糯米塞藕

  荷藕都可入畫,其清新高雅,為世人所贊,它們亦均可入菜,其爽淡可口,為大家所賞,所谓”上得廳堂,下得廚房”,正是如此。

  藕是荷的根,深埋在塘泥裡,那句”出污泥而不染”,說的便是。據說,污泥越黑,花就越高潔。

  然而說到做菜,學問還不止如此。就說藕吧,同樣是塘裡出來的,若是一潭死水,便絕然比不過活水裡生長的。而且,如果塘裡魚類品種眾多,營養自然就豐富、均衡,產出來的藕也自然愈加鮮嫩。用藕做菜,極是爽口,最常見的,有糖醋藕片、藕夾和糯米塞藕。

  糯米塞藕是江南的傳統菜式,或者說點心;若此物食用之時,澆上桂花糖漿,便稱之為桂花藕。桂花糖藕以杭州的最為出名,因為西湖白花藕被認為是藕中的極品。

  做糯米塞藕,要選用隔年的老藕。所謂隔年老藕,不是隔年采上來曬乾了的,而且花葉謝了之後,過了冬天再挖上來的藕。那時的藕,最是粗壯。藕要挑白的,白鮮水靈,當然漂亮,而且要選又粗又直的中段,孔裡的泥比較少,也方便把糯米塞進去。另外,要备三四兩糯米,在制作前一兩個小時浸好。

  有人喜歡在洗藕的時候,把表皮刮去,其实大可不必。因為藕極易氧化,即使刮去表皮,等到把米塞好,表面还是会起一層黑皮。其實,藕煮好之後,表皮會自然翹起,衹要輕輕撕去即可。

  洗完後,把藕的一頭切下手指寬的一片來,被切下的那片,可以浸在水中,以後還要蓋回去。這時应该仔細地觀察一下藕孔,如果孔裡有淤泥的話,就要把藕的另一頭也切一片下來,用急而細的水流從孔裡衝過去洗淨。然後,便是塞糯米了,如果藕的兩頭都被切下,先把一頭切下的藕片照著切口放回去,再豎著插入幾根牙簽固定。

  把藕豎起來,將米一調羹一調羹地舀起放在藕洞上,那些洞極小,米又輕,是絕不會自己落下去的,所有要用筷子把米推進洞裡,並且要一直杵到底。這是件相當細致的活,因為每次衹能塞进五六粒米去,而且都要把米塞到底,實在需要很好的耐心。這裡有個小竅門是用手攏住藕,就可以一次舀上兩三勺的糯米,稍稍節省一點時間。雖說要極好的耐心,卻也衹不過花上十五分鍾就能塞好一節藕,比那传说中把肉塞进绿豆牙的要方便多了。記住,每個洞裡都要塞滿塞紧。

  然後,把藕片依著切口蓋回,用牙簽固定,就可以放在鍋中煮了。鍋當然要大,水也要多,一定要把藕浸沒。接着,把火開到最大,等水沸後,改成中小火,並且加入冰糖。一大鍋水要放七兩到一斤冰糖,煮至少四個小時。

  藕煮好,切也是一門學問。燙的時候不能切,容易碎;冷透了切,又不好吃了。將藕取出去後,輕輕地剝去外面的皮,等藕不燙手,切成片,趁熱吃,最是香糯。切藕的刀,要够薄够快,切的动作也要利落,一刀是一刀,絕不能拖泥帶水,否則的話,藕孔裡的糯米會被刀帶出來。

  裝藕的盤子不用花哨,樸素最好,纯白的瓷盘微红的糯米藕,已是绝配。

  這糯米藕的甜味,靠的是文火大湯,慢慢地煮進去,那甜在有意無意之間,又不会掩盖藕本来的清香。這種做法,講究的就是一個耐心,絕對不能象菜場攤子那樣,用高壓鍋煮得酥透,再淋上極稠的廉價紅糖汁。那種糯米藕,是要吃倒胃口的。

