Posts tagged Columbus Chinese Food
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There’s are a lot of fruit in Chinese cuisine which leads to delicious meals but did you ever wonder why? Well, Jacqueline Newman has done the research on why! Check it out below!

Chinese Food Symbolism: Fruits (Part I)

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Foods and Symbolism

Spring Volume: 1996 Issue: 3(1) page(s): 16

Fruits are temple offerings. Did you ever wonder why? What about oranges? Did you get any this past Chinese New Year holiday? Were they fresh? The Chinese love fruits, they like them big and beautiful, and they prefer fresh fruits, though sugared ones are common at this time of year. Fresh fruit at the New Year symbolizes life and a new beginning. Sugared ones are a wish for a sweet year. Traditionally, the pomelo, mandarins or what we call the tangerine or clementine, as well as limes, bananas, pineapple, and water or winter melon are seen as temple offerings. And speaking of traditions, during the harvest festival, the Lunar New Year, and other special occasions, fruits are common gifts, as well as common offerings.

The orange is a prayer or wish for good fortune. That is why it is probably the most common food offering. As a harbinger of wishes for good luck, they are often eaten on the second day of the New Year. Why not the first, because once an Emperor distributed oranges to his officials on the second day of the New Year. Thus you are also wishing for officialdom if you eat them on this day.

The mandarin and other fruits in the citrus family have other interesting roles. For instance, after her wedding, the bride is given two of these fruits by her new in-laws. She is to peel them the evening of the nuptials and share them with her husband. These two fruits are symbolizing a family wish that the bride and groom share a happy and full life together. Also, the name of the mandarin in Cantonese also means gold, clearly a dual wish here adding hopes for a life loaded with prosperity.

I was told that in the north of China two types of dried fruits are placed under the marriage bed, both wishing for many offspring. These are dried lychees and dried longans. The reason for these particular items, the words for them also mean "to have children quickly."

Melons and the pomelo are symbolic of family unity, they hold out the wish that the family will, like the moon, stay round, large, whole, and also united. Families love to share them and many other fruits. That may be why they buy large fruits and share them together.

Pomegranates have special family meaning, too. They symbolizes fertility; this fruit is full of seeds. A picture is often a wedding gift, a special picture with one of these fruits shown half-opened. The meaning is a hundred seeds, or more completely, a hundred sons. The word for seed is zi, it is also the word for sons.

The pomegranate is one fruit not used for sacrifice. The reason, it is considered to be too seductive. If you see a pomegranate on an old sash or cap of office in an ancient painting, the meaning has nothing to do with the seeds of this fruit, rather, it is saying or maybe praying to keep the title or rank from generation to generation in the same family. As in the two meanings for zi, what we call a homonym, only in this case it the word shi which also means generation.

Banana, found on some offering altars are there for other reasons. This fruit's leaves are one of the fourteen precious items to scholars. So on the offering table or altar, you are finding a wish for education, brilliance in work or school, or a related thought.

Apples have meaning, too. They symbolize peace. The word for apple in Chinese is ping, the homonym of ping is peace. Should you wonder what a homonym is, think of the word bear, the big four-legged animal and then think bear as in to bear fruit. Now the blossom of the apple is different; it stands for beauty. If you see one in a picture along with magnolias, the meaning is a hope that your house be honored and rich (with beauty).

Apricots are symbolic, too, they can stand for or mean a beautiful woman. But beauty had best not be to give your husband a red one. If you did, it would tell him that his wife is having an affair with a lover.

The loquat in Chinese is called pipa, which is the name of a Chinese musical instrument. Now this fruit ripens in early spring. So young boys out with less than honorable women were said to be running with loquat blossoms. Peaches portend longevity, and one almost always sees them in the hand of a man. That could be because the peach blossom advises of a somewhat loose lady. One rarely sees these two fruits together. though in real life less han honorable women could be out with young boys.

Pears symbolize something else. For example, lovers should never share a pear because the word for pear is identical to the word for separation. Many fruits are shared, but never is the pear divided with a husband, a lover, or a friend. And, whatever you do, don't give pears as a gift, especially on the 15th day of the 7th month; if you did, you would be wishing a separation from or to someone loved.

