Friday Fun

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Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen

Caution: FOOD PHOTOS!

It’s been awhile, and I’m sure that many readers are wondering if we’ve been grilling lately? You betcha! We decided to throw an impromptu grill party featuring Hui-chen’s version of the marinade. We just love spontaneous parties!

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My lovely wife tending to pork ribs on the grill

I set the grill up on the sidewalk right outside Shao-hui’s place, up against the curb. I took a guess about what time we would be eating and I lit the charcoal about 1.5 hours in advance. It turns out that my guess was right on the money and our 2 special guests arrived just as the first batch of ribs was about to come off – perfect timing! Here are our 2 guests arriving:

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Saumen (right) and blogger Ashish of Tumbling in Taiwan

These two guys “tumbled” in with huge smiles on their faces. I’d like to think that they were happy to see me. But I think they were happy to see this:

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These ribs are so big they make the grill look small!

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We wasted no time getting down to the business of drinking and eating. I had started drinking around 16:00, which accounts for the number of soda cans on the table. Saumen cleared out a space in front of him and proceeded to make his own pile of empty cans. Naturally, we were drinking the well-known-to-our-readers-by-now, Sang Som Royal Thai Rum.

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The Tumbler

I had been wanting to meet Ashish ever since I discovered his blog, Tumbling in Taiwan. I really like the name of his blog and of course the content too. I’ve often felt that I was “tumbling” around in Taiwan myself, going from place to place, sightseeing, taking care of business, etc., so I can relate to the phrase “tumbling in Taiwan.” Meeting Ashish gave me further evidence which supports my contention that the Taiwan blogosphere is mostly populated with handsome, intelligent and interesting men (except for me).

Saumen and Ashish are from India. Ashish told me that before he came to Taiwan he didn’t normally eat meat dishes. I was concerned that our grill fare might have been a meat overload for them, so we ordered some of the wonderful vegetable dishes that Shao-hui’s has to offer. The conversation was lively and very interesting as we discussed topics about travel, food and drink (my favorites!).

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My guitars were next door where Fong rehearses, so I went and grabbed my Strat and battery powered Roland Micro Cube amplifier, and did some fooling around for a few minutes. This model Strat sports a Schaller locking tremolo system that allows the player to “dive bomb” and return back to pitch. What this means in English is that if you grab the “whammy bar” (the little handle underneath my right hand in this photo) and press it down, the strings go loose and the pitch of the notes “bends” down. Using the whammy bar enables one to make sounds like bombs or sirens, and also some very useful musical effects too. Saumen has heard it a couple of times, but Ashish had never even heard of such a device (but anyone who is not a guitar player normally wouldn’t). The woman in the photo is one of Shao-hui’s relatives and when she heard sounds like an aircraft diving and releasing a bomb, she came out of the restaurant with a wtf? look on her face, lol! The young man is Shao-hui’s nephew. It was fun making sounds that are seemingly impossible to create on a guitar. Shao-hui came outside to join us and I put it away. Shao-hui is always a lot of fun to hang out with, and she cracks a lot of jokes. She’s quite witty and she hadn’t seen Saumen in some time.

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(L to R) Ashish, Saumen, Shao-hui, Hui-chen

Even though it was a little cold out, we had a great time! We’re going to have to do this again soon!

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18 comments

  1. Hey MJ. It looked like a great night with good food, drinks and company. I am sure the music would have been right up there as well.

    I am in the process of making a small griller so we can cook most nights just for Noot and I and her sister. The one you were using on the table looks perfect size.

    I also liked the one you made from the stainless steel pot. I have been eating out too much and want to eat more of Noot’s good home cooked food.

    Great post again MJ.

    Brunty’s last blog post..Thailand. Getting ready for Christmas and holidays.

  2. Brunty » one of my first grill inventions was a ring designed to limit the charcoal. have your sheet metal shop make you a welded ring of sheet, 16 gauge should be fine. make it about 15″ in diameter and whatever the height is between your fire grate and the cooking grate.. when you want to make a small fire you can place the ring right in the grill, and fill the inside of the ring with charcoal. the charcoal rests on the fire grate, and you can use your regular cooking grate and have a small virtual grill. the other great use for the ring is when you want to cook something using indirect heat. you fill the grill leaving the inside of the ring empty of charcoal. you light the fire and place the food over the ring. that way you are cooking the food indirectly. if you add a nice hardwood log, like some Asian oak, you can get a great smoked flavor that way. since it’s indirect heat you can actually BBQ using that technique on a grill. you can go a great turkey that is slow cooked, flavorful and juicy, not dried out like it would be on a grill. i should write a book! haha
    thanks Brunty, hope you can join us sometime.

  3. Dive bombs, hmmm. The Van Halen Bushman? Maybe that’s a solution to the noise in Taiwan – playing “Eruption” at high volume.

    OT, but I’ll put it here. There’s a bunch of people from forumosa meeting up at the Pig & Whistle in Hsinchu this afternoon from about 4pm. You should come down if you have a couple of hours free.

    cfimages’s last blog post..Visions of Angkor

  4. MJ… You are absolutely right, we really had a great time… Thanks to you and Hui Chen for those fabulous grilled Pork ribs and the other delicacies along with the Royal san sung.. Hope to be back to Hu-kou soon….

  5. Hi MJ,
    Thanks to you & Hui Chen for an incredible evening. I really can’t put into words how much I enjoyed. I still can’t be sure what was the best part…fabulous/delicious food, your solo music session or our discussion n how can I forget Sang Som ­čśë
    I hope we have more of these evenings coming up

    Ashish’s last blog post..An evening with Bushman

  6. Ashish » it was a pleasure meeting you Ashish. i’m sure there will be many more evenings like that. btw, Saumen told me how he kept you out until the next morning. glad you’ve recovered by now!

  7. hahaha. Yeah … Saumen was hell bent on showing me all pubs in Hsinchu that night :)) that hangover lasted untill sunday early morning for me … by the time my senses were back i realized i couldn’t catch up with you guys at Shao Hui’s disco as we had planned earlier … Anyways there is always next time ­čśë

    Ashish’s last blog post..An evening with Bushman

  8. Ashish » did Saumen show you the Madonna? he took HC and i there Sunday night. it was an interesting place to say the least. looks like i’m going to have to join Saumen on one of his “after 2” nights out!

  9. Yes I have been there before. Very small place, full of people, smoke and loud music. I didn’t need a drink to go numb there ­čśŤ but one can meet very interesting characters there for sure

    Ashish’s last blog post..An evening with Bushman

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