Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Customer is always right ???

I work in retail. I have one particular customer, X, who likes to slash prices and asking for freebies, not just for herself but the rest of her family as well. Well, this morning, she came into the store for a bottle of calcium gel caps. The following conversation ensued.

X- What is the price for this bottle of calcium?
Me-It's $9 + Tax.
X- How much was your cost?
Me-It's $6.25, mrs.x.
X- Would you take $6 for it?
Me- Sorry but I can't sell it to you at a loss.
X- How about throwing in a few pair of disposable masks for free ???

Now, this is not somebody who can't afford a bottle of calcium and a couple masks. There's nothing wrong with bargaining but trying to take advantage of a small retail store irks me. Is the customer always right? I certainly have my doubts in this case!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Strings of pearls

This humongous spider web is what I saw this morning outside the side patio door of our house. It's probably 18 inches wide in diameter. I shouldn't be surprised since spiders, field mice, ants and wild rabbits are pretty much a part of our lives nowadays. My daughter has a spider named Bob hanging around in her bathroom. It's been raining on and off for the last week. Totally unlike the sunny Southern California that we're used to. Last night's rainfall provided this beautiful strings of pearls. I think they look pretty and I guess the spider wanted to wish us all an early Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Easy Roast Duck

This roast duck recipe is so easy even my 11 year old daughter could make it. This is her first attempt and the duck turned out so tender and delicious. The whole family loved it. It's a family recipe from my god-sister, L. The main ingredient is "hong zhao"- i.e. fermented red wine residue which is available in the refrigerated section of most Chinese supermarkets. The recipe calls for 1 whole duck ( about 4-5lbs), 2 tbsps of hong zhao, 2 tbsps of salt and 1 tbsp of sesame oil.

1. Mix hong zhao, salt and sesame oil in a bowl.
2. Wash duck and discard excess fat as well as the head, feet and internal organs. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Rub duck thoroughly including the cavity with hong zhao mixture and let duck marinate in fridge overnight.
4. Turn oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a shallow roasting pan wih aluminum foil before placing duck in pan. Place duck breast side up in oven and let it roast for 1 hour.
5. After 1 hour, pour out excess fat and drippings on the bottom of roasting pan into a bowl and set aside. Turn duck breast side down and roast for another 1 hour.
6. Following step 5 above, crank up the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take duck out from oven and turn it breast side up then roast for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove duck from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Duck should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
7. Duck may be chopped, carved or shredded and served with a small amount of pan drippings and steamed rice with green veggies on the side.