3004 廚房

3004 廚房
為保障病人隱私,作者於心理學隨筆內並沒有在未經客戶的同意下,放置任何病患的真實故事,所有包含心理治療的故事內容都已經改編,忌對號入座。另外,本人不能在網上隔空治療,所以本網站並不提供任何形式的心理諮詢服務,如有需要,請到醫院或診所求診,敬請留意。All the psychotherapy stories are written in ways to protect clients' confidentiality and privacy rights. NO real and identifiable clients' stories are shared on this website without their permission. No psychotherapy consultation will be provided on this website. Please do see your local provider for any psychological consultation.

2010年9月28日 星期二

Living with the majority and minority in two cultures: when diversity is an issue?

The place, Hong Kong, where I grow up is pretty diverse.People often refer Hong Kong as the place where "East meets West". There are a lot of Chinese, British, Americans and Filipinos...etc. As diverse as it might seem, I never was educated in a diverse classroom in Hong Kong. I attended an all girls Catholic school (the majority of the students had a middle class background) since I was 6 or 7 years old till the age of 19 when I finally went to college. College, however, wasn't very diverse. Most of us were Hong Kong Chinese and occasionally we had some Mainland Chinese students (from China), as well as international students from America, Europe and Taiwan. Perhaps 5 out of 40 are non-Hong Kong native students in a classroom. Therefore, growing up in Hong Kong does not grant me too much knowledge in living and learning with a diverse population, who may share differences in ethnic background, race, culture and so forth. I did not have any chance to encounter a diversity dilemma or perhaps I wasn't even aware of any because I am the majority. I am the person who share the unspoken privileges within the dominant culture.

Studying in the United States is different. Everywhere is about diversity. People talk about diversity all the time although in my perspective, people aren't practicing "diversity." Here, I become the minority. I have experienced both discrimination and privileges as a minority student. I had language barriers, was being isolated in social situations and not being able to participate in certain situations. However, I have also enjoyed some privileges as an international student.  There are conferences, trips, associations and discounts for international students.

Living in the United States allows me to understand the importance of diversity and how it is embedded in every culture. It is when I become the minority that I am aware of how much privileges I have when I am the majority. For example, some Hong Kong people always hold prejudice against those Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. Mainland Chinese students were always being laughed at their accents in speaking Cantonese.  People also tended to make jokes about these immigrants or international students from Mainland China. Being a native Hong Kong Chinese, I never experience such discrimination. I was often given opportunity and privileges, no matter in a learning context or working context. With my middle class family background, I can go abroad to learn about different cultures,while a lot of the others just do not have the resources to do so. Because of my native Hong Kong identity and SES, I am more fortunate than a lot of the others.

Lately, I read an article which made me roll my eyes. You may view the article via this link:
http://gawker.com/5623138/middle-school-segregates-class-elections-by-race
I will not mention the details here as you can read from the above link and you can probably spot a lot of issues. However, what makes me angry is diversity is not about BLACK and WHITE. Diversity means more than Black and White. Diversity includes Socio-economic status, race & ethnic groups, gender, religion differences and so forth. I felt just disappointed at how the school tried to be "fair" in this case. It was just sad to see white students are the presidents, while there is only one black student as the vice president. When I was reading this article, my second thought was "how about the Asian or non black and white students?"

2010年9月18日 星期六

Food and Cultural Adjustment


Emily and Kristen were pointing at the moon pies in Cracker Barrel store. 

Thanks to Kristen, I visited Cracker Barrel the first time after living in Harrisonburg for a year. It was crowded on a Friday evening and customers were mostly Americans. Emily and I were probably the only Chinese in this "authentic Southern American restaurant." Kristen said that a lot of tourists actually go to Cracker Barrel due to its representation of Southern American food.

