China In An Rv - Life in an RV Blog at - 178017

Life in an RV

China in an RV 
May 31, 2010 6:57 pm 
Updated: Jun. 7, 2010 6:59 pm
Late this afternoon, Bob, Bob(the neighbor) and I ventured to China, foodwise. I have to thank Tao for the majority of the recipes...I raided his recipe box! We got some bad news. Our friend, John Cutshall passed away last night. So I dedicate this blog to his memory. John was only 63 years and was a disabled iron worker and one helluva guy! I raise my glass of Honey Milk Tea-Hong Kong Style to him!
The weather the last few weeks has been dreary and rainy and I am thoroughly sick of it. I got one little break in the clouds this morning and now we have blue sky. It's a good thing!
On the menu this evening was Cha Ye Dan-Herbal Tea Hard Boiled Eggs< Hot & Sour Soup (Suan La Tang) Northern China Style< Sichuan (Szechuan) Salt & Pepper Squid-Jiao Yan Xian You---I used shrimp instead of squid< Honey Milk Tea-Hong Kong Style< These are thanks to Tao! And the last two recipes were my own fried rice and Chinese style broccoli. What a feast, John would have loved it...he really liked it when I would take him down dinner because his caregiver can't cook!I am getting a plethora of birds at my feeder's amazing to me the variety that comes to eat!
China is the oldest continuous civilization in the world. In 1100 AD, China had the most advanced economy in the world. The climate of China varies greatly. The northern zone (Beijing) has summer daytime temperatures of more than 85 degrees and winters of Arctic severity. The central zone (Shanghai) has a temperate climate with very hot summers and cold winters. The southern zone (Guangzhou) has a subtropical climate with very hot summers and mild winters.
Due to poor agricultural practices, dust storms have become the norm in springtime. Water, erosion and pollution control have become important issues in China's relations with other countries.
China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion people.
A major issue is melting glaciers in the Himalayas which could lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
This is a least that's what my neighbor told me...I don't know for sure, but I do know they sure do eat A LOT!

The highest point in China is the eastern half of Mt. Everest, which is well over 29,000 feet.
China's climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which leads to temperate differences in the winter and summer. In winter, northern winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from sea areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist. The climate in China differs from region to region because of the country's extensive and complex topography. Shanghai is the largest city.

The history of Chinese cuisine can be traced back to Peking Man and his use of fire and the invention of "cuisine" soem 400,000 years ago. Over the centuries, as new food sources and techniques were invented, Chinese cuisine, as we know it, gradually evolved. Chopsticks, which are made from all sorts of materials and which are one of the trademarks of Chinese cuisine, have been used as eating utensils as far back as the Zhou Dynasty. Stir-fried dishes became popular during the Tang Dynasty. The stir-fry method of cooking was invented out of necessity in order to conserve expensive and scarce fuel. Northerners generally eat wheat-based food and southerners generally eat rice-based foods. A popular analysis is: South is sweet, North is salty, East is spicy and West is sour.

I got a fixer-up park bench that Bob is going to sand down and re-stain for's starting to look like an actual yard around here! The towel on the camping chair is for our new cat...Smokey Lonesome. The neighbors pulled out of here a couple of days ago and left him. I saw it coming, so it wasn't a big suprise. Between us and Neighbor Bob, he'll be taken care of. We both feed him and Neighbor Bob is going to get him fixed. We'll have joint custody of Smokey Lonesome.

Eating is a dominant aspect of Chinese culture. Eating out is one of the most acceptable ways to treat guests. Similar to our way of drinking in a bar with friends, eating together in China is a way to socialize and deepen friendships. There are many traditions that govern table manners in China, such as the correct treatment of guests and how to use chopsticks correctly. Although each household has it's own set of table manners and rules, the foundational traditions used to welcome guests are the same. There are common rules for inviting guests over. When the guest of honor enters into a room, the hosts stand until the guest of honor is seated. The host then orders the dishes brought, and the guestof honor should be silent. When the dishes arrive, the meal begins with a toast from the host and the guests then make a toast, in turn, in honor of the host. The guest of honor should be the first one to start the meal. The best food in a dish should be left for the guest of honor. To show appreciation, guests are supposed to pay elaborate compliments to the food and tap the index and middle finger on the table three times. When the hostess says her food is not good enough, the guest must disagree with her and proclaim it to be the best food he has ever tasted. Chinese cooks only insult the dishes they take special pride in. At the end of the meal, the guest of honor should make a speech about the host. Guests never "split the bill" with the host-to do so is ungracious and embarassing to the host.
These are the tapioca pearls that are found in Bubble Tea. I made Tao's Honey Milk Tea and added these in and it was delicious and refreshing!

