23 December, 2011

Editor's Note: Season's Greetings 2011

Editor's Note: Season's Greetings 2011

To start on a grim note. Two days ago the Chinese celebrated Dongzhi, the Chinese Winter Solstice (if you are interested, here's a wikipedia entry). In Hong Kong, this day is as important as Thanksgiving in the US, and, instead of turkey, a chicken on the table, preferably freshly slaughtered, is almost a must. But this year no live chicken was to be had. Just a few days ago the H5N1 virus strain was discovered in some random samples and wholesale slaughter and dumping was ordered by the government.

From a broadly compassionate and green viewpoint, Buddhist or not, the action is regrettable. If animals are to be farmed for food, they should not be wasted. As a physician, I personally believe this kind of interventionist action, espoused by trigger-happy virologists (a discipline of more tall claims than substance) and "scientists" who do not have a broad view of life in its most basic term (that includes the WHO), not only do not save lives but may be more dangerous than letting things run their due course. Who is to say an inapt effort at containment may just trigger an even more dangerous variant? Think about natural wildfires: the debate on the appropriateness of intervention has continued to this day. Do we have enough respect for nature, which includes other animals?

Seasons Greetings
Here I wish my readers and friends, a wonderful holiday season. May you be healthy and surrounded by family. I cannot resist to say I wish something you have long wanted is finally on sale! Treat yourself!

Merry Christmas chez Shidi
The people of Hong Kong will celebrate any holiday if it is pretext for a good time and if money can be made. Christmas in HK mostly is a distorted version of what it is in the West, consisting of fancy dinner at restaurants and crazy shopping (for the self, not as gifts).

Fortunately, the dinner and wine tasting chez Shidi (the savant I introduced previously here) was a much more congenial affair. For once, the significant others were invited and I must say their presence enlivened the gathering. I say it was also a relief not to have to be so immersed in audiophilia-trivia. That said, we did conclude audio makes us young and healthy. For proof, just look at 余師傅 (top pic below)!

When we got there, shidi (aka AL) was still reeling from the wine he had at lunch in Sai Kung (what a life!). His lovely wife Jane, despite spending much time in the kitchen, found time to be sociable and attended to our every need.

First we were served delicious hors d'oeuvres: 醉雞翼 drunken chicken wings, 滷牛肉 Chinese stewed beef slices, 芙蓉蟹肉 crab meat sauteed with egg white (middle pic below) and 煎鯪魚餅 fried dace patties.

Then came daiwok's 白酒煮青口 Normandy Mussels in wine sauce (pic above). I must say this minimally yet perfectly garnished Moules au vin blanc was a veritable masterpiece. It brought back memory of Bruxelles thirty years ago, but I think daiwok's version was actually better! The sauce was mopped up with French bread.

This was followed by daiwok's 咖喱牛腩 curried beef brisket. daiwok revealed he had an Indian roommate, no wonder the authentic flavor! By the time the 炒蒜苗 sauteed garlic shoots was served we were hopelessly over-stuffed and inebriated.

That was not all, we were served a delicious French cheese (bottom pic below) and home-made chocolate courtesy of food-photographer Edwin. Too bad I could not have coffee so late in the evening. Too bad we had to leave after just one glass of champagne! It was windy outside Victoria Park, but our hearts were warmed.

Thank you all so much for a wonderful evening.

All the large and beautiful photos courtesy of JCR33

1 comment:

  1. jane and andrewDecember 25, 2011

    an awesome write-up of a fun-filled evening! let's do that more often!