Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Fab Ladies

The title of this post is an homage to one of my all-time favorite cooking shows, "Two Fat Ladies," which unfortunately is no longer in production (alas one of the ladies has passed on). The two cooks were mature, generously proportioned  British ladies who rode around on a Triumph motorcycle and sidecar to picturesque locations in the UK where they cooked high calorie, high carb, highly comforting food with a heavy side of to-hell-with-it-all attitude.

Not that there are any similarities between the beloved "Fat Ladies," and Paige and myself. None really. Although the idea of the Triumph is very appealing.

Our growing collection of Chinese food ingredients. 

Yesterday we ventured back into the Chinese cooking lab (aka Paige's comfy kitchen), for a wholly enjoyable afternoon of noodles, cucumbers, and pancakes. In preparation I had the good sense to seek out an Asian market in order to find authentic ingredients for our menu. My Hoa Oriental Food Market on Azalea Road is fantastic! I could have spent hours perusing the aisles. Who knew there were so many varieties of rice and noodles?

Here are the recipes for what we cooked and comments on each dish:

Scallion Pancakes (frankly I chose this recipe because it was one of the less intimidating ones in Paige's Chinese cookbook collection). The recipe called for me to make a well in the flour and to add the water a bit at a time. Paige made fun of my flour volcano, then said it called to mind that creepy rock formation (Devil's Tower?) in "Close Encounters," which then turned into a revelation that as a middle-schooler she had been an extra in the evacuation scene in the movie, which was filmed in Bay Minette and at Brookley. Imagine that! The pancakes turned out to be tasty little morsels, though I would certainly roll them a bit thinner next time for more of a crunch.

Peggy's "Close Encounters" flour volcano.

Scallion Pancakes
Spicy Cucumber Salad. This was my favorite recipe. It is very simple, requiring the briefest of introductions between cucumber and hot peanut oil. The chile peppers give the dish a nice zing. This is a novel way to serve cucumbers.

Cucumbers seeded and
"cut evenly into batons the size of french-fried potatoes."

Cucumbers, peanut & sesame oils, and dried chiles.
Cold Spicy Chinese Noodles with Slivered Chicken (Paige's favorite). Probably the most fun dish because it required the spreading of cooked noodles on a surface to cool and the massaging of said noodles with peanut oil to keep them from sticking to each other. In other words, we got to play with our food. The very spicy sauce for this dish was deliciously flavorful and the sesame paste in it reminded Paige and me both of Thai food.


AND, lest anyone think this was all fun and games, while the noodles cooled and the pancake dough rested, we outlined articles and presentations based on our two wonderful weeks in China.

Then it was time to tuck into our excellent Chinese meal, eaten properly with chopsticks, I might add.

For our next foray into Chinese cooking we will tackle the wonderful world of dumplings!

Monday, November 5, 2012

South China Internship Program

Received this announcement today from Dr. Jim Ellis, our Director of International Programs.

If you're interested contact Dr. Ellis, or Mrs. Ana Burgany: http://www.southalabama.edu/international/studyabroad/index.html

>>> 11/5/2012 7:47 AM >>>

Under a new grant from Ford Foundation, the Hong Kong America Center - a non-profit consortium of Hong Kong universities -is announcing the South China Internship Program (SCI) a national competition for 20 American undergraduates to participate in a low-cost, high-quality "tandem internships". The twenty American undergraduates will team-up with twenty same-age Chinese university students to spend eight weeks together in summer 2013 as interns in companies and NGOs in the booming Pearl River Delta of south China. The intern teams will work together in small teams on joint projects for their company hosts. Inspired by the 100,000 Strong Initiative, HKAC is looking for young Americans with strong academics and high motivation to explore their career potential involving China. Some knowledge of Chinese language is preferred. We kindly ask International Offices in American universities convey this information to eligible undergraduate students. The deadline for applications is January 14, 2013. Online poster, application form and full program information is at:
www.cuhk.edu.hk/hkac/scip.html. Prospective applicants may contact Mr. Ray Tran of the HKAC at: raytran@eservices.cuhk.edu.hk.

Thank you for alerting your students to this opportunity. We welcome all inquiries about the new SCI program.


Glenn Shive

Executive Director, Hong Kong America Center