As if everything comes back to what was like before…
Eventually, after a few days of intensively packing, the flat looks empty now, apart from our moving boxes piled up around the corner. All the contents inside are sitting quietly waiting to move with us, where we are going to start new memories.
When we moved to here a few years ago, it was a big change for us, especially having lived in Manchester for many years, it has already been, like, my second home town. On that moving day, when we took the last bag and walked out the building where I had stayed many years, where I left a major part of my memories of living in England, I could not help crying — I thought I wouldn’t. He held my hands, let my tears flood, then said, ‘I promise that in the new place, we will be having even happier life together’.
After looking at so many places, we decided to rent this one. It was not ideal, but it was much better than all the others we had viewed. It came as fully furnished, a type of ‘furnish’ from probably 20 or 30 years ago, but very good quality. We said, ‘it doesn’t matter, we can make it a home of ours’. So we changed lots of things in the flat, the old pictures and deco on the walls had all been replaced by our personal touched displays; we brought some of our own furnitures, and used beautiful fabric to ‘redecorated’ the landlord’s old ones, eventually we even changed the curtains to give it a more contemporary look for matching our new fittings in the flat.
But now, since we have to move, after packed all our stuff, we have to put all the ‘original’ things back on, including the old curtains. Those curtains, probably because they occupy a large part of the wall in the room, the flat was almost immediately brought back to the first time we came to view it. As if there was no time or memories in between ever existed. And ourselves become invisible traveling in the time tunnel.
I am sure when the new tenants move in, they will make lots of changes as well as their own home, and we are going to store our new memories in the new house. Those curtains probably will never remember that we have been here, only those walls and bricks, which have witnessed our happy memories, and will recall who have been here…
So my husband said that I might cry again when we leave here… but then we are starting a new chapter of life in the new life with our little one, where he is going to have his first memory…
I have lost appetite lately, I think. Consequently, I lost ideas of cooking. It is only when my best friend in China put on some photos of the dishes she just had, that inspired me a little bit. I realised how outdated I am now — Chinese cuisine, or say modern Chinese cuisine gets richer and richer every day. Here is one of those dishes that are becoming popular in China nowadays — steamed beef slices.
To be honest, when the first time I tried to make this dish, I really doubted if it was going to be tasty, because I have never ever heard of ‘steamed beef’ just like that, it is just so unusual. But the result was — my hubby could not stop eating it, and told me this has become one of his favorite Chinese dishes. To my surprise, it does taste really good, especially without being fried or anything, and needless to say, it is really healthy as well.
Although I am not sure where the dish is originally from, I have a guess it is one of the ‘Sichuan’ dishes, as it is normally served very spicy in restaurants, but some say that it is from Hubei province. Anyway, the good thing is, at home, you can make whatever the taste you like. Oh, did I say it is super simple? :))
Here it goes.
The recipe: Chinese steamed beef
Beef (better use lean beef), lettuce (some suggest use water lily’s leaves)
Spring onion, ginger, chili sauce (optional, I just used crushed chili, since I run out of chili sauce at home), cooking wine, light soy sauce, oil, rice flour, salt. (Rice flour is for making beef smooth and soft. In China, nowadays, you can get special flour for steaming only.)
1) Chop the beef into thin slices.
2) Chop 1 spring onion, a small piece of ginger into ‘mince’.
3) Mix chopped spring onion, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed chili (or 1 teaspoon of chili sauce, it depends on how spicy you like it, you can alter the amount), 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (again, you can alter the amount to adapt your taste). Leave the mix for around 15 mins.
4) Then add in rice flour, just enough to cover a thin layer of sliced beef.
1) In the steamer, lay a few lettuce leaves on the steam sheet. (or you can use water lily’s leaves).
2) Place prepared beef on the leaves. Steam the beef with strong fire for 8-10 minutes. —
Really simple, no? Oh, the original recipe suggests to use the bamboo steamer, it can even enrich the taste, but, unfortunately, we don’t have the bamboo steamer at home (I burnt the last one :) ) And the rice flour really helps to make the beef soft, with a super good textual in the mouth — that is the trick. :)
I like to have to it with plain boiled rice, or beer, or wine. But if you order it in some restaurants, it normally comes with glutinous rice, which is steamed underneath the beef, not bad combination at all! :) Oh, don’t forget to eat the lettuce, with the ‘sauce’ from beef, it is super tasty too!
- Lean beef
- Spring onion
- chili sauce (optional)
- cooking wine
- light soy sauce
- rice flour
- Chop the beef into thin slices.
- Chop a spring onion, a small piece of ginger into ‘mince’.
- Mix chopped spring onion, ginger, ½ teaspoon of crushed chili, 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Leave the mix for around 15 mins.
- Add in rice flour, just enough to cover a thin layer of sliced beef.
- In the steamer, lay a few lettuce leaves on the steam sheet.
- Place prepared beef on the leaves. Steam the beef with strong fire for 10 minutes.