I couldn't find the dried wood ear fungus for the hot and sour soup, but I had bought these dried mushrooms, along with the tapioca pearls at a Chinese market in Portland when I went down there with my ex-boss last fall. I also got the dried herbs to make a hot pot, if I can ever get the burner to do of these days!
Chinese table etiquette is very important to Chinese people. Using correct table manners is believed to bring luck to the family, while incorrect manners brings shame. Similarly, table etiquette indicates children's educational status: holding chopsticks incorrectly leaves a bad impression on guests and shames the parents, who are responsible for teaching them.

Tao's Honey Milk Tea, Hong Kong Style with Bubbles...this is so good, well worth the effort to make! I made a huge pot of tea and drank this all day long while preparing the other dishes!

Since chopsticks are so often used in many dishes, the correct usage is essential! The most common "rules" of chopstick usage are as follows:
*Always grab chopsticks in the middle, make sure the ends are even.
*Chopsticks are held in the right hand only, even for left-handed people.
*Chopsticks are not used to move bowls or plates.
*Chopsticks are not used to toy with one's food or dishes in common.
*When not in use, chopsticks must always be placed neatly on the table, both chopsticks lying
tidily next to each other at both ends. Failure to do so is evocative of the way the dead would
be placed in a coffin before a funeral.
*Treat chopsticks as an extension of your fingers and do not point at other people or wave them
*Do not suck the ends of chopsticks.
*Do not use chopsticks to move dishes.
*Do not pierce food with chopsticks; they are not forks.
*Do not point chopsticks at another person-this is considered an insult.
*Do not bang chopsticks like you're beating on a drum, this implies that you're a beggar.
*Do not stick chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice, this implies that this is food for the dead.

This is the Cha Ye Dan or Herbal Tea Hard Boiled Egg. This is an interesting take on a hard-boiled egg and I liked it very much, not to mention that they are pretty to look at!

This is my Chinese Broccoli. It's super simple. I learned it from the Chinese restaurant that I used to work at: 1 pound fresh broccoli, trimmed into florets, 2 cloves minced garlic and sesame oil. That's it! Blanche the broccoli for about 3 minutes, run it under cold water to stop the cooking process and so it retains that great green color. Drain it really well. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or a wok. Stir fry the broccoli and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, drizzle with a teaspoon of sesame oil and serve...super good!

This is Tao's recipe for Salt & Pepper Squid, but I used shrimp instead. I just didn't like how the squid was pitiful, so I went for these large prawns instead. They came 16-20 per pound. I love this spice blend. I think I asked Tao if he would write a blog on how to do this recipe. We used to serve Salt & Pepper chicken wings as an appetizer in the lounge at restaurant, so I really wanted to learn how to do the spice mixture as my ex-boss wouldn't part with it. I used really coarse know...the stuff you fill a salt grinder with? That stuff...and then I smashed it as best as I could with that handy-dandy wine bottle rolling pin of mine. It's not as fine as it could be, but I really liked the chunky texture of the spice blend. I used 1 red bell pepper and a quarter of a hurkin' big onion instead of the other kinds of peppers, too...I did this so Bob could at least attempt to eat it. I dipped the shrimp into cornstarch and fried them. The consensus between all 3 of us that ate this meal is that this was the favorite dish and I have orders from headquarters that I need to make this again!

