So, very excited, at lunch I drove across the Bridge to my old favorite grocery to acquire Chinese ingredients to make some dishes from Cecilia Chiang's The Seventh Daughter.
I took a photograph before I went in. Isn't she lovely?
Unfortunately, she was looking very shabby inside. All was not as I remembered. Either that, or my enthusiasm has been (properly) dampened by the (hideous) reports on (nonexistent) food safety standards in China. (Yes, I do know this is a Chinese-American market, but many of the products come from China, and I just have this feeling. . . ) I saw packets of fresh noodles already dotted with mold, dented cans of coconut milk, rusting jars of bamboo shoots. Charnel house atmosphere over at the butcher counter.
I did not let it deter me. I loaded up -- on pork belly, lotus seeds, gingko nuts, won ton skins, and so on -- but not with the giddy high spirits of yore. Sad.