Northern China

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This week in Asian we "visited" Northern China. I came to class all excited to make fortune cookies since that was one of the recipes we had been told to make a recipe card for. I even made some awesome StoryPeople "fortunes" to put in the cookies. When I got to class, though, we were informed that we would NOT be making fortune cookies today because there wasn't going to be enough time. This made one sad Heather.

Natane and I ended up being on a table together today by luck of the draw. We were a member short so we really had to work to get all our mise en place gathered. I ended up being tasked with Mu Shu Pork and Egg Noodles. The Mu Shu Pork has MANY components to it that you have to prepare. One of these is Mandarin Pancakes. These were fairly straightforward. Mix, rest, roll, cook. Not too challenging. The egg noodles were pretty simple, too, although we didn't end up really using them for any dish. Oh well. At least I made them, and in the process learned how to (finally!) use my pasta machine.

Once everything was prepped and the whole class was ready, we began to work with the woks.

I hate them. I am much too anxious of a person to use woks on any kind of regular basis. I have always been terrified of fire. Always. When I was little, my mom would light the candles in the wall sconces and I would tiptoe around holding my very long hair tight against my head with my hands because I was afraid it would catch fire. I even was nicknamed "Sparky" for a bit in high school because I would dodge the sparks that flew out of our frequent bonfires with the terror of a small animal being chased by a Tyrannosaurus.

Once, in my first apartment ever, I was home alone and the oil in my pan caught fire. I had just moved in and didn't have baking soda OR baking powder. I KNEW that you aren't supposed to put water on a grease fire, but I didn't have anything else and figured it was better than nothing. WOOSH! I'm surprised I didn't burn the place down. I was absolutely terrified. Thankfully, after the initial WOOSH!, the fire went out, but I decided to go OUT to eat that night, instead.

Anyways, back to the main point, when cooking in a wok, there is extremely high heat and a high chance of flash fires. What made me even more panicked was that someone in the beginning DID have a LARGE fire so I had just witnessed it. The whole time, I grit my teeth, did what I had to do, and muttered, "I REALLY DON'T LIKE THIS AT ALL!" HOW many more weeks are we in China??

As an upside, though, the food tasted fantastic. I adored my Mu Shu Pork and the Pot Stickers some people made turned out well, too. You can see the steam still coming off the food in this picture.

Next week, I will take a Xanax before class and maybe the Woks won't freak me out so badly.


Jennifer said...

breathe in, breathe out, be LOVE LOVE!!!!!

I love you!!!!! :)

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