All About Beijing Duck

OK so you've climbed the Great Wall, wandered through the Forbidden City, taken photos in the Temple of Heaven, walked through the gardens of the Summer Palace and completely ignored Wangfujin street. Now it is time for you to eat Beijing's most classic dish, the Beijing Duck.

Beijing Duck is famous, has a distinguished history, an exquisite taste and is a culinary icon SO before partaking in this mouth watering dish, pause your chopsticks and first develop a well deserved appreciation of the delicacy you are about to feast on.

History

The origin of roasted duck can be traced back to Northern and Southern Dynasties period (420-589) when these hapless birds where roasted in the Jinling area where modern day Nanjing is located. The Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) were gourmets and took the custom of roast duck with them when they packed their bags and set up house in Beijing.

The Inspector of the Imperial kitchen (what a job!) Hu Sihui listed roast duck among the imperial dishes in the "Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages" that he wrote in 1330. This early cookbook even included the cooking process.

Up until the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) ducks were roasted in a conventional convection oven where the duck was hung from the oven ceiling and roasted over burning wood. Duck cooked this was said to be crisp and golden brown with tender and tasty meat. After the Qing came to power they changed the method of duck cooking to hanging the ducks over a flame in an open oven. These two traditional methods of cooking duck are the foundations of the two modern methods of cooking Beijing Duck.

Roast duck was so popular during this period that poets and schools where inspired to roast duck poetry. Personally I think the large quantities of alcohol consumed with the duck were the main inspiration for these wasted poems and bookworms.

Peking duck as it was first called b foreigners taste so good, it is credited with being instrumental in the rapprochement between China and the US in the 70's. All because Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon kept returning to China for more duck. Just imagine how different history would be if the Havana Cigar had the same effect on US politicians!

In summary, that juicy piece of duck you are about to eat has a royal history of over 1500 years. Chew on that!

How to eat Beijing Duck

Your Beijing Duck will be served with steamed pancakes, sweet bean or plum sauce, cucumber and spring onions.

Place one pancake on the palm of your hand, dip a slice of duck meat in the sauce then place the meat on the pancake, add several pieces of cucumber and spring onion, wrap up the pancake, close your eyes and bite. Control yourself, chew slowly and savor this ancient delicacy.

How to cook

First you need to prepare the ingredients. Here is a list of all the ingredients.

Ingredients

2.0 to 2.5 kilogram of duck

8 liters of water

1 slice of ginger

1 Spring onion

50ml of honey

20ml of white vinegar

20ml of cooking sherry

25ml of corn starch dissolved in 50ml of water

Spring affairs for garnish

Directions

1. Clean duck then wipe it dry and tie a string around its neck.

2. Hang the duck in cool and ideally windy place 4 hours.

3. Fill a large wok with water then bring to boil. Add ginger, spring onion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil again and pour in the dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly during this step.

4. Place the hung duck in large strainer over a larger bowl then scoop the boiling mixture over the entire duck for about 10 minutes.

5. Hang the duck up again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until it is thoroughly dry.

6. Place the duck breast side up on a greased rack in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

7- Place a pan filled with 6 centimeters of water in bottom of oven to collect the drippings then roast 30 minutes.

8- Turn duck and roast for 30 more minutes.

9. Turn breast side up again and roast for 10 more minutes.

10. Use a sharp knife to cut off the crispy skin then immediately serve meat and skin on a warm dish

11 Eat and enjoy.

Things That Stunt Your Growth

If you want to increase your height, it is important to avoid the things that can stunt your growth. Doing so, will help you to squeeze out the necessary HGH or human growth hormone that your pituitary gland secretes thus helping you to achieve your maximum height potential. It is useless to do the things that can help to increase height if you are also doing the things that can stunt your growth. For example, Eating lots of protein foods which helps to increase your height and at the same time eating too much carbohydrate foods is totally useless because those two have opposite effects on the production of HGH.

So what are the factors that can stunt your growth? Here are some of the factors that will stunt your height, make sure to avoid these things if you want to grow taller naturally. Let’s start with “Lack of Sleep”.

Lack of Sleep:

We know how important the “sleep” is when it comes to our growth and development. Our pituitary gland produces the largest amount of HGH during sleep so its just make sense that “Lack of Sleep” will definitely prevent you from growing taller because it only means depriving your