Note of baking calculator project – number 3

Note of baking calculator project – number 3

I’m continuously learning Perl/Tk by reading the book O’Reilly Mastering Perl/Tk, I finished the second chapter today which talks about the Geometry Management and ‘pack’ method. The key notes are as follow:

  • With the exception of place, differences between the geometry managers make it difficult (not entirely impossible, but definitely not recommended) to use more than one geometry manager within the same area. … because the two geometry managers will get into a race condition …
  • Frame within a window that uses a different geometry manager.
  • With the pack geometry manager, our windows are similar to the wooden puzzle, because widgets cannot overlap or cover each other, partially or completely.
  • @list = $parentwidget->packSlaves( );
    packSlaves returns an ordered list of all the widgets that were packed into $parentwidget.

Perl and Unicode

Perl and Unicode

I continued reviewing Perl this morning; more and more things came back. I read the Chapter 15 Unicode of O’Reeilly Programming Perl and found some useful links. The main concept of Perl Unicode is that from version 5.6, Perl thinks in character instead of byte. The biggest effected function is regular expression, the most powerful tool of Perl. Also, I read articles from ISO 10646, which is a big5+Hongkong charset. I tried a software convert between different charset, the software called ConvFairy (difficult to find it, you’d better try search by yourself since the links are always broken). The articles from Unicode Consortium are also very good and recommended to have a look.

清蒸仔魚 油燜筍 蘇式爆鱔 面拖蟹 糯米塞藕 蟬翼黃瓜

Today, Lara and I went to the food market. Later on, I did cooking.

20040221_cooking_cooking_01.jpg
清蒸仔魚
steamed river fish (Zi Yu).

20040221_cooking_cooking_02.jpg
油燜筍
oil steamed bamboo shot.

20040221_cooking_cooking_03.jpg
蘇式爆鱔
deep fried Suzhou-style eel.

20040221_cooking_cooking_04.jpg
面拖蟹
stir-fried crab.

20040221_cooking_cooking_05.jpg
糯米塞藕
lotus root with sticky rice inside.

20040221_cooking_cooking_07.jpg
The preparation for the sweet-and-sour cucumber.

20040221_cooking_cooking_06.jpg
蟬翼黃瓜
sweet-and-sour cucumber.

Note of baking calculator project – number 2

Note of baking calculator project – number 1

This morning, I did a quick and dirty review of the Perl by reading the famous Johan Vromans’ Perl Quick Reference Guide. Perl is great for me; I felt that after read the 31 pages reference. Afternoon, I firstly read Steve Lidie’s Getting Started With Perl/Tk and the book of O’Reilly Master Perl/Tk, designed the version and about windows for the application.


Above: The version window of the baking calculator.


Above: The about window of the baking calculator.

Apache httpd upgraded and re-configured

The website is running under httpd 1.3.29 for a long time, and these days it became slower and slower, I decided to upgrade it to httpd 2.0.48.
I downloaded it, configured it and did make, make install. Everything looked ok but I can’t find any information in the PID. Actually it automatically quit the process immediately.
I checked the error log, it said as follow:
[Fri Feb 20 20:41:17 2004] [alert] (22)Invalid argument: setgid: unable to set
group id to Group 4294967295
[Fri Feb 20 20:41:18 2004] [alert] Child 15144 returned a Fatal error…
Apache is exiting!
Fatal error, the biggest problem under linux is always the most difficult problem. I read manual and found that “Group #-1” wasn’t accepted by the server, I changed it into “Group root”, done.
Another problem I got was that the IE browser can’t automatically arecognize the charset of the pages. I changed all my Chinese pages information from tp . The only difference is that the letter case. Even THML document is case insensitive, but I read some articles say that has to be upper case.
One more step, I added following lines into httpd.conf:
AddDefaultCharset off
AddCharset GB2312 .GB2312 .GB2312
Wow, the problem solved.

