Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
Houston, we have touched down. Damn, where’s the gravity?
Honestly how cool are skipping photos, the students either look like little floating Buddha’s or that they have invisible jet packs on. As for the 'tug of war’ shots, it looks like certain members of the crowd are doing more than those actually pulling the rope. My favourites are the photos of when the female teachers won their ‘tug of war’ against the kitchen staff...perfect timing... and the one with the three students screaming for their team along with Kelly their English teacher and one of my assistants.
Obviously we have had our school sports over the last several days. They were absolutely awesome and the kids and teachers had so much fun.
Who needs batons, track and field, high jump, long jump and all those other things that I now see make our School Sports far too serious. Blind fold a teacher or a student and give them a guide and time how long it takes to burst all the balloons. Give the students plastic cups, fill them with water and make it into a relay race during which you can’t use your hands, then after several minutes see how much water each team has in the bucket at the end of the track. It would be totally against health regulations in Australia but if you click chopsticks and eat Chinese style;
Then passing water from cup to cup really isn’t any different. Once known as Zoe, Zombie Girl has changed her name to Zombie.
At the beginning of each class I invite four males and four females to the front of the class and we all open the class by saying Good Morning or Afternoon whilst doing something really silly like modelling on a cat walk and each spin of course includes hair flips, being chickens, doing the wiggle dance etc and groaning while doing the Zombie Dance...Zoe’s favourite!
Chinese Zombies don’t walk, they jump which of course makes it much more fun.
<u>The Food Shots in This Blog</u>
On Saturday and Saturday night I joined Super Sexy Check Out Chic and the Gang of Sisters for a huge home hot pot and beer evening at Wang Juxiang’s (SSCOC) house and after much food and beer they partook in home KTV whilst I got to dance with lovelies clad in short shorts and knee high boots...which I thought was a damn fine deal. As for the food...during winter Hot Pot is the huge winner here in China as it makes what is usually a rather unsociable season extremely social.
For those who begin teaching in China during winter it quickly becomes a favourite.
<u>SO WHAT IS HOT POT & WHERE DID IT COME FROM</u>
Also known as Chinese Steamboat or Chinese Fondue because of its similarity to the French counterpart, it is prepared in a metal pot which is placed in the center of the table. The pot is filled with simmering stock and all the ingredients are added and cooked in the broth. Add to that many beers and smiles and wallah, the perfectly fun way to enjoy a meal and catch up with friends on an extremely cold night.
<u>A Short Hot Pot History</u>
Chinese hot pot has a history of more than one thousand years and is believed to have originated in Mongolia where the main ingredient was meat which was usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Tang Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian ‘Yuan Dynasty’. In time regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood and by the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), hot pot became popular throughout most of China.
<u>Ingredients In a Typical Hot Pot Recipe</u>
Hot pot styles change so much from region to region many different ingredients are used.
The soup stock is prepared well beforehand and is made by boiling beef, pork or chicken bones. Meat, seafood, vegetables, tofu and bean noodles are the most popular ingredients and seafood usually includes shrimp, crab, oysters, clams, squid, cuttlefish and fish. Vegetables that are most commonly used are cabbage, spinach, turnip, green onions, celery, coriander and lettuce. Mushrooms of various kinds, dried or fresh are also widely used as are dried lily flowers. Bean curd and bean noodles are served as more than just fillers and as they do not have much taste themselves, they do absorb the richness of the other ingredients.
The ‘common’ Hot Pot Restaurants pot has two parts, just like the Taoist Taijitu.
One half holds the hot red pepper stock and the other white stock and both allow you to cook your food in either half and enjoy the different flavors. The red pepper stock is made from beef lard, salted black beans, crystal sugar, cayenne pepper, wild pepper, bruised ginger, salt, Shaoxing rice wine and fermented glutinous rice soup. The white stock is made from white bean sauce, white sauce and meat from old/mature chicken and duck meat along with pork etc.
<u>Some famous variations of Chinese Hot Pot</u>
Guangdong Shacha Hot Pot: Cantonese Shacha Hot Pot is popular in the very south of China. Its sauce consists of dried shrimp, peanuts, garlic, hot pepper, tea leaves and salt. The sauce is also used in cooking other dishes and is mildly hot. Soy sauce and fresh raw egg are usually added to it to make a dip.
Chrysanthemum Hot Pot: Chrysanthemum Hot Pot was once popular with the royal families in the late Qing Dynasty. Chrysanthemum flowers are harbingers of coldness, when the chrysanthemums bloomed it was once considered time to start eating hot pot and the main ingredients are shrimp, thin slices of pork kidney and liver and fish.
Mutton Hot Pot: Mutton Hot Pot is a Peking style that has a legacy with the nomads of northern China. It is called Mongolian hot pot among us westerners, whereas the Japanese call it ‘Genghis Khan's cuisine’.
Sichuan and Chongqing Hot Pot: They are the ‘Big Daddy of Hot Pots.’
Traditional Sichuan/Chongqing Hot Pots (also called maodu or hairy stomach hot pot), like many other dishes of these provinces are known for their spiciness. The pepper oil added to the stock keeps it hot in more than one as it acts as an insulator on the surface of the soup. The main ingredients are beef tripe, pig’s throat, beef marrow, duck intestines and pigs brain but can include dog meat and other strange ‘inside things’.
Yuangyang Hot Pot: Literally Mandarin Duck Hot Pot, done Sichuan style.
Hainan Hot Pot: Hainan hot pot is generally served in small woks with a prepared broth containing pieces of meat. At the time of serving the meat is not fully cooked and a further fifteen minutes is required before it is ready to eat. Ingredients include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or goat meat, lettuce and other green vegetables but it also varies somewhat in different parts of the same province.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by Buffalo Tom The album was ‘Sleepy Eyed’ ____________________________________________________________