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Cement and Bao

August 25th, 2003 · No Comments

Not sure what it is with me this summer, but I am having a hard time making things from mixes. Must be me.

For example, I like to make bao Chinese steamed buns to take with us to the Wednesday night picnics. I used to make bao from scratch, using flour, yeast and lots of time, but Ted’s aunt recommended a mix, which took less time and tasted more authentic. So I always pick up some mix at Uwajimaya or other markets.

This summer though when I tried to make pork and vegetable bao, they turned out strange. At first I thought it was the fact that I had turned on the fan while steaming. The fact that I could see the steam exiting the pot and going down the vent was not good. So I turned off the fan. The house got hot. But the buns took too long to cook, and I ended up overcooking them in my frustration. I made red bean bao also, and they too didn’t cook as they should. “Hot dogs,” Ted said. “Hot dogs.” I’ve given up on bao for the summer….

Saturday I tried to make stepping stones. We have a tradition each summer of making a stepping stone with the children’s handprints. This was the fifth year I’ve made one. But the cement – as has happened to me in the past – was too runny and took too long to set.

I got out a second bag and made it up with less water than the packages said – presto! cement that was more solid. Although the texture of this batch was a bit too stiff. So I give up….

I’m wondering if it is that at this stage of life, I should just avoid mixes :) Or perhaps it’s just that I am too distracted to pay attention to all the details. Or maybe it is that I’m not my paranoid/careful self I once was, when I had more time and energy, instead now I just follow directions and expect it to work?! Or maybe I should mix the bao and the cement together, add some water and see what I get….:)
Perhaps it would be Tastee Wheat….

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