Kristen ordered the famous chicken and dumplings@ Cracker Barrel

I have seen a lot of southern cooking on food network. In my impression, southern cuisine is fried, greasy, corn bread, biscuits and green beans...etc. Dining in a southern restaurant gave me the firsthand experience. It was not all about fried food. In America, you always have options. I ordered a grilled trout, with a side of cole slaw, biscuit and mushroom brown rice. It was fine but the rice was rather salty. The chef probably put too much salt or seasoning into the brown rice. However, the dining experience was great. Kristen talked a lot about her trip in China and Japan and how she missed American food when she was there. I must say that sometimes when I am Hong Kong, I crave American food too. Most of the time, when I am at home, I just make salads and eat fries out of the blue. This is hard to explain.  The waitress was friendly although I didn't like to be disturbed a couple of times when we were talking. I know that this was part of the cultural dining experience. In Hong Kong, waitress/waiter do not interrupt a lot of times when people are enjoying their food. In many cases, you actually have to ask them to come to your table by waving your hand. However, the system is just different here due to how waiters earn their money.

Lemon pepper seasoned Rainbow Trout with a side of Mushroom Brown Rice (which was considered to be vegetables of the day) 

One of the greatest challenges for me is controlling the amount of food I consume in America. For some reason, I eat more in the U.S. than in Hong Kong. Like a lot of the other Asian international students, I always gain weight when living in this country. When I move back home, I usually lose those weights. How does that happen? Butter, cheese, cookies and alcohol  probably are to blame. In Hong Kong, I rarely eat any of the above. It is also more expensive to buy cheese and we don't really use butter to cook Chinese cuisine. My diet is mainly vegetables, some meat and rice. There are no cookies in my family and it is uncommon to have an oven at home. Now, I really miss dumplings and a couple of the Chinese dishes in Peking restaurant. 


Look at them! They are so delicious. 

Cultural adjustment comes with a price. It can be in the form of anything, like your diet. According to one study, among immigrants who had lived in the U.S. for less than a year, only 8% were obese. In contrast, among those who had lived in the country for 15 years, 19% were obese. Scary enough!  How did immigrants put on that much of weight? Driving all the time without walking too much? Eating fried potatoes regularly as vegetables? Wine and Cheese party? Too much junk food or too much cookies? I guess I have to balance out of my diet, cook more often at home and maintain good workout habits to survive in U.S. without becoming obese. 

2010年9月11日 星期六

My Language Barrier

I had a fantastic class with my IDLS 395 students last Thursday, discussing language and diversity. We talked about how language shapes our thinking, situating in an environment where English is no longer the language that people speak and the associated emotions and reactions...etc. I am very proud of my students who demonstrated self awareness and discussed diversity issues in a mature manner. We also watched Asian you tube videos despite a lot of us didn't know the language at all- Korean, Mandarin and Thai!  Although students did not have any clue about the language, they were able to capture some of the universal messages in the videos. Fascinating! Honey K told me that language only accounts for 25% of the human communication process according to research.  We very much rely on other cues as we communicate with people, including nonverbal cues, gestures, pointing and facial expression.  As an instructor of the class, my goal is not to only address differences in between people from different cultures, but also similarities. Social Psychology research tells us similarities increase liking, isn't it?

One thing that we didn't talk much about is the privilege associated with language, which I think is a rather important topic. However, class was so short, especially when you had a group of active participants.  Going back to my point, a lot of time we are so taken for granted that people should understand me or this person should be able to speak better accent than that. Well, coming from a different country, speaking and writing in a different language, I find it always difficult to express myself in English. It is challenging as it requires more brain energy and time.

Growing up, I ALWAYS HOPE I CAN SPEAK REALLY FLUENT ENGLISH. People around me told me that if you cannot master English, it would be very hard to find a job. This is somehow true. In addition, there are always people out there who tease people who cannot pronounce certain words or think a person speak in an accent or write broken English with a lot of grammatical errors...etc. We have to acknowledge that there is privilege associated with fluent English speakers. We are privileged to be able to communicate with this language.

I have my own language barrier. My mother tongue is Cantonese but no one here in Harrisonburg really speaks this dialect. I am capable to speak in both English and Mandarin. However, there are times that people might not understand me because I don't know the vocabularies or that I speak with an accent. There are also moments that I feel so embarrassed as I have no idea what the person is talking about. Sometimes, I just cannot follow if the person uses slang or big words. However, I am also very fortunate. I have a cohort who are willing to teach me English through interactions. They allow my ignorance and they are willing to explain to me what's behind the words. You can never imagine how many English vocabularies I have learned from my cohort and through my interactions with students. For example, Kimberly explained to me what's the meaning of  "cranky"? Adam and Mark corrected my pronunciation of "herbs/herbal", Vesna introduced "Quinoa" and Ashley always asked me if I understand something or not. She will just elaborate for me...etc. Of course, I think my students are just great that they never laugh at me when I mispronounce something.

