with my brother -played some fantastic jobs this year including my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party and some outstanding weddings and parties, even here in Shanghai -arranged Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " for the quartet -got to play with a wonderful young cellist who lives in my home region -caught a wild steelhead (and turned it loose) with my dad -spent a couple of quality days with my dad -experienced a great personal lo…