Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Making Tonic Herb Soup

My friend Li is a wonderful cook and always trying new things. Last night we had a tonic soup that was cooked inside a watermelon. The taste was delicious. She used black skinned chicken (bought at an Oriental market), Jujubes, Lotus Seeds, Glehnia, and Lycii. What gave it an unusual and delicious taste was that it was cooked inside a hollowed out watermelon.
Here is how it looked on the stove:

The oil from the chicken reflects the light a bit but you can see the jujubes in the lower right and the lycii on the left. The black skin of the chick is floating near the center. (click on the picture to see larger).

Here's how it looked when served:

 You can see the jujube near the bottom and the white lotus seed just above it.

Here's how you make it.
Cut a watermelon in half and hollow it out (save the inside and mix in a blender for a refreshing drink).
Put the watermelon in a large pan and place water both inside and outside the watermelon.

Add chicken (white or black skinned)
Add 6-8 jujubes
Add 10-15 lycii
Add a couple sticks of Glehniae
Add a few Nelumbinis
Fill the watermelon with water.

The watermelon will act as a double-boiler when you cook it. Bring the water outside the watermelon to a boil then lower and simmer for three hours. Check to make sure the water doesn't evaporate while cooking. Cover the pot when boiling.
You can buy the herbs at the links above.
When done add a little salt to taste and enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregnancy and Mien Dream Interpretation - a True Story

Linda, who works at East Earth Trade Winds, is of Mien descent and often tells me about Mien culture - which I find very interesting. I wish I wrote down all the things she has told to me about Mien culture. It would be a very interesting book covering topics such as marriage ceremonies, family relationships, shamans, funeral ceremonies, feng shui, cooking, and life of the Mien before they migrated as refugee's to the USA.

One thing we talk about sometimes is dreams. The Mien have their own ways to interpret them. There's good dreams and bad dreams. All have meaning. Last Friday morning it was quiet in the office for a while and I told Linda I had a funny dream the night before. I was down the street from where I live at a neighbors and doing some yardwork by their fence. I had to climb up a ladder that was against the fence and while on the ladder noticed a fruit tree with branches hanging over on the side I was on. There was some fruit on it and I picked three pieces. I'm not sure what type of fruit it was but it was small, brown, and fig-like. Before I could go on with my dream Linda exclaimed "Your daughter's pregnant!" I asked her why she said that and she explained that dreaming of fruit means a pregnancy in the family. She said if my daughter wasn't pregnant then my son's girlfriend was. She told me both her mother and mother-in-law dreamed of picking fruit and asked her if she was pregnant - which she denied. A month later she found out she was pregnant.

My daughter lives in Hawaii with her husband and I talk to her every 4-6 weeks. She's been married about two years. She's never mentioned anything about wanting children before and I've never broached the subject figuring that's their own business. I told Linda I wasn't sure if I should ask. Linda told me to wait two weeks and then call her.

Three days later on Sunday my daughter calls. "Hi Dad!" she says and before she can say another word I asked if she was pregnant. With a puzzled voice she replied "How did you know?" I told her about my dream and Linda's interpretation of it. I was surprised and pleased that the dream was true. My daughter was surprised also. As for the fruit in the dream? Linda said the brown color means my daughter's child will be a boy.

After I finished talking to my daughter I texted Linda and told her she was right and that I was going to be a grandpa. She replied "I told you so!" and  "Congrats!".

I'm very happy for my daughter and son-in-law. I know they'll be happy with whatever sex the child is. I also need to pay more attention to my dreams.

May 17, 2014. My daughter gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy in March. The dream interpretation proved true!

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Product Search Feature on eastearthtrade.com

East Earth Trade Winds has added the ability to Shop for products by Manufacturer on their website. This new search function is found on the left hand side of the screen below the "search" function.
This enhances your ability to find the products you want by quickly browsing  a manufacturer's product line.
See: www.eastearthtrade.com

Monday, July 22, 2013

A visit to Bruce Lee's Grave

People may or may not know that Bruce Lee is buried in Seattle, Washington. Recently while in Seattle I had the opportunity to pay my respects. It was a beautiful day. I was visiting an old friend of mine and luckily he knew exactly how to get to the graveyard. We arrived there shortly before the cemetery closed for the night. The sun was setting behind the grave stone so the first picture is a little washed out. 

There is a bench facing the grave with an inscription from Bruce Lee's wife Linda Lee and his daughter Shannon.

Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee, is buried next to his father. Both died at a young age. Below are the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee.

Last year while in Hong Kong I went to visit Bruce Lee's martial art instructor's (Ip Man) grave. There is another posting on this blog about that here: A Visit to Ip Man's Grave

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Miami Heat Chris Andersen Chinese character Tattoo

I'm don't follow basketball but when I see a tattoo of a Chinese word I like to know what it means. This photo of Miami Heat basketball player Chris Andersen appeared in our local paper. The tattoo on the inside of his right arm is very visible (as are all the rest of his tattoo's).

The tattoo didn't look right to me and I couldn't find it in my Chinese-English Dictionary. Here's a close up of the tattoo:

Fortunately a Chinese friend recognized it and told me what it was supposed to be. It is the Chinese word "e" which means "evil"*. After learning what the character was I looked it up. Here's a picture of the correct character from my dictionary. The first character on the left is the simplified character. The one in parenthesis is the traditional character. In either case, the top part of the character looks a lot different than the top part of Chris Andersen's tattoo.

The majority of people will never know the difference but just like misspelled words don't appear in English dictionaries there is no Chinese character such a the one on his arm to be found in a Chinese dictionary.

 The moral to this story is to be very careful if you are going to get a Chinese character (or any foreign language word) tattooed on your body.

*Apparently he has the Chinese word for good (hao) on the other arm.