Monday, December 1, 2008

Decorations and Dim Sum

Saturday afternoon, Matt lugged all the Christmas stuff from the storage room and we worked on the tree. Surprise, surprise, although we didn't use them last year, the tree lights worked. It actually took something like two hours to set up the tree, put out a few more things and vacuum the "needles" dropped from the tree. We should buy a new one it really is shedding badly these days. We still had more "stuff" to put out or hang or whatever, but we gave it up for the day. I think we are getting too old for this. All the bending and stretching with ornaments and trees. Not to mention trying to get the skirt round the tree, oy vey as some of my friends would say. Matt is feeling very Scroogie (new word!) about the whole business and saying we will leave the tree up for the rest of the year so we don't have to do it again next year. However, it will still all come down on 12th Night. Somehow my pix don't do justice to all the bright colours - maybe I should go for photography lessons. We finally went for our dim sum meal on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it. At my request we started with Hot and Sour soup which is one of my favourites then followed it up with a whole selection of different things all of which were delicious. The only vegetable we had was Chinese Broccoli which I think is the same thing as broccoli rabe It was cooked very crisp and I couldn't manage it with chopsticks so had to use my knife and fork. This is the URL for the restaurant where we ate click here and it lists all the different foods they offer for dim sum selections, I don't remember the name of everything we ate, some I do. The first thing that came to the table were two dark brown bundles which turned out to be sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves. We were told it was the best sticky rice, but having nothing to compare it with, I don't know, it was certainly delicious and contained pork, smoked I think. We also had some eggplant stuffed with meat, a steamed pork bun with barbecued pork in it, two or three different dumplings and a couple of other things; a lot of food. We were given a pot of green tea automatically right from the git go. I meant to take my camera, but completely forgot about it. We both thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate, there was a preponderance of fillings made with pork or shrimp or sometimes both, together with dipping sauces, one of which was as hot as Hades and I like hot; they were all very good. The restaurant was full of Chinese and doing a brisk business with take out as well which is always a good sign. They had chopsticks on the table, but Matt and I ended up with forks most of the time. We can use chopsticks, but we are not as adept at it as our friend and her partner. We will get her to take us there again I think. I finally found the recipe we have been hunting for for days, Sardine-Rice Bundles, we have made them a couple of times and they are delicious. The recipe comes from Reader's Digest Great Recipes for Good Health. Sardine-Rice Bundles 1/3 cup long-grain rice 1 tsp sugar 2 Tbs white vinegar 16 lge romaine lettuce leaves or spinach 1 can (3 3/4 oz.) unsalted, water-packed sardines, drained well (Matt cheats and uses oil packed. 2 green onions, sliced thin 1 In a medium sized saucepan, cook the rice per package directions, omitting the salt. Set aside 2 In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Stir into the rice and cool. 3 In a large, heavy saucepan, bring to a boil enough unsalted water to cover the lettuce leaves. Add the romaine and cook for 1 minute. Drain and blot dry with paper towels. 4 Place a tablespoon of the cooked rice at the base of each leaf. Top with a piece of sardine. Sprinkle with green onions, then tightly roll up the leaves, tucking in the sides. Serve warm or chilled. Accompany with hot mustard. Makes 16 bundles to serve 4 as a first course. Have a great day.

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