Tuesday, June 07, 2005

the Chinese way

Thanks to everyone for putting up with my fit yesterday. I'm sure that there's some kind of decent reason for there to be an anonymous option for comments. Actually, a certain level of anonymity is what's attractive about blogging at all. People stumble across your words inadvertently, and without knowing anything else about you, learn what you think about the things that are important enough to you to blog about. That's a weird kind of anonymity that goes hand in hand with a real intimacy. You're inside someone's head...but you don't know anything else about that someone. We're all disembodied talking heads here in BloggerWorld.

So I'm not saying that's bad. A couple of weeks ago my husband told me the thing he liked best about this blog was that it reminded him of the emails we sent back and forth when we were dating/engaged, when I was in China and he was in Texas. I remember the freedom of composing those emails--I could say whatever I wanted, without editing, without worry. And this is kindof like that. I just get to be me, and follow whatever line of thought catches my fancy, and make whatever stupid puns or weird associations or abrupt subject changes I want. It's intimate to talk that way.

So, it's not really anonymity that puts my back up. It's just plain cussed meanness. Or maybe occasionally I mistake utter stupidity for meanness, but there's a point at which stupidity is inexcusable, too.

Abrupt subject change. Brent and I have joined a CSA (that's Community Supported Agriculture! I have now successfully remembered the meaning of the acronym without asking for help! YEA!!! For some reason I had been suffering terrible mental blockage on that one) for the summer, and every Saturday we drive out to Pennington, NJ, to the Honeybrook Organic Farm to pick up our share of various veggies for the week. So far we have been inundated with exotic lettuces, bok choy, arugula, and picked our own strawberries and sugar snap peas & a big bouquet of flowers as a bonus.

So Saturday night when we finally had our across-the-street neighbors over for dinner, we had a Chinese feast which included our bok choy and snap peas. This was da bai cai, not the small ones, so it was a little different from what we used to eat all the time in China. But it tasted right. So here's all you need to stir-fry some authentic Chinese greens: oil (with a high smoking point, because you need very high flame to properly stir fry), lots of garlic, greens, and salt. Yep, that's it. Let the oil heat in the wok and then toss in your garlic. Stir it around for just a few seconds and let it get fragrant. Then throw in your greens and stir them around. Maybe toss in a little water to steam them a bit, especially if they're taking awhile to get tender--stir fry should be fast. Salt to taste.

For the sugar snap peas I added some ginger along with the garlic, and seasoned with a bit of soy sauce and some sesame oil at the end.

We also had carrots, tofu, and eggplant. The eggplant wasn't from the farm, but I think we get eggplant in the future (maybe), so when that happens I'll be letting you all in on the Best Way to Eat Eggplant Ever. I love eggplant all kinds of ways, but the Chinese way is best.

Yes, I said "the Chinese way." I cannot count the times I heard the phrase--usually in the form of a censorious "that is not the Chinese way" in response to some clueless American lao wai question I'd just asked. Most often (predictably) I found I was not enthralled with "the Chinese way." But the Chinese way with eggplant...oh, yes.


emily said...

i love the saying that someone is a "mean old cuss". thanks for sticking it in there. and the particular anonymous from feminary's blog is surely a stinker if ever there was one. so that is that. darren and lauren made me a pizza for dinner the other night with swiss chard and goat cheese-- i tell you, it was delicious. unfortunately i was too full of yummy homemade tomato soup to eat more than one slice. so if you can get a hold of some of that stuff, try it in pizza form. kind of like spinach but with a more tangy flavour. neat stuff!

emily said...

oh, i only bring up the swiss chard because they get that from their co-op veggie group. forgot to mention that part. otherwise i just look very stream-of-consciousness. last comment, promise.