Let's eat some flowers - Chinadaily.com.cn
让我们吃点花吧—中国日报网
723字
2019-05-15 20:46
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Nothing declares spring is here louder than the pendulous blooms of the black locust tree, yanghuai. It announces the season by bursting into huge clusters of ivory-colored flowers.

没有什么比刺槐树(洋槐)上摇曳的花骨朵更能为这里的春天增色了。它绽放成巨大的象牙色花朵,宣告着春季已然到来。

These will often become lunch.

这些花朵通常可以当作午餐的食材。

Our Nanny (ayi in Chinese) guards the locust tree in front of our backyard like a dragon and when she sees the buds appear, she will go forth with a pair of scissors and harvest the flowers.

我们的保姆(中文称阿姨)像一条龙一样守护着我们后院的槐树, 她一看到有花蕾出现,就立即拿起剪刀将花蕾剪下来。

This has become an annual ritual, this spring foraging.

这已经成为一年一度的仪式,今年春天同样要采集一些食物。

The black locust is a naturalized tree with fragrant white pea flowers. It is a popular tree all around Beijing and it seeds very freely. While it grows unnoticed most of the year, in spring, it becomes the focus of many, because its pea flowers are sweetly scented, and edible.

刺槐是一种长有芳香白豌豆花的归化树种。这种树在北京很受欢迎,它的种子的生长规律也是非常自由的。虽然它的生长在一年内大部分时间里都不太引人注意,但在春天,它却能成为许多人的焦点,因为它的豌豆花闻起来味道香甜,而且可以食用。

Around here, the country folks pluck the flowers, coat them in cornmeal or flour and then steam them. It's eaten like rice, a fragrant seasonal treat.

在北京周边地区,乡下人摘下这些花朵,并将它们用玉米粉或面粉挂糊,然后蒸熟,这样吃起来像是吃米饭一样,是一种味道芳香的季节性食物。

Ayi makes both cornmeal and plain flour versions, and she loves both.

阿姨喜欢做玉米粉和普通面粉。

What do they taste like? They're faintly fragrant, with just a hint of sweet from the nectar, but otherwise ... I'm afraid I think it's a waste of so many flowers.

它们尝起来像什么味道?有些淡淡的香味,只尝到一点点甘露的甜味,但除此之外,我认为这样浪费了太多的花朵。

But I can imagine these being special delicacies when times were hard back then. I guess nostalgia for the "good old bad old times" makes ayi want to recapture that taste.

但是我可以想象,在过去的艰难岁月里,这些都是特别美味的佳肴。我想,是那种对“旧日好时光”的怀旧之情让阿姨想重温那种味道。

I don't have that baggage and frankly I prefer looking at the blooms on the tree.

我没那种包袱,坦白地说,我更喜欢看树上的花朵。

I have seen my neighbors raid the trees, breaking off huge branches and carting them off. It disturbs me to see such carnage, but the trees seem to survive quite well, and they bounce right back the next year.

我看到我的邻居们突袭树木,砍下巨大的枝干并把那些枝干运走。看到这样的大屠杀,我感到特别不安,但树木似乎活得很好,明年就会恢复过来。

There are two types of locust trees grown in Beijing. The imported black locusts are so naturalized that they are everywhere. The native locust, also known as the scholar tree, is known as guohuai.

北京有两种槐树,进口的刺槐已然适应了当地的自然环境,几乎走到哪都能看到这种树。本地的刺槐也称作学者树,或被称为国槐。

This is an immensely popular decorative tree, and is used for landscaping in many traditional gardens, including the Jingshan Park and Prince Gong's Palace behind the Forbidden City enclave.

这是一棵特别受欢迎的装饰树,用来美化许多传统园林,包括景山公园和紫禁城后面的宫殿。

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They grow to impressive heights naturally and will bloom freely later in summer. They will develop fat green pods that hang low from the branches.

它们自然生长到令人印象深刻的高度,并将在夏季晚些时候自由开花,还会生长出垂在树枝上的绿色豆荚。

My husband, raised in the Beijing hutong, remember buying packets of these boiled pods as a childhood snack.

