Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mid-Autumn Festival 2013

The time of 中秋節 (zhong qiu jie) is upon us. It is otherwise known as mid-autumn festival or moon festival. In Taiwan, a notable part of celebrating the holiday is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns and hanging them outside of buildings. Some even light and set off sky lanterns. Additionally, as with many Chinese holidays, family and friends gather in celebration. It's a hallmark tradition to exchange moon cakes between family members and friends. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity. Finally, my favorite activity is to join with friends and BBQ on a rooftop over-looking Taipei. Have an awesome 中秋節 everyone!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Home cookin': Moules a la Mariniere

Sunday was a nice day out on the town with a good friend visiting in from Taoyuan. It was yet another scorching hot day in Taipei. But we continued to survive the heat at Huashan 1914 creative park. Fortunately we were there for the Star Trek exhibition. A 3 month event showcasing some of the legendary show's set props and concept art. I went to another Star Trek exhibition in Seattle years ago and was amazed and spoiled by it. So sorry to say, but the Taipei event was quite mild. Majority of the displays were set costumes and various USS enterprise models. However it was interesting to discuss the quality of the set costumes with my friend, who majored in textiles. While we were talking food over some coffee at VVG thinking. What ended up was a sudden craving for steamed mussels. So we headed over to the local Carrefore for supplies. Your basic recipe calls for mussels, butter, garlic, white wine and more butter and garlic. Add a bay leaf, some herbs and steam...done! Julia Child's Moules a la Mariniere. Add some french bread, aged balsamic, Beecher's smoked flagship cheese and finish that bottle of white. Bon appetit!