Sunday, December 28, 2014

cantonese slang and underworld secret phases 廣東濁語和黑社會暗號 - part 2

Very often I am in search for Cantonese written words that are commonly used in Hong Kong and Guangdong (Canton). I have written before that Cantonese, and especially those developed in Hong Kong can be very colourful often with an undercurrent of dark humor.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

vinyl retro

I could not remember what processed me to recommission the Thorens turntable. My Thorens TD166 MKII turntable had been sitting there gathering dust for 9 years since I moved into my current house, a victim of the digital age. Most of us have embraced the new medium like CD, or worst yet many digital formats like MP3 or streaming audio from the cloud.

my first real ragú

I am like a lot of people in North America, had wrong notions of what real Italian cuisine is. For me at least when it comes to many Italian pasta dishes, and especially spaghetti with meat sauce. Only very recently that I did some reading online on properly way to make ragú.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

vintage manual meat grinder

I have been making many batches of sausages now. I make a lot of andouille and also want to make Spanish chorizo. Both types are traditionally made with big chunks of meat.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

home made boudin - part 1

A few days ago I wrote about wanting to give making boudin a try. I got the chance yesterday. Not wanting to drive across town for grocery with the holiday traffic I drove to the Japanese (more aptly called Asian these days) supermarket Uwajimaya near my house instead. Uwajimaya sells pork and pork products from Carlton Farm, like An Dong market that I frequent.

Friday, December 19, 2014

docsis 3.0 cable modem + gateway - now earning its keep

My iPad was taking forever to load a web page. I tried a few sites and they were all slow. Later in the night, I used my Thinkpad laptop and the problem persisted. I have experienced wifi performance degradation at my house from time to time. Usually it will "cure" itself after a while. The degradation also tends to happen at one end of the house which suggest the likely direction of the offending interference(s).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

salmon with ocean sauce - 三文魚和海洋汁

Wanting to have a change of dish for dinner, I took out one of the salmon fillets that I cleaned and vacuum-bagged in late summer. Still with some shellfish ingredients I decided to make my version of a fish with ocean sauce I had while in New Orleans this early spring.

still more home made fresh pasta - 更多意大利扁麵和珍寶蟹, 烏賊, 蛤

I have made may be 4 batches of fresh pasta in this couple of weeks. I have now developed a work flow that is efficient and least fuss. Once you tasted good fresh pasta, it is very difficult to lower yourself to eat those made from dried, except for the reason of expedience. It will continue to eat dried pasta occasionally, especially when camping with Brunnhilde.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

pining for boudin

I had boudin for the first time in my road trip to the great state of Louisiana last winter. Before that I had no idea how they taste. Rice in sausage seemed so strange, why would anyone do that, I thought. Immediately cross the state line, I pulled off the highway into a greasy spoon for breakfast. I curbed my expectation as it was a all you can eat buffet. They have one kind of boudin amongst other mostly pork dishes. The boudin was dull with not a whole lot of taste. I would have to wait until I get to the real Creole and Cajun restaurants much later to taste the real boudin.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

fettuccine with crab, cuttlefish and clams 意大利扁麵和珍寶蟹, 烏賊, 蛤

I've really gotten into making fresh pasta. Today I made some fresh linguine again. I wanted to make a meal out of some of the live seafood I bought going shopping yesterday.

linguine with uni and clams 意大利扁麵海膽和蛤

This is the second time that I encounter live sea urchin (uni) at my Asian fish monger. The ones that I bought last time was small, and worst yet, there was hardly any roes inside. This time they were bigger. Being gun shy from the last experience I bought only one, not thinking what I would do with it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

kitchen thermometer 廚房溫度計 - part 2

A few days ago I received my poor man's Thermapen. It was a copycat product design to capture the market segment of people felt they cannot justify paying for a near $100 ($96 plus $2.99 shipping) Thermapen. The copycat product is Lavatools' Thermowand for a mere $24.99.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

sous-vide experiment 真空低溫烹調法 - part 2

There is no processed food in this household. Only meals made from scratch - real food, as opposed to food-like matters. This is my second post on my sous-vide experiments. I bought a chicken and I thought I would do more experiment with sous-vide cooking. My first trial and error of the chicken is cooking one leg/thigh with bone in. I didn't bother to do much research, just figure that 4 hours at 140 F should do it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

sous-vide experiment 真空低溫烹調法

I have a few pieces of NY strip steak. This morning I have an idea what to do with them other than the usually ways. I decided to give sous-vide a try. Sous-vide has been in rage in recent years, started with restaurant chefs. Now there are specialty equipment for sous vide that comes in all price points, complexity, and quality.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

docsis 3.0 cable modem + gateway

It all started with I noticing the intermittent degradation of video quality when watching Netflix. There are so many variables and sorting out where the problem is/are can be taxing even with someone who's career has been in the technology field.

