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Baby sweet corn and long-eared years

I am deeply sure that I do not misremember baby sweet corn in cans being a standard supermarket ingredient in the US. Do I? Here, my local, fairly large, Sainbury had not a tin of it in stock - and not because they were out.

They didn't have dried lotus buds or black "flower" mushrooms either, but those I replaced with cabbage and porcini mushrooms, respectively, as per internet advice, and what was handy. No mung bean noodles either; rice-based udon was the best substitute I had in the house.

At something of the last minute, I decided to cook a second Chinese-themed meal in a row, this time in honor of the new lunar year, the year of the rabbit. We'd had dan dan noodles the day before, but this time I branched out to all new-to-me recipes: mushu pork, four-strand salad, Beijing pancakes. It was a very pleasant meal, although the pancakes were better the next day, steamed, than they were fresh from the pan and from the magic of cooking them in pairs, separated only by a thin layer of sesame oil.

Rabbits are not hares, but it's hares I'm thinking of since I just finished I Shall Wear Midnight. It mentions a hare-shaped necklace, perhaps - but not certainly - around the autumnal equinox, almost like the golden hare necklace for which Kit Williams' book Masquerade was all one large clue, also involving equinoxes.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
It's usually in the Chinese food section, but yes, it's a standard item. You can even get it fresh sometimes these days.
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Wierd. It' a standard item in my local Tesco, even in the general section. Admittedly my local is HUGE and has a pretty good 'exotic foods' section too (though usually I just go to Loon Fung supermarket off Leicester Square).

Mm, it all sounds lovely. You make me feel lazy! Back home in Auckland we always celebrated CNY as Mum has a lot of Chinese friends. I have been very slack whilst here in London though.
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
This - I saw it more in the UK than in the US, truth be told.

Feb. 5th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
My next hypothesis: is it labeled as something other than "baby sweet corn"?

As for laziness: I've been on a new-recipe cooking kick for the last few weeks. I'm sure it won't last, but it's nice while it does! (And I've never cooked specifically for CNY before.)

Edited at 2011-02-05 02:29 pm (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
I've never seen it as otherwise (unless it was in Chinese!).

I doubt anyone will be complaining. :-D
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
Yup - canned baby corn is pretty easy to find in the US. I think La Choy is the big brand? At least it was where I lived in NY and CT.

And you've heard of Masquerade, too! You're only the second or third person I've met who has! I loved that book, even if I could only figure out about half of one clue...
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, my parents had a copy! I suspect if we were about 10 years older, we would be aware of lots more people who knew about it. I was reading the Wikipedia article about it yesterday, about the ensuing scandal, the follow-up t.v. show, the tie-in book by someone else... but at the time, I just knew the book since I was living in a different country, without television, and was relatively young.
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
And now I just went to read Wikipedia - wow, I had no idea about the scandal! Those poor people who did all the real work to find it...
Feb. 6th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
There's a couple of really good programmes on it - the South Bank Show back when I was a child and a recent BBC documentary where they cover Kit Williams' life. Kit lives in my home county these days. He made this which is one of my favourite things...

Feb. 5th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
I bought the book for me and the kids, though I have no idea what happened to my copy. Hmmm... Strange. I never throw books like that away.

We didn't have a TV at the time, so I only knew the book. Off to read now about the scandal...
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Did the tofu make an appearance in your meal?
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
No, have not used the tofu yet.
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
But it is the year of the hare! - The word is interchangable and the animal they originally meant was more hare than rabbit. Also hares + the moon. Much more likely.
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Then that all-the-more justifies my associations. Thank you.
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:40 am (UTC)
We usually have it fresh but since the whole food miles thing it's become less trendy but yeah we have it canned in most of our supermarkets here too.
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
I also use drained sauerkraut with salt to replace Tian Jin vegetables - some Dan Dan recipes insist on them. I love the actual stuff - in its little crock pot.
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
I used to get baby corns at Asda. It was in the same aisle as the sushi-wraps. In canada I can get the corn but I have to go to Chinatown for seaweed.
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
I still have my copy of Masquerade! I'd forgotten about the scandal.
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've seen baby corn cobs in jars far more frequently than in tins, which might affect where in the supermarket they lie. :)
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
A Clue!

Thanks, I'll look in a more jar-like section next time I'm there.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )