GotCha, Fog – Chicken Tonight?

We have heavy fog in the area for couple weeks now.  I have said to myself. It is a shame if I cannot catch up with fog before it is completely out of sight for the season. I am aware that I like fog enough that I am going to get it. It is the secret of desire.

It was cold 30F (Celsius 1 subzero) degree no less, but my fingers were frozen when I was just out for about half hour.  I put both my hands inside my coat pockets and held my tripod under my arm. I walked in the park feeling with a bit of pride. Hey, cold weather is not stopping me. I am here for the fog.

I walked around and felt like in the dream. Today’s fog is not as dense as I like it to be, but beautiful enough for me. I saw a little commotion ahead of me.  As I walked closer, I noticed a group of runners who just finished their morning run. Thought I am early and tough, when I am just ready to begin, they are leaving their finish line. There is always someone ahead of you, be humble. I got the note.

When the heart is light and mind is clear, everything looks pleasing to the eyes. On a regular day, I might not consider this shot, but in the fog, these trees create a medium tone between sky and ground and they suddenly become appealing to me. I also like curved fine water lines on the ground.  They sit on a narrow road without shoulder but with perpetual traffic.  It was fairly early, so I managed to pull over and snap it quickly. I could get a better angle, but cars were coming and I got nervous.  
I drove past a railroad. When looking down side-ways, I simply could not resist. Let all the cars pass, I barely found myself a parking spot and walked back to the track. In spite of the frowning and astonished look of the drivers, I fired my shots, one after the other.
Just another image to show you how foggy it was. Sun was putting on a veil and looking at the earth through a filter. A whole field of thistles are the ‘occupy residents’ on this path. I had my 15-85mm in hand, and got down low on the ground and captured this image.  Nothing dramatic, but I certainly like it better than the other thistle shots I have taken so far.
I have tried to shoot thistles in different time of the year and various angle of view. I literally shot them when they were green, bloomed with purple flowers and dead brown like corps. But I have not had much success. I came to realize that I have been only using my Marco lens because I have my heart set on close-up shots, nothing else. I was not willing to try other things…I am so glad that I made the switch, and not hitting the wall.
Everything is good for something and I have to explore that magic portion.
It was cold and the moisture from fog made it worse. My heart had pumped harder a few times when I tried to dodge the ongoing road traffic and my nerve got tighter when I stood on railroad track.  I was a bit tired, hungry and thought I need a good meal tonight.  And, I know what I want to make…..Anyhow,
I am part of the creative team of a local Inspired Living magazine. I am the photographer and writer for couple designated columns. Cosmopolitan life is our theme for next issue and we aim to explore living out of bounds, i.e. something beyond local and regional.  Recipe Exchange is not my section, but our editor asked me to share a Taiwanese recipe.  I want the ingredients easily accessible here in Eugene, and I thought about this scallion and ginger chicken dish. My Caucasian husband has often said, “This is so good.” whenever I made this dish.  I thought it maybe worth sharing.
I grew up cooking without recipes, a little bit of this and a dash of that. So I actually bought a chicken and made it from scratch. In that case  I can write down the steps and details more thoroughly. It was a bit of task, but if you can have one extra way to make a chicken dish on the table, I will be just so thrilled.  
Scallion and Ginger Chicken
This is a tasty and popular Taiwanese dish that restaurant serves and housewives make it at home. Simple ingredients and easy steps.  Texture is important to Asian cuisine and the choice of chicken meat is the key to success. Wild chicken is the best choice, but we cannot get wild chicken from the stores in Eugene, so I usually use Free Range chicken or simply use leg quarters.  Thigh meat works, too.
Ingredients:
·      One whole chicken or Leg Quarters (4 pcs)
·      Scallions (green onions) 3 sticks
·      Ginger Root with skins scraped off, 1pc about 2” x 3”
·      Kosher Salt : 1-1/2 teaspoon
·      Vegetable Oil: 1 tablespoon
·      Rice Wine: 2 tablespoon
Preparation:
1.     Clean and wash chicken or leg quarter thoroughly with hot water, pat dry.  Move unwanted fat.
2.     Mix salt and rice wine, rub them on chicken skin, let it sit for at least one hour.
3.     Cook chicken in rice cooker with one cup of water or put it on a plate in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken) till the chicken is fully cooked, but not overcooked. 
4.     Take chicken out of the cooker, let it cool and put it in the refrigerator for an
hour before cutting them into small pieces (it is easier to cut when chicken meat is cool and harder). 
5.     Pour chicken juices in a small bowl and use baster to remove as much grease as you can and sit it aside.
6.     While waiting for chicken to cool, cut scallions in 3” long sticks and thin slice
them lengthwise.  Slice ginger to 3” thin pieces and thin slice them the same way how scallion is sliced.
7.     Heat vegetable oil in a small sauce pan and sauté scallions and ginger together in high heat for about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken juices left in the bowl (need only about 1/2 cup) and let it boil. Remove scallion and ginger juices from heat.
8.     Cut cooled chicken into small pieces, place them on a large plate and pour
scallion and ginger mix over the chicken. Serve.
·      This dish is meant to serve with rice. Make a stir fry vegetable as side dish.

·      It tastes even better when the meat is cold. Use leftover to make Oriental chicken salad with drizzles of sesame oil and rice vinegar plus your favorite greens.

3 thoughts on “GotCha, Fog – Chicken Tonight?

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