Jasper and I went to the Lunar New Year Firecracker Festival in Chinatown last Thursday. Lane and I had just had one of our "what are we doing in this crazy, difficult city" conversations that morning and I got my answer: so we can see crowds of people popping confetti crackers in crowded streets while gorgeous Chinese lions do dances in front of restaurants and shops accompanied by giant drums and symbols. It was glorious. I love this second-chance February New Year's celebration.
While there we had some vegetable dumplings and some noodles with mushrooms and greens at New Wonton Gardens on Mott (my favorite Chinatown stand-by) and then went to Kam Man grocery to pick up a few things for a New Year dinner. We walked out with some mysteriously smoky black tea for Lane, a plastic Hello Kitty on a tricycle, wonton noodles, canned baby corn, and Thai hot sauce.
Then I came home and read a stern opinion piece in the Times in which an Asian cuisine expert chastizes us all for calling any old slop we make with soy sauce Chinese food. Do some research! The real recipes are out there! Etc. etc.
So... I made a pan-Asian stir fry. It had turkey (so not Chinese), oyster mushrooms, bok choy, Sechuan peppercorns, garlic, and, after I took the picture, canned baby corn.
When I cooked the wonton noodles they gave off a funky, chemical smell. Oh dear. I put on a pot of rice instead. Poor China -- after all the toy recalls and reports of food contamination and pollution all its imports are now tainted with a toxic cloud, imagined or not. Is Lane's tea loaded with pesticides? What about that baby corn? Are you plagued with these thoughts as well?
Happy New Year.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Posted by Adriana Velez at 11:12 AM