Saturday, 19 April 2014

Cooking & Food: Hong Kong-Style Macaroni With Grilled Duck Meat In Duck Soup (And More) !



Peking Garden's Peking Duck
Image from FeedTheTang
Happy Easter everyone! Hope you are enjoying health and time with family.

Image from FeedTheTang
Ever wonder what you can do with what's left behind after an amazing peking duck dinner with the family? Last week, we went to Peking Garden at Cityplaza and had a yummy duck for the night, and every time we do we always request for a to-go with the "duck cage", that is the remains of the duck after having all the slices removed.

The cage has a lot of potential and I'm gonna share a couple of possibilities with you so that no food will be wasted.

Duck meat
Image from Locky's English Playground


First, you want to debone the entire duck cage. This is a very easy step, just put on some plastic gloves and use your hands. Usually I will start with the wings and legs by removing them as a whole, and then work on the rest of the meat on the cage body. Once done, put that away for awhile.

Post-processed duck cage
Image from Locky's English Playground
You don't want the neck and the butt because there is no meat there, and also, you can chuck away the skin because it is too oily. What's left will not be wasted at all.


In you go!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Because the best way to handle it will be to use it for cooking soup. I suggest 2.5 litres of water for one duck cage. Since I have two, I made it 5 litres.

Cooking is done in the vacuum pot for hours
Image from Locky's English Playground
I use a vacuum pot for this soup because it saves me gas, time and money. After high flame boiling for about 15 minutes, I will let the pot to do the rest for the hours to days to come.

Yellow liquid fat / oil on surface.
Image from Locky's English Playground
Since you need to reheat the soup every half a day, it is best for you to remove the excess fat that you see floating on the surface of the soup.

Chicken and dry fish, why not?
Image from Locky's English Playground
You may want to add anything extra as you like, such as the chicken you couldn't finish or the dry fish that has been sitting in the cabinet for months. The key is that you need to add a tablespoon of chicken powder and some salt.

After 4 repetitions of reheating and boiling, your broth is done! Now return to the duck meat.

Microwaved and fried! Yum!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Usually the duck meat has been sitting in the fridge for a day or two, so I will usually use microwave to reheat it to make sure the meat is soften before putting it to a pot or a wok for frying. The key is to add salt to bring out the aroma as the meat does smell excellent but is also quite bland. That's because when you have that dish in the restaurant, they gave you some rich flavour sauce to go with it and so the duck meat need not be particularly salted.

Image from Locky's English Playground

After you have done with the frying, don't be silly and start washing the pot or the wok,

Product of "2 days" of cooking
Image from Locky's English Playground
use the pot to reheat the duck soup, this way, you are adding extra flavour to the soup before it is served.

Duck meat on ho fun (rice fettuccini)?
Image from Locky's English Playground
To go with the meat, some people like ho fun (Chinese rice fettucini),

Image from Locky's English Playground
or you can have your Hong Kong-style macaroni,

Duck soup macaroni with duck?
Image from Locky's English Playground
it is really up to you! Just pour in the soup and you have an excellent lunch or supper which probably costs you HK$50 if you have it at a restaurant, that is, if you can even find one that serves it.

Image from Locky's English Playground
You can even use my pork chop recipe if you have extra duck soup left, or ...

Duck soup rice anyone?
Image from Locky's English Playground
you have heard of Hainan chicken rice, right? How about some home-made duck soup rice? So unique that you've got to try it! You will need to condense the soup by 50% before you use the soup for cooking rice though.

For more easy recipes, do visit Locky's English Playground's Cooking page.


Vocabulary:
ho fun (Chinese rice fettucini) -- see Chinese Noodles @ Wikipedia
supper -- (n)[C or U] a main meal eaten in the evening, or a small meal eaten in the late evening:
broth -- (n)[U]  a thin soup, often with vegetables or rice in it:

Resources:
Cooking: Locky's Home-made Pork Chop Bun @ Locky's English Playground

Locky's English Playground's Cooking page @ Locky's English Playground

Fettucine @ Wikipedia

Chinese Noodles @ Wikipedia

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sports & Opinions: Responses to David Wilson's Articles on Inter Milan


Image from Soccernet
I do like to write on Soccernet sometimes just to respond to the articles written by David Wilson and express my views. If you are not an Inter Milan or a football fan, then this is probably not your post.

