Saturday, March 21, 2009
Although not normally one for clubs, my love for food overrides my aversion for joining things
We've started a cooking group. The 苍蝇餐饮协会, or "Housefly Cooking Club," so named because Chinese love to pun and this works especially well in a tonal language based on words combined into phrases, thus, as you can imagine, if you take a phrase that is made of 2 words and pun each word individually with a homophone and then smoosh the resulting words back into a different phrase, you can wind up quite far from the original meaning. Hence morphing "eat & drink" into "fly" and meeting up every week or two to cook. I make Western desserts for the group because the gene for Chinese cooking skipped several generations in my family.
Of course, we are not all Chinese. We come from Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, China, and America. But most of us understand Chinese to some degree or another, and Toki's gotten pretty good at faking comprehension, beyond the few phrases he's impressively managed to pick up, like "what a mess" and "let's eat." It turns out food is the true international language after all.
Celebrating the end of finals with root beer, tempura, pineapple fried rice, potstickers, tangyuan or glutinous rice sesame balls, ginger beef mushroom soup, cold soba noodles, chocolate chip banana bread ala Orangette, and green tea to end the meal. When I told them that most Americans pair chocolate-y and sweet desserts with milk - you know, milk and chocolate chip cookies, milk and cake, or, in this case, milk and chocolate chip banana bread - they looked at me like I was crazy. Why would you top sugar with more sugar? Green tea, it seems, makes more sense to them.
Ah, and with green tea from Tokyo and Taiwan, it was good tea indeed.
Posted by jessica