Note of baking calculator project – number 1

Note of baking calculator project – number 1

The concept and brief idea of the Baking Calculator
Basically, the programming will use Windows 2000 environment to implement and since the tools I use are all Linux/Unix tools Win32 ports. So, ideally, the project can be easily moved to Linux/Unix system.
Tools:
1. Perl, main coding language for this project
2. mySQL, the database server for store data, use DBI:mysql to perform with perl
3. Apache, the httpd server for web
4. Tk, the GUI implementation, use Perl:Tk module to perform with perl
Ideal functionality:
1. Store recipes
2. Calculate depend on serves
3. Weight/temperature convert
4. New recipes
5. Search by materials/categories
6. Cross category function
7. Cookbook generate

I decided to stop learning Tcl

I decided to stop learning Tcl

I decided to stop learning the Tcl coding language because I found it is too simple. Originally, the reason why I picked Tcl is that I want to use Tk and eventually I found there is a good module Perl:Tk under perl. I played perl very well, and then why not use perl to do the visual Tk part? I will keep learning Tk and wrote note for how to design a cooking calculator, and share my experience with my friends.

I started learning Tcl/Tk for a cooking calculator

Tcl/Tk for a cooking calculator

Last night, almost in the dream, I decided to learn Tcl/Tk. I bought a set of training course two years, or three years, before from amazon.com. The training course called The Complete Tcl/Tk Training Course (2nd edtion).
Now it is already the forth edition. The set had already been translated into Chinese version, you can find it here.
Today, I finished first half part of the Tcl, including the code grouping, substitution, math expression and other key terms.
This time, I learn it under Windows environment. The version I selected is ActiveState Tcl from http://www.activestate.com, I used their Perl from the first version.
The biggest reason why I did decide to learn it is that I want to design a cooking calculator for Sam, let’s wait and see how do I create it step by step.

生煸蝴蝶片

  蝴蝶片――多麼好聽的一個名字,然而卻衹是一道菜名,而且不是用蝴蝶做的。或許蝴蝶亦可入菜,但恐怕要算是異域風情了。蝴蝶片是用鱔魚做的,上桌之前,鱔背當中卷曲而兩邊伸展,頗似一隻蝴蝶展翅欲飛,而且奇香撲鼻,很有特色。

  鱔魚,是江南極其普通的食物原料,譬如響油鱔糊、蜜汁脆鱔、蝦爆鱔和栗子鱔筒煲等,都是用這鱔魚做的。鱔魚以白色的為好,衹是極其稀少,有錢難求。白色的鱔魚叫做白鱔,鱔魚的英文是eel,然而這白鱔卻不能直接譯之為「white eel」,因為英文裏的鰻魚也是eel,而鰻魚本來就是白的。

  歐美人士多不食鱔,在他們眼裏,我們食鱔,就如同我們看別人喫蝴蝶一般。我表弟也不食鱔,說是因那玩意似蛇,故而害怕,所以自幼不喫。許多年過去,表弟已長大成人、娶妻生女,他依然不食鱔魚,倒是啖蛇啖得厲害。

  其實,鱔魚更是美於蛇,小的鱔魚宜劃鱔絲,大的則適宜切鱔筒,豁鱔背以四兩至六兩的鱔魚為好。鱔背並不是指食用的部分,上海人說的鱔背是一種鱔魚去骨的方法。

  鱔絲,是將鱔魚泡得半熟劃開,而鱔背講究的是活殺,過去常有人執活鱔魚尾做鞭將鱔魚抽死,說是如此更加鮮美,可是此舉有「虐食」之嫌,為我輩所不用也。

  現在多是取一木板,朝天釘一鐵釘,將活鱔頭頂朝上顎朝下套上鐵釘,然後在頸部橫著一刀深至斷骨,頓時斃命。然後沿著鱔背,直著入刀,把一邊的肉與骨從頭分開至尾,再起刀將刀刃朝自己,從頭至尾剔出另一邊,這樣,一條鱔骨及鱔腸即被取出,因此,不論鱔絲鱔背,總是三刀,劃鱔絲是完全相同的三刀,分成三條,豁鱔背則是無一相同的三刀,割成一片。

