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Vivien Chien
"It is my firm belief that every once in a while, the universe will present you with a gift. It could be something very small and seemingly insignificant, but it will lead you down the right path. And usually, it’s when you least expect it."
Vivien Chien (Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #1))
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Victoria Abbott Riccardi
"One day we strolled down the Philosopher's Path, which proved as enchanting as I had hoped in the fragrant pink bloom of spring. Since ancient times, the Japanese have heralded the arrival of the cherry blossoms because they symbolize the ephemeral beauty of life.
But it isn't just the three or four days of open flowers that stirs the senses. It is their arrival and departure. Looking at a bud about to burst open offers the pleasurable anticipation of rebirth, while the soft scattering of petals on the ground is often considered the most beautiful stage of all because it represents the death of the flowers.
Another day I took John to one of my tea kaiseki classes to watch the making of a traditional picnic to celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms. While he sat on a stool near my cooking station, Stephen and I cooked rice in water flavored with kelp, sake, and light soy, then packed it into a wooden mold shaped like a chrysanthemum. After tapping out the compact white flower, we decorated it with two salted cherry blossoms.
We wrapped chunks of salted Spanish mackerel in brined cherry leaves and steamed the packets until the fatty fish turned milky in parts. We also made cold seafood salad, pea custard, and chewy millet dumplings, which we grilled over a charcoal burner until brown and sticky enough to hold a coating of ivory Japanese poppy seeds."
Victoria Abbott Riccardi (Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto)
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