Here is my Fried Rice: 1 cup of cold, leftover rice. 1/4 quarter of a hurkin' big onion, chopped, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 cup of frozen peas & carrots, 3 eggs, scrambled and soy sauce. How I do it is: I scramble the egg and fry in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. While they are cooking, I continually chop them up with the side of my spatula until the pieces are no bigger than a thumbnail and the eggs look rather "dry". I remove them from the skillet and set aside. Next, I heat 1 tablespoon of veg oil and fry the onion and garlic together for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Then add the rice. Fry for another minute or so and add peas & carrots. Fry until they are thawed and add soy sauce until the rice is as brown as you would like it. Keep tasting it because it can get too salty really quick. Add in eggs, sprinkle the top with thinkly sliced green onions and chow down! You can add whatever veggies or meats you like into this...this is just a basic recipe. If you want to taste something REALLY good, try tamari's an aged soy sauce and is heavenly!

Tao's Hot & Sour Soup (Suan La Tang), Northern Style...this should just be it's own food group! And that's all I have to say about that!

Dinner is served!

And here is my complete Chinese dinner dedicated to the memory of John Cutshall, R.I.P. my friend!

I went over budget on dinner tonight by $3.19. I could have sworn that I had sesame oil, but when I went to grab it out of the cupboard, it was gone! So I had to run into town for more, and that's when I picked up the broccoli and decided to add that dish. But that's ok, it was for a good cause. This week we had Lady Sparkle pick Nepal and MEANDTHEBEARS pick Mali. 30 people voted and 19-11 you want to see Nepal next week. So be it! Nepal it is!!
If you want to read some good books on Chinese culture, I recommend reading anything by Amy know, she wrote The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter and many others...great author!
This week the charity I want to bring to attention to would be The DAV (Disabled American Veterans). This organization is all volunteered based and they do so much for our veterans. Without them, I don't know what we would have done about getting Bob down to his radiation appointments. They don't charge veterans or their families a penny for the transportation costs, they are strictly run on donations. So, in honor of Memorial Day, if you can spare even a dollar, please donate to them. They work with all veteran organizations. It would be really appreciated!
So until we meet up in Nepal next week, take a moment and remember our men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that we hold so near and dear here in our great country and tell a service member, either past or present, THANK YOU! I told Bob that today. I am grateful that he served and came home alive from Vietnam. I am equally sad that he lost so many friends there, as well. Peace to you all!

