February 4th, 2011

Fishy Circumstances

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.