Symbols in fruit and other foods are fascinating. Allow me to end with a tripartite Chinese image wishing you (with a peach, a pomegranate, and a finger-lemon) a long life, many sons, and every happiness.

Recipes to Try at Home: Bali Curry
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Bali is a province of Indonesia and the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. 

Curry paste

  • shallots 2 large (or 3 small)

  • garlic 2 cloves

  • ginger 3 cm piece, peeled

  • long red chillies 2, deseeded (or leave seeds in if you want a spicy curry)

  • roasted cashew nuts ½ cup, plus extra to garnish

  • fresh turmeric 5 cm piece, peeled (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)

  • tamarind purée 1 tablespoon (if you can’t find this, use 1 Tbsp lemon juice mixed with 1 tsp brown sugar)

  • lemongrass 1 stalk, tough outer layer removed

  • soy sauce 1 tablespoon (gluten-free if required)

  • coconut sugar 1 tablespoon (or brown sugar)

Chicken curry

  • oil for frying

  • onion 1, thinly sliced

  • skinless and boneless chicken thighs 600 grams, cut into 3cm dice

  • coconut milk 400 milliliter can

  • soy sauce 1 tablespoon (gluten-free if required)

  • kaffir lime leaves 2, tough inner stalk removed, very finely sliced

  • lime 1, juice

To serve

  • red chilli 1, very finely sliced lengthwise

  • kaffir lime leaf 1, very finely sliced lengthwise

  • steamed rice

  • beansprouts 1 cup

  • cucumber 1, cut into 1cm dice

  • lime 1, cut into wedges

METHOD

  1. Place all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.

  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add ¾ cup of the curry paste (freeze the remaining paste if you like, for another curry) and fry for about 4 minutes until very fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.

  3. Add another drizzle of oil, the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until onion is very soft (about 5 minutes). Add 1 Tbsp water if mixture begins to stick to pan.

  4. Add chicken and fry for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Add coconut milk, soy sauce and kaffir lime leaves and simmer for about 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has intensified in colour and thickened slightly. Season to taste with lime juice.

  5. Garnish with extra roasted cashews and thinly sliced red chilli and kaffir lime leaf. Serve with rice, with a handful of beansprouts, diced cucumber and a lime wedge on the side.

Note

  • If you’d like to make your curry hotter you can add more curry paste, but make sure you fry it off in a separate small pan for a few minutes (until fragrant). Then add a small amount at a time to the curry until you reach your desired heat level. That way you won’t get the rawness of any spices or shallots in your curry.


History of Food: Egg Drop Soup
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What are some of your favorite soups at Windchimes Chinese restaurant? Did you know we have more than just Hot and Sour soup?

Egg drop soup or Danhuatang (traditional: 花湯; pinyin: dànhuātāng; literally "egg flower soup") is a Chinese soup of wispy beaten eggs in boiled chicken broth. Condiments such as black pepper or white pepper, and finely chopped scallions and tofu are optional, but commonly added to the soup. The soup is finished by adding a thin stream of beaten eggs to the boiling broth in the final moments of cooking, creating thin, silken strands or flakes of cooked egg that float in the soup. Egg drop soup using different recipes is known to be a simple-to-prepare soup in different East Asian and Western countries.

In the United States, egg drop soup is often one of the main soups offered in American Chinese cuisine, and is also called egg flower soup, a literal translation of its Chinese name, on the menus of some restaurants. Cornstarch may be used to thicken it.

Monthly Horoscope: June Metal Horse
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A horse month is often conducive to identifying key opportunities and tools that are essential for personal and professional growth.

Here’s more of a breakdown for all signs:

Rat Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 4/10 - Rat, you have litigation or debate that needs your attention if you do not want the situation to deteriorate to your disadvantage. Be vigilant and keep your valuables safe. If you are going through an episode of anxiety, get help before the situation seems out of control. Nevertheless, the Metal feeds and protects the Rat. This is good news, since it allows you to be stronger to face the annoyances of the month of the Horse. Take advantage of this time to meet friends you have not seen for a long time. Their advice can be very useful to you soon. You will be granted projection provided you do not isolate yourself.

Ox Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 4/10 - Ox, a remodeling of your emotional life can surprise you in the short term. This will be partly due to a situation you do not control. Whatever happens, do not make things harder than they are. Stay true to your principles. On the other hand, stubbornness and grudge can cause some regrettable financial losses. Preserve your serenity of mind by indulging in relaxing activities and laughing as much as possible. This is not the time to sink into depression because, as you feel deep inside, all this is fleeting.

Tiger Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 8/10 - Good luck, opportunity, action and fusional love are the ingredients of the energy mix that awaits the Tiger for this month of the Horse. This is an excellent time, during which each investment has the potential to be successful. Reunion with friends can restore strong links. Everything is fine. Be careful all the same to any possible excess of zeal. Always keep a minimum of control on your desires of the moment so as not to compromise a lunar month which is initially very beneficial to you.

Rabbit Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 -Rabbit, this is a particularly beneficial month financially and professionally. Successful business trips are possible, where interesting meetings can generate profitable future collaborations. A person or institution could finally honor or repay a debt to you. You are on a good dynamic, Continue to preserve on the projects that you lead at this moment. Beautiful prospects are waiting for you if you keep you pace. This is not the time to change your lifestyle.

Dragon Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Dragon, do not compromise what you have built hard because of systematic and counterproductive opposition. As a first step, prepare for a change that is difficult to accept in your social circle. Do not take out your pies right now, it may not be your turn to scroll. Assume your statements and affirmations of the past to keep a clear conscience. The balance is maintained on the financial level but freedom and comfort have their price to pay. Be reasonable.

Snake Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Snake, rely on your sense of strategy to get appreciated differently, because your charms do not always operate in the same way depending on the time or place. In love, secrets and enigmas are hard to bear for pretenders who want to approach you. Take time to rest when you feel that your strength is decreasing. Expand your listening skills. you may hear some very useful info for your near future.

Horse Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Horse, on a sentimental level it may be finally time to stop running behind people who do not give you the importance you serve. This is a good thing because you have a good chance of making the most of the time gained by new, much more interesting meetings. However, be sure of your actions, not to be forced to go back. If you do the housework, fo ti well. Otherwise, on a professional level, you can expect a much better dynamic than the previous month. Finally, your usefulness and effectiveness are recognized within the team. If you are self-emplyed, competitors may be tempted to imitate you, but fortunately without much success. You calm the jealousies for a moment. Recognition and promotion give you hope for the future.

Goat Horoscope:

Monthly ratings - 8/10 - Goat, the pace is similar to the previous month, except that solutions finally come to you. Know how to seize them. Avoid the mistake of bad organization to put the odds on your side. Family reunions and important friendships are to be expected, but remember not to express yourself more than reason. Let others assume the consequences of their remarks because on your side, you have other projects to manage. You will sooner or later end up reap the fruits of your previous meetings and your professional investment. Know how to share your leisure time and that of your work equitably. This is where your main difficulty lies in 2019. This will not happen on your own with out a sustained effort on your past. Preserve and build relentlessly, especially as you are a month the favored of this period of the Chinese calendar.

Monkey Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Monkey, it is a month favorable to potential financial transactions, embellished with some tripes which will have the particularly of combining work and leisure. In addition, an unexpected change in the organization of your work may finally give you the opportunity to fully express some of your qualities still unknown to your professional partners In this case you have the opportunity to express your innovative ideas to attentive minds, presupposed to collaborate with you. At home, conflicts arising from difference of opinion on domestic issues gradually fade away. It is a period of compromise, but also alliance with your relatives.

Rooster Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Rooster, faced with a desire for sudden more pronounced than accustomed, you should keep under control your desires to go elsewhere. This is not an ideal time to make long term decisions. The month is hectic emotionally. Give more importance to domestic events that may seem trivial. At work, the result may not be up to your expectations. It is better to capitalize on time and perseverance to achieve your goals. Know how to listen to the advice of the wiser, it might be very useful these days.

Dog Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Dog, do not be unduly irritated by the superficial behavior that you observe, because to alarm you at the slightest annoyance exhausts you more than anything else. It’s a good month for financial matters, but avoid making any major transactions without the supervision of a competent knowledgeable and trusted person. Force yourself to look at the events positively. The few trips made during the month are enriching on a human level. Emotional stability possible you control any jealous feeling.

