Salted kumquats

Salted kumquats

Kumquat is excellent for moving qi in the chest and stomach, clearing stagnation that causes coughing, likely with some phlegm, and improving a poor appetite. Obviously these qualities make kumquats really good to have on hand with a respiratory pandemic going around – not as some miracle cure, but as a small balm for the 85% of those who catch it, but will be fortunate enough to weather their illness at home.

Seven daily necessities

Seven daily necessities

Years ago when I was learning conversational Mandarin Chinese at PCC, one of the lessons I remember most clearly was about the seven necessities of daily life for common folk. The lesson began with the aphorism, which I’m translating figuratively, “Seven necessities to start the…

Cooking oils and their diverse uses

Cooking oils and their diverse uses

Ever stand in front of the cooking oil selection at a market, trying to parse which out of the many oils available you should buy? Or, do you give up from the start, just grabbing whatever is on sale, whatever brand you know, whatever you…

On soy sauces, or, Why you need to read ingredient labels

On soy sauces, or, Why you need to read ingredient labels

Did you know that your average bottle of soy sauce doesn’t contain only soy, but wheat? What’s more, the cheapest soy sauces on the market aren’t fermented from whole ingredients at all, and so are often spiked with food coloring, flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate,…