As for Mandarin, I have been speaking the language since I met Honey K in New York 3 years ago. I still remember those times when we couldn't understand each other-we had to write on each other's hand to communicate. (We both write Chinese but speak different dialect). To be honest, at times, I feel frustrated because he can't understand me due to my poor mandarin or I can't understand his sentences. However, he always corrects my pronunciation and at the same time be very patient with my mistakes. Now he is learning some Cantonese as well and I laugh all the time whenever he speaks it. (Twelve dragons go to picnic is the Cantonese song that I love him singing to me).

How wonderful and fortunate that I have a group of people who can tolerate my language barriers! These seem to be small things and no big deal, perhaps you would think. Yet, these small things change the life of a Chinese young woman and her perception of the world.  She knows now what is being cranky, how to pronounce herb and quinoa and not being afraid to ask questions when she doesn't understand. More, she learns to tell others not to be afraid to ask when they don't understand.

I speak with an accent but so does everyone else.

2010年9月6日 星期一

杏仁凍

在花蓮旅遊時, 經過市區有家瑞穗鮮乳的直營店, 店內除了有冷飲部, 鮮乳製成的相關的拌手禮, 還有生技藥妝品. 這天我們買了好吃的奶酪, 坐在後院的座位區避暑, 享受陣陣涼風和東台灣的夏天. 奶酪, 英文是panna cotta, 源自義大利的甜點, 美食家David Lebovitz形容其簡易的製作過程, 若花超過五分鐘做就代表哪裡出錯了!


但為什麼是杏仁凍呢? 這天興致勃勃的想自己做奶酪, 決定把杏仁奶取代用量不夠的鮮奶. 也許是杏仁奶裡使用了增濃劑, 使得gelatin在冷卻凝結的過程外有增硬的效果. 但這次自製的杏仁醬和這杏仁凍卻意外搭配的很好! 起初想製作像是日本料理甜點中類似奶酪上的花生甜醬. 如果你對正規奶酪食譜有興趣, 推薦你去David Lebovitz的食譜部落格: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/04/perfect-panna-cotta/, 裡面有完整的食譜, 配醬製作過程和獨到的經歷和評論.
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材料(約四人份)
杏仁凍:
1. 杏仁奶(Almond Milk) - 2杯(以鮮奶取代即可作成奶酪)
2. 脫脂鮮奶油(non-fat whipped cream) - 擠出大約1杯
3. 魚膠(gelatin) - 一包, 大約2~3茶匙
4. 冰水 - 約3茶匙(45 ml)

杏仁醬:
a. 杏仁粉(Almond meal) - 1杯, 或可將杏仁絞碎過篩
b. 香草精(vanilla extract) - 1茶匙
c. 蜂蜜 - 1桌匙
d. 開水 - 約3/4杯

做法
杏仁凍:
1. 以中低火溫熱杏仁奶, 恆溫後(些許冒煙但未滾)加入鮮奶油使之溶解
2. 取魚膠溶解於冰水中, 攪拌均勻
3. 加入溫熱的1, 過篩分裝後置於冷藏約3~4小時
杏仁醬:
a. 溶解杏仁粉於開水攪拌均勻並加入香草精和蜂蜜(可用杏仁粉及開水調整濃稠度)
b. 欲完成可將杏仁醬加在切好的杏仁凍上!
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1.











2. (魚膠的味道真的很"豐富"!!)











3. (魚膠在加入溫熱的杏仁奶後很快便溶解, 過篩分裝可增加口感綿密!)











a. 











b.





















紅燒牛肉麵 Taiwanese Beef Noodles

連續兩個星期的週末吃到Honey K的台灣正宗紅燒牛肉麵真的很享受。

我們家有許多食譜是由奶奶和姑姑傳授下來的. 出國念書時, 姑姑交給我一份食譜筆記, 讓我能在嘴饞時解解饞, 懷念家鄉味並磨鍊廚藝. 起初在家煮飯標準很低, 通常不是一鍋或一盤就解決(在化學叫in situ), 就是相信直覺大過於習慣試味, 沒什麼品管可言. 久而久之, 接觸許多食譜和電視頻道, 體會調味比例與烹飪時間的重要, 因此學會移植實驗步驟到煮飯. 透過食品營養訊息不斷更新也漸漸選購部份品質高, 本地植栽的新鮮食材及肉品.

