Sunday, April 30, 2017
The museum itself has an unassuming front, with a very friendly greeter at the front desk. The museum can be seen in about half an hour, but it gives you a sense of what the past held for a Shanghai resident of some means. The rooms are almost spacious.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
I was looking high and low for a piece of my sewing machine equipment last weekend and while I never found it (after hours of looking, I decided the better part of valor was to give up and order it on eBay), I did find these 12 appliqued quilt blocks (11 of them in one box and the last one in another. Why I did not store them all together, I will never know). Wow! What possessed me to spend hours and hours sewing these, only to put them away in a cupboard rather than sew them together and quilt them? I cannot answer that, but in a stroke of luck, I am signed up for my first ever machine quilting class and hope to get an idea of where to go with the quilting, but finding this was kind of embarrassing. And it gave me a window on my former self. While this has been a really hard year and a half, life wasn't all smooth sailing before. And I definitely have my quilting mojo back.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Joaquin Phoenix plays yet another hard drinking, burnt out college professor (what is up with that? The college professors that I know are largely very enthusiastic about what they do and highly engaged with their students!) who is the new philosophy professor at a small liberal arts college. He gets involved in a friendship that merges into a relationship with a student (ok, again, not good). They overhear a woman telling her sympathetic friends that a particular judge in her custody hearing is dirty, that he is in the pocket of influential people and that she is going to lose. And here is where the story goes off the rails, because Joaquin Phoenix' character decides to kill the judge. Maybe there are people that morally bankrupt, but really, I do not want to know much about them. And really, I didn't learn anything for my trouble, which is regrettable. If you have to see every Woody Allen movie then see this, but otherwise watch Midnight in Paris again. A much better use of time.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The hardest things are two-fold. The first is that when cooking for a crowd, you really do need a side dish that is a carb or the meal seems lopsided. We had a dinner for an out-of-town guest and the people who invited him to come this week and my spouse took a large scoop of risotto before he realized that is off the list of acceptable foods. Oops! The other is that eating in restaurants can be a little tricky. Interestingly, the higher end the restaurant, the better the choices. In some places, salad is the only real option. In others, where there are good low carb meat options, but you can get caught. I ordered scallops and they came with a bit of bread crumbs on them. I ate them, because I am not going to be a crazy woman when it comes to all this, but my first thought was "what??". And my second thought was that the prosciutto and spinach deviled eggs were delicious and that I am going to have to make them at home.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
In one garden we were in, I saw people getting photographs of loved ones that utilized these beautiful frames for the portrait.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Williams was a songwriter and a performer with equal parts talent at both. He wrote memorable songs with his own stamp on them--but the drink is what took him down, and he died at the young age of 29 years. I had no idea the scope of what he wrote that I like, and no idea that he died so young.
Monday, April 17, 2017
2 oz. Vodka
1 Tbsp. Cherry Preserves
1/4 oz. Elderflower Syrup
1 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice
4 Sage leaves
Add ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker, saving two of the sage leaves out. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into ice filled glasses and serve.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
The thing that I do not know is how does a person rate such a dwelling, versus those that live in more modern but also more congested apartment buildings. I would be far happier myself living with less newness and more tradition. Here, amidst China's impressive surge of urbanizing its population over a very short time period, there are still vestiges of the way things used to be in the 1930's heyday of Old Shanghai.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
After Austria’s annexation to Nazi Germany in March 1938, the 185,000 Jews there were subjected to what amounted to terrorism, which resulted in intense pressure to leave the country. In order to do so, the Nazis required that Jews have entry visas or boat tickets to another country. However, the majority of the world’s nations refused to budge from their restrictive immigration policies.
Unlike his fellow-diplomats, Ho Feng-Shan, who served as the Chinese consul-general in Vienna during 1938-1940, issued visas to Shanghai to all requesting them, even to those wishing to travel elsewhere but needing a visa to leave Nazi Germany.
Many of those helped by Ho did indeed reach Shanghai, either by boat from Italy or overland via the Soviet Union. Many others made use of their visas to reach alternate destinations, including Palestine, the Philippines, and elsewhere....
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This is more of a technique than a recipe.
- Cut a section out of the tail. You can do this on either side, but you want them to lay flat in the broiling pain and to have an exposed surface. Sprinkle pepper and a seafood seasoning mix evenly over the exposed tail meat. If you don't have seafood seasoning, you can use salt and paprika instead. Then put about a clove of garlic, minced, on each tail, and top with a tablespoon of butter thinly sliced over each tail Some of this will melt and roll off, but a lot of it will coat and flavor the tail as it cooks.
