Today is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The Dog days of January have begun! It is the Year of the Red Fire Dog. Fire is equivalent to the color red in the Chinese Five-Element system. Since fire is hot, can we say that 2006 will be the year of the ‘HOT DOG ‘
In news reports, residents in Beijing were allowed to set off fireworks and firecrackers on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 12 years. They made the most of the opportunity and filled the skies with brightly colored explosions until the early morning hours. Windows shook and pedestrians often scattered but the massive displays of pyrotechnics were believed to attract the God of Wealth to people’s homes.
According to Joe Pinner, my good friend from Mr. Knozit days, this is going to be an auspicious year for rabbits too, especially when in the company of dogs! Former Columbia resident, Eileen Conti Weklar of Feng Shui Designs and Solutions in Virginia, passed this bit of information on to Joe with the following verse:
“WHEN THE DOG MEETS THE RABBIT,
THE PATH TO WEALTH IS APPARENT.
WHEN THIS COMBINATION IS UNDERSTOOD –
THE CHI OF GREAT AUSPICIOUSNESS WILL FLOW IN EVERY HOME”
Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun
“Professor Lin Yun recommends wearing or carrying an accessory in the form of a rabbit this year. This is because within the Chinese zodiac signs, the rabbit is the most compatible with the dog. There is an ancient Chinese saying that “rabbit and dog will bring wealth and prestige.”
On her website, Eileen writes, FENG SHUI is unlocking the secrets of ancient wisdom to create safe, prosperous and tranquil environments for modern people in a complex world.” For more information on the ancient practice of Feung Shui, visit Eileen’s site at, www.eileenweklar.com.
Thanks for sharing Joe – hope you won’t mind if I pass this along.
Carolina Asian Market
Driving down Assemble Steet Friday, I saw an Asian market unfamiliar to me. Carolina Asian Market and Gifts, at 128 Assemble Street has large glass-front freezers packed with a wealth of Chinese dim sum and other tasty foods. There are quality packaged dumplings for boiling, steaming or pan frying. There are serveral varieties of stuffed dumplings and buns- chicken, pork & chive and vegetarian. Char su bao are buns stuffed with Chinese BBQ roast pork. You will find spring roll wrappers, yaki soba noodles and won ton, some stuffed with spinach. Steamed sticky rice cake, green tea and red bean ice cream, red bean ice cream bars, delicious mochi filled with ice cream (glutinous rice cakes), onion pancake, fish, seafood and other foods are available. The frozen food are of high quality – especially appreciated by the Chinese students at the University of South Carolina.
One familiar brand of dumplings and stuffed buns comes from Wei-chuan USA, Inc. They are the largest Asian food manufacturer based in Los Angeles with plants throughout the U.S. In an effort to preserve authentic Chinese flavors, food professionals from China were invited to participate in the product development process. Wei-Chuan Beijing Style Dumpling product series was developed with the support of a master chef adviser from Beijing. Wei-Chuan’s products include egg rolls, spring rolls noodles, rice bowls, condiments and sauces. I enjoyed taking culinary classes at Wei-chuan culinary school in Taipei in the late seventies.
There is a nice variety of refrigerated fresh vegetables and basic staples – bags of rice, canned and dry goods and even several attractive arrangements of lucky bamboo. If you need help with your selection, speak with Sharon.
Miyo’s Gourmet Group
Four of my favorite Columbia Chinese restaurants are part of the Miyo’s Gourmet Group, owned by former Shanghai resident Michelle Wang. They offer high quality in food production and service. Prices are reasonable and the unique ambience of each restaurant is enjoyable. I especially like M Cafe -an Asian grille and Mandarin Tea Room. The gorgeous they use attract me as much as the tasty cuisine.
Celebrate the New Year and enjoy chicken potstickers, shrimp dumplings, lobster springrolls, Pearl sui mei (open-face rice and mushroom dumplings),cold sesame noodles, beef sate and crispy fried calamari. This is only a portion of the appetizer menu! No MSG, fine wines, vegetarian cuisine available, great desserts. Dinner reservations suggested.
Miyo’s on 922 S. Main: 803-779.MIYO (Fine Shanghai and Szechuan Cuisine)
Miyo’s on 3250 Forest Dr: 803-743.9996 (Asian Noodle and Curry)
M Cafe: 1417 Sumter St. 803-779.5788 (Asian grille and Mandarin Tea Room)
Miyo’s Harbison 1220 E-2 Bower Parkway: 803-781.7488
Sesame Inn Chinese Restaurant at 280 Harbison Blvd. is also very popular with a good following. Call (803) 732-7867 for more information.