Friday, January 13, 2017

mini's battery died

How long should a automotive battery last? The common wisdom would tell you it depends, but not more than 5 years on average. My 2005 (bought in 2004) Mini Cooper S still has the factory battery after 12 years. I have never tax it so it finally gave up during a winter cold spell. I charged it up and went shopping and almost got stranded.

servicing brunnhilde's propane tank gauge

The fuel level gauge in Brunnhilde has never function during my ownership. I would eventually suspect that it is caused by a stuck float mechanism inside the tank. I have been waiting for the opportunity to inspect it when the propane tank is empty.

chiuchow beef meat balls 潮州牛丸 - part 2

A week ago I ventured and made 5 pounds of Chiuchow style beef meatballs 潮州牛丸. It is my first attempt at this and my hope was the meatballs would turn out to have the almost crunchy texture as well as delicious. I am very happy the result are as good as my wildest dream.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

steamed tiny fish with fermented black beans - 豆豉蒸乾魚仔

Some of my recent culinary interest has been recreating many Chinese dishes that involves the use of preserved ingredients. Most of these cannot be found in restaurants in the West, and even in China. It is because they are regional home cooking.

steamed beef with sichaun salted mustard stem - 四川榨菜蒸牛肉

Chinese cuisine is very expansive. Often than not in the West the country's cuisines are very poorly represented. The stereo type of Chinese food hardly represents what its people eats, especially before globalization. In recent years I like to rediscover some of the less popular dishes that used to be common home cooking. Many Asian countries has extensive preserved food. The range of food that is preserved with salt is extensive. Some vegetables are preserved in salt only to be used as cooking condiments.

chinese salted and dried peanuts - 咸乾花生

A few years ago while traveling to China I bought some of these salted and dried peanuts (咸乾花生). These peanuts are prepared different from the common roasted peanut in shells in the West.

brisket galore - part 1

It was only very recently that I begun testing my hands on preparing brisket. Brisket is one of the thing that there is no point to try making a small quantity. To do it right you should get an entire piece of brisket or not bother at all.

chicken with indian spices

Recently I have been watching some cooking shows where the chef visited the common people's home as well as unassuming eateries on the street. One thing that struck me is in many home kitchens the family has a simple spice box. In the spice box there are no more than 6 to 8 spices and spice mixtures. Many of these I already have in my pantry. I decided to make a chicken dish using these spices.