  菜場的鱔魚攤都有代客豁鱔背的服務,顧客挑選鱔魚,秤好後,那攤主三下五除二,當場去骨,衹是豁鱔背是件精緻活,往往有些攤主少了那份耐心,不是將骨與肉細細豁開,而且純用快刀割斷兩肋的小骨,而因此在喫的時候會有骨刺,使人大是掃興。好食之人,往往親自為之,若是劃鱔絲,可防攤主以死鱔混雜,若是鱔背,可免小骨參差之煩。
鱔背豁好後,去頭去尾,洗淨後稍事晾乾。地道的做法是用數塊幹毛巾擦淨血污,絕不沾水,據說其味更美。然後要將鱔背皮朝下鋪在砧板上,用刀背從頭至尾拍打一遍,就像拍大排那樣。由於鱔魚背厚而腹薄,如此拍打才能使烹調的時候受熱均勻,更易入味。鱔魚肉緊,因此拍打的時候不妨用力大些。

  拍完之後,均勻地抺上細鹽少許,切成寸段待用。鱔魚可用少許澱粉上漿,但除芙蓉鱔背一樣外,切忌使用蛋清。因為用了蛋清便有鱔魚沒有洗淨之嫌。

  起一個油鍋,油不用太多但火要大。放入鱔背翻炒,加料酒、醬油和糖三味,其中,料酒可以稍微多一些,更容易翻炒,繼續翻炒兩三分鐘,即可起鍋,撒上白胡椒粉裝盆。此菜入鍋之時火一定要大,鱔腹才會收縮,兩邊的鱔背才會翹起,故名「蝴蝶片」,白胡椒粉必要起鍋再放,早放則久煮失味,而且白胡椒粉的香味衹能保存極短的時間。

  這道便是傳說中的生煸蝴蝶片,如今在上海幾乎連聽也聽不到,更別說喫了,曾經是上海百樂門大酒店的看家菜,現在也已不復可求。

牛肉拉條子 酸辣羊肚 酸甜黃瓜

It was the dinner engaged half month before when we was still in Gansu province. I promised Geneva, Robin and his wife that I will cook a western Chinese dinner fro them. I found a Muslim food court at the food market which only sells beef and goat. The pitchman gave me his home phone and cell phone number; let me inform him in advance for special order – like lamb. In Shanghai, people only eat goat instead of lamb in western China.
I called the pitchman at Feb. 13, Friday and asked him to prepare 3 kg beef, 2.5 kg lamb and one set of lamb tripe. Saturday morning at 10:30, Lara and I went to the food market and got the meat by 103 RMB ($12.5).
Later on, our maid clean the meat and we went out. Lara followed Xiao Xiao back so we got the chance to buy two big boilers at IKEA by 300 RMB ($37.5). We went home around 6:00 pm and started cooking quickly. I boiled both beef and lamb for five hours until 11:30 pm.
Saturday, I got up around 9:00 am and cut four small pieces of lamb stripe for testing cook. I found the stripe was too hard to be cooked well, so I also boiled it more almost three hours.
Geneva, Robin and his wife came to my home around 11:00 am. I let the maid go out to buy some pre-maid Lan Zhou elongated noodle (Lan Zhou La Mian) from a restaurant crosses the road. The restaurant asked for 25 RMB ($3) which is pretty expensive price, so Robin decided to make the noodle from flour at home. He did the job really good.
Zhu Qi came around 12:30 pm with Xiao Xiao and Lara, the dinner started. We had lamb, beef soup noodles, lamb soup, sour-and-spicy lamb stripe and sweet-and-sour cucumber. Of course, Chinese alcohol (Bai Jiu) was the must-have.