In response to his article, Confusing messages coming out of Inter, I wrote,

Image from ESPN Soccernet

It has to be considered case by case. Old but useful, keep, look at Cambiasso he still rocks (though news has it that he is leaving for good). Evra and Vidic could be a good idea, they are aging but still useful. Kind of Mou's point when he wanted to buy Lampard at Inter. He said something like, "They are near the end of their career, but they can get the job well done and are good for one or two seasons," and they's transfer-free, great for those who are looking for a new challenge and are not interested in staying forever, but looking at his recent performance, can he adapt to the Inter stress?

Inter is kinda forced to renew Guarin's contract in case he leaves for free or cheap. If he really has no respect for the club and aren't playing well, then the club has all reasons to sell him at a good price (though Inter is infamous for selling low, eg. Sneijder), or trade him for someone even better! Inter tends to snatch excellent deals from Real Madrid in the past, eg. Sneijder, Figo, Cambiasso, Walter Samuel even Seedorf (if you like). An Álvaro Morata pairing with Icardi would be very interesting!

Milito can go, Walter Samuel and Javier Zanetti can be awarded with director or scout position like Materazzi, Cordoba, Figo and Zamorano to keep the passion going without losing real Inter legends to some 3rd division clubs.

At the mean time, use Kovacic!

Image from Soccernet


Image from ESPN Soccernet
Here's the comment for the second article,

This match could have easily flipped its results from 0-4 to 4-0, had Handanovic not performed extraordinarily well. Inter is lucky to have the hands of god with him this time round. Kovacic was superb with his movements, runs and tackling, but he is still less than half as brilliant as Sneijder's creativity and passing skills, keep working hard and he might get there, assuming that he is not being sold as quickly as Coutinho, see how well he did for Liverpool last match? It is nice that Mazzarri might have read my last 2 comments, that he really used Cambiasso to protect Kovacic, but Sampdoria allowing him space has to be taken into account.

Icardi played sharply and tenaciously, so he deserved the brace, but was stupid to celebrate the way he did. He is not only risky his career by making enemies, but also risking his life, you never know what the opponent fans will do after a lost match. Reputation matters, if you ruin your name, it is like the officials will be biased against you in all matches you play.


Let's not forget the other players who played a great game, Samuel, Hernanes were solid, Palacio moved quick as a team, Nagatomo was dangerously speedy and effective down the left. The weaker links are Ranocchia, who conceded a penalty, and D'Ambrosio, who tries hard but wasted shots like Guarin.


Resources:
Confusing messages coming out of Inter @ ESPN Soccernet
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/intermilan/id/1914?cc=4716

Inter regain confidence with win at Sampdoria @ ESPN Soccernet
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/intermilan/id/1924?cc=4716

Why Sports Are Unfair @ YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UA0WOfBgQM



Friday, 11 April 2014

Technology & News: How To Keep Reading SCMP Without Paying?


No Fish In An Empty Dish
Image from SCMP
Annoying man with no fish in an empty dish telling you to pay up if you want to read more from SCMP. In a world which every bit of news is free except SCMP, how can I read its news for free? Here's my guide!!!


1. Go to a coffee shop.

Image from 9cloudsacademy
I have seen people in Pacific Coffee actually cutting out the Pacific Coffee coupons to get a free cup of Pacific Coffee coffee.

2. Borrow it from a friend / colleague.

OMG!!! Big News!!
Image from thezooom
These news never get old.

3. Read those ordered by your company.

Image from guim
It's completely free, and you might be able to take home a tonne of old papers and sell.

4. Ask someone who has subscribed to it online for their login and password.

Username is 'username', Password is 'password'
Image from dw
If they don't mind sharing their their username being 'username' and password being 'password' to you.

5. Go to your browser and clear the cookies!!!

Image form laughingsquid
This works, but you will have to reenter all logins and passwords.

6. Use Chrome's Incognito Window to bypass it!!!!!!!

Keep repeating this step when you have no more articles to read
Image from HongWrong
According to HongWrong,

"To bypass this limit, simply open SCMP.com in an ‘incognito window’ in Google’s Chrome browser. Again, you will be limited to just four articles, but you can reset this by closing the window and re-opening another incognito window…"

Enjoy!


