About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Five flavors of life and last year as a dish

One of my language exchange friends had another interesting discussiong about food. We were discussing the five flavors (she is always giving me recipes for Taiwanese foods.) She said that life is like the five flavors and that got me thinking about the past year. The flavors are: sweet ( 甜   tianTone 2),  sour (酸  suanTone 1) , spicey ( 辣  laTone 4),   salty ( 鹹  xianTone 2), bitter (苦 kuTone 3).

I can say what 2010 was not. It was not a very spicey, nor was it bitter. It wasnt sour, but there were moments of sweetness, my daughter, going home for Chinese New Year, weekend island trips, friends. Otherwise, the year was very bland, just working hard, working out hard (is that salty or pungent ?) If I could describe the past year as a dish it might be something peasanty, nutritious, simple,w/o pretentions. Often when I am in a hurry and want something warm and nourishing I will make a white bean stew with carrots and celery, heavy on the garlic, and throw in a couple of pork ribs. If my year could be a Taiwanese dish, it would be rice congee or just a simple noodle soup, fortified with rice wine and black sesame oil.

What am I hoping for 2011? More nourishing sweetness.

1 comment:

pebblefoot said...

Thanks for the info about flavors. I wrote a good article about the 24 seasons of the year in Chinese culture that you might want to see.


I'm also running a survey of cram schools in Taiwan and wanted to invite you to check it out. I'm a student at NTU working on my MBA degree and intend to use the data to write my thesis (and hopefully impress my professors!).