October 1st is National Day in China, a public holiday marking the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. (Almost) everyone in China has a week off work and takes the opportunity to do some travelling. Trains are booked up weeks in advance and tourist areas are unbearably crowded. Our house is full for a week, mostly with friends, but also with a number of climbers coming to check out this up and coming climbing destination. To mark the holiday and our opening, Ling cooked up this incredible feast.
We put in an order for mushrooms with the village at the top of the valley – just a few kilos is what we said. Just as the fruit sellers here always add a few extra thinking you’ll probably take it, the guy tried his luck and carried just over 10 kg of freshly picked porcini mushrooms down the mountain. At a fraction of the price in the city, we could hardly say no. Ling got to work cleaning, chopping and frying them with garlic, and now we have a freezer full of delicious mushrooms.
The garden has also been providing us with some fresh organic vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squashes. We haven’t had the space or time to do the garden properly this year, but next year we want to grow a lot more.
The peach tree in front of the toilet has been producing a good number of tasty peaches. I’ve been on a peach heavy diet of about 5 a day, but they’re ripening too fast. I turned what was left into 12 jars of peach jam. It’s the first time I’ve made peach jam, but of all the jams I’ve made, I’d say it’s the best. Jam making isn’t something they do traditionally in China, probably because they don’t have any bread to put it on. The neighbours where quite inquisitive to try it, but then remarked that it’s a bit sweet for their tastes. Chinese, for the most part, don’t do sweet. I’m not a big fan of sweet either, but a spoon of it on my morning porridge goes down well.