Beef soup noodles
牛肉拉條子
Beef soup noodles, the noodles made by Robin.

sour-and-spicy lamb stripe
酸辣羊肚
Sour-and-spicy lamb stripe.

Sweet-and-sour cucumber
酸甜黃瓜
Sweet-and-sour cucumber.

Let MT weblog accept and display Chinese

The easiest way to do it is that modify the mt.cfg file under cgi-bin folder. There are two things need to be set up:
1. set NoHTMLEntities to 1
2. set PublishCharset to UTF-8
The reason set the publish character set to UTF-8 instead of GB2312 is that you can enable both Simplify Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Also, even Japanese and Korean can be accepted by the system.

weblog rebuilt

After almost 3 months suck of lacking the functionalities of the weblog, I successfully rebuilt it this morning. I had to move my website from Shanghai Linux association server to the current server at last early December, the weblog stopped for a while since the new server doesn’t support Berkeley DB, mySQL and other database. Later on, I created a simulation server at home runs Berkerley DB and modified the weblog at home and uploaded to the server. The problem there was that the weblog can’t have the comment function.
This morning, I successfully installed DBD:SQLite and DBI on the server, which is also the last possibility to run weblog on that server. Fortunately, it works very well. So, now the weblog is back and welcome my friends.

博客優化

Today, I did more study and research on the test server. I was reading the MT tags and created a full listed tags page, it works well. Later on, I moved all the pictures from weblog site to main site. Now, the entire weblog is around 5M instead of 20M before.

Website connetion speed problem solved

Today, I successfully solved the problem of my own personal website connection speed problem. I had moved my website www.yuleshow.com from Linux Association server to my friend Worm Wang’s server. After that, I found that the server was really slow, it always took 5 to 20 seconds to load the homepage. I checked the server today and found that the first line of virtual server was set as asterisk instead of real IP address. I changed it and the server works well.

Movable Type blog research and study – set the test server

Environment: newly installed Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4. The computer is Dell OptiPlex G1 with 7.9 G harddisk, 392 Mb RAM and running under Pentium II 500. The first partition is 4G for the Windows 2000 system and the rest is set as drive I: for this test project. Two folders are created for the purpose, i:blogblogtest.yuleshow.com and i:bloglogs.
1. httpd for Win32
The web server which I select is Apache httpd server from its official website. The version is 2.0.48 (February 6, 2004). httpd has been installed into i:bloghttpd with default function, the following lines has been added to httpd.conf which create a VirtualHost.
<VirtualHost 192.168.19.33>
ServerAdmin yuleshow@yahoo.com
ServerName blogtest.yuleshow.com
DocumentRoot i:/blog/blogtest.yuleshow.com
ErrorLog i:/blog/logs/blogtest.yuleshow.com-error_log
TransferLog i:/blog/logs/blogtest.yuleshow.com-access_log
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ i:/blog/blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin/
<Directory i:/blog/blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin>
AllowOverride None
Options ExecCGI
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
</Directory>
</VirtualHost>
2. Perl for Win32
The Perl which I select for this project is ActiveState Perl. I use this Perl parser from 1998 to 2002, and really think it is the best Perl parser under Windows environment. By the date February 6, the version I got from http://www.activestate.com is 5.8.2 build 808. Perl has been installed into i:blogperl with default function.
Defaultly without DB_File module or DBD::mysql, use PPM to install it, commands as follow:
install DB_File
install DBD-mysql
3. ftpd for Win32
I select RaidenFTPD as the ftpd server. The version is 2.4 build 1159 (February 9, 2004) from http://www.raidenftpd.com. ftpd had been installed into i:blogftpd.
1. extract MT-2.661-full-lib.tar.gz.
2. create a folder called mt-static under web root as well as cgi-bin, same leavl.
3. create a folder called db under cgi-bin
4. copy the folders docs, images and file styles.css into mt-static.
5. copy the folders extlib, lib, schemas, search_templates, tmpl and files *.cgi, mt.cfg into cgi-bin.
6. open i:blogblogtest.yuleshow.comcgi-binmt.cgi, change the first line to
#!i:/blog/perl/bin/perl.exe -w
so for the other cgi files except mt-db-pass.cgi.
7. modify the mt.cfg file, set
CGIPath http://blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin/
StaticWebPath /mt-static/
8. check http://blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin/mt-check.cgi from client to see if the system reach the requirement of MT.
9. load http://blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin/mt-load.cgi, then delete i:blogblogtest.yuleshow.comcgi-binmt-load.cgi.
10. use http://blogtest.yuleshow.com/cgi-bin/mt.cgi with the user name Melody and password Nelson to config the MT.
11. Click the name Melody at the top right corner, change to Yule Show and set the other information.
12. Go to weblog config to set the corresponding information.

