Our Contributing Editor, Ana, took this shot of the iconic San Francisco Cable Car.
Some of our contributors have been busy at work publishing great content on their personal blogs. Here’s a roundup of those articles.
Ski, our contributor from Hong Kong, wrote about fresh food at Hong Kong markets
Food can’t get fresher than this in Hong Kong. The buyer inspects a chicken and then picks one which is healthy, energetic and has bright feathers. The butcher wastes no time in weighing the chicken to determine a price. The rest, most people will say, it should be history and the focus should be a happy meal on the table. (I wouldn’t want to go into more details, but let’s just say most butchers try to make it quick and painless for the chicken by heading directly for its jugular vein.) (more…)
There are times when you just need a comforting dish to make your troubles go away albeit temporarily. This classic American dish does double duty as comfort food and a creative way to use leftover chicken. This recipe is from Real Simple, Meals Made Easy but you can adjust the ingredients and cooking time as necessary.
1 stick unsalted butter (7 tablespoons)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves o 2 teaspoons dried thyme
4 carrots, chopped
1 10-ounce (approximately 280 grams) button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps quartered
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken (or leftovers), meat shredded
1 package frozen peas
1 store-bought piecrust
How to make it
Heat oven to 425° F (220° C). Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Still whisking, slowly add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, mushrooms and carrots and cook form 5 minutes more. Transfer to a baking dish. Add the chicken and the peas and toss. Roll out the piecrust; lay it on top of the baking dish, tucking any dough that hangs over the edges. Cut two slits in the crust. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° (175° C) until the filling starts to bubble, 25 minutes more.
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Here’s some material our contributors have written on their personal blogs in the past few days.
Mike, our contributor from Japan, published a photo essay on the 2013 Okinawa International Orchid Show. Let the photo speak for itself.
Anu, our contributor from India, wrote about the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai.
I have been attending the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival since its inception in 1999. I was then fresh out of college, had time on my hands, and I loved the opportunity to experience something as different as an Arts Festival in Mumbai. Over the years, I have seen the festival grow, become more popular, the addition of a variety of events offering something of interest to people of all ages. And I have enjoyed attending the festival, year after year….. Discovering something new each time, and of late, opening up an entire new world of art and creativity to my son. I still love attending the festival, and look forward to it each year, but it gives me even more pleasure when my 9 year old son opens the newspaper and yells out – “Amma, the Kala Ghoda festival has started! When are you taking me?”
Meeting the one you love, after long- time-no- see is always a test. A test for how true, stable and worthy the feelings are. It’s always a test for how true you or the party is. It’s a test for love. But when is happens in a right way there is nothing that as amazing and fulfilling. And you walk around drunk with happiness.
The Kirby Building (1509 Main St.) was built in 1913 in the Late Gothic style by Adolphus Busch, he of Budweiser fame. Originally, it housed offices and a department store. The lobby reminds me of a church with the decorative ribs of its ceiling and the marble staircase. Theviews of Dallas from the 18th floor terrace are spectacular, including that of the red Pegasus.
Our contributors share their childhood memories of the holidays. Some feelings and experiences transcend borders and nationalities: families gathered around long tables laden with food, chatter and laughter.
Sean, contributor from the United Sates.
My mom is the oldest of 11 brothers and sisters, and almost all of them have multiple children. It’s a big German-American, Catholic farm family. Almost the entire mom’s side of my family goes out to her parents’ farm house, for a family dinner and to open presents afterwards. Once the cousins started being born (20+ of them), the gifts under the tree began to take up as much as 1/3 of the entire living room!
My grandma, with the help of my aunts, would prepare the Christmas feast, which always included: a whole roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy (with and without giblets), stuffing (with and without oysters), green bean casserole, ham, various salads, occasionally sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, cherry pie, “buckeye” candies, and lots of whip cream to go with. My uncles provide homebrewed wine to drink, along with more common domestic American beers (and sometimes whisky).
It’s been fun to watch everyone grow up over the years; 15 of my cousins are within about 7 years of each other in age, so when I was in my early teens and the other cousins were getting to be around 9-10, they were a rambunctious group! We’d occasionally take shotguns out back and target shoot, though usually it was just a lot of eating and talking.
In the US, at holiday dinners there is commonly a “kids’ table”, where the children would sit and eat with one or two adults watching them. I remember being really happy to graduate to the adults’ table. My grandparents have been living in the same house, on the same farm, since the 1930’s and 40’s. My grandma finally said “no” to hosting Thanksgiving this year. It’s going to be strange when this tradition is over, and we all separate and start our own Christmas traditions.
DeeBee, contributor from France
My most cherished memory of Christmas is waiting for Father Christmas or the Père Noël as we call him in France to come down the chimney!
Every year I would place a glass of milk for him and a carrot for his reindeer under the Christmas tree and would settle on the sofa with my teddy bear, both tucked under a duvet, by the fireplace, ready for him…
And every year I would be determined to surprise him, but would struggle to keep my eyes open, would fall asleep… and wake up the following morning in my bed!
My disappointment at not catching him was quickly replaced, though, by my excitement at discovering the pile of presents he had left for me!
All I knew is that he and his reindeer must have enjoyed the little presents I had left for them as the glass was empty and the carrot was gone!
I have always associated the magic of Christmas to this moment along with the unique fragrance of the fir tree and the warmth and cozy sitting room of my childhood.
Each of my Christmas has been Merry!
Ana, contributing editor from Argentina
My memories of Christmas are all about family around the dinner table. We celebrate Christmas Eve with a big dinner and open the presents at the stroke of midnight. When we were little and still believed in Santa, an adult would suggest all the kids went outside to gaze at the stars and try to spot Santa. Meanwhile, somebody would frantically get the presents and put them under the tree. Then, we would be herded back inside to open the presents that sneaky Santa left while we were outside looking for him! It was great fun.
How many people get to spend Thanksgiving weekend at an Indian wedding in Florida? Dressing up in a sari is all part of the fun in Sheryl’s intercultural marriage.
Sheryl and her husband Dharmesh have been married for twenty years and have five children. Read on to find out how they made it work.
Where are you from? Where is your husband from?
I have lived in nine states in my life, so I never know what to say when people ask me where I am originally from. My father climbed the corporate ladder during my childhood, and we moved a lot for his work. My entire family is rooted in Kentucky, so I was raised with very southern values. I have lived in southern states since I was 9, and have called Georgia my home for the last 18 years.
My husband was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is Indian and lived in an exclusively South Asian community there. When he immigrated to the U.S., he settled in Memphis, Tennessee to study. Memphis is where me met.
How did you meet?
I was 16 and he was 19 when we met. I worked in the ice cream shop that was owned by his best friend’s family. He walked into the shop one night to borrow cups and bowls for his own family’s ice cream shop, and I melted when I laid eyes on him. Over the next couple of days, his best friend played matchmaker and got us together on a date. But it was all hush hush. Dharmesh was part of an Indian community that frowned upon intercultural dating. Actually, they frowned on dating at all. Back then, arranged marriages were still common for the young people in his community, so we dated on the “down low” for a long time.