總統的菜單 President's Menu

Translated by Brian Holton  1999


the president likes a tasty starter called Long Life Lucky-Dip:
take lilies plucked in full bloom, oven dry and mix with mackerel
take tribute kale from south and west, dress and serve it cold
take every clacking duck-tongue, spice and stew in gravy for a bowlful

in the prime of life he loved rich and heavy flavours
getting on in years, he has to lighten it up a bit now
for instance, take some boiled milkfish and
match it with black beans that stimulate digestion

for him, like every senior citizen
using ordinary soy sauce is wrong
so simmer black fermented bean stock to bring out the taste of soy
in lobster there’s too much cholesterol
so use sea cucumber as a substitute

he likes fresh and tasty fish-lips simmered with shiitake
so easy for an older man to suck and chew on
all nuts must be ground and steamed until they’re soft
then scattered over winter melon like a hazy muslin curtain
his sense of taste may be a little slow, but then texture is more important

he goes back more and more now, back to his own bailiwick
he likes country-style pickled radishes and dried cucurbit flowers
and can make his own bidaibo rice cakes
but bland and uneventful won’t always be to his taste
so sometimes he’ll need to spice things up a touch


July 1999




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