炒螺螄

  螺螄是一種不上臺面的東西,過去上海還有排檔的時候,人行道上花壇邊,支起一兩張小桌,幾條長凳,旁邊的攤主架著個爐子,現點現炒現賣。這螺螄是排檔必備的,五角錢炒上一盤,再拿上幾瓶啤酒,三五知己便能天南地北聊到深夜。有些排檔生意好、備貨多,可以一直開到凌晨,於是可以邊吃螺螄,邊看早起的人們,掃街的、送牛奶的、賣報紙的以及剛做完夜班急著趕回家的,等到晨曦初起,開得再晏的排檔也得收攤了,留下一地的螺螄殼。螺螄在排檔越賣越貴,從最早的五角一盤到後來的五元一盤,味道依然鮮美,唯一改變的是盛放的工具变成了一次性的泡沫塑料盆了。時至今日,當年的排檔已消聲匿跡,不復可求。

  螺螄是一種適合在路燈下吃的東西,過去有些人們住房條件差,那時又沒有空調,到了夏天的晚上,便在弄堂口的路燈下放隻「骨牌矮凳」
,上面放上一碗炒螺螄,一碗吃剩一半的咸鯗魚,外加一碗炒青菜,夫妻對坐在兩隻小小的工礦企業廢棄的線軸上,男人喝酒,女人吃飯。這時,是鄰居互相攀談的時候。女人們無非張家長李家短地說些雞毛蒜皮;男人們可不一樣,雖說喝的是零拷的生啤,抽的也是沒有過濾嘴的大前門,可嘴裡聊的就算不是國際敏感問題,也至少攸關國計民生。煞風景的是,往往等那男人聊到意氣風發之時,攤水費的來了,收電費的也來了,於是那男的便沒了運籌帷幄的氣概,而為小火表到底該貼大火表多少字而「狗皮倒灶」
起來。

  這便是上海人,很有特色的上海人。上海的語言也極有特色,比如說那「吃」
字;在上海話中,但凡可以放入嘴中的,都可以用這「吃」
字。譬如喝茶,上海話便是「吃茶」
,再如「吸煙」
,上海話中卻是「吃香煙」
。唯有這螺螄不同,同樣是放入嘴中,然而卻叫做「嘬」
,過去還有段民謠,說的是「工人叔叔,螺螄嘬嘬;農民伯伯,雞腳掰掰。」
然而,在上海話裡也有「吃螺螄」
,即是對初學外語學得含混不清和嘲諷,像嘴裡含著一隻螺螄說話一樣。

  江南,有的是小橋流水,有湖有河,就是螺螄,螺螄味美,卻不值錢。現在,生活條件越來越好,吃海鮮的越來越多,吃螺螄的卻越來越少了。偶爾吃上一次,也不失為是種美好的回憶。

  螺螄在春天產子,小螺螄在母體內發育成形,因此,要趁螺螄肚子裡沒有小螺螄的時候吃,具體的時間是在清明之前。過了清明,不但肚子裡有子,而且據說還有毒素產生,俗諺云:「清明螺,賽過鵝」
,蘇滬語系裡,「螺」
和「鵝」
是同韻的。