Pig Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 6/10 - Pig, if you are in a period of flutter at the professional level, do not panic, with a little motivation you should have some interesting career opportunties, just as your perseverance will eventually pay off. On an emotional level, you learn how to get rid of your complexes one by one and even to transform them into strength. you are finally ready for a new beginning, on many aspects of your life. If material satisfaction is in sight, it remains best postpone major investments to a later date.

Want to know more? Check it out here!

What is Sesame?
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Sesame is a common ingredient in Chinese food but where does it come from?

Sesame  is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods or "buns". World production in 2016 was 6.1 million tonnes, with Tanzania, Myanmar, India, and Sudan as the largest producers.

Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesamum has many other species, most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sesamum indicum, the cultivated type, originated in India and is tolerant to drought-like conditions, growing where other crops fail.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world. Like other nuts and foods, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Sesame seeds are sometimes sold with the seed coat removed (decorticated); this variety is often present on top of baked goods in many countries.

Sesame seed is a common ingredient in various cuisines. It is used whole in cooking for its rich, nutty flavour. Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds may be baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks. In Sicily and France, the seeds are eaten on bread (ficelle sésame, sesame thread). In Greece, the seeds are also used in cakes.

History of Food: Lychee Fruit
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Since Lychee is this years lucky fruit I thought we should learn a little more about this history behind it!

Lychee: The lychee is also a spiky red fruit, a bit bigger than a cherry, with a pit surrounded by an inedible peel and somewhat translucent milky flesh. It is very high in Vitamin C and is juicy and sweet with a pleasing hint of tartness. It’s mostly eaten fresh but can also be canned. It can be found in many frozen yogurt places in the U.S. as a popular topping. It is also a popular flavor for many Asian drinks, snacks, and dessert products.

It is a tropical tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, where cultivation is documented from 1059 AD. China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India, other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and South Africa. A tall evergreen tree, the lychee bears small fleshy fruits. The outside of the fruit is pink-red, roughly textured and inedible, covering sweet flesh eaten in many different dessert dishes.

What are some of your favorite Lychee treats?


China Summer Fun
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Summer is just around the corner and if you need some places to think about visiting think about China. This huge continent has so much to offer during the summer months.

Check out some of the reasons and things to do here:

The Weather

From mid-May through mid-July, the rainy season kicks in across southern and eastern China. The rains are nicknamed the plum rains (梅雨 meiyu, or “may yoo” in Mandarin) for the season when the fruit ripens. Frankly, during those weeks, it feels as if nothing can grow but mold. But don’t be downtrodden; bring rain gear and you’ll be fine. Northern China doesn’t have the same precipitation pattern so make your itinerary include Beijing and Xi’an if you’re worried about getting too wet. After the rains end, you’re likely to seek shade from the scorching sun and blue skies that govern the later part of the summer.

There’s a lot to do in the summer months and some great festivals to try to catch as well. The summer months are the perfect time to tour Tibet as the weather is the mildest and most of the festivals take place in July and August. Visit beach cities like Qingdao and Xiamen to catch some rays, or head all the way down to Hainan to really cook on the white sand beaches of the island. If you’re hanging out in any of the big cities, Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai all have great outdoor venues and you’ll find many places to sit in the shade and drink tea - or something stronger - and relax.

 

Summer Activities

Beach: If it’s beach-time you’re after, try one of these destinations for sand and sun:

  • Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, is a relaxing smallish city directly across from Taiwan that has great beaches, long stretches of the promenade, nice seafood restaurants, and a laid-back atmosphere.

  • Qingdao, most famous for its beer, is another smaller Chinese city with famous beaches and plenty of places to soak up the sun.

  • Sanya, a city on Hainan Island in the South China Sea, is the mecca for serious beach-seekers. Full of top international five-star beach resorts, you can take your pick and have a classy beach holiday. (Be sure not to miss the matching his & her Hawaiian outfits available in all the hotel shops...)

Nature: If you’re looking to see some nature and mountain landscapes then these are perfect choices:

  • Tibet enjoys its best weather in summer months and there's not a better time to go in order to catch great festivals.

