A Texan Lost In Beijing.
River Town: Two years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler.
As much as I have mixed feelings about this book and this author, I think this paragraph is something that every American should read and consider.
Meet and Greet, Yo
HEY. PEOPLE IN BEIJING. (I know there are several of you who read this)
I will be at Ink Bar and Lounge (across from Qmex and the new Home Plate BBQ) tomorrow, Saturday (3/8) night with many friends. You should come say hello, my partner in crime will be DJing starting at 10 p.m.!
Send me a message if you’re coming!
Warm Spinach, Arugula, and Brussel Sprout Salad
After listening to people talk about the Sanyuanli Market for months, I finally went this past week. Getting to any Western grocery store in Beijing requires at least an hour and a half of travel time (total, not one way) for me, so I have to make the trip worth while.
I really enjoyed walking through and looking at everything: walls of spices, kinds of cheese I haven’t seen since Austin, really beautiful fruit, basil and mint everywhere. I kept my head down through most of the butchering area, but couldn’t help looking up at a beast of a crab that was easily the size of my head. He would destroy you if given the chance.
(Let’s be clear: I know you don’t care about my groceries. But damn it, I care and it’s EXCITING.)
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
- 1 bag of blanched and slivered almonds
- 2 bags of fresh basil
- 1 bunch of arugula
- 1 bag of brussel sprouts
- 2 bunches of spinach
- 1 head red tipped lettuce
For my Partner In Crime:
- 1 wedge of brie
- 1 bag of fresh buffalo mozzarella
I think I behaved pretty well, all things considered.
Tonight I cooked up one of the greenest plates of food you’ll ever find. I’m actually eating it as I write this… *ahem* Excuse the ridiculously long title.
Warm Spinach, Arugula, and Brussel Sprout Salad: with Red Wine Vinegar Reduction Dressing, Almonds, and Raisins
- 5-10 brussel sprouts (how much do YOU like them?), cut into halves or quarters, I recommend quarters
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1 giant handful of arugula
- 1 head red lettuce roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup green raisins
- 1/3 cup almonds, slivered or roughly chopped
- 1/2 c water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Red Wine Vinegar Reduction (recipe here)
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c sugar (I use raw sugar)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 4 cloves
1. Put water and olive oil in a skillet with the brussel sprouts. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes on medium heat, until the brussel sprouts are just short of soft. Quarter pieces will cook faster than halves. Remove them from the heat and place them in a colander in the sink.
2. In a clean skillet, bring all of the Reduction ingredients to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 10 minutes or until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
3. While the reduction is simmering, prepare the remainder of your salad in a large bowl: red lettuce, arugula, almonds, raisins, salt, pepper.
4. When the reduction is ready, put your brussel sprouts and spinach into the reduction, stirring until the spinach becomes soft and everything is coated. Pour this over your prepared salad bowl, you will have some extra sauce available.
What’s in YOUR pipes?
Our kitchen has broken in some form or fashion, usually related to water, three times over the last seven months. The first time, it was the pipes, which resulted in the following:
1. The hot water stopped running one night
2. I tried to push it, and a pipe under the sink exploded.
3. So there I am, yelling into the hallway of the apartment complex for my partner in crime who is smoking a cigarette down the way…
4…. and the kitchen is steadily flooding with the hottest water possible.
5. After taking his sweet time because he thought I was exaggerating, partner in crime comes to help shut off the water.
Then, a couple of months later, water heater breaks.
This month the sink started to re-enact the first episode. We got it fixed before the second flood cometh, but guess what the plumber found?
That stuff has the consistency of cork. The entire pipe piece is filled with it.
Even the plumber was baffled.
Welcome Back, Sun Shine.
Today is the first day in five days where there is actual sunshine outside the window. The pollution has been so heavy this week, that I couldn’t see a building half a block away. The smog literally blanketed everything. Usually, it isn’t like this. Usually, it’s just kinda gross outside but you can still see the sun and patches of blue above your head. Yesterday it was like the sun didn’t exist.
I had a moment where I thought: what if it doesn’t go away? What if it just stays here?
Even if I purchased one of the most powerful masks possible, how long would I be mentally capable of hacking it out in a permanent grey? And how long would the Beijingers let it go on before they’d had enough?
These are silly and dramatic thoughts, but that’s how intense the smog was this week. It made you think: what if?