February 6th is ‘National Chopsticks Day’. It may seem odd that we have a ‘National Chopsticks Day’ but if you take into account all of the Asian people living here and who have lived here for more than a hundred years, it doesn’t seem odd at all. And take into account all the Western People who have adapted to Chopsticks, at least when eating in Asian Restaurants.
Chopsticks have been in use in certain Asian for thousands of years. The Asian Countries that traditionally use Chopsticks are China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Of course, in addition to chopsticks, all these countries do use spoons to drink soup with. Much to my surprise, Chopsticks were used to replace forks in China.
Chopsticks which were originally devised as cooking implements go back to the Chang Dynasty which was more than a millennium before our modern day calendar came into use. The Cooking Chopsticks shown below are fastened at the top with a tie which makes it easier to use as a cooking implement. The Chopsticks are made from a hardwood that will not splinter into the food.
During the Han Dynasty, Chopsticks began to be used as eating utensils and during the Ming Dynasty they were used both for cooking and eating.
The Green Chopsticks below are fashioned after the ‘Hello Kittie’ Craze in Japan and if you look closely you will a ‘Hello Cookie’ face at the top of each one. These two are made from a hardwood; it seems like the color has been incorporated into the wooden material rather than having been painted on.
In Thailand, even though the fork and spoon are traditionally used for eating (the fork to push the food onto the spoon) chopsticks are also frequently used, especially by the numerous Chinese Thai. According to Wikipedia, almost all Thai citizens do know how to use chopsticks, even though they don’t use them on an everyday basis. Having been to Thailand, I don’t know if I agree with them as all I have ever seen Thai people eat with is the fork and spoon. The Chinese restaurants in Thailand do set the table with Chopsticks but also with fork and spoon as a rule.
Chopsticks can be made from wood (usually less expensive Chinese Restaurants will provide a somewhat inferior chopstick. The more exclusive the restaurant, the better the quality of the chopsticks provided.
Chopsticks have also been made from ivory (that practice has probably been stopped as the use of ivory in most countries has been prohibited), gold, bamboo and more recently plastic.
Chopsticks make it easier to eat Asian food as most, especially Chinese food, is cut up into small pieces.
If you have ever eaten rice and tried to pick the grains up with your chopsticks and find yourself failing at it, that is because chopsticks are not meant to pick up grains of rice. If you pay attention to how rice is indivually served, in small bowls, you are supposed to pick up the bowl and sort of push the rice into your mouth from the bowl.
If you don’t know how to eat with chopsticks, you can find directions on many websites. Just type into your browser, ‘How to eat with Chopsticks’/
Happy ‘National Chopsticks Day’. Go out or go home and enjoy an Asian meal; my favorite type of cuisines is Asian. Asian food is tasty and you don’t get stuffy full when you eat it, therefore you can have a variety of dishes at one meal and not be stuffed. And your taste buds will be totally satisfied!
Sunday – 3/25 – Looks like this Sunday is another day filled with cooking and baking which is the perfect thing to do in rainy weather. Started the Day with making Ebelskivers and Sausage for Breakfast. My Ebelskivers actually have apples inside (as the name proclaims). We had them with a Mixed Berry Syrup.
After going out to the market to pick up a few things we came back and I decided to cut up the Chicken for Dinner tonight. Since it was a whole Chicken and I was only going to use the Breasts for our Dinner, I froze the Legs, Thighs and Wings for another meal. I used the Back and some other Chicken parts I had in the freezer to make a stock along with some Onion, Celery, Parsley and Carrots. That has been cooking for most of the day so far (it is now 4:06 PM)
I cut up the Breasts into bite-sized pieces and then coated the pieces with the Sauce Mixture for Cashew Chicken. Next, I made a sponge for the Rye Bread that I was planning to make for tomorrow.
After eating lunch and then being reminded by Lesli’s post on Facebook that she had made Cinnamon Bread I remembered that I was going to make ‘Grandma’s Rolls to take up to Joel and Nesbyth next weekend, so I went back to the Kitchen and made up a double batch of the dough so that we would have some here at home and still have enough to take with me next weekend. (These will be frozen)
Around 4:15 I went back to the kitchen and rolled out and shaped the Cinnamon Roll Dough. Half the batch was made into Cinnamon Rolls and the rest into Grandma’s Buns. The portion made into Grandma’s Buns was frozen, unrisen. This way, I will take them out of the freezer either the night before I leave or the morning of the day that I leave, will thaw them and bake them so the rolls will be fresh when I bring them. We are having Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast tomorrow morning!
After finishing the rolls, I then made Bao Dough (trying out a new recipe for the Dough) and made the filling for the Bao. The filling was made from the leftover Tofu from the Stir Fry we had on Friday Night. Added some Green Onions and minced Ginger Root to it. Rolled out the Dough and cut circles and made the Bao and put them in the steamer.
Boiled some water for the Rice Noodles that we were having with the Cashew Chicken. Cleaned and sliced some White Mushrooms and sautéed them with Green Beans. Shut off the heat and set aside to reheat just before dinner.
Turned the heat on under the steamer and started cooking the Bao. When the water boiled for the Noodles, I put them in the Boiling Water for 2 minutes and then started heating the wok for the Cashew Chicken. Drained the Noodles and put them in cold water and sautéed the Green Onions for the Chicken. Added the Chicken and sautéed for about 5 minutes and then added the Cashews and cooked another minute. Removed the lid from the steamer to slightly dry the Bao and then we were ready to eat. The Bao were our appetizer and I served them with Hoison Sauce.
After dinner, I loaded the dishwasher and ran it; I still had an amazing array of bowls, pots and pans soaking in the sink. You would never know that only two people were eating here tonight.
Next, I strained the Chicken Stock, retaining only the broth and discarding the bones, skin and vegetables. Put the Stock in plastic containers and froze it for later use. I have about 6 cups of stock which will come in handy for cooking or making soup, if I decide to do that.
Once I had the dishwasher running, I removed the Rye Bread Sponge from the refrigerator and made that Dough. Set it to raise and heated the Pizza Stone to bake it on. An hour and 15 minutes later the Bread had risen, so I turned it out onto the peel, brushed it with Egg White (Whoops! Forgot to slash the top. Hope that didn’t affect the outcome. Will know tomorrow when we eat it)
Had to mist the oven 3 times, 5 minutes apart while the bread was baking,(Misting helps to form a nice crisp crust) then turned down the oven to 375 degrees and baked for 20 minutes more. Then I turned off the heat and left the bread in the oven for another 5 minutes just to make sure it was done.
Next I washed most of the bowls and pots and pans that were in the sink. It is relatively easy to wash them, if you soak them with hot water and a little bit of dishwashing liquid. For really hard and cooked on food, soak them with Dishwasher Detergent. It really gets the hard stuff off easily! That is it for today, except I need to go and wrap the bread once it cools off. This was a busy day, but accomplished a lot, including writing all this down.
Monday – 3/26 – Monti’s BD, but can’t make him a BD Cake because he is not in town. This AM we had the Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast with Cream Cheese Frosting. Ev had Blueberries with his. Lunch for me was the leftover Bao and Cashew Chicken from last night.
Tonight’s dinner is going to be an easy one. Corned Beef from the Deli with Sauerkraut, Pickles and Homemade Potato Salad. We will make Corned Beef Sandwiches on the Rye Bread I made yesterday. Have to take it easy sometime. Dessert for Ev will be the last of the Chocolate Chip Cookies and Lemon Cookies for me. Tomorrow will have to make a new Chocolate Dessert for Ev.