  螺螄不要挑太大的買,大螺螄肉老子多,吃口不好;當然,太小的話也不易吸出,還是中等的最好。螺螄買來後要浸養,以便吐盡泥沙,浸螺螄的時候,可在盆中滴幾滴素油,傳說那樣螺螄就不會死了,而且泥沙可以吐得很乾淨。螺螄浸在水中,會張開蓋著的翳,用吸盤慢慢沿著盆壁往上爬,很是好玩。

  螺螄在烹調之前要剪斷尖尖的尾部,否則吃的時候吸不出肉來。現在菜場裡有賣剪好的螺螄,螺螄的尾部被剪不會影響生命,依然可以買回來浸養。

  起一個油鍋,一般的鐵鍋即可,若是不沾鍋,反而會被螺螄的硬殼劃傷。油不用太多,燒熱了,倒入螺螄翻炒,等到有青煙冒起,加入料酒,再炒;然後放入鹽、醬油、糖和水,加蓋煮燒。喜歡吃辣的,可以先用乾辣椒熗鍋。

  以前有個誤區,總是認為螺螄肉小,易老易縮,因此要快炒快起。其實不然,那螺肉在高溫的油易縮,在水裡卻沒問題。所以加了水之後,不妨加蓋多燒一會,讓湯水滲到螺螄裡,更加入味。湯水也可以多一點,乾巴巴的螺螄不好吃,衹有那種一吸可以吸到一包鮮美湯水的才是享受。

  加蓋燒了一會,開蓋撒上少許白胡椒粉和蔥花,就可上桌。螺螄衹有靠口部的硬肉可吃,餘下的翳和腸皆不可食,特別是那翳,常聽祖母說起,若是誤食,易吸附在消化道壁上,造成嚴重後果。吃螺螄和嗑瓜子一樣,是個技術活,會吃的人,一下子便可讓面前的殼堆成小山。

  有些地方,也把螺螄叫做田螺,其實,兩樣東西並不一樣,後者的個頭要大得多,上海菜中有「糟田螺」和「田螺塞肉」兩樣,以後有機會再說。

重糖豬油八寶飯

  過去,辛苦了一年,衹有到年關,才能好好地調弄一桌菜,全家聚在一起,既回顧過往的一年,同時也展望新的生活。人們希望生活永遠是甜甜蜜蜜的,因此年夜飯上總少不了幾個甜點,其中甜羹、黑洋沙湯團、松糕和八寶飯是最具有代表性的。

  八寶飯是一種極甜的東西,有許多北方來上海幾十年的人,還是吃不下去。過去,家家戶戶在快過年的時候,都要制作八寶飯;後來,超市裡也出現了速凍八寶飯,雖然味道稍遜,可到底要方便許多。漸漸地,家庭制作的越來越少,到得現在,已幾乎沒人在家裡自制了。

  其實在家裡做八寶飯是件非常有趣的事,若是有幼童在旁邊搗亂邊幫忙,光那制作過程,也可謂人間至高的享受啊!八寶飯要八樣甘果,都要事先準備好,老式八寶飯中常用的有紅綠絲和糖冬瓜。紅綠絲是用澱粉加糖和色素做出來的,現在衹有到專業的店裡才能買到,糖冬瓜是將糖撒在蒸熟的冬瓜上,再風乾而成的。好的糖冬瓜色澤雪白,乾而不硬,大型的南貨店如三陽盛、邵萬生之類的至今有售。

  然而,那紅綠絲和糖冬瓜並非什麼好吃事物,衹是在物資匱乏的年代,聊以充數應景罷了。八樣甘果,故稱八寶,不但可做八寶飯,也可做八寶粥或是八寶芋泥之類的。如今,大可隨心所欲改換其它甘果,衹要應了八之數即可,哪怕真的多幾樣少幾樣也無大礙。

