Foodie Friday First: Osmanthus Tea

I tried out a new drink... Osmanthus tea: an earthy tea infused with the yellow flowers I'm one of those people who order the same thing over and over again at a restaurant. What can I say? Usually when I venture out and order something new, I dislike it. My tried-and-true beverage of choice is jasmine green tea. On a recent trip to the local cafe, though, my hubby urged me to drink something different. I ended up ordering osmanthus tea. Despite its floral origins, osmanthus tea didn't … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Bee Hoon/Mee Hoon/Mai Fun

Bee Hoon/Mee Hoon/Mai Fun: rice vermicelli Whatever you call it, it's thin noodles made from rice. This is not to be confused with bean thread noodles (glassy transparent noodles made from a starch, like mung bean). You can cook the vermicelli in different ways, but I personally like them stir-fried. The key to nice noodles is: 1) soaking them until soft, 2) not using boiling water to do so, and 3) cooking the noodles separate from meat and vegetables (unless you have a stellar non-stick … [Read more...]

The Persistence of Ang Lee

"A swallow cannot know the lofty ambitions of an eagle." -Chinese proverb I have a friend who has an Oscars party every year. I don't hold any celebrations, but I'm in awe of those in the movie magic industry. There's something enchanting about stories brought to life through the immediacy of the visual realm. When I think about Oscars, my mind focuses on Ang Lee. The Taiwanese director is one of only seven living directors who have won the Directors Guild of America Award more than … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Bell Fruit

Bell fruit: an exotic fruit shaped like its name I've only ever found bell fruit in Taiwan, so if you want to try this special food, you'll have to travel. It features a reddish exterior, similar to an apple. In fact, it's also known as a "wax apple." It's full of crispness and offers a subtle flavor, like a fresh sip of water in fruit form. Actually, in my novel, the eleven-year old character compares herself to a bell fruit. To find out the particulars, you'll have to read The 228 … [Read more...]