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I cannot believe I would ever say this — it is hot in England!! We are having summer!! :))
The summer weather has been lasting for almost two weeks now, it is all I ever dreamed of — sunny, hot, blue skies, shadows on the streets, sweaty… I know, you must think I am crazy, but, oh, god, even the perfume that people wearing try to cover up their stinky sweat smell make me enjoy the weather, even sometimes I want to step into the shopping mall just feel that cool breeze from the air conditioner, it makes me enjoy — because you don’t get this feeling in other seasons.
I sat outside of the coffee shop, watching people being so cheerful in the sun, watching the girls wearing short skirts — oh, yes, eventually, they are dressing according to the season, not shivering in the cold winter with a short dress. Feel like suddenly, everything is right in summer. :) The mood becomes right, what I do becomes right, and what I think… My ‘forever’ nostalgia eventually disappearing…
— Oh, saying that, the ‘foodsick’ is still here, thirst for northeast summer dishes…
Chinese summer dishes
I say Chinese summer dishes, it normally refers to three types of dishes, one is the dishes are very good for the taste sensation in your mouth and stomach, for example, those cool salad (liang cai) dishes; second is the seasonal vegetables, although nowadays we almost could get all kinds of vegetables the whole year round, but still, the seasonal vegetables can taste really different; third, is the food has Chinese medical theory with it for cooling down your ‘body heat’ from inwards, for example, the mungbean congee or soup. —- Yes, if the summer continues, my summer dishes campaign will continues as well. :)
The Big Harvest
This is one of the taste sensation dish — well, not much a dish or even a salad at all, it is … probably more like a way of eating, a cultural way of eating. It is called ‘the big harvest’ — sounds really ‘big’, ha… but it is really just a big plate of raw vegetables with soybean paste dip. Some said it was from the field, when the farmers worked whole day long under the sun, when they came back home, the only thing they wanted to eat was uncooked fresh vegetables, just with a bit salty taste, where soybean paste fits in very well. Nowadays, in the restaurants, they give it a nice name — ‘a big harvest’ (da feng shou), combines different kinds of fresh vegetables together.
What vegetables to use?
It normally has cucumber, green pepper, radish (long ones), lettuce heart, spring onion, etc. Of course, along with a small plate of soybean paste, which can be prepared with eggs or meat mince, or just spring onion with oil. (See the recipe for home made noodles with soybean paste).
This way of eating is very popular in northern China, it can go with different kind of vegetables, for example, the heart of Chinese leaves, steamed potato, aubergine, or tofu (tofu normally needs to be ‘soaked’ in hot water or briefly boiled to make it firmer and get rid of the ‘raw’ taste). If you are tired of cooking, and really don’t want to eat anything in hot summer, but ‘dying’ to have something crispy, juicy and fresh, try this way of eating.
I like to have it with cold water rinsed boiled rice or other grains, feel like it cools my summer heat down during the meal.
Hope you are enjoying the summer days as well!!