Monday, September 05, 2022


The plan was to hightail it out of here around mid-afternoon and have a snack and milk tea in Chinatown. And the plan vaguely circled around the concept of 春捲烤豬肉粉 -- Vietnamese spring rolls and grilled pork rice noodles, served cold -- with perhaps something cool and refreshing to drink, to fortify myself for a smoking session in a tourist free alley. The plan came to naught, because at that time the temperature outside was 95° Fahrenheit.

I like food, I like smoking a pipe afterwards, but I do not like heading out into an oven to wilt and pant far from my own front door. And although it would only be just across the hill, in this weather with high blood pressure meds coursing through my system AND arthritis in every joint or socket of my right leg, that's so far as to be a lifetime.

There's a Dutch song fondly reminiscing about burning sands in a lost country and a life filled with dangers. They are nuts, my people. I remember the countryside of North Brabant as green, verdant, wet. No burning sands. No scorpions. Seventy degrees during summer. Occasional rainstorms to add a note of welcome coolness.

I haven't seen a rainstorm in so long I would probably throw stones at it.

So I stayed home and made myself some 菜泡飯 ('choi pou faan'; Shanghai style vegetable and rice soup). Innovation: use a grilled sausage, chopped, as the meat element.
Plus some slivered green chili for the taste ante.
Didn't have any chives on the premises, so I omitted the chives. Salt, yes. And I added some dried dill. Also thinly sliced onion, just a little.

The procedure is simple. Parch some chopped vegetables with rendered porkfat in a hot pan (frequently from diced fatty pork sautéed with ginger till fragrant), seethe with ricewine or sherry, add stock and cooked rice, simmer a few minutes till it looks good. Eat.

豬油是上海菜泡飯的靈魂 ('jyu yau si Seung Hoi choi pou faan dik ling wan'): rendered pork fat/lard is the soul of Shanghai poached vegetable rice soup.
Quoted from the classics.

Walked around my own neighborhood for a while afterwards smoking my pipe. It had cooled down to eighty eight degrees by then. When I finished, my feet and calves felt like crap. Feverish and swollen.

As of this writing, it is ten degrees cooler in Shanghai.
It will get up to eighty eight later today.
It's still morning there.

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