Resources:
HK LIFE – How to Bypass the South China Morning Post Paywall @ Hong Wrong
http://hongwrong.com/bypass-scmp-paywall/

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Living: How To Clean Your Garment Steamer?

Image from Locky's English Playground
 Hi guys! This ... is a garment steamer, small, plasticky but sturdy, white and green. (For more adjective order, do see the links down below in Resources.)

Image from Locky's English Playground


This ... is a Philips QuickTouch Garment Steamer @ 1500W, a steamer listed top 3 models in Hong Kong recommended by the Consumer Council Hong Kong back in August 2012. I picked this because it is the smallest and the cheapest. It works brilliantly until months later, things begun to get weird.

It started shooting hot water from the nozzles together with bits of sand. Usually after shooting out water and sands for about 3 minutes, the steamer will work alright, but when it doesn't, there is no steam coming out at all but the hose is burning hot!

If you are thinking something must be wrong, you are right, but what is wrong?

Water inlet (inside the water tank) stuck with calcium deposits (Sorry for the poor CG)
Image from Locky's English Playground
The answer lies in the water inlet inside the water tank.

Turns out that the sand is not actually sand, but calcification and it happens whether or not you use soft, hard or filtered water. If the water inlet to the boiler is stuck, then no water can go in, and your boiler will be heating nothing but itself, thus no steam is emitted but the hose is hot.

A pair of bamboo chopsticks is all you need!
Image from Locky's English Playground
To remove those calcification, other articles will tell you to use vinegar or acid mixed with water, soak the tank for 15 minutes to an hour, bla bla bla. I tried and other advices are all useless!

Think about it, if the water inlet is already stuck, that means the mini plastic filter protecting the inlet is practically useless, which means I can brutally destroy it to take out those calcium deposits!

I need something long, thin yet strong, which allows me to shape into any sizes using a cutter, and I found it!

Bamboo chopsticks!

Sharpen the ends with a cutter
Image from Locky's English Playground
Using a cutter, I sharpened the pair into one thin and one thicker, and then I jammed first the small one into one of the filter gaps, applied force so that it opened up wide enough for the bigger chopstick end, and then I jammed the bigger chopstick end in.

Water inlet jammed wide and calcium deposits washed out. Some residues can still be seen on the right
Image from Locky's English Playground
Once the bamboo stick is completely in, you add lots of water into the tank, then you shake the entire garment steamer vigorously for the calcium deposits to leave the gap, and then pour away the water. Repeat this until you are happy with the emptiness of the water inlet.

Wa-lah!! I have my water steamer working perfectly like brand new again!!!!

Not sure if your garment steamer has similar design, but surely when somewhere is stuck, that's where you need to work on to get it fixed!

"If you want to do something right, do it yourself." -- Charles-Guillaume Étienne


Vocabulary:
nozzle -- (n)[C] a narrow piece fixed to the end of a tube so that the liquid or air that comes out can be directed in a particular way:
calcification -- (n) see Hard Water in Resources
vigorously -- (adv) very forceful or energetic:


Resources:
Test on Garment Steamers and Steam Irons - CHOICE # 430 (August 15, 2012) @ Consumer Council
http://www.consumer.org.hk/website/ws_en/news/press_releases/p43002.html

Adjective Order
http://www2.elc.polyu.edu.hk/cill/exercises/adjectiveorder.htm

Philips QuickTouch GC510/05 - Garment Steamer
http://www.philips.com.hk/c/irons/garment-steamer-garment-steamer-gc510_05/prd/en/

How to Clean Calcium From a Garment Steamer @ eHow
http://www.ehow.com/how_5605863_clean-calcium-garment-steamer.html

Charles-Guillaume Étienne @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles-Guillaume_%C3%89tienne

Hard Water @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/nozzle?q=nozzle+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/vigorous?q=vigorously+

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Movie & Opinions: "Welcome Back, Capt!!!" Captain America -- The Winter Soldier Quick Review


Image from Marvel
Haven't been movie-going for ages!!! Luckily, my wife and I realised that leaving our baby with her mother is the best way to regain some private time and so last Saturday, we did just that and got to watch our very first movie since... too long ago.

Let's start with a trailer.