May 31, 2010 7:11 pm
Beautiful blog WW - such a nice tribute to your friend! I am sorry for your loss of a good friend.
May 31, 2010 7:14 pm
Am I really the first one to comment here?? Wow! Anyways - great blog as usual. The brocoli sounds great, I'll have to try that one. So sorry to hear about your friend, John. This was a great tribute to him. Thank Bob for his service for me. One of my best friends had a great day about a month ago - her marine son came home safe and sound from Afghanistan and is now in NC. These men and women have done so much to keep us free and safe in our country!
May 31, 2010 7:15 pm
Dang! WFDM went and beat me to it! :-D
May 31, 2010 7:24 pm
I always look forward to your blogs. First I want to say I'm sorry about your friends passing.It's hard getting older and loosing the ones we love and care for.My dad past away 4 years ago today and it seems like yesterday.Miss him very much. :=(.On to the meal.I could almost taste every picture I set my eyes on!I'm going to make your fried rice recipe when I make sweet-n-sour chicken tomorrow.Thanks for the recipe.I love your bird pictures.Have a good night!Your definitely an amazing person.
May 31, 2010 7:25 pm
Great background of China--easy to read and understand enough to take away info. I like that you were able to use Tao's recipes to incorporate into your international blog. Great tribute to your friend. Thanks, ww!
May 31, 2010 7:27 pm
The food looks beautiful, and I bet it tastes that way as well. Great blog as usual. I think your bird is a house sparrow WW, not a grossbeak. Here's a link for a pic of a common house sparrow.
May 31, 2010 7:36 pm
LOL! Sarah...I think I'll just call them all piglet birds, because that's exactly what they are...PIGS!!
May 31, 2010 7:42 pm
Sorry to hear about your friend's passing :( Thank you for another wonderful blog! Very interesting as usual!
May 31, 2010 8:05 pm
You are AMAZING! We NEED you down here in Mexico!!! I had to get a mop to wipe up the drool after reading your blog and looking at the pics!!! LOL! We have many restaurants with different ethnic cuisines here, but one lonely Chinese. It is staffed with Mexicans who try...enough said. Reading and looking at the pics was more satisfying than any meals we have had there. It is always difficult to lose someone who has made your life special, and you have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your dear friend. You did him proud with a fantastic meal and a wonderful heartfelt tribute. You've once again hit the mark and put a dozen gold stars on it!
May 31, 2010 8:24 pm
Thanks WW - Tao's recipes are the best - we live for Hot and sour soup! Great blog.
May 31, 2010 8:42 pm
Don't make me dig the college thesauras out so I find better words than great, wow, good, beautiful and etc. to start describing your blogs:) That aside, I am sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you, Bob, for serving our country I appreciate all veterans and their sacrifices. The DAV- sappy as it sounds my sis & I would pick up Mom on Mondays go to our DAV thrift store spend some money and then eat "Chinese" out. Wish you had been the cook! Waiting for Nepal!
May 31, 2010 8:51 pm
I bought hubby a cool flag from the Boy Scout.We used to be Den leaders so I couldn't resist.One of the boys said"we made everything but the flag".I had a chuckle on that one.
May 31, 2010 9:26 pm
What an awesome dinner, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend it's never easy to lose someone you care about! Tell Bob I said thank you for his service to our country, all of my brothers have also served. I actually have a dear friend in Iraq right now she still has a few months left to go! What a wonderful charity to mention, and very fitting for Memorial Day:)
May 31, 2010 9:27 pm
Thank you for stopping by and letting me are more than welcome to use my recipes the way if you let the eggs soak longer than 4 hrs (or over night, they would be even better)....I did post a Salt and Pepper Shrimp recipe, you must have missed it!!
May 31, 2010 9:27 pm
@Baking Nana, thank you for your compliment about my recipes :)
May 31, 2010 9:40 pm
Funny, I was perusing Tao's box just the other day, and the eggs, both Hot and Sour Soups (North & South) and the S&P squid and shrimp caught my eye! As always great job! Your friend would be proud of your tribute, and good work with the charity support!
May 31, 2010 10:12 pm
i've been stalking tao's recipes for a while now. i wouldn't dare try and make any of them. i just don't have the nerve. thanks for a good read tao. WW you've impressed us all....AGAIN! great job. i love chinese food, but only know how to make a few things. i might have to try the hot and sour soup tho. what a nice tribute to your buddy. you were a good friend to him, i can tell. i'm sorry for your loss! keep on keepin' on:)
Jun. 1, 2010 3:37 am
Great tribute to your friend! Your bird guests look like they enjoy being near you! Wonderful blog!
Jun. 1, 2010 5:19 am
Ooh everything looks so good! I'm definitely making broccoli your way, that's so simple! I've never managed to make broccoli as good as it is in vegetable dishes I get from a Chinese restaurant, even though it never seems like they do anything complicated to it.. perhaps veg oil and then sesame oil is the secret! I'm going to start stalking Tao's recipe box too, that Hot and Sour soup looks good! I look forward to the next blog, I know nothing about Nepalese (is that the right term?) food, and I'm intrigued :) My condolences on the passing of your friend. And a tip of my hat to your husband for his service.. I'm not American, and I don't support the wars in the Middle East, but I support ALL the troops.
