Monday is a day of rest. Not for everyone, but certainly for me. Yesterday I spent four hours listening to yowling of headhunters and the savage beating of war drums, as nearly a dozen sportsfiends with cigars "appreciated" a foot ball game in the lounge. Instead of calmly exclaiming "oh jolly good show, eh", they screamed and foamed and stomped.
Surprisingly, none of them ruptured a vessel.
Which I was expecting at any moment.
I had a cold washcloth handy.
Actually, not so much a washcloth as an ancient rag which had seen better days. The coffee stains had rinsed out, mostly, but it was still grungy grey, and had a slight (overwhelming) pong of bleach, as well as that stale waxy odour that cloth gets from a lot of industrial washing.
It would have revived them. Anyone of them.
I was looking forward to applying it.
A ruckus is better than sports.
It is time to deal with more important matters. Specifically, readers and their needs. Closer to my heart (and my own interests) than a bunch of loud inhabitants of Marin hepped to the gills on cigars and coffee; at the present time I myself am mildly stimulated and awake due to a fine short Dominican perfecto and a cup of Turkish, which does not qualify as hepped to the gills, just awake and stimulated; I am a calm reflective man.
In the past twenty four hours, people have found this blog by entering the following searches:
DO WOMEN SMOKE PIPES
Indeed they do. There are a number who indulge, and what sets them apart is that on the whole they have good taste, and a preference for pipes that are neither excessively large nor particularly delicate. Bowls within a sensible range of dimensions and shapes, that are comfortable in the hand and handsome to the eye. As all good pipes should be.
Indicative of restraint and intelligence.
Some women favour aromatics, but the milder examples rather than the overly perfumed skank blends that big butch men with psychological issues smoke. A few of them have gravitated towards full English style mixtures, which have that delightful resinous smoky quality (Turkish and Latakia on base of flue-cured ribbon).
Almost none of the ones I have met go for flakes or Virginia and Perique compounds. The reason is probably because the latter appeal more to all day regular smokers, having a softer flavour and more nicotine, than to the person who smokes maybe one pipe a day.
I have a fond fantasy that some women pull out a tin of dark Virginia once they're home, light up and kick back with a good book, but the actuality seems to be that they prefer a bold mood changer instead.
Perhaps in the company of a significant other, but not necessarily so.
Some of them still hide it from their prudish love-interest.
FU PEI CHUN DIM SUM
Tofu skin roll. Fu pei (腐皮) is the film that coagulates on top of the vat when making bean curd, which is lifted off and hung to dry. To use, it is soaked to soften, then rolled around a tasty filling, much like making an eggroll.
The result is either steamed OR fried.
An example of the steamed variety is a fu pei hoi sin kuen (腐皮海鮮捲), which contains seafood; the tofu skin protects the contents from an excess of heat, and though softened still presents a toothsomeness after cooking. Pan-frying yields a jing fu pei kuen (煎腐皮卷), which is more savoury, and has a chewy filling to contrast with the crisper skin. Both are available at tea houses which have a larger repertoire. Read more about such things here: Dim sum: kinds, names, pronunciation
, and experiment with the subject at the establishments listed in this post: Dim sum restaurants in San Francisco
[Under a post written in august 2012 ('looking forward to snacks') a reader calling him or herself 'Spikey' asked: "What is a fupeikuen?". Spikey, it's a roll of tofu skin around a savoury filling, steamed, frequently after a quick-fry to develop a golden flavour.]
Note that dim sum restaurants where the selection to choose from comes out of the kitchen on carts are more suitable for groups, or at least pluralities of eaters; as a single man I am far more likely to go New Fortune Dim Sum (富祥點心) on Stockton Street (between California and Clay), Yummy Dim Sum and Fast Food (金華點心快餐) on Stockton between Clay and Washington, and even House of Dim Sum (園林點心) at 735 Jackson Street where the selection is somewhat greater than the other two but one is more likely to encounter stupid tourists late in the day. They know me at all three places, and I feel at home there.
Life is good.