Like it? Before we get into the movie, I want to talk about the much talked-about, Black Widow's hair. 

Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (left) and The Avengers (right)
Image from ONTD
Girls with long hair, always pretty. Girls with curly long hair waving about between punches and kicks, always cool! That's why Scarlett Johansson gained so much attention in Iron Man 2 and everyone was expecting more of her to return in the next movie. We were right about the return (in The Avengers Assembly), wrong about the hair, turned out that she had her hair cut short, not even shoulder-length. Understandable enough, since Black Widow often changes hairstyle in the comics and she's no longer an office lady working in Stark Industry, my logic says I can forgive her for that. (Actually, I forgive her because she rocked kicking those alien asses in The Avengers!)

But...

Captain with Black Widow
Image from Forbes
Straightened hair? Shoulder length? Seems like the really odd and old. The internet is not a big fan of this hair either. Does Black Widow look alright in the movie? Well, yeah, but just because Scarlett Johansson was awesome in the movie once more in her combat mode, not because her hair was particularly pretty!

What's more... it is not only her hair that drew attention,

Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow in Captain America : The Winter Soldier
Image from Marvel
Critics are saying that her movie poster has been over-retouched that her waist looks just about the same size as her head! I think so too! It was the first that struck me when I first saw the poster. Must all perfect superwomen come with a tiny outlet hourglass figure? It's ridiculous! A bit of fat is the new sexiness, haven't you heard?

Here's what the netizens on Twitter say,
Image from The Warp

Image from screenrant

Still about Black Widow, the next juicy bit is the intimacy between her and Captain America Steve Rogers. It was somehow weird for me because I thought she has this untold secret connection with Hawkeye from The Avengers, though having Hawkeye around will most probably hinder the development the love line between the Captain and Black Widow.

But I'm not the screenwriter or director, and I do enjoy seeing Steve and Natasha together, so why not? I do think the Captain does emit some sort of a charm being boring and single for decades and yet not changing any bit of his patriotic and righteous personality, so I guess Black Widow  is somehow drawn to him by that.


The kiss of the century, for Captain America that is.
Image from johanssonweb.org

I'm expecting a lot more for romance from them in terms of the intensity and depth in the upcoming movies for the two.

Finally, onto the rest of the movie,

Kind of expected, right guys?
Image from screenrant
The box office speaks for itself, Forbes reported that the movie earned an amazing US$96.2M in the US for the first weekend, and US$303 worldwide.

And we all know the Captain, and we expect lots of shield-throwing actions, but seems like his throws are perfected to such a degree that it is almost like playing a pinball machine when he wants to hit his targets! 

Falcon
Image from Marvel
Maybe the addition of Falcon is another reason why we don't need Hawkeye in this movie, then again, it is time we add a few more black heroes to the show. We aren't going to see Will Smith's Hancock for sure, so we need someone else, and Anthony Mackie does his flying job really well! 

Strength VS Strength
Image from IMDb

For those of you who have read the comics, you knew who the Winter Soldier really is from the start. Still, it is pretty cool to see a not-so-villain villain demonstrating a power that can match the captains.

For most of the previous Marvel superheroes movies, the villains are just themselves, just a bad defective version. Can't remember? Let me remind you.
Iron Monger in Iron Man (2008) villian
Image from IMDb

Ivan Vanko as Whiplash in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Image from sadpanda
The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Image from Wikipedia
The Red Skull in Captain America The First Avenger (2011)
Image from listal
Venom in Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Image from nukethefridge
If it wasn't of Iron Man 3, we will never get villains who aren't replicas of the heroes. Luckily with Captain America 2, we will too get something different.



For more behind the scenes and future developments, you surely should read IGN's Marvel Studios Boss Kevin Feige Talks Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers and What's in Store for the Marvel Cinematic.

For those of you who have already watched the movie and want to learn more about the movie, you may like to check out Hey U Guys.co.uk's 10 Things You May Have Missed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

And as always, don't forget to look for Stan Lee this time!


