Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: dumplings

New year with GCC

Happy new year to everyone who follows the lunar calendar! It’s a Chinese tradition to gather with friends and family on new year’s eve while making dumplings, watching China’s annual new year TV event broadcasted live, and just enjoying each other’s presence. This year, I had a nice gathering with the Groupe ChrΓ©tien Chinois de Bordeaux at the Cenon church where we did all of the above! Even though we’re away from home, in Christ we’re brought close together as a family and we share joy and love as brothers and sister πŸ™‚ And of course, Penguin said, “We all know the purpose of new year’s celebrations is to eat lots and lots of good food!” Hey, who could say she was wrong? πŸ˜‰

Mmm, dumplings. Back home in Toronto, my mom makes them regularly and puts them in the freezer so that we can eat them whenever we want, but apparently in other parts of China, people only eat dumplings for special occasions like the new year. My favourite type of stuffing has got to be pork and chives. Nothing has ever tasted better than the taste of home!

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Because food is worth it

I am writing this post because food is awesome and worth spending the time writing about…

…and because I want to tempt you with delicious, luscious photos.

After writing about the art and science of cooking (part 1, part 2, part 3), I couldn’t resist further digging into my love of food. Over the years I’ve accumulated over 500 photos of food that I’ve had, whether home-made or not. Since the “art and science” series is mostly focused on my own culinary experiments at home, I’ve decided to share with you some other goodies that I’ve had the luxury of trying (ones that I haven’t posted in previous entries). Most of these photos were taken while dining out, but a selected few were of dishes made by either family or friends. Whatever the case, all were thoroughly enjoyable πŸ˜€

Oh, since I was bored last night from my battle with scientific papers, I started up another blog (as if I don’t have enough blogs already) dedicated to food – click to check out The Food Gallery. With some 500 photos, I won’t be worried about running out of things to post any time soon.

Now onto the actual entry. Click to view large photos, and descriptions, if you’re interested, are under the gallery. Indulge, and bon appetit πŸ˜‰

 

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Beyond V-Day

I had been contemplating the idea of investing in a better camera for a long time. At one point in time I was seriously looking into a purchase within the next three months. This week, I gave it a little more thought. My final decision is that I will not be buying any fancy camera any time soon (that probably means at least not this year). I will stick to my basic Canon A2000 (and my Sony Ericsson K770i cell phone camera, if I don’t have my Canon) for my day-to-day photography.

Many friends have encouraged me to get a DSLR for my adventures in Europe, and I do admit it’s going to be quite a loss if I were to insist on getting the perfect images, but really, anything beyond a pocket camera is simply impractical for me at the moment. Not to mention the cost of getting one of these babies, but having to carry a large camera around everywhere I go would be a hassle in the first place. I don’t think a DSLR would be on my list of things-I-bring-to-work-in-my-backpack-every-day, and it certainly is not something I’d like to lug around my neck most of the day. (Maybe I just need to be convinced that they’re not all as inconvenient as I imagine them to be.) My little A2000, however, conveniently fits into my coat pocket and I can draw it out any time when I see anything interesting that catches my attention (examples to follow).

I have no intention of becoming anything near a professional any time soon, although I have definitely developed a strong interest in photography after observing the works of my peers. However, I think I have also underestimated the amount of time that is needed to dive into the field and truly experience the essence of professional photography. I realize that this is time that I am unable to afford at this stage, and so I will remain as an outsider and retain this interest until much later, when I feel that I have the time to take on the challenge.

In the end, my purpose for taking photos is not to have gorgeous colours and effects, though that would be an added bonus. Photographing daily life is a pleasure in itself and does not require any extensive equipment beyond a small camera for an amateur. Of course, travel photography is much more thrilling, but to get a DSLR just for this purpose – with the constraints of budget and time in mind – is not worth it, in my opinion.

Enough about cameras and on with the photos πŸ˜› By the way, happy Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day, whichever one applies to you. Personally I think V-Day is immensely overrated anyway.

