Recipe: taro tapioca soup
gong xi fa tsai!
Xin nian kuai le. Wan shi ru yi.
Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the year of the Rabbit. Rabbits are lucky little guys, so I wish you all a very lucky, happy, healthy, and fruitful year ahead. The house has been busy here at urb-central as it always is before Chinese New Year. We have spent the past few days preparing food, cleaning the house, following the news, and hunkering down during the wicked cold spell that had a hold on much of the country recently. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kitt had posted a cool video of a young woman throwing boiling water into the -40°F air. Can you guess what happened? As Jeremy watched the outside temperature plummet the other night to -25°F, we wondered if we could get that same phenomenon to work. So we went outside on the deck to give it a try.
love the droplet trails
The water evaporates in the air before hitting the ground. I’m pretty sure our neighbors thought we were on crack tossing water off the deck and firing the flash several times in the night. [I guarantee you we are the most sober residents in this town.] The next morning, it was still -23°F. So before Jeremy left for work, he humored me and we tried another boiling water toss off the deck. And because it was daytime, I was able to shoot a nice sequence of it. You can see more of the nighttime shots and larger daytime shots on the photoblog.
That was pretty COLD. Kaweah kept wanting to come out onto the deck with us because she equates baking her brains in the sun with walking onto the deck. But we’ve been keeping her inside the warm house since her old body gets very stiff when it’s cold. A few times Jeremy has had to go and rescue her at night when she was let out to potty because she got stuck in the snow when her paws got so cold she couldn’t walk. She’s more susceptible to temperature extremes as she has aged, but she’s not any smarter.
that’s okay, we’ll just keep her on the snuggy blankets
Right now, our house is clean and our refrigerator is full of lucky foods. Per tradition, we always clean the house on Chinese New Year’s Eve because you can’t clean the house for the first two weeks of the new year or else you will sweep out the good luck. This put me in a bit of a panic because I’m hosting something during that time period at my house. I also made a small feast for our New Year’s Eve dinner – each dish or component represents some form of health, luck, fortune, and happiness.
fu is luck and it is upside down on our front door – it means “luck arrives”
potstickers, soybean sprouts, lucky ten ingredient vegetables, lucky bean thread noodle soup
And then there is dessert. I almost always make western desserts when we entertain because most people I know aren’t that thrilled with Asian or Chinese desserts. When I was a kid, the typical dessert in my house was fruit. On special occasions, my dad would make almond jello or sesame bananas, reading the recipe from a fat book packed with delicate, thin pages covered in Chinese characters. Kris and I would get so excited. At the real Chinese restaurants (the ones where the waiters can barely speak English), they would serve a warm sweet soup of some kind for dessert. Sometimes it was sweet red bean soup, sweet green bean soup, tapioca coconut soup, black sesame soup, or sweet peanut soup… Soup. And there was taro root soup.
coconut milk, taro root, sugar, tapioca
**Jump for more butter**