Resources:
Marvel's Four Secrets to Superhero Success @ Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/marvel-s-four-secrets-to-superhero-success-m_~pmYC9TZOCv7NSKQQI0w.html

What Will Black Widow's Hair Look Like in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier?' @ ONTD
http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/77156177.html#ixzz2yG6mflOS

Scarlett Johansson's ‘Captain America 2' Waistline Sparks Cries of Photoshop Foul (Photo) @ The Warp
http://www.thewrap.com/scarlett-johansson-captain-america-2-photoshop-sparks-backlash

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson Mtime Interview @ YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74ONLrZGhK8

Review: 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Proves More Is Less @ Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/03/27/review-captain-america-the-winter-soldier-proves-more-is-less/

‘Captain America 3′ Tugs On ‘Batman-Superman’s Cape With May 6, 2016 Release Date @ Deadline
http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/captain-america-3-release-date-may-6-2016/

Weekend Box Office: 'Captain America 2' Tops $300M Worldwide @ Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/04/06/weekend-box-office-captain-america-2-scores-record-96m-debut/

Best Comic Book Live-Action Villains @ Listal
http://www.listal.com/list/best-comic-book-movies-villains

Marvel Studios Boss Kevin Feige Talks Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers and What's in Store for the Marvel Cinematic Universe @ IGN
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/04/07/marvel-studios-boss-kevin-feige-talks-captain-america-the-winter-soldier-spoilers-and-whats-in-store-for-the-marvel-cinematic-universe

Spoiler Alert! 10 Things You May Have Missed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier @ Hey U Guys.co.uk
http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/spoiler-alert-10-things-may-missed-captain-america-winter-soldier/

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Animals & Opinion: Whaling Is For Morons! (Same Goes For All Unsustainable Hunting!)


A January 2013 image from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society shows three minke whales on the deck of a Japanese boat in the Southern Ocean. Credit Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia, via European Pressphoto Agency
Image from New York Times
Whaling is for morons! Same goes for all unsustainable hunting!

Why do I say that, because whale-watching in the wild generates more profit than killing them, the same goes for shark-finning, dolphin slaughtering and mantas killing.

Whale-watching VS Whale-slaughtering, which do you prefer?
Images from Google

The math is simple, when they are not killed, they can be of a bigger number, and a bigger number means that it is easier for the whale-watching tours to find, thus the less fuel, time and in turn money is needed. Since the number of people who are interested in whale-watching and are willing to pay up for distant sea mammals viewing keeps growing and growing, (according to Discovery News, some 13 million eco-tourists fueled the $2-billion industry in 2009!! And whale tourism could add more than $400 million and 5,700 jobs to the global economy each year!!!) the more whales there are in the ocean, the quicker one can satisfy the tourists' whim and so the more tourists they can serve per day, thus increasing profit. But if they decide to kill them all, then sorry, eventually, they will be left with no whales, no job and no money, but lots of hatred from those whale-watchers and conservationists.

Which is why I said, if they can't do the math, then they are all morons!!! Don't care what their 'tradition' card is, because if their traditions are all about making them less rich illegally than they could have been legally, they are still idiots!!



For more info and support, go join OPS on Facebook.

Also, do take a look at my earlier article, Animals & TV: Saving the Cetaceans & Whale Wars -- Animal Planets.

And don't forget to like this page here and on Facebook.



Vocabulary:
moron -- (n)[C] informal  a very stupid person:
hatred -- (n)[U] an extremely strong feeling of dislike:


Resources:
Why Japan Needs To Stop Whaling!
http://youtu.be/Sd1v5HPxI30

U.N. Court Orders Japan to Halt Whaling Off Antarctica @ NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/world/europe/united-nations-court-rules-against-japan-in-whaling-dispute.html&assetType=nyt_now&_r=0

UN Court Orders Japan to End Antarctic Whale Hunt @ Discovery News
http://news.discovery.com/animals/endangered-species/un-court-orders-japan-to-end-antarctic-whale-hunt-140331.htm

Whale-Watching a Booming Business @ Discovery News
http://news.discovery.com/animals/whale-watching-industry.htm

"The Cove" Director: Newsweek's Coverage Of Dolphin Hunt Is Wrong, Cowardly @ The DoDo
https://www.thedodo.com/community/LouiePsihoyos/the-cove-director-releases-une-491697664.html

Animals & TV: Saving the Cetaceans & Whale Wars -- Animal Planets @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2012/08/animals-tv-saving-cetaceans-whale-wars.html


http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/moron?q=moron
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/hatred?q=hatred+