Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Biang Biang Mian

CodeMonkey and I decided to make biang biang mian for dinner tonight. At his suggestion, we put them in old* chicken soup.

The soup is a long time hit around here, but we need more practice on the noodles. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get them thin enough to rival Xian Famous Foods'. More practice is clearly necessary. Next time, I'm going to let the dough rest in between repeated stretchings; that's always how I get my pizza crusts thin.

I ran a long and aggravating errand on Tuesday, but I managed to meet my weekly goal of reading a book this week. The Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsaneah was a great book for an aggravating 3 hours of the subway. It follows 4 upper class Saudi young women in their lives after high school as they navigate love, arranged marriages, education, and foreign cultures. It's formatted as a series of e-mails sent by an anonymous woman. They become the scandalous talk of the whole country for their frank discussions of love and sex amount Saudi women (the actual book was also controversial for the same reasons). Some reviews have compared it to a Saudi Sex and the City, but I thought that was very off base. It really reminded me of Mary McCarthy's classic The Group, which follows a group of Vassar graduates from 1933 as they embark of adult life and romantic misadventures in th cintextof a (much less) controlling and male dominated cultu. I enjoyed the book, but not enough to keep it for rereading. I'll donate it to the library next time they're collecting books. 3/5

*Old chickens are worn out laying hens, sold in Chinese grocery stores. The meat is tough, but very flavorful, and they make the best soup. The soup was freshly made and the bird was fresh meat.

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