Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Great New Years Party-- Winter 2008

First, daffodil carving lessons from St. Daffodil. Every year just at the heart of winter the daffodil bulbs arrive in Taiwan. St. Daffodil is the keeper of a Buddhist temple. He is left alone for the most part so he has devoted a large area of the temple space to his daffodil bulb collection. After storing the bulbs in the dark for about 5 days, the bulbs are ready to carve. Why carve out the flowers of a daffodil? Ordinarily each globe grows only one flower. By carving the flowers out of the daffodil bulb it is possible to make several flowers bloom from one daffodil.

After carving, soak in water for about 5 days or until roots start growing out. When the growth is visible, place the bulb in a small bowl half filled with water and cover the roots with some damp cotton is shown below. Take the bulbs out into the sun everyday and bring them in at night if it is freezing.
Later, Mr. Zeng taught me how to carve the daffodils in a was an article about him in the newspaper. Mr. Zeng is one of the most talented storytellers I've heard in a while. He used to keep close to a dozen people listening attentively to his stories as he chuckled them off as if talking to an old close friend. "I count on my mouth to make a living," He he would admit halfway through the story, "so you shouldn't listen to a word I say." And it just made everyone want to listen carefully to what he was saying.

As we learn to carve the daffodil bulb's we had some first prize winning Sun Moon Lake number 18 Taiwan black tea from Taiwan. Not just competition winning first-tier number 18 black tea. This was 1st place. El numero uno.

Tea with a reported tea value of $156 for the amount shown below.

Some of the older folks in the room were pressing younger folks to name the flavor of this tea. A young girl in the room said, "It has such a cool feeling."

"Yes, it is cool." Said an older man. The flavor is there. I know it and I can name it. I wonder should I say it out of fear of sounding foolish, I cannot help to blurt it out, "it tastes like mint."

"Ahh, he said it." Older men shout out with glee. Again, I am unable to suppress my gut instinct, "Why pay this much for a black tea that tastes like mint tea when I can drink mint tea for $1 a glass?"
The answer: "Because that is the amazing thing about this tea. No mint was added."

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