if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Golden Sand Prawns or Gum sa

I tried these at my favorite Chinese place in Panmure Auckland called Beijing Duck,where they are called salty duck yolk prawns. I indulged in them, again at a lovely loud and crowded chinese BBQ Seafood house in Melbourne. I did a little reseach and discovered they also go by the name of golden sand prawns, a gentler name, for sure. The Chinese name for them (which could come in handy if you are in the right restaurant) is Gum Sa Shrimp. Recipe:

It's actually very simple, you boil a couple of salted duck eggs for 9-10 minutes and extract the semi-cooked yolks. Then batter and deep-fry the shrimp as normal with any batter you like. More often than not I will just use a quick and easy cornflour/flour coating. Set the crispy coated shrimp aside then add the yolks to a tablespoon of fresh oil, not too hot, you can mash the yolks beforehand but it doesn’t really matter as they dissolve readily in the heat of the oil. Toss the shrimp back in, coat them with the eggy golden sand and season with just salt or if you prefer a little spiced salt. Don't overcook and serve.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Adopting a healthy lifestyle is so easy! Take that annoying spouse who likes to park so far from your destination on shopping trips to get a few more steps in each day (you might save money, too) When you are having that morning coffee, why not forgo the cream and add a dash of cold pressed olive oil for a healthier start to the day. Carry those lazy children to the car if they are reluctant to go on an outing, weight bearing, for sure! Try boiling those falafel in water instead of oil and save heaps of fat grams!. Carry a large old milk jug in a day pack with a flexible polystraw for constant hydration. Try adding a slice of lime for that extra zing. Sante!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carmel corn

I remember the way the old payless mall smelled like carmelcorn.
The rectangular white box with red K. Mr. K. Karmelcorn, Might I remember...?

Jordan made some quite delicious homemade crackerjacks, once, I wish I'd taken notes.
In choosing a recipe I know I don't want the method that you stir in the oven. I want the crystaline molten syrup one. I want crackerjacks with darkly roasted red valencia peanuts. Maybe I'll let another nut in there, or two. Definately want to temper the sweetness with some salt. It's indulgent, but it's whole foods, lotsa fiber, too much work to make regularly but little enough to do once or twice.

One more question. If I make homemade crackerjax do I get/have to make the prizes as well?? HMMM>

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Racism Reflection

Five years of living in New Zealand has been challenging in plenty of ways. While living here we have moved 7 times and had the children in the lowest decile schools and the highest. (Decile is a system of catagorizing the income of communities that school districts are in) While the low decile school experience was rife with the struggle to get basic needs met( breakfast and lunch programs and (licey) sun hats for everyone), the high decile school had it's challenges as well (hiarachies and croniism). I will resist turning this blog post into a vent session and steer myself back to musing here.

Being from America is an interesting, challenging orientation. The resources that I have always known, from consumer agility and community inclusiveness are not abundently flowing for us here. The New Zealand society has had to pull itself up from some pretty dim financial scenarios. This, in fact, has something to do with America. When New Zealand resolutely refused to allow US Nuclear Submarines and other US nuclear vessels docking privledges the US responded with a host of trade restrictions. This kept New Zealand economically disadvantaged for over twenty years. The fallout (and forgive my pun, here) is that there are deeply rooted resentments of America. They are covered up by lush green grass, but they are there. I expect that they do not interfere with the tourism experience because that is a world of mandatory friendliness, but the resident American will always be an "other". It's too easy to take it personally. I have seen my children bullied at school, adrift without teacher support, left to wonder what is wrong with them. I have felt that myself. So I suppose the lesson for me and my kids it to learn to not give a whoey about what others think, develop a thicker skin and forge ahead. There certainly are some new Zealanders who do not succumb to the ambient prejudices, and there are many other resident aliens and immigrants who don't have the invisable repulsion toward my country. So we just get over it. Still it's a challenge.

I learned to thicken my skin when I worked at Wild Wheat, a bakery that had a good percentage of it's staff from a Vietnamese family. They had escaped during the war and had a knee jerk reaction-repulsion to anything American. It was bizzare to be estranged without having any foundation of experiance to attribute it to. I couldn't even see the racism until I left and got some perspective. These were people who physically buried themselves under earth or vegetation when the Americans came near. They did it for survival. I suppose that stays with you. The woman at my work, who glowered at me each day had raised a dozen children that were orphaned by the war. Although I had nothing to do with the decisions made (when I was a few years old), I was paying the debt. The strangest thing about it all is that it is hard to talk about. The vulnerablity to expose it for me and the embarassment of acknowledging it on the New Zealander side keep it neatly tucked away under the carpet.

What doesnt kill you will make you stronger... and more empathitic.

New Day

I recently wrote this poem:


On this everyday road
I see the carriage start to jar.
The horses that have pulled me for years act up.
It's normal, I guess.
I take a moment to consider,
Thank Goodness.

I can take these loyal, haggard beasts and let them loose
to run where they will and eat sweet grass.
I take these tired animals off the job.
They need not be weary and afraid anymore.

I can choose new ones to drive me.
I decide today.
I pick tigers.
Brave, strong characters.
Velour on muscle.

Their beauty fuels me.
Their beauty is me.

I leash them into ornate leather holds,
softened from age,
giving them encouragement and thanks.
They are eager to take me gracefully
back onto this everyday road.