February 17, 2021

Osmanthus Chinese New Year Rice Cake 桂花年糕

Osmanthus, Chinese New Year, Rice Cake, chinese, recipe,  traditional, festival food, 桂花, 年糕

An important part of the Chinese New Year is the making and eating of the Chinese New Year Rice Cake 年糕.  These perfectly round cakes symbolize the yearly reaffirmation of the whole, the union, the endless unbroken circle of family and life.  So you see how important a role these cakes take on?  This year I decided to add a twist on the usual sweet rice cake by adding flower blossoms to the mix.  This Osmanthus Chinese New Year Rice Cake 桂花年糕 is made with osmanthus infused sugar syrup, resulting in a cake that has all the wonderful chewy rice-i-ness of the traditional rice cake but permeated with the lightly floral, sweet and mouthwatering fragrance of the osmanthus flower.  

As I have mentioned before, osmanthus is one of my 媽媽's favorite flowers, so this one's for you dearest 媽媽!

February 11, 2021

Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

This post is for my dearest 媽媽.  She loves osmanthus flowers and has always planted an osmanthus tree wherever we lived.  When I was a little girl, our osmanthus tree was just outside my bedroom window and the flower's drifting scent would steal in on the night breezes to soothe me to gentle sleep.  There is something otherworldly about the delicate, enchanting fragrance from these tiny flowers.  

That is why it is my great pleasure to share this very simple to make Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶, which uses the dried flowers of the osmanthus to make a truly wonderfully fragrant and uplifting tea which is 100 percent guaranteed to make your day that much brighter and better!

Osmanthus fragrans (photo by Laitr Keiows)

February 3, 2021

Chinese Winter Sun Dried Fish 臘鯪魚

sun dried, chinese, how to, 鯪魚乾, 臘鯪魚, fish ,recipe, winter, air dry, preserved

Dear readers...it's been a hard year, hasn't it?  Well there's a new year ahead of us and here's hoping (fingers very seriously crossed) that the coming year is better,  much better.  Aristotle Onassis said "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."  Well said, sir.

As with everyone else all around the world, we've been staying mostly inside our homes for a while now.  I've noticed that limitations, at first seemingly restrictive, can in the end actually push you to exercise your mind in interesting and less used pathways.  Thus we present our slash of light in the darkness, an experiment born out of a bit of boredom (umm...still at home...) and a bit of necessity (umm...still must stay at home...)  Out of this time of 'limitations' comes my 老公's very successful attempt at Chinese Winter Sun Dried Fish 臘鯪魚: fresh fish, lightly salted, marinated and then hung dried in the winter sun, resulting in a preserved fish that tastes fresh but intensified, slightly salty yet still sea sweet with a chewy texture similar to very soft jerky.  This whole procedure, done in our tiny kitchen and hung to dry in our common stairwell is a simple yet strong reaffirmation back to our roots as humans with just the sun to preserve our precious food.