  我最喜歡放的是胡桃,胡桃又稱核桃,一隻胡桃可以剝成兩爿完整的半圓,使用時,要把每爿一分為二,否則太大不易取食,而擺放的時候,卻要把二塊小的再拼回成一爿大的,為的是美觀。葡萄乾是種不錯的選擇,綠色的更漂亮也更甜一些,可以挑一些顏色大小相仿的待用,如果葡萄乾上的「皺紋」太多太深,可以用點水先浸一下。瓜籽肉也挺好,挑顏色潔白,大同均勻的,瓜籽用西瓜籽為好,南瓜子色深,而葵花籽的話,還不如用松仁。鬆仁以新鮮的為好,色白油多,要記得把頂上的一個小圈去掉。蓮心也可以放,不過要事先煮熟,蓮心以當年的為好,陳蓮心色黃不易煮酥。

  八寶飯是用糯米做的,糯米要事先洗淨用水浸上幾個小時,然後蒸熟。蒸熟後取出,拌上少許糖粉和豬油,然後攤開晾著,糖粉是讓糯米更加幼滑,豬油是讓糯米松軟,糖不用多,多了粘手,油不要少,少了則不好吃。

  八寶飯是豆沙餡的,豆沙的量要與糯米相當,甚至更多。豆沙有現成的,超市裡有售,不過那種豆沙是用高速粉碎機打出來的,豆皮也在裡面,粘度不夠,口感也不好。過去,每到年底,家家都要磨糯米粉、黑洋沙,包蛋餃和做豆沙。豆沙要用當年的赤豆,浸泡一天,然後換水煮熟,放在石臼裡杵,等杵散了,用水漂洗,其中的豆皮會浮起來,撩去豆皮後,泌乾水份再杵,然後,將杵得極細的豆沙放在布裡,上覆重石以壓乾水份。最後,用豬油和糖與豆沙拌炒,炒過的豆沙比較香。炒豆沙是件細致活,火絕對不能大,火一大豆沙就焦。炒豆沙要不斷攪動,糖要多,分幾次加入,等到豆沙開始變色,就炒好了。

  然後就是制作了,取一隻大碗,在碗裡所有的地方,均勻地塗上豬油,把事先備好的甘果鋪在碗底,由於塗了豬油,甘果會被粘住,因此可以擺放出各種花樣來。如果要擺放「福」、「壽」之類的字樣,記得要將字反過來擺。

  擺好甘果,將糯米鋪入整個碗裡,鋪的時候要稍稍用力將糯米壓緊,厚薄要均勻,否則豆沙會滲出來。然後將豆沙放入鋪過糯米的碗裡,最後再鋪上一層糯米封底,八寶飯就做好了。

  過去有許多人家互贈八寶飯,將八寶飯從碗裡倒出來包在一種透明的塑料紙裡,那種紙叫「玻璃紙」,現在可以用保鮮膜代替,衹是透明度低一些,喙頭不夠。

  吃八寶飯之前,將整個碗放在蒸籠裡蒸,若是已經取出,還要放回去,蒸的時間不妨長一點,那樣才更軟更糯。蒸好後,拿個盆子覆在碗上,一起倒轉過來,然後輕輕地將碗掀起,就可看到那座精精致致的八寶飯了。

  八寶飯上桌前,還要淋上勾了薄芡的冰糖水,考究的,則用冰糖白木耳代替。八寶飯往往是年夜飯的最後一道,小朋友們往往吃過冷盆便去玩耍,逛了一大圈回來正好肚餓,那八寶飯又香又甜,小朋友吃起來真是狼吞虎咽,讓長輩們看著就覺得高興。

  其實,八寶飯不僅是小朋友的最愛,便是如梁實秋般的文豪,蘇曼殊般的奇僧,也都是八寶飯的忠實追隨者呢 !