Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
When we bought the tables, we thought they would take the place of a large coffee table in the middle of the living room. Most of the time the tables are placed next to the sofa as a side table to free up the living room floor as a play area for the kids. The tables are moved out only when we have guests over to our apartment.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
An article in today's 聯合報 has this headline: "有夠扯！全美核設施誤PO上網". I didn't know what "po" means. At first I thought "po" stands for pissed off, but that didn't make much sense with regards to the rest of the headline. Then I thought maybe "po" stands for petty officer. Quickly, I figured "po" must be one of those new "Chinese" words that I haven't learned yet.
It turns out "po" is not an acronym but a shorthand version of the English word "post". This is a strange way of modifying the English word. Instead of writing or saying "post online", the general public in Taiwan is now accustomed to using "po上網". I can't understand why people don't just use "po" as an acronym for "post online" and simply eliminate the words "上網".
In my research for the meaning of "po" I came across an alternative explanation. The Chinese term for "post online" can be "鋪上網". The pronunciation for "鋪" In Taiwanese is "po", therefore, "鋪上網" has become "po上網". This version is probably not the generally accepted meaning of "po" but is more fun to me.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
First of all it isn't necessary to have this term at all since the Chinese language already has a term for fan, 迷. For instance, a basketball fan is a 籃球迷 and a fan of a movie star is a 影迷. This is unlike western words such as chocolate (巧克力) or coffee (咖啡) where there are no Chinese terms.
Second, 粉絲 is the phonetic translation of "fans" only in the plural condition. Therefore it simply doesn't make sense for an individual to be a 粉絲, because it really should be just 粉.
Maybe I should start a 粉 club (俱樂部) to promote the elimination of the term 粉絲.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Since I cannot find ready-made butter puff paste to buy in Taipei, I decided to make my own. I have never made puff paste before because when I was in New York I could just buy Dufour's product in the gourmet supermarkets. I researched the recipes for puff paste in Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques and Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts. Given this is my first time, instead of feuilletage classique, I choose to make feuilletage rapide, or quick puff paste.
The ingredients of puff paste is pretty simple: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a cup of cold water, and a teaspoon of salt. The quick puff paste does not require the making of a détrempe to wrap a block of butter. Instead, the butter is simply diced into little cubes and mixed into the flour and salt. Water is then added to bind everything into a rough dough that is firm but not sticky.
The dough is turned onto a floured surface and rolled into a rectangle of roughly 3/8-inch thick. The two short ends of the rectangle are folded to meet in the center and then the dough is folded in half. This completes one double turn and produces four layers of dough. The dough is turned 90 degrees, rolled out, and folded again. This process is repeated one more time for a total of three times.
The three double turns of the quick version is easier than the six simple folds of the classic version. The dough of the quick version is not as uniform or as flaky as the classic version, but it is usually sufficient for fruit tarts.
To test my puff paste, I used Dorie Greenspan's Parisian Apple Tartlet recipe. This little treat is quite easy to make: cut half an apple into 4 pieces, place on a 4-inch round puff paste, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, dart with a little butter, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.