- Broil 8-10 minutes.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over each tail and serve.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
This little museum to the ever so brief time that Jews lived in Shanghai during WWII and left when Mao came to power. This was not the first time that Jews lived in China. They were there as early as the 7th century, and had a trading presence through the Song, Tang, and into the Qing dynasties, but always as little communities and often times assimilating. Jews who came from Austria worked to learn the language and be a part of the immigrant rich Hong Kuo neighborhood. They were largely accepted as well.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Two thoughts from me on this. The first is that human trafficking is a very real thing for women from impoverished countries. Some are imprisoned as sex slaves, some are sold into it, but slavery is not over for everyone on the planet. That is a very bad thing.
The other is that given the totalitarian nature of our current government that we should not take our own freedoms for granted. The rise of racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, and the open lack of tolerance for differences is just bad for us. It gives us nothing and it takes away a lot. So speak out, support democracy, say something when you see something. The time for silence is over. And Happy Passover to all!
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Chicharrón either, but that can be done and maintain it's ketogenic appeal. The thing that I was incredulous of was that the steaming liquid of butter and water would get absorbed, but it does and it is delicious.
This is both very easy and very quick to make, so a perfect week night side dish.
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
1 large head or 2 medium heads broccoli (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, for shaving
This is both very easy and very quick to make, so a perfect week night side dish.
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Cut broccoli tops into 3-inch-long spears of approximately equal size. Cut off thick stems of broccoli and save for another purpose, such as soup, or peel them and make them into sticks and use them.
- Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter, add broccoli and season with pepper and salt. Add 1 cup water, turn heat to high and cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cook rapidly until firm-tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes. The broccoli should absorb all the butter and water. (If there is any buttery liquid left, spoon over broccoli just before serving.)
- Transfer broccoli to a serving platter or a large wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan into rough shards and scatter over the top if desired.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
There are great statues of well known and well respected Chinese writers on this street, Doulun Lu, which is dedicated to them. Pictured at right is Ding Ling and on the left is Lu Xun and colleagues (plus my nephew and sister-in-law).
Thursday, April 6, 2017
1 pound mushrooms
2 c. mild flavored oil
1 c. white vinegar
1 T. salt
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
6 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 c. chopped chives, sliced scallions, of small diced red onion
1 tsp. Lemon juice
Put mushrooms in a jar, whole if they are smaller and halved or quartered if they are larger. Mix the other ingredients together and pour over. Let stand at least 24 hours, then try them. If fully flavored, discard the marinade and serve. If not, keep testing them.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
The story goes that an Acapulco playboy has a ten month old baby dropped in his lap by her mother. He has not intention of taking care of her, but on the journey to the United States he falls in love with her, so that when he can't find the mother, he gets a job that will allow them to live comfortably. He cares very much for her, and over time he is mostly a good parent to her as well. The mostly part is that he is more of a friend than a parent who manages the rules. then the mother comes back into their lives and their happy equilibrium is permanently disrupted. Lots to think about, and enjoyable.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
H wrote int he 1920's, a much romanticized time in Shanghai. He did not feel optimistic that radical social change would occur in China, and he did not project idealized revolutionary heroes or situations in his fiction. Yet he also did not offer descriptions of the sufferings of the Chinese people. Instead, through vivid analogies and exaggerated characters, he presented his personal vision of Chinese society. The intensity and darkness of this vision makes reading a Lu Xun story a moving and disturbing experience.
Monday, April 3, 2017
- 2 pounds fresh mussels
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp yellow onion
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
-Add mussels, cream, wine, chicken stock, lemon, salt, thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir a few times, cover and and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until mussels open.
-When mussels open, turn off heat and transfer mussels and some of their broth into a serving bowl. Top with fresh parsley.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Krall is the bad guy, for a long time it looks like he is going to have his way with them, and you know how that is going to turn out. It is all in the telling, or really, the watching, but bear in mind that Simon Pegg is not only Scotty, he is also the script writer. We have just a few Oscar nominees left to watch, and this one amazingly did not win in the category it was nominated in, Best Makeup and Hairstyles. So while I have seen two out of three of those nominees, I have yet to see the winner.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance that is performed on big occasions, such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) for good luck, as it is believed that the lion is an auspicious animal.
Performed in a lion costume, accompanied by the music of beating drums, clashing cymbals, and resounding gongs, lion dances imitate a lion's various movements or demonstrate martial arts agility, depending on the style.