Century Egg and Pork Congee
The day's gray clouds and damp chill make it clear that Winter is not quite ready to cede the season. But while the weather may be dreary, I have reason to be cheery! I've recently been honored by some exceptional bloggers who have shared the recognition they've received from other peers. Moreover, a couple of the awards have come in terrific twosomes:
Head for the beach - Beach Eats, that is, where The Diva on a Diet blogs in her smart, sassy and saucy style as she covers everything from cocktails to cookies. Last week, she bestowed the 'Sisterhood Award' on me and 9 other bloggers, including the newest noodle in the bowl, The Wicked Noodle, who has only been blogging since February but offers a top-notch site full of great recipes, food news, and even videos. Like the Diva, Wicked Noodle is sharing her award with 9 additional bloggers; in fact, both ladies have chosen two recipients who are decidedly more 'misters' than 'sisters'. Curious? Stop by their blogs and discover some new friends!
Speaking of which, two incredibly fun and creative bloggers also shared their 'Friends' honor with me. Jennifer at Savor the Thyme presents deliciously healthy recipes with lovely photos that reflect the imaginative spirit behind the recent Eating Your Words Challenge (EYWC). In fact, she's at it again with Feed the Peep, a contest for the best healthy dish or drink incorporating the fluorescent flock. I'm confident that the first to sign up will be Heather at Girlichef. Whether she's baking pies or simmering soup, Heather takes you step-by-creative-step through her process of preparing wonderful dishes. Check out her EYWC entry, 'Why So Blue', also seen on Jennifer's challenge round-up. Many thanks for sharing your friendship with me!
More than once, fellow bloggers have left comments that have inspired some of my posts. The very first was Shaved Ice Sundays, whose reminiscence about banana turons prompted me to write 'Sweet Treat, Rediscovered'. Her own blog offers fantastic Asian-flavored recipes and tempting restaurant reviews; unfortunately, I live too far away to eat there. Then again, the beauty of blogging is that it allows us to share experiences across the miles. That's the message of the 'Proximity' award which, to my delight and gratitude, Shaved Ice recently passed on to me and others, along with these sentiments:
"This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated."
While it has been my custom to share these awards with everyone, I would like to recognize two blogs in particular with the Proximity award, for generously inviting me to collaborate with them and thereby exemplifying the spirit of nearness. From Washington State, Joie de Vivre brought me on board for her March French Fridays book discussion while the aforementioned Savor the Thyme, blogging out of Rhode Island, shared co-hosting credit for the EYWC. With me in the Midwest, we were truly coast-to-coast! There is so much more to enjoy on their sites so, if you're not already familiar with them, I urge you to stop in and take a read.
In a different kind of recognition, I was tagged for my very first meme by Sapuche at The World Tastes Good. This superlative blog features appetizing recipes and virtual forays to favorite food haunts in his home base of Hawai'i, but the true gems are his travel essays. Sapuche's writing reveals a depth of insight and honesty about his journeys and of being a stranger in strange lands; his willingness to immerse himself fully in other cultures reflects an open and adventurous spirit. Read about his experiences among the locals in Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan and especially Fiji, where he encountered odd characters and a potent brew called Yaqona.
And now, per the 'Honest Scrap' meme, may I present:
10 Utterly Random and Extremely Trivial Food-Related Tidbits about Me and My Loved Ones
1. My love of rice apparently stems from infancy when I was propped up on rice sacks by my yaya so she could feed me. Rice=full tummy=happy!
2. My aversion to hot peppers comes from its use to break my early thumbsucking habit. In subconscious retaliation, I picked off every single pod from my grandfather's prized chili plant.
3. My favorite childhood DIY snack was soft white bread heavily sprinkled with sugar. As a sophisticated adult, I now prefer toasted white bread and sweetened condensed milk.
4. I hate milk in a glass. Ever since my mom made me drink half a tumbler of spoiled milk before realizing I wasn't just crying wolf, I heave like a seasick wretch at the thought of drinking it plain. My mother has yet to apologize.
5. I tasted my first mangosteen recently when Mama sent some to our Manila hotel room, sans explanation of how to eat them. A few hard-earned lessons:
a) Don't use a butter knife to open a mangosteen;b) The cream-colored center is edible, the purple stuff isn't;c) Purple fingers and white linen should never meet.
6. I didn't know that mashed turnips looked exactly like mashed potatoes until I served myself a heaping plateful at a classmate's home. "You like mashed turnips?" her mom asked. As much as I like a glass of milk.
7. My favorite part of a roast chicken is the pygostyle (heart-shaped tailbone).
8. How to Avoid Eating Liver: A True Story, by Mr. Noodle: throw it up on the roof of the house, not in the garbage where it may be found by the parents. The airborne liver was never seen again.
9. We bought a 20-lb sack of premium Thai jasmine rice. For the dog.
10. We have 3 kinds of premium yogurt in the fridge. One is for the dog.
[Updated 3/25/09 - This 'Honest Scrap' meme is meant to continue on well beyond this blog. I apologize to earlier readers for having forgotten to mention this but please feel free to pick up this badge and post your own meme!]
Pei Dan (Century Egg)
Finally, I want to thank Phyllis at me_hungry who posted her recipe for Century Egg and Pork Congee on my behalf after I pestered her about pei dan (the egg). Last night, I prepared it for Mr. Noodle and the verdict was unanimous: this recipe is awesome! Head over to Phyllis' blog for food news, NYC restaurant reviews and, best of all, Weird Food Wednesdays.
Many, many thanks to these wonderful bloggers!