Jun. 1, 2010 6:26 am
What a nice tribute to your friend! Everything looks delicious (as usual!) and I love the list of chopsticks rules!
Jun. 1, 2010 6:50 am
WW, beautiful tribute dinner to your friend. I'm sure he would of loved it. Please THANK Bob for his service to our country, my Mom lost a brother in Vietnam but I never met him because I was born in 73'. Again tell Bob THANKS! Great dinner and can't wait till next week!
Jun. 1, 2010 7:23 am
OMG! Thanks, everyone...I had a most enjoyable time cooking all this food! Tao, thanks again for posting all the recipes.
Jun. 1, 2010 7:31 am
Great blog, as usual, WW. That tea looks so good. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. This was a very nice rememberance of him. I love Tao's recipes. :) Very well done! I'm excited about Nepal!! :)
Jun. 1, 2010 7:53 am
Congrats on your country winning, LS! That tea was super refreshing!! If you have an Asian market near you, go look for the tapioca "bubbles", they don't taste like anything, but are really interesting to chew on. I had my first bubble tea when a group of us went down to Portland for Chinese New Year to celebrate my boss's son's birthday at the Portland Expo Center. It was so fun and I loved watching the Dragon Dance and the martial arts exhibition. I ate so many kinds of different foods that day and it just left me wanting more. That night, we all went out for dinner at an authentic Chinese restaurant...the menu was even written in Chinese, and that's when I tried salt & pepper squid for the first time and had my first chicken foot. I absolutely love the salt & pepper seasoning and I plan on using it on jsut a ton of different things, the chicken foot was, ummm, interesting...the marinade it was in was delicious, the foot itself was hard for me to eat because there are so many bones and they are rather chewy. I'd love to have the recipe for the marinade, I'd soak some cold, cooked, cubed chicken breast in it! Thanks, again, LS for putting Nepal up for vote!
Jun. 1, 2010 8:26 am
I'm sorry about your friend passing. On to the food: everything looks so good. I like Chinese cuisine and always follow Tao's blogs. Great job, as always.
Jun. 1, 2010 8:50 am
WW, so sorry to hear about your friend. This was such an awesome tribute to him. I think I may try the tea this weekend it looks so good! I am so ready for Nepal. So, until next week!
Jun. 1, 2010 9:26 am
Thanks, DiamondGirl and Olivia...I have to dive into Nepal and see what they eat there...I don't have a clue!!
Jun. 1, 2010 11:13 am ... I'm bored at work and looked up Nepal cuisine to see what kind of thing to expect from your next international meal, and it seems there are elements from different surrounding countries! The Momo article (link above) is about Tibetan potstickers ... I think it sounds good :)
Jun. 1, 2010 11:44 am
Wow another great blog and your photographs are amazing! Looking forward to the next one on Nepal.
Jun. 2, 2010 7:14 am
Alex...I so appreciate that link! I wasn't on the computer much yesterday, this weather has my arthritis kicking like crazy, so I was in bed under multiple blankets yesterday to see if I could quiet it down. Momos sounds pretty dang good to me...thanks again!
Jun. 2, 2010 7:16 am
Hi Starburst...thank you for the great compliments! I really did pour my heart and soul into this one because of John. he will be missed...what pi$$es me off is that everyone was fighting over his stuff and the poor guy wasn't even dead...sometimes people just disgust me to no end! No respect and I am really big on respect!! Thanks for stopping by and sorry for my little rant!
Jun. 2, 2010 8:40 am
Late but nevertheless now present. Brilliant job, and just to let you know I hereby add my thanks and appreciation to those gone and those present who do that job for us. My added condolences re. John. ... On the lighter side, I've just been checking out Plummet Airlines for a real cheapo flight. It was the raspberry bush that tipped the balance. Google Earth has given me a damned close view of the target area, and clues form blogs and posts mean that maybe my balcony garden might expand soon! ... All the best to you and Bob, and envy to Bob (neighbour) who gets to eat with you!
Jun. 2, 2010 8:46 am
LOL! You Swiss garden thief!! Glad you're feeling better...
Jun. 2, 2010 9:44 am
I was so excited to see the recipes for brocolli and fried rice as they are two of my favorites and just like I make them. I do want to try the salt and pepper squid. We usually just bread it and fry it so this will be something new. Harvested ONE cowhorn pepper from the container garden but there are lots of tomatoes starting to show up. We added one of those suet things for the birds and now I have two woodpeckers to add to the bird population.They have a really pretty song which was surprising since I thought all they could do was tap-tap! Best to Bob and keep on....
Jun. 2, 2010 10:05 am
Hey suzanne...if you look real close at the bird in the tree pictures, you can see where we've had woodpeckers, too...LOL! Annoying things, especially at 5 am!! I liked the broccoli at the Chinese restaurant where I used to work just because it was so simple, yet, it tasted great! I had a souple of spare minutes one day and stood in the kitchen and just watched how the cook, Tam, made couldn't have been easier! He was starting to teach me how to make the dishes and that was a lot of fun!!
Jun. 2, 2010 10:09 am
I just have to say something because, even though it's trivial, it's important to me!! The picture up there of the park bench...Bob and our friend Cecil are finishing it up has been repainted and sanded and stained in oak and it's very pretty...
