THE SINGULAR MAN AND HIS MELONS
Serve over rice.
One can do the same with thinly sliced bitter melon. Or zucchini.
Respectively, 涼瓜炒叉燒 and 夏南瓜炒叉燒。
Yes, there are times when I would like to take my skillet to bed with me, and keep it warm during the frigid nights such as we are having now. It must get awfully lonely in that cold cold kitchen when the lights are out.
Middle of the night existential angst and all that.
Oh poor lonesome cast iron!
But a skillet is not a person, of course. If she were I might have to make twice as much 節瓜炒叉燒 so that she too could eat.
Plus she'd mess up my pristine bed sheets.
So she stays in the kitchen.
Fuzzy melon (節瓜 'jit gwa') does not really need to be peeled before cooking, it just looks nicer that way. Charsiu pork (叉燒) is a superlative ingredient easily picked up from a Chinatown roast meats place on Friday, before the working weekend. Oyster sauce (蠔油 'ho yau') is a strictly Cantonese invention, and may not even be available wherever the critical mass of Cantonese people has not yet been achieved; places like Peking, Hot Pot Inner Mongolia, Fudgebucket Manchuria (Liaoning), or the savage wilds of New Jersey and Okely Homey.
I love my cast iron skillets.
They comfort me.
When I came home this evening there were several small stuffed animals arguing on my bed, and my apartment mate was in her room curled up reading. Like yesterday, she spent most of the day dozing. Tomorrow both of us work -- she'll probably be grumbling early in the morning before she heads out -- and Tuesday it is my turn to be a lazy slug all warm and toasty. To which I am looking forward.
One tseet gwa, if of lesser size, is sufficient for a singular man. If it's larger it can serve two. But only person in this apartment is fond of tseet gwa.
It has a clean fresh taste, and the flesh is very beautiful when cooked. Cucumber can be substituted, as well as yellow summer squash.
Wikipedia seems to think that it is the same as wintermelon (冬瓜 'tung gwa'), but I have my doubts about that.
In the interests of honesty, I should mention that my bedsheets are not quite pristine. My bed has a rug and a down comforter, no hanky panky goes on in there, and I wore out my sheets over the years. As a singular man there is no need for refinement, or sometimes even attention to detail. Just as long as everything is reasonably clean and doesn't smell bad.
There's a dense mound of books along the lefthand side. It's almost a reference library. There is no room for a frypan there.
I do not eat in bed.
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