My mother and I were watching a show we both love not too long ago when we made a wonderful discovery. The show was ….dare I say it? Arguably uncool, totally nerdy but so what I love it, Poirot. I like Agatha Christie’s novels and enjoy watching the Poirot and Miss Marple series.
The Poirot series is set in the 1930’s and as we were watching the episode, my mother commented on the beauty of the art deco items from the time. My mother noticed a particular tea set from the episode and she said it looked a lot like the set they’d had when she was a child. They were milky green, slightly transclucent and lovely. Before we left the Philippines she had looked all over for another set but could never find any. For the last 27 years since we emigrated to Australia she had looked for these dishes at home-ware and department stores but still could not find them.
So, when she mentioned it to me, I did a little bit of research the intuitive 2015 way……Google! Within minutes, we solved the mystery of the green dishes. My grandfather had worked as an aircraft mechanic in an American airbase prior to the Philippines’ independence from US colonization in 1946 and the subsequent establishment of our own national airport. Consequently my grandfather sometimes bought American-made products including the jadeite plates . As the plates were not produced in either Philippines or Australia, my mother could not find them after we moved. However, they were mass produced in the US and were inexpensive during the 1930s- 1970’s. They were manufactured by McKee (the first to produce these), Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking. Mosser Glass produces more modern jadeite pieces.
My search in sites like Ebay and Etsy led me to vintage jadeite plates while in Amazon.com I found a variety of new and old. They are collectable items these days and although they were reasonably priced, they turned out a little bit expensive in terms of postage and currency conversion.
After we discovered the plates I have to admit I also fell in love with their beautiful mint green loveliness. I understand now why my mother loved them so much and it is nice to have a lovely part of history on our table.
Stir frying is a general term used to describe a Chinese cooking technique (chǎo) which involves heating a small amount of oil in a wok before adding spices then frying meat and/or vegetables while tossing the ingredients swiftly together. The term was first penned by Buwei Yang Chao in her book How to Cook and Eat Chinese and has since become a conventional description of many other Asian dishes using a similar style of cooking.
I love the tastes and spices in Chinese cooking and I particularly enjoy the light and fresh flavour of this recipe. Its good to have as a side dish but is also delicious on its own.
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
Sliced cuttlefish balls (optional)
about 1 cup chopped Chinese broccoli
about 1 cup chopped zucchini
about 1 cup chopped carrot
about 1 tsp fish sauce
about 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
6 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, combine the Shaoxing wine, sugar, water, cornstarch and fish sauce
- Heat the wok and add the oil. Add the ginger and stir fry until aromatic.
- Add the cuttlefish and swiftly stir fry until cooked. Add the remaining vegetables and stir quickly.
- Add the sauce into the wok and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Transfer the vegetables into a dish and serve immediately.
Bruschetta is an appetizer originating from 15th century Italy and is one of my favorite things to eat. Bruschetta was developed out of necessity as a way to salvage bread that was going stale. It traditionally consists of bread rubbed with garlic, then sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. A variety of toppings have developed over the centuries and this recipe incorporates one of the more popular kinds outside of Italy. I loove to eat it as a snack and one of my favorite things to do is curl up with a good book, a plate of bruschetta and a cold drink. Yum!
- Handful of fresh basil or parsely
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Several cloves of garlic
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- Balsamic vinegar
- Crusty bread cut into thick slices.
- Chop the basil or parsley, onion and tomato. Finely slice the garlic
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and add approx 2 tbs balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil. Set aside and allow the ingredients to marinate.
- Brush the bread with extra virgin olive oil and rub with a garlic clove.
- Sprinkle the bread slices liberally with salt and pepper.
- Lightly toast the bread in the oven.
- Add the topping onto the toasted bread and serve.