kitchen thermometer 廚房溫度計 - updated

For a very long time, I have been wanting a decent cooking thermometer for checking doneness of food like meat or chicken. However I know all too well that good electronic thermometer generally very hard to find. The only one that I had considered buying is the one by Thermoworks. It is the first with excellent design as well as accuracy. The other very important characteristic is very low thermal mass. A lot of electronic thermometers have very large thermal mass. This is because thee use of cheap solid state sensor that is large. On top of that the metal casing itself is typically designed or simply large to make it cheap to produce. High thermal mass has a lot of problem. It can significantly skew the measurement due to heat conduction, especially if the sample being measured has low heat energy (e.g. a loaf of bread, or a cake). High thermal mass also requires very long time for the temperature to stabilized.

Monday, December 1, 2014

haute cuisine 高級菜餚 - the movie

There are not a whole lot of good movies about food and food preparation. By these I don't mean to include food related documentaries. One that I really like is Eat Drink Man Woman, which inspired the name of my blog. I just finished watching this French movie Haute Cuisine.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

led lighting for brunnhilde

Good things come to those who waited. Sometime very small things make me happy and this modest investment and minor elbow grease is one.

By a large part, I refraint from jumping onto the early LED lighting bandwagon. For me it is not so much about the expense but the timing of the technology progression. In architecture and interior design, lighting is one of the least recognized aspects, at least in the non-participants. There is a lot more than what first meets the eyes in lighting design. Color temperature, light spectrum, direction, diffused verse direct, shadows, ambient versus task - to name a few. In fact lighting will give you the biggest bang for the buck in improving an interior through careful chosen product and installation, and placements. Lighting alone is one special profession in movie making and it continues to amazed me how often a movie or TV series is short changed by poor lighting not because of budget limitation, but simply the failure to harness the right professional.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

pizza my way 意大利比薩餅 - part 5

The last time I had pizza was back in April. It is high time my culinary roulette cycles back to pizza making. I made two this week, both from scratch down to the dough. The title of my blog post is inspired by Jacque Pepin's fast food my way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

clam and dungeness crab linguine 意大利扁麵和蛤蜊珍寶蟹

This weekend I went grocery shopping. I came across some big clams and i bought some. I decided to make a few meals of pasta dishes with them. I also bought a dungeness crab and decide to use that too, in a dish that is a fusion of East and West.

water main repair 大水, 死人

This past Sunday I was working in front of my computer. I happen to notice through my webcam that an unusual volume of water was rushing into the storm drain in front of my house. It is not unusual to see significant water flow into the drain, except this time the water comes from the opposite direction and it was not raining hard.

home made andouille sausage 昂杜耶香腸

Since last night I have been experiencing very poor internet speed. I don't know if it has anything to do with the nation is gripped by the development and the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson.

Monday, November 24, 2014

5k retina imac (iMac 配備 Retina 5K 顯示器) - part 2

My first introduction of an Apple Mac computer suffered from a setback as I wrote in a post a few weeks ago. I ordered the newly released 5k retina iMac that sports 5120 x 2880 display pixels. At this resolution it has a whopping 7.11 times more pixels than "true HD"'s 1920 x 1080 resolution. It has 14.7456 million pixels to be exact. It has 1.67 times the pixels of the 4k display (4096 x 2160), which at the time of this post cost $2499 for just the monitor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

braised abalones 鲍鱼

I came across live abalones at my Asian fish monger this weekend grocery shopping. I seldom buy them as they tend to be quite small. This time they are larger, but also more expensive at $8.50 each.

windows desktop pc died - fixed

A few days ago my Windows 7 desktop computer died right in front of my eyes. These days I have gotten weary of repairing complex things. Repairing things get old after a life of doing everything myself.

