Tomb Sweeping Day
Friday, April 04, 2008
Tomb Sweeping Day
Today is Tomb Sweeping Day in Hong Kong and in China. It's a day for reflection and visiting your relatives at cemeteries. It's a day off. Except, I'm here to work, so I work with the company of a few folks who are also working in preparation of my bosses arrival tonight and meetings starting tomorrow.
I thought that the apartment they have been rebuilding (termites) was likely to be ready this trip, so I packed up a Ziploc bag with oatmeal, a box of brown sugar and a bag of sliced almonds. I know Mag had been concerned as to what I'd do for breakfast were I not staying at the hotel, so I brought provisions just in case. But, alas, the apartment isn't quite ready (working out some kinks) and thus the oatmeal etc. was just sitting in my suitcase.
What's a girl to do? Make breakfast for Mag and Tony! Fu was interested to try oatmeal as were Asau and Jessie, so we were 6. I started to prepare the toasted almonds in a pot on an electric burner in the showroom...but YIKES -- it heats up to a ZILLION degrees in a snap and burned some of them. It was then we realized this just would not work...this electric stove had two settings Stinkin' Hot or Burn-the-House-Down hot (they have only used it to heat up soups - no wonder!) On to plan B! Mag and Tony have an apartment right here on the factory premises...in fact, it's located over the apartment they are renovating...which is looking GORGEOUS by the way!! Yeeeah!
Mag's Kitchen awaits (photo right)!!! Fu (below) was excited to be a guest and I had to keep kicking her OUT of the kitchen in order for her not to work right along. I kept telling her, "it's your day OFF. You can have this kitchen back TOMORROW!" She would giggle and sit down. When I got to the cooking part (after setting up the coffee etc.), she came in to watch what I was doing, having never seen oatmeal cooked in anything but the cookies we'd begun to make last year. She's been making some WONDERFUL cookies ever since too! Yumm...
Anyway, Mag had donated some dried cranberries to the meal which I also threw into the pot. Yumm!
Interestingly enough, after coming here for 9 years, this was my first time in Mag & Tony's apartment. Tony put on some Pasty Kline and Elvis (Mag's favorite) and we cooked away. The apartment is quite large and lovely with a big picture window over looking the yard and outer garden from the dining area and a lovely window over the sink filling the kitchen with light.
I miss having a window in my kitchen.
Breakfast was quick to whip up once we were settled in and before I knew it, we were seated eating and there was silence apart from the yummy noises being made. Mag kept say, "This is soooo good." Tony commented that it was, "So much better than instant!"
Fu didn't say anything but a big smile as she didn't stop to talk, but cleaned the bowl to the bottom. Asau (right) had been running late and arrived hungry to feed two. (She's almost 6 months pregnant!) She too ate it all up.
The texture of rolled oats is very different to anything that is cooked for breakfast (traditionally speaking) here. And adding nuts and dried fruit is a totally new idea. Tossing in a little bit of brown sugar to the mix sweetening it a tiny bit is a nice surprise too. Very different from the mushy tasteless Chinese congee that both Mag and I agree is quite icky.
Cleaned up and ready to go we began the quick walk back to the office when we passed Jessie who was going up to Mag's for the final bowl. She too liked it very much and packages a little up to take to her daughter to see if she might like it too.
Oatmeal. Who knew?