Jun. 2, 2010 10:10 am
I'll post some pictures of it in the Nepal blog next week!! And, if I can get Bob to help me relocate our picnic table, I have a nice tablecloth and tabletop tiki torches for it and I need to get my table out of storage for an outdoor food prep area...I can't wait!
Jun. 2, 2010 10:46 am
LOVE Amy Tan!!!! Another great one is Gail Tsukiyama (she writes about Chinese and Japanese culture). If you like Amy Tan, you'll like her. And by the way, I now want to recreate this entire meal!
Jun. 2, 2010 11:32 am
Well it really showed that you poured your heart and soul into it, all of your blogs and photos do.
Jun. 2, 2010 11:52 am
Hi HISTORYGIRL! I'll definately check out Gail Tsukiyama...I love reading about different cultures!
Jun. 2, 2010 11:53 am
Thanks again, Starburst, I appreciate that!
Jun. 2, 2010 4:38 pm
The food looks wonderfully delicious! I love, love hot and sour soup. I might even give that one a try sometime. And your park bench is will be so fun to sit out on it and watch all your birds!
Jun. 2, 2010 4:48 pm
Wow! I say a trip to your house is in order for the all recipes crew. Sorry to hear bout your friend.
Jun. 2, 2010 8:59 pm
Great blog. Your food looks to die for and your pictures, as usual, are gorgeous. Your little tutorial on the proper use of chopsticks was interesting.
Jun. 3, 2010 5:16 am
Thanks, Lynna, de'Monfort and BigShotsMom...I appreciate that!
Jun. 3, 2010 9:07 am
I am amazed with your talent and enthusiam, cooking up all these international cuisine. They all look so good and I like the brief intro and history. You are amazing person, open to just about any type of cooking. You are a rarity for sure. Most people wouldn't even think about doing what you did and forget about eating some of the international food that we are not used to! I couldn't get my friends to order anything else other than "Chicken and brocoli" in a Chinese restaurant!! You introduced us to cuisines all over the world with a very frugal budget. Just amazing!! Very nice tribute to your friend and thanks for mentioning the veterans. We could never thank them enough for everything they have done and are doing. God Bless all veterans!!
Jun. 3, 2010 5:47 pm
As always great blog.... Love you..xoxo
Jun. 5, 2010 5:27 am
As always, your photos should be in a book/magazine. You have an eye for simplicity and a beauty that surrounds us but most of us do not see. Thank you for allowing us to share those sights! I'm serious, you really should consider getting your photos published!!
Jun. 5, 2010 7:39 am
My husband is Chinese so I get to make a lot of this food. Yours looks AMAZING! It looks just like his mother would know...delicious!!
Jun. 5, 2010 7:44 am
I cant wait until another one of your blogs show up...I literally get on my computer, check my email do some banking and check for this's my routine! Thanks. PS: The pictures of where you live are beautiful. Could you take pictures of the landscape too so I can see what the whole place looks like? I live on the east coast so Washington is a lifetime away. : )
Jun. 5, 2010 8:02 am
I will see what I can do about that, Christen! Where, on the east coast, do you live? My husband was born in Waltham (Boston) so that's where his family is from...I love hearing my MIL talk with her very proper Bostian accent and hear her stories of spending time on the cape with the Kennedy's when she was growing's great!
Jun. 5, 2010 12:01 pm
* should be Bostonian, sorry!
Jun. 5, 2010 12:29 pm
I always love reading your blog. I especially liked the part you wrote about table manners and etiquette. I will always remember to insult the dishes that I am most proud of from this day forward.
Jun. 5, 2010 3:05 pm
I'm NOT a blog reader, well until I found yours. I love your themed dinners and the info, please keep it up. I'm always blown away by what you accomplish in an RV. We have a 23' and I'm lucky if I can boil water for coffee and cook the eggs. (A bit of sarcasm, I have cooked some great dishes while camping in the middle of nowhere - my favorite place on the planet). Condolences...
Jun. 5, 2010 9:38 pm
witchy, I couldn't hold chopsticks in my right hand if my life depended on it! Thanks for another great bog.
Jun. 6, 2010 3:44 am
Hi Witchy...can't believe the amount of care and work you put into this blog..thanks , it's great. Here are the gems I've taken away from reading this blog *I won't feel bad if I leave Ear Fungus out of the recipe *I'll be making sure my family taps there middle fingers after every meal *I will never leave my chopsticks sticking up vertically in my rice again!
Jun. 6, 2010 3:46 am
oops...I am a teacher..shame...I meant to type "their middle fingers"
Jun. 6, 2010 5:56 am
LOL!! Right on, cocojo!!
Jun. 7, 2010 9:32 am
I am a Maryland girl, born and raised in the Baltimore area...although I've only been downtown a few times, it's kind of scary : ) If you post some pics of the Washington area, maybe in return I will send you a crab cake recipe, trust me its totally worth it.
Jun. 7, 2010 4:23 pm
Is that a bribe or what???? OK, you're on! I'd love a good Maryland crab recipe!
Jun. 7, 2010 6:59 pm
Late getting to this one. I actually had to go search for it, that is how late I am. But it was worth it. The food looks great. I love Chinese food, yum, totally made me jealous, since I am going home to spaghetti. I am sorry to hear about your friend. He is in a better place now, but I bet he is still missing your cooking.
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Home Town
Forks, Washington, USA
Living In
Castle Rock, Washington, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2007

