Monthly Archives: November 2010

China right now: Li Gang’s son

I received some great comments on my post about Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiabou and how the Internet is changing China and may force her to liberalize politically. What follows is my recap of a great Financial Times article…

Li Gang is super poweful. He is the deputy police chief of Baoding, a Chinese city with a population of 1 million. When his son 22-year-old son Li Qiming hit and killed a student while allegedly driving drunk, he drove off yelling: “Make a report if you dare – my dad is Li Gang!”

But after those words made a tear across the blogosphere… cartoons were made, songs were composed… Li Qiming was arrested and his father was forced to bow and sob on national television.

One third of China is a web user, either at home, work or at internet cafes, which has made responding to public opinion a very high focus of the party.

Officials at all levels spend a great deal of time monitoring internet chatter; when something heats up too much they simply ask the site to take it down. Public officials will often then respond to the issue in their own online forums and blogs. As you probably know, China blocks many foreign websites including Facebook, Twitter, the New York Times which is how many Chinese were unaware that their own countryman had won a Nobel Prize…

Pulitzer prize-winning Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times in 2005: “It’s the Chinese leadership itself that is digging the Communist party’s grave, by giving the Chinese people broadband.” I can’t help but hope Kristof is right.

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Our Thanksgiving abroad.

We had a very lovely Thanksgiving. My grandparents nicely came all the way here for it, so it really felt like home having family around. We also invited two ex-pat couples to join and I think they were very excited to get the full shebang even here in Hong Kong.

All in all, everything was a complete success although I did feel like a chipmunk storing away foodstuffs for the past three weeks or so… realistically, I think I went to 4 super markets and 1 wet market to track down the usual fixings (1. City Super 2. Grate 3. Park N’Shop 4. Wet market 5. Oliver’s).

I love using pumpkins and pomegranates in centerpieces because you will eat them eventually so it’s very economical. My mom gave me these napkins for my birthday. Only she could know how much I would appreciate napkins that can only be used once a year!

My grandfather reading by the appetizers before everyone else arrives.

The Mr. has started a little tradition of popping corks off the balcony…

We started Thanksgiving at 7:30 once everyone was off work… it definitely feels more like a dinner party and less like a holiday when you don’t have the night off. But at least we had a nice night.

My grandmother looking very classy.

I thought there couldn’t be a more American appetizer than these little guys:

(Don’t worry, I did bake them.)

And here is our first married bird!

My friend Sam who went to ND with me (Yay!! for beating USC on Sunday, btw…) gave me this apron… not surprisingly the Mr. gravitates towards the non-floral aprons in our pantry.

I am now a big believer in turkey brining… I did ours in a little cooler while it defrosted the day before which worked brilliantly. And didn’t the Mr. do a great job carving it perfectly?!

The Mr. did the potatoes (he was a huge help as I had gotten a migraine that morning). And he added truffle salt. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant move. Now making the whole spread yourself (although my friend Natalie did bring a delicious salad) is a ton of work. Here is what I made ahead and froze, thanks to my wonderful MIL’s advice: The stuffing, the pie crusts, the dinner rolls, and the green bean casserole. The gravy I did two days out. And I set the table the day before, which is an absolute must in my opinion for any entertaining.

In fact, the thing I miss most about the States is honestly grocery shopping. The only thing I was never able to find was fresh cranberries. The pumpkin for the pie was from Japan. The pecans I did find, but they were sold in bags with about a dozen pecans in each, so I bought 15 at an insane price. But how can you have Thanksgiving without Pecan pie? Our turkey I bought frozen and it was delicious, but also cost a small fortune 🙂 Somehow celebrating a purely American holiday abroad has all the more meaning!

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Happy Turkey Day!

Now if you’re not already having a wonderful Thanksgiving, these pictures of little Rose are sure to get you in the spirit!

My good friend Kelly’s sister Kate is the mom and the stylist of this wonderful shoot. She was thinking of taking Rose to a studio to show off her wonderful Thanksgiving wardrobe, but decided to stage a shoot at home instead. They did it a week ago because they knew they would be too rushed the day of…that is actually a chicken roaster, not a turkey… but I certainly didn’t notice and they got a great meal out of it, too! Little Rose is just too cute for words. I always want to take pictures the day of, but it never happens so thinking ahead really helps. Anyways I’ve got to get our Turkey in the oven so I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours will be a little different because no one has the day off, but I’m looking forward to celebrating an American tradition here in HK.

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Lots to do!

“You have to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction!”

Today I have that super overwhelmed feeling that comes inevitably with the holidays… so I took a little inspiration (above) from Jenn’s The Simple Life. You really do need to literally tackle your to-do list around the house! I find it totally overwhelming and I don’t even have kids! Jenn homeschools her family and this year they are studying Asia so have been reading my more political oriented posts. I wish I did a little more of that before moving over here. I felt like my education was so Euro-centric… anyways back to pie making and turkey brining!

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Everything but the kitchen sink.

I know a lot of blogs have link love on Friday… so I thought I would do something similar here on HKH, but it will just be whenever I have found enough cute, but totally unrelated random things I would like to show you… it will be everything but the kitchen sink, okay?

  • Whisky stones. You know when you go to a super fancy restaurant and they have lemonade with lemonade ice cubes? I love how you don’t end up with a totally watered down drink. I think these cubes would make for a great stocking stuffer for the Mr. in your life. They remind me of those new ice machines that make perfectly square ice cubes–the sharp edges and perfect corners make me happy so I guess that means I really am anal.

  • Hot wheels for little ones. Restoration Hardware has some pretty absurd, but yet awesome gifts for little ones. Check out this plane for a little boy.

  • Sally Draper is all grown up. I cannot wait for Mad Men to resume, but this photo shoot by way of the Neo-Traditionalist, held me over. I think these pleated ruffles are just divine! But I have to ask… can all this really be good for Kiernan Shipka? If you are in love with Burberry and Chanel at age ten… I know I sound like my Mom, but what do you have to look forward to? Luckily, I think she is insanely talented and will be a lifelong star.

  • Save a chair! You’ve heard of Christmas china, which I love by the way. (My friend Tori’s mom has the most divine collection… I’ve asked her to send HKH pics!) But have you heard of Christmas chairs? You just have to check out how my Sister-in-Law Roise’s turned this Christmas chair into the most chic chair you have every seen!
  • New friends. I’ve been so lucky to have found a nice group of girlfriends here in Hong Kong, all thanks to my friend Lauren… you know those people that are natural “connectors”, they just welcome you into their circle and you instantly have 6 new BFFS? My friend Tori was like that for me in SF. These hospitable souls will inherit the kingdom of heaven I swear! Lauren posted some pics of us girls at a rooftop party last weekend on her adorable blog Long Gone in Hong Kong.

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