Monday, February 27, 2012
2012 so far has been quite the Year of Travel. I've spent more time logged in airplanes that I probably have in my own kitchen at home--hence, if you'll excuse me, the shortage of recipes as of late. This doesn't mean that I haven't been cooking elsewhere, though! Like, making fried green tomatoes and stir-fried vegetables from fresh-picked produce in a foggy, dewy garden tucked away on the winding hillsides of Southern Taiwan. The amazing thing about this little island on the Tropic of Cancer is how bountiful its land is there, producing the largest variety of fruits and vegetables of every kind that you can imagine. Their carrots are triple the size of the carrots we get in the U.S. and are softer, more tender, and juicier the minute you slice into one. Passionfruit hangs off vines lining garden walls. Cabbage heads grow larger than my head (and I have a huge head). Farms come with lotus ponds (which come with slippery bricks, camera-holders beware). Harvest season is literally year-round.
My aunt and her friends have acquired a small farm up on the hillside of Kaohsiung, which I got to visit for the first time this past January. Here are some of the scenes from that morning. (P.S. the last photo is of squash tendrils that my aunt picked to saute. In Chinese, they're called "dragon-whisker vegetables." I love that name.)
P.P.S. Thank you to all of you who've written in with wonderful, wonderful advice on places to go and things to eat in Italy! I'm very much looking forward to it! :)