紅燒牛肉麵, 經典的台灣美食, 到目前也製作了五, 六次, 但還沒有一次能與姑姑做的批敵. 有時魯包放太久滷味太重, 有時高湯的比例不對, 有時把牛筋煮的像橡皮. 我說: 唉, 我煮的東西永遠重看不重吃. 比比說: 我最鍾意食你煮的牛肉麵! 事實上是我下廚比比都高興. 

彥文和陳媽如同我相識多年的好友, 來到明州和他們相處有著濃烈的親切感與共鳴. 陳媽幾番招待的台灣和客家家常菜--台灣炒米粉, 豬腳, 豆鼓雞絲苦瓜, 梅干肉丸, 讓我像又回到家鄉一樣 (不是才剛回去嗎?)!  

這天邀請他們來品嘗劉家的紅燒牛肉麵, 心裡有點緊張, 因為還沒能煮到這麼好吃. 深怕拿姑姑食譜招搖撞騙結果壞了劉家的招牌, 嘿嘿! 最終來自杭州大飯店的代表--彥文和陳媽吃得很開心! (聽說主廚陳爸的清燉牛肉麵也是一絕喔!) 雖然這次高湯了比例在試味時沒發現稀釋得仍是不夠, 但肋條經過一夜的熬煮入口即化. 在此分享我的製作過程和姑姑的食譜筆記.
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材料(約6~8碗)
牛肋條 - 約2磅, 約4 x 3.5公分, 不要太大也不要太小
台灣番茄 - 約2顆, 切塊, 大小隨意(這次以Heirloom tomato取代, 適合beef stew, 也可用beef tomato)
滷肉包 - 一包
清醬油 - 建議牌子: 金味王, 龜甲萬甘醇, 丸莊
豬或牛大骨 - 1~2塊
備用配料 - 蔥花, 香菜, 黑胡椒

作法:
1. 空鍋放入牛肉塊, 慢慢倒入醬油至肉的九分滿
2. 開火煮滾, 改小火, 將肉塊翻煮至每塊肉都有醬油煮到
3. 放入番茄, 加水至滿水位, 改大火煮滾, 然後放入滷包
4. 移入悶燒鍋, 置放約10小時
*  如不用悶燒鍋, 則大火煮滾入滷包後, 改小火煮約1.5至2小時
*  如不喜歡太重的滷香味, 小火煮約0.5至1小時候, 可先取出滷包
5. 另外一鍋用肉大骨煮水做清高湯備用
6. 煮好了牛肉湯是濃縮湯頭, 應用高湯稀釋至喜好的鹹淡度即可
7. 煮好麵條放入湯碗內, 再放蔥花, 香菜, 一點黑胡椒, 再加入牛肉湯
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1. (我喜好把肉帶有部份的肥肉跟瘦肉豐富口感, 像五花肉一樣)







2. (此時的肉質有點像豬肉, 非常香彈有勁)














3. (除了番茄, 另外還加了五條切碎的泰國辣椒提升辣味)
















4. (悶鍋前滷包置於液面上即可, 隔天即可拿出滷包, 並濾除過多的浮油和血塊)
















7. (姑姑說倒入牛肉湯可把蔥和香菜味噴出來!)





























後記﹕
Honey Be的吃後感—煮了兩個小時半的牛肉已經很鮮味嫩滑,入口即容,湯的咸道剛好,麵很彈牙,煮牛肉麵一定是Honey K最拿手。

一鍋牛肉,總不能浪費。因為麵不好帶便當,於是我們煮了飯,以下是明天的牛肉便當。


2010年9月4日 星期六

劉家餛飩

劉家餛飩自從大姑傳授, 二伯製作後, 已在親朋好友間傳出口碑. 一碗餛飩湯往往就能滿足炎炎夏日胃口不開的肚子. 用的是剁過並調好味的豬絞肉, 包的皮是北斗市場不易糊爛的餛飩皮. 一包一百個餛飩短短兩天已經吃掉三分二. 這天爸媽和我一時興起改良餛飩的口味並補充屯貨, 於是老媽去完市場買了所需的配料後, 我們就一起剁豬肉.