我丈夫在北京胡同长大,他还记得他小时候经常买些水煮豆荚当零食吃。

They didn't taste like anything much, he says, but they were cheap and fun to eat.

他说,它们虽然尝起来是没什么味道,但很便宜,吃起来也很有趣。

It was all part of growing up in old Beijing, a city that is slowly fading from memory.

这都是我在老北京长大的一部分,这个城市正在慢慢地从记忆中消失。

These days, scholar trees are trimmed into gnarly-stemmed man-height bonsai and planted along roadsides. Their branches, trimmed and trained to look like knobby dragon digits, are forcefully curved back from the central trunk.

如今,学者树都被修剪成有一人高的多茎盆景,种植在路边。它们的枝干经过修剪和整枝,已看起来像多节的龙趾,从树干中央处开始有力地向后弯曲。

These bonsai versions are known as longzhuahuai, or dragon's claw locusts.

这些盆景被称为龙爪槐,或是龙爪刺槐。

At this season, though, it is the honeyed black locusts that are still center-stage, and a huge basin of the flowers and buds is soaking in salted water in our kitchen.

然而,在这个季节,仍然是香甜如蜜的刺槐担当主角,在我们的厨房里, 就有一大盆鲜花和花蕾用盐水浸泡着。

Drained and air-dried, the flowers would be eaten several ways.

把花沥干,再干,可以有好几种食用方法。

They will be dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour and then steamed. This slightly fragrant and chewy mixture will be eaten as a staple.

它们将撒在玉米粉和面粉的混合物中,然后蒸熟,这种略带香味且耐嚼的混合物将作为主食来食用。

The rest of the flowers would be chopped and mixed with locust honey to enhance sweetness and scent and the mixture used to fill up dumplings and buns, and then steamed.

再将其余的花朵切碎,并与洋槐蜂蜜混合以增加甜度和香味,这种混合物可用作饺子馅或馒头馅,然后蒸熟。

Honey Locust Dumplings

皂荚馅饺子

Here is a recipe we use often in our kitchen. If you are fortunate enough to have these lovely flowers growing near you, try and make some.

这是我们经常在厨房里使用的食谱。如果这些可爱的花朵生长的地方离你较近,那你还真是幸运,请试着做一些吧。

• 500g locust flowers, washed and drained

• 500克刺槐花,洗净沥干

• 3 large tablespoons honey (preferably locust honey)

• 3大汤匙的蜂蜜(最好是洋槐蜂蜜)

• 50g chopped peanuts

•50克剁碎的花生

• 50g toasted black and white sesame seeds

•烤黑芝麻和白芝麻各50克

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 2汤匙糖

• 50 dumpling skins

•50张饺子皮

Chop up the flowers and macerate in the locust honey. Set aside.

把花切碎,浸在洋槐蜂蜜里,留作备用。

Mix the sugar, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds together in a bowl.

把糖、花生碎和芝麻混合在一个碗里。

Prepare to wrap the dumplings.

准备包饺子。

Place a spoonful of flower mixture in the center of the dumpling skin and top it with a teaspoon of peanuts and sesame. Pinch the edges shut.

在饺子皮的中间放一匙花混合物,上面放一茶匙花生和芝麻,把边缘捏紧。

Complete the dumplings. These dump-lings are best shallow fried.

饺子包好,这些饺子最好用浅油煎炸。

Arrange the dumplings in a lightly oiled non-stick pan and fry the dumplings till the bottoms are golden brown. Sprinkle with a little water and cover the pan to cook the tops.

将饺子放入不沾油的平底锅中煎至底部呈金黄色,洒上少许水,盖上锅盖,把饺子顶部蒸熟。

Remove the cover, dry out the dumplings to crisp, then turn out on a plate, Dust with powdered sugar to complete the dessert.

取下锅盖,把饺子晾干至酥脆,然后翻出放在盘子里,撒上糖粉,即可制成甜点

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