Mooncake and books!

My mom and step-dad are here. (fosteronfilm and I engaged in a manic fit of scrubbing and cleaning and vacuuming yesterday, so the house is presentable.) They didn’t sleep well last night, waking up at the ungodly hour of 4AM, so we had an early night today. We ordered some Chinese delivery (don’t ask me why my folks insist on eating Chinese food when they travel to the states) and hung out at the house.

They continue to be both enchanted by and somewhat trepidatious about Hobkin. They stood around watching him eat dinner, which undoubtedly discomfited him a bit. And my mom thumped him on the head when he was napping (she thinks his ears are cute) and pulled on his legs (ditto cute paws), and he put up with it with remarkable forbearance. I think the women in my family have some sort of animal zen. It’s the only thing that explains it. If anyone else had taken such liberties with him, there would’ve been blood.

And my folks brought prezzies! They got me a three-volume set of Journey to the West, the story of the Monkey King and assorted folktales associated thereof.

My step-dad engaged in some traditional storytelling as I was oohing and aahing over the books they’d lugged for me all the way from China, telling how the mythological Journey to the West is based upon some real events, people, and places. We discussed the Lady of the Moon, Chang’er, and the origins of the Monkey King. He’s into Chinese mythology. Is that not totally cool or what?

And mooncakes!

I haven’t had mooncake since I was a little girl. I wrote several Chinese folktales concerning the Spring Festival and the Lady in the Moon, and ever since I’ve been craving them something fierce. fosteronfilm had never had mooncake before, so we split one. (For anyone who hasn’t experienced them, it’s not sensible nor wise to eat a mooncake all by yourself. They’re quite rich.) These ones have a sweet green filling, not as sweet as red bean paste. I think it’s lotus seed paste. Yumf! Now, I am full of mooncake. Happiness.


Writing Stuff

Received a 65-day personal reject from Sheila Williams of Asimov’s. She thought it was “charming,” but not for her. She did invite me to try them again.

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22 Responses to Mooncake and books!

  1. t_rex says:

    I love these posts about your family. I think it is so cool that your Mom is a happier person with her new husband, and that he helped you two reconnect. I spent the day with my Mom, Dad, and my dad’s family. The older I get, the more thankful I am to have such loving parents still in my life.

  2. sartorias says:

    I am so totally in lust with those three volumes…wow!

  3. faelad says:

    Your step-dad does sound cool. He sounds like someone I’d like to listen to.

    I’ve heard of moon-cakes, but I didn’t know what one looked like until reading this post. They look like they’d be really good…

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I really like my step-dad. I’m routinely astonished at how much I have in common with him.

      Re: mooncakes.

      They tend to be very, very sweet and can be filled with a variety of things including sweet red bean paste, black bean paste, lotus seed paste, dates, and even meat and eggs. Some of the varieties are definitely acquired tastes. The ones with an egg yolk inside them are, in my opinion, vile. But I like the sweet ones. They remind me of when I was little.

  4. fuzzdecay says:

    i have no idea what mooncakes are, but that looks really yummy!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Mooncakes are a traditional Chinese delicacy, eaten at holidays and special occasions, but especially the Spring and Mid-autumn festivals. They’re quite dense and rich. Some folks aren’t too keen on them, but I like them–as long as they’re partaken of with restraint.

  5. Wow!!! That mooncake is making me hungry. Yum!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Makes me want to learn how to make them myself! But they’re a really hard recipe to make. Plus I don’t know where I’d find bean paste or lotus seed paste.

      • dude_the says:

        Um… wouldn’t the paste be found at a nearish-by oriental food store? You do live in a large city now. 😉

        Traditional storytelling? *perk* OK, so since I assume you’re not videotaping it, your assignment is to be able to replicate it for me next time I’m down there. *nod*


        • Eugie Foster says:

          Um… wouldn’t the paste be found at a nearish-by oriental food store?

          I have no idea. But even with all the ingredients available, mooncake is a very difficult recipe. But the oriental food stores might also sell mooncakes. Hmmm.

          Traditional storytelling? *perk* OK, so since I assume you’re not videotaping it, your assignment is to be able to replicate it for me next time I’m down there. *nod*

          Heh. Because I am so renowned for my verbal storytelling skills. Not. But I do anticipate several stories come out of the discussions from their visit. You may have to be content with reading them instead of hearing them.

  6. skeletal504 says:

    you know, i’ve always wanted a set of those books… *envy*

  7. cricketshay says:

    You are too cool. I now want to read Chinese folk tales.

  8. shadowhelm says:

    Never had them

    Sounds yummy!

  9. I’m looking forward to reading YOUR published collection of folk tales. It won’t be long now!

  10. troutqueen says:

    Oh yum! Mooncakes! I haven’t had one in ages and miss them, too. Memphis is a black hole of decent Chinese food.

  11. I love Journey to the West. The first time I read the story was the Arthur Waley translation, which is heavily cut and edited and sold as a single volume called Monkey but gave me a good taste of what Monkey is all about. I have longer English translations as well of Journey to the West but a different translation (by Anthony Yu), and it was only when I was reading the first volume that I came across the poetry in the book which adds so much more to the story. To be honest, I haven’t finished all three books – school, life, etc. got in the way and distracted me from it, but now I’m tempted to go back and try reading those volumes again. It’s so rich and so fun. I hope you enjoy!

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