January 28th, 2006


Kitchen Day

I made a lot of stuff today.

I started out getting up when Jet snuck into our room to announce that the sun was up, it was time to get up!  He and I went into the basement, and drank some tea and warm milk and watched CARTOONS!  Hoorah!  We even caught an episode of "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!" which Kathy had given Jet a music button of earlier last summer.  Jet liked that it was advertised as the Jetix channel.  :-) 

John was up an hour and a half later than us, and I went right back to sleep, and slept until about 11.  Then I got up, made a couple of the scallion pancakes and some scrambled eggs for my breakfast.  Then I cooked scallion pancakes for John and then Jet as well.  Yes.  For Jet.  He tasted one of mine, said he did not like it (Sam I am...) and then changed his mind and ate two whole pancakes for his lunch.

I was impressed.

Then I started my kitchen siege while John went out and shopped for a few things. 

I made nien gao, a pun-type Lunar New Year food.  It's a sticky rice cake, filled with sweet red bean paste (though you could probably do mung bean or lotus or whatever)... and the name of it is a pun as a wish for the penultimate New Year.  I thought that was pretty good, you could always wish the near year to be the best year of your life, as it could just keep getting better!   How cool.

While the layers baked, I also made a ma la gao, a kind of steamed sponge cake, with brown sugar and plenty of eggs and vanilla, not too sweet, either.  The recipe card was written in one of my other high school/early college handwritings, so the recipe was completely unfamiliar to me, now.  John had to go out and buy me a Bundt cake pan, as we don't have one, and it went just fine in the one he got.  When it had finished steaming, it looked just about right.  I remember eating the cake.  I remember making them, but the color seemed different than it is now.  Ah, the joys of altitude cooking.  I can't really tell if it's just me, or if it's the weird cooking of altitude and cooler steam and less air to push against for leavening.

So, anyway... once the cake cooled enough, I was able to sneak a piece and the texture was exactly what I'd remembered.


Then I went into marathon potsticker mode, and cooked four pans' worth of potstickers.  Lotus root and chicken and shrimp ones, chicken and veg and black mushroom (isn't that a veg?) ones, and pork and leek ones, which were really good.  We had some for dinner.  We wrapped the rest and put them in the fridge.  I also cooked a vat of chrysanthemum tea with plenty of sugar, and it was pretty concentrated.  Good enough to dilute the next morning for anyone wanting to try it.

That's when I finally sat down and started knitting while John was a real hero and tackled the mountain of dishes.  He and Jet had entertained themselves during the day, and had done some things around the house.  Mikayla and Lily had come over to play for a while.  They were great.  They played, had hot chocolate, and had a good time with Jet and his toys and his playset in the backyard.  It's been days in the mid-50s with plenty of sunshine, but still chilly enough it was good that they all had coats.

I got to, finally, roast a little coffee for the week's usage.  The Australia Mountain Top stuff is nice.

I think everything is ready for tomorrow.  And even if it isn't, the other moms should have everything else covered, including some more conventional items. I had fun making labels for everything I'd made, so that folks would know what they were eating and why they were eating it... :-)  What fun.