餡料:
豬絞肉 - 大約二磅
蔥 - 切碎後適量
香油 - 適量
胡椒 - 少許
鹽 - 少許
油蔥酥* - 適量

於砧板上以雙刀剁肉約莫二十分鐘. 可能是較能帶出肌肉細胞的蛋白質, 使絞肉更加滑嫩. 相反的純過絞肉機雖肉質較完整, 但口感較乾澀.
















放入蔥花再稍剁均勻後, 置入油蔥酥增香再繼續剁剁剁...



完後, 加入適量的香油以及少許的鹽及胡椒, 取筷子以旋轉的方式翻攪. (老媽還叮嚀一定要旋轉式!)
















如此一來餡料準備完畢. 可包少取的餛飩煮熟稍作試味, 調整香油, 鹽或胡椒的用量. 包餛飩的方式可以取一餛飩皮於手心, 以少許溫水帶過皮的邊緣後, 用果醬刀或湯匙取些許餡料"劃"過皮的中心, 再包起手指將皮捏緊. (小心別露餡啦!)
















欲做餛飩湯可先於鍋中用油蔥酥帶油搭配蔥花和蝦皮爆香, 加水煮至沸騰, 並置入餛飩及青菜煮熟. 一碗香氣四溢, 鮮嫩多汁的餛飩就上桌啦! (用這餛飩來做紅油炒手也會超棒!)
















*油蔥酥的奧妙:
我們這次在餡料中加入了油蔥酥有很明顯增香的效果. 除此之外, 油蔥酥也是許多家常菜提味的良伴. 它的準備過程也很簡單. 取平底鍋用約和紅蔥頭齊高的熱油中翻炒並轉至小火煮到金黃即可起鍋. 放涼後, 可以連蔥代油分裝小包並冷藏. 無論在爆香或湯麵上加上一杓的油蔥酥都是美味百分百!

2010年9月1日 星期三

昆蟲國來的公主

遇到牠的時候是旁晚時份,剛好Honey K從Minneapolis打電話來,我說﹕「好大一隻昆蟲!我不知道是甚麼來的﹖怎麼辦﹖我好害怕呀!」住在這種地方,我常常都遇到昆蟲入侵,但是有如我姆指那樣大的一隻黑色巨物,我還是第一次看到,心中覺得很嘔心,很不安全,生怕牠要跟我近距離接觸。

昆蟲國的公主

自小我便很害怕昆蟲,那種恐懼是沒有辦法解釋的。我比地上那隻昆蟲大幾十幾百倍,我每接近牠一步,牠便後退幾步,看來牠比我更害怕對方,為甚麼我要驚﹖ 為甚麼我會驚得常常看看牠爬到那兒去,並期盼牠早日魂歸天國呢﹖ 想想牠沒有對我做甚麼不利的事情,只是「非法入境」,為甚麼我要這樣殘忍﹖

後來,聽到Honey K說牠可能是昆蟲國來的公主,我便開始慢慢的放鬆,感受與牠共處一室的感覺,我開始觀察牠的舉動,牠的色澤...很明顯,牠也在看著我。每當我想把牠用紙或者玻璃瓶蓋著的時候,牠便跳開。很明顯,牠是不懂得飛的,我舒一口氣,因為至少牠不會飛行攻擊。另外,因為牠會跳,不可能是小強。後來我看牠處處迴避我,又躲到我的床下,前無去路,又迷路走不出去,在暗黑的環境中,其實也蠻可憐。況且這兒可能便是牠的葬身之地。

經過一輪 Exposure Therapy (與牠共處一室)後,我自覺可以不用監視牠的舉手投足,並到浴室洗澡去。回來的時候,我已經看不到牠了。雖然我還是很害怕牠在我睡夢中爬到我的床上,但我想為甚麼我一定要趕人家走呢﹖ 為甚麼我可以享用大自然的一草一木,而小小的昆蟲因為迷路了,我作為一個人類卻不能給牠一個暫避之所呢﹖ 如果牠真的是昆蟲國來的公主,牠會不會很害怕呢﹖

寫到這兒,我要反思我和大自然的關係,更要反思為甚麼我被恐懼蓋過我的惻隱之心。
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