  • Jiuzhaigou is a famous national park and reserve in Sichuan Province. Many ethnic Tibetans live there so it's culturally interesting but the reason to go is the scenery. Full of pristine forests and clear lakes, if you're coming from a big city you'll be relieved to see that there is some amazing nature left in China.

  • Mount Song & Shaolin Temple is a great destination if you want to combine a little history and religion with your nature walk.

  • Four Buddhist Holy Mountains draw thousands of tourists and climbers every summer. If you're really ambitious, perhaps you could make it to all four?

  • The Great Wall just has no match in China. No, it's not off the beaten path. Yes, you'll probably be there with hundreds of other tourists. But it's famous for a reason. Don't miss it if you're near Beijing.

Green: If you don't have time to head too far out, some Chinese cities have plenty of green, many have gardens which are famous:

  • Visit any Chinese park

  • Suzhou's famous gardens

  • Hangzhou and the West Lake or Moganshan.

  • The Giant Panda Breeding Base in Chengdu offers lots of green bamboo and giant cuddly animals.

Shanghai: In Shanghai, these are great summer activities:

Beijing: And in Beijing, any of these activities are great for summertime.

Summer Festivals

Summer Holidays

Qi Xi, Night of Sevens (Chinese Valentine’s Day) is not an official holiday, but a traditional celebration usually falling in August.

Chinese kids are off from school between early July and the end of August.

Unique Vegetables in Chinese Food: Bamboo Shoots
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China is a large continent which in turn brings a lot of different food varieties. One vegetable that is seen in a lot of different Chinese cuisines in Bamboo shoots. What are they you ask?

As the name implies, bamboo shoots are the edible shoots of the bamboo plant, which is native to Asia. They are cut from the plant once they appear above the ground to preserve their tenderness and because if they are left to grow exposed, they will turn a green color. 

Fresh bamboo shoots are available at Asian or Chinese markets, or you can find canned bamboo shoots at most local grocery stores. Fresh shoots need to be boiled until tender, then husked and cut into pieces. Canned bamboo shoots only need to be heated since they are pre-cooked.

You may have eaten bamboo shoots at a Chinese restaurant as they are often part of a stir-fry. You can try them at home in almost any stir-fry dish, including stir-fry beef with bamboo shoots and stir-fry mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Next time you order your favorite dish from Windchimes thing…does this have Bamboo shoots in it?

 
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Recipes to Try at Home: Spring Rolls
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SPRING ROLLS

  • Yield: 24 spring rolls

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

  • Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Course: Appetizer, dim sum

Spring Rolls are the vegetarian super light, crispy and tender vegetarian appetizer cousin of the traditional egg roll.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup canola oil divided

  • 8 cups napa cabbage sliced thinly

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 carrots sliced thinly

  • 8 ounces bamboo shoots sliced thinly

  • 2 tablespoons mirin

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 24 8" square spring roll wrappers

  • canola oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add half the canola oil to a large heavy skillet on medium high heat and add in the napa cabbage cooking 8-10 minutes while stirring until almost all the liquid it releases has cooked off.

  2. Add in the garlic, carrots and bamboo shoots and cook for 1 minute while stirring before adding in the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil and stirring again then let filling cool completely.

  3. Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons of water.

  4. Lay out the spring roll wrapper, brush cornstarch slurry around the edges to moisten and add about 2 tablespoons of filling in a long rectangle shape, folding in from the sides and rolling the wrappers closed tightly.

  5. Heat 3 inches of oil in a dutch oven to 325 degrees and fry the spring rolls until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).

Celebrating Our Customers
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Google Business Image from one of our customers

Windchimes has been so lucky to have such great customers through out the years. We are so happy that you enjoy our food and keep coming back for more!

We love to hear from you whether its through liking our Facebook posts or using our hashtag #WindchimesChinese food on any social media to connect all of us together.

One place that we’ve been seeing a lot of love is on Google Business. We get so many great reviews from you on our food and even get some great pictures too! We would love to celebrate how much you love us and will even feature your images on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business. We love to see you get creative!

We love you and would love to show our appreciation! So, next time you’re in snap a picture and tag us #WindchimesChinese and find us on all the different types of social media!

 
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