 
We start off this post with some adorable animals that I’ve encountered in Bordeaux. The first two photos are of a cat that happened to be staying at a friend’s house for a couple of weeks when I was visiting. It was a shy fellow, always hiding in the corner like a spy observing our every move. It has such sharp and beautiful eyes though, and no, it is not dead in the second picture. Next, friend and I met a small puppy during a walk. This little guy was tricky; I was never able to capture a picture of it from the front, but it was cute, nevertheless. (Click on photos for full-sized version.)

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Chinese new year!

It is belated, but happy Chinese new year!

On Saturday, February 5th, 2011, the Bordeaux Chinese Christian Fellowship organized a new year’s event in the form of a gospels gathering for the Chinese community of Bordeaux. The gathering took place at the new Cenon church and the flow of the event was as follows:

(1) Welcome and greeting
(2) Performance by worship team
(3) Testimony and sharing
(4) Message from pastor
(5) Response and benediction
(6) FOOD!

Weeks of preparation went into this event, and every brother and sister put in all of his/her effort into making the event a success and making our guests feel welcomed in the house of the Lord. I am still excited, three days later, when I think about that day when I experienced such joy and fulfillment…

With weekly worship team rehearsals and co-worker meetings during the entire month of January, I was beginning to feel like my work at fellowship is a full-time job rather than my PhD. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing fine and I haven’t neglected my responsibilities as a student. It just makes me feel so stress-relieved to be away from office politics and plunge into a family of love and comfort.

The event began at 11 o’clock in the morning, but with anticipation in our hearts, co-workers began their preparation at 8:30. Since our church just moved and the construction is not nearly complete at the new location, we weren’t left with great conditions to work with – no heat, no functional bathroom (there is a “chemical bathroom” and two public bathroom stalls nearby), and no structure. Great. It seemed like we had to start from nothing, didn’t it?

But God is amazing like that. He started us off with nothing and in the end, everything worked out. One couldn’t help but ask…what ISN’T possible?

I can only put a selected number of photos here but if you’re interested in seeing the full spectrum, feel free to visit the fellowship web site or Facebook.

Simple decorations, but the combination of red and yellow transformed an empty church into a bright haven. The set-up was rather delicate, in the that cross on the right was placed directly in front of a window pane. As the sun shone through, the two crosses gave off a yin-yang effect. Pretty neat. The centre of the stage would soon become a popular spot for after-event photo spree πŸ˜›

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Plunging back into work

Back in Bordeaux, we’re in our third work week of 2011. According to 680 News, yesterday (Monday) was the most depressing day of the year. I wasn’t all that depressed, but I certainly felt unusually tired for most of the day, to a point where I was almost sure that I’d fall asleep in the lab.

Work as a PhD student was starting to pick up slowly and surely before the winter holidays, but as soon as I returned to work from the break, stress and workload escalated exponentially. Before Christmas, I already felt the sense of impending doom as I planned the big experiments to perform in the new year. Then came two weeks of indulgence in festivities and now, that foreshadowed impending doom is manifesting. All of a sudden, I am not bored anymore. Tasks and responsibilities began to pour upon me like Niagara Falls, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’m being productive, if that is even possible in France.

Since being busy means that I haven’t had much time to go around and take new photos (and in turn, update on time), I will be putting up some previously acquired photos for the next few weeks. Today’s set of photos were taken throughout the winter holidays, and incidentally, these were all taken by my cell phone. You’ll notice that a few of them are related to a Christmas gathering that was held at the Bordeaux Church on December 24th, 2010, of which I was one of the organizers along with my Christian fellowship. Click here for photos of the actual event.

Here’s a guy cutting up cheese at Auchan, the local mega-supermarket. THOSE WERE GIGANTIC HUNKS OF CHEESE! Greatly amusing. This reminds me that maybe I should resume the wine and cheese tasting, the regularity of which has declined since December.

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