Monday, November 17, 2014

douglas squirrels

I have never heard of Douglas Squirrels until I moved into my current house. While there are a lot of squirrels here in Portland Oregon, the most common ones are the fox and grey squirrels. Fox squirrels are non native to Oregon introduced from Eastern US.

windows desktop pc died

When it rains, it pours. A few weeks ago I purchased the newly released Apple 5k Retina iMac. It would be my first Mac and the $2499 starting price cannot be beat. I was unlucky and the new iMac was sent back to Apple for a replacement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

a steamed live grouper 蒸石斑

On the same day that I went to the East side and bought the eel, I also bought a live grouper.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

this and that - oregon oct 2014, part 2

October usually is the bitter end of the windsurfing season here in Oregon. It is the transition of wind direction in the Columbia River Gorge. The prevailing wind switches from Westerly to Easterly in the months of October and November. From November to about March East wind predominates.

braised eel 紅燒白鰻

When I was an young adult living in Hong Kong. I worked in an appliance and electronic store. The hours was long and there were no weekend off nor paid holidays. Well may be a few days off. A few pastimes including going swimming at a beach at night after the store closed at 9pm. One time before a typhoon made landfall we decided to drive to Clear Water Bay to snorkel.

cockles from new zealand

I was in Costco a few days ago to look at something and I came across these small cockles that I'd never seen before. I never buy any processed food there. I don't even buy most of the produces there. I would however check out the fresh meat and seafood even though most of the time, they don't have what I want to buy.

5k retina imac (iMac 配備 Retina 5K 顯示器)

For the most part of my life I have been a Windows PC user. This is mainly because of the profession that I am in. For a very long time, a lot of design tools were simply not available on Mac.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

this and that - oregon oct 2014, part 1

Finally I bit the bullet and upgraded my TV from 42 inch to 60 inch. It is something long overdue for someone loves movies.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

this and that - oregon sep 2014, part 1

In the absence of a better title, I resort to this catch all "this and that". This is more of a photo album than a blog post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

eat, drink, play, and sleep - jul 2014, part 2

July has been a good month for sailboarding in the Gorge this year. Last week I took a trip there for 4 days and sailed 3 out of 4, all with the same 3.4 sq. m sail. Actually there were a few sessions in which the 3.0 sq. m would be better match.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

westfalia james cook freunde

A few weeks ago, Peter contacted me that he is on the way from California en route to Oregon. Peter is the founder of the German forum dedicated to Westfalia James Cook - James Cook Freunde. The couple is traveling the United States in there sleek 2012 model Westfalia James Cook. I had invite them to come by my place to meet and have a meal while they were still in the East coast.

Monday, August 4, 2014

brunnhilde's enhancements to combat solar gain

A camper is like home, you want to make it as comfortable as possible. More important than home you want to make it energy efficient. Thermal performance is one area that can never be overemphasized.

Friday, July 25, 2014

road trip - spring 2014, part 12

This is the twelfths installment of the series of post on a road trip during the spring of 2014.

road trip - spring 2014, part 13

This is the thirteenth installment of the series of post on a road trip during the spring of 2014.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

summer dinner party - 2014

I held a dinner part for 4 guests a week ago on Sunday. Choosing between Western and Asian cuisine my out of town guest chose Asian.

eat, drink, play, and sleep - jul 2014

I didn't start my first sailboarding trip this season until the week after July 4th. I should have started in June. June being much cooler can have a lot of big wind days. The down side is the frigid river water from the mountain snow melt.

Monday, July 7, 2014

dyson vacuum cleaner for brunnhilde

Brunnhilde and I took a month long road trip from Portland to Louisiana in the spring. It is the longest road trip Brunnhilde has ever taken.

minced pork stuffed bitter melon

Unlike common western palate most Asians prefer vegetable with dark green and less than tender leaves. Most of these have a hint of bitterness and typically more chewy, or more fibrous. For vegetable that is bitter, bitter melon has to be one that is most unpalatable to those unaccustomed to Asian vegetable. To be honest I have not eaten bitter melon that many times. Bitter melon is believed to be one of the most healthy vegetable (ok, it is really a gourd) and some believes it deters or retards cancer growth.

this and that - oregon july 2014

I have a late start in sailboarding this year. I didn't start until the July 1st. I should have started in June as there were many good days here. Often is just my personal inertia and having very old and tired gears contributes to my late start.

roasting coffee at home

Sometimes I feel like Robinson Crusoe in that I try to do everything myself. When I started to get serious about preparing good cups of coffee I didn't think that I would ever bother to roast my own coffee. I invested in semi-commercial espresso machine and grinder. I was buying craft roasted coffee typically for between $12.50 to $16.00 a pound a few years ago. Out of curiosity I order one half pound of green coffee together with my usually supply of espresso roast. The bag of green coffee was left on the shelf for a long time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

an dong market 安東超市 - part 2

While I have written and mentioned my favorite Asian grocery store before I didn't have the photos I want to use in the blog posts. I really like this store and I would hope with my posts would help the exposure of this wonderful and yet under-recognized Asian grocery store on the East side of Portland, Oregon.