It’s mid-autumn festival time. In China and Hong Kong the lanterns are being illuminated. Time for some moon gazing and for enjoying moon cakes. It has an undeniable feel of enjoying the harvest as well as honoring the moon and all its phases.
Here in Phoenix, we are looking forward to the fall. We are just a few days away from enjoying the full-on relief of the summer heat. Already the nights are cooler and the swimming pool is getting colder! I know I am feeling the change of seasons when I want to start to bake and cook again after a long hot summer.
In the spirit of fall, I made and apple crisp in an Arizona baking dish from Corbe ceramics while the Kitchen God presided over the process and consumption.
KG presides of prep and consumption of the first apple crisp of fall 2018.
I am so excited to announce a collaboration with The Mala Market who is now offering the Kitchen God on their website! It seems a terrific match. Be sure to check out The Mala Market for premium spices and sauces to make your home cooking taste like it would be in China. Offering top-quality Sichuan pepper is just one of the many options available (along with a kitchen god).
Happy fall, happy autumn.
You can also purchase a kitchen god here on this site above.
Kitchen God for the Year of the Horse
As the year of the snake comes to a close, and preparations for the new year are in full swing, it is time to pay special attention to a very important member of the Chinese home, the Kitchen God.
The Kitchen God lives close to the stove or hearth in each home. Usually in the form of red and gold sign of his name or in a photo, his purpose is to observe the health of the family throughout the year and return to the Jade Emperor to report what has been said and done in the household over the past year. He is one of the most worshiped and respected of all gods that protect the home and family. Additionally, he can inspire the cook to make healthy and flavorful food for the family throughout the year.
Before the Kitchen God returns to heaven to make his report, offerings of liquor and delectable foods are offered to make him happy and maybe a bit tipsy. Additionally just prior to his return on New Year’s eve, his lips are smeared with honey to “sweeten” his words or to stick his lips together so he cannot report. The effigy is then burned, and a new one is put in its place. If you are lucky enough to have a statue of the Kitchen God, it is removed and cleaned to begin a new cycle.
My kitchen god is in Hong Kong awaiting my return. He oversaw my purchase and seasoning of two good and trusty woks that prepared many a delicious dish. He also inspired my cooking and kept all who entered our home well-fed and happy.
The Kitchen God has been invited into our Phoenix home, and he will preside over the health and happiness if this place. Also, a new flat-bottomed wok found is way here just in time to cook for the beginning of the year of the horse.
AZ Lemon Tree
Life is rough here in Arizona. We are enjoying a beautiful stretch of weather with crisp mornings, warm days and cool evenings and a bounty of citrus. Citrus in the form of grapefruit, oranges and a plethora of lemons. The lemons came in two forms; actual lemons and a stubborn foot injury.
I am nursing an injury that I sustained in Hong Kong in October. All those hills and stairs and exercise resulted in a stress fracture turned full-on fracture in my right foot; second metatarsal fracture to be exact. Being tough and not believing that there could be anything wrong exacerbated the situation. So now I am sporting a lovely boot and a bone stimulating device for the next several months. This injury has put a wrench in my plans. No driving, no walking and no running (maybe ever again).
We extended our stay in the U.S. for a month to deal with doctors and insurance companies. Both Steve and I will return to Hong Kong the first week of February. Until then, I am making lemon bars, preserved lemons, whiskey sours, lemon creams, candied lemon rind, lemon dressing, lemon chicken AND a whole lot of lemonade.