Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, December 18 – Cooler weather seems to bring out the vendors who walk around carrying their goods for sale in boxes or baskets attached to a bamboo or wooden yolk. They might be selling tofu, candy, fruit or something else. They usually have some kind of metal they strike with a certain rhythm which seems to indicate they are selling something. Even I have learned to recognize this sound and know to look for a vendorwhen I hear it! The sound reminds me of a cowbell! Today, we saw the man who is seated, taking a well-deserved rest since he had probably been walking along the lake before coming to the shopping plaza. I photographed the other two vendors last fall/winter.
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, December 4 – This display was set up outside of the supermarket in the town next to us. While this is not regularly there, snakes and turtles are commonly used as both food and Traditional Chinese medicine where we live, they are thought to give longevity and health when consumed. When snake is offered on a restaurant menu, it is often referred to as “dragon.” These people had a large container of snake wine and they were offering free samples, as well as selling bottles of it. Snake wine is made by infusing the whole snake in the wine. On display, there were also horseshoe crabs (which I’ve been told are used in soup), frogs, some kind of insects, and ganoderma (a type of mushroom). I personally missed seeing this, Jim and Leah saw it and took these pictures.
We walked along the lake to the plaza area for lunch today. There were a lot of people out because the peach trees, magnolias and other blossoms are blooming beautifully right now. People everywhere were taking pictures either of, or with, the blossoming trees. When so many people are out, there are also an abundance of vendors out. Just like back home, I think a favorite of the children are the balloons. The two kinds we saw today were very ornate twisted creations like backpacks and hats, and also simple colored balloons on sticks. I had never seen a vendor dressed as a clown before, clowns don’t seem as popular here as in the USA, so I had to take his picture! A balloon is called a qiqiu 气球, which literally translates as an “air ball. “
Roasted chestnuts! I wish I could take a picture of the way that warm little paper bag feels and smells! But, sorry … I can’t L Roasted chestnuts are my second favorite winter street food after sweet potatoes. I’ve thought of trying to roast them myself and then I think “Why??? These are readily available (except for last night when I asked Jim to get me some at 9PM on a chilly Monday night and the vendors had finished for the day!). So, today when Leah and I were out, we got some. They have a wok style pan with a rotating blade in which the chestnuts are roasted with little black pebbles, supposedly to keep the temperature even. A paper bag full (contents on the plate pictured) costs 15rmb or about $2.30usd. The Chinese also use chestnuts in cooking and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Being gluten intolerant, we regularly use chestnut flour for our baking.
Life in China: A Picture a day 2016, January 2 - Street food is very popular in China. I don't eat it often, partly because of my food allergy issues and partly because of food safety reasons. However....baked sweet potatoes are the exception, they are delicious! I'm not sure about other parts of China, but in our area, where there are people, there are sweet potato vendors :-)