A very well known tobacco blender and brand, with an enormous range of fine products. An overview (over 30 blends) can be found here: Greg Pease, a representative sampling
. Personally I am very fond of Westminster (a medium full English and a modern classic), Union Square (for true lovers of Virginias), and both Sextant (orgasmic) and Navigator (addictive).
He has his own internet presence here: GLPease.com
Drop by and tell him Atboth said 'hi'.
Gentlemen's Bay Tobacco. The very best ribbon cut Maryland, often with a mere touch of flue-cured leaf. This was a traditional Dutch preference for many years, as it is simple and good, and a century ago was considered so clean and healthy that even children and invalids should have a bowl.
But times have changed.
Bay tobacco was so named because it was shipped from the Chesapeake.
Informative blogpost here: Taconis et autres
Some brands reviewed: Baai Tabak
I haven't written about Stad Ootmarsum yet, because it represents an even older preference, that being a generic curly ribbon with a somewhat coarser flavour. But it is probably one of very few tobacco types still produced in the Netherlands, as the overwhelming majority are now made in Denmark.
HONG KONG FESTIVE GOOSE RECIPE
Delicious! Read how to make it here: 燒鵝 'siu ngoh'
Now go cook it at home yourself.
And invite me over.
HOW TO CLEAN SEA CUCUMBERS
This takes up to a week of pre-prep, so think ahead.
Put the dried sea cucumber in a pot of water for a day. Change water, and simmer for an hour or so with a few slices of dried ginger and optionally a piece of dried tangerine peel (陳皮 'chan pei
'). Once it has cooled down, rinse it and scrub gently with a vegetable brush. Remove any hard parts on the outside. Simmer it again, with fresh water and ginger. Then place it in fresh hot water with a pinch of sugar and a few slices of ginger.
Let it cool, and place it in the refrigerator.
Replace the water the next day.
Repeat the day after.
Smaller sea cucumbers require only three days of soaking, larger sea cucumbers may need four or five days.
When softened and increased substantially in size, take it out. Cut it open and rinse inside and out. Then slice it, and cook it in a sauce or with other ingredients.
Recipe here: soaking and braising see cucumber
HOW TO SOAK DRIED OYSTER
Ho si (蠔豉) only take an hour or so of soaking before they are ready to use. If you are planning to include them in a dish wich will take a longer time to cook, soak them for a shorter period. Always rinse them before adding to the pot.
Recipe here: 好事發財
LET ME LOOK AT YOUR BIG NIPPLES
This surprising search yielded my site because I am one of the very few bloggers to write about other people's weirdness in a cool clinical fashion, treating the subjects objectively. But I haven't written about big nipples, or the opportune viewing of same, and probably shan't do so either.
I like nipples. Many people also like nipples.
But I am more interested in the person.
Nipples ARE a requirement.
I am a mammal
SHAM TSENG CHAN KEE ROASTED GOOSE
Here's the place:
SHAM TSENG CHAN KEE SIU NGOH JAU KA
Ground floor, 63 Sham Tseng Village, Castle Peak Road, Sham Tseng.
New Territories, Hong Kong.
新界, 深井, 青山公路, 深井村 63號, 地下
TWO GIBBONS ON A PIPA TREE YI YUANYI
It's not a pi-pa, but an oak.
Painting by Yi Yuanji (易元吉 'Yeung Yuen-kat').
I am very fond of animals.
During the eighties, Cherie Chung Chor-hung (鍾楚紅) was one of the most luminous Hong Kong actresses to appear in movies. Her obvious intelligence shone through in every role, her charm and vulnerability conquered the hearts and minds of an entire generation of young male adults. Not a classic beauty -- thank heavens there aren't any such critters -- but an overwhelming screen presence. Many of her roles were subdued examples, rather than anything approaching big, bold, brassy.
She made you fall in love with an ideal.
One of her best movies was 'An Autumn's Tale (秋天的童話 'chau tin dik tung waa
' 1987), she was also stellar in 'Peking Opera Blues' (刀馬旦 'dou maa daan
' 1986). She stopped acting in 1991.
Both films are well worth searching for.
Are there any questions?
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