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Dessert, Gourmet

Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Fishing, Photography, Music

Subscribe Today!

In Season

A Day To Remember
A Day To Remember

Memorial Day is a time to get together with friends and family for food, fun, and memories.

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

Nothing beats a big bowl of cool, creamy potato salad at your cookout.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
I've been married to my husband for almost 10 years. My husband is a cancer survivor. We live in SW Washington state about 30 miles Mt. St. Helens, but I'm originally from Forks, the little town made famous by the Twilight series. First, I am a food writer. My blog is called Baked Lava and I'm currently cooking my way around the world, a meal from every country and territory and lots of original recipes. I feature my original recipes in a monthly column for our local newspaper. I've had my blog featured in Trailblazer Magazine. I love my container garden and the community garden that I've helped get started. My garden passion is growing rare heirloom tomatoes. I admin several garden groups on Facebook. I love to create new recipes. I don't have children unless you count the 4-legged variety. I am a multiple prize-winning nature photographer. I am also a professional cook and work in the food industry and continue to further my education with every opportunity that comes my way.
My favorite things to cook
I don't have really a favorite thing to cook, per say...I'm not afraid to cook anything. I've recently taught myself how to can and make bread. I still have no great love of making cookies. I'm getting very well-versed in worldwide cuisine, as I'm cooking my way around the world. I love to create new recipes and rarely, anymore, do I have one that flops, but it does and will happen...the road to hell was paved with good intentions, or so they say. My favorite cuisine in this worldwide culinary adventure has been, so far, Belgium...fantastic food! I also am partial to Vietnamese, Korean, Azerbaijani and Hungarian cuisine...and Middle Eastern food kicks @ss!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family cooking tradition is the weekly international meals that I prepare. The tradition is that my blog readers choose what country they would like to see from week to week and I cook an entire meal for 4 people with a budget of $20. Right now I am in the middle of my "Austerity" project where we are solely eating from the freezers and really have to creative to do this and I am making up recipes as I go...I have used a few AR recipes and credit back to them, though.
My cooking triumphs
I've had several of my original recipes published. I've had my blog featured in a magazine. I now write a monthly food column based on my blog for our local newspaper. I am a Food Buzz featured publisher, I'm on PetitChef, RecipesUS and Foodista among many, many other cooking websites. I guess it's safe to say that due to my cooking, I have now ventured into the world of food blogging and into a smaller group of us fellow global food bloggers and I've made some amazing friends. I've recently had several recipes published in a co-op cookbook of international food bloggers.
My cooking tragedies
There have been several and there aren't enough characters in the 1000 allotted to list them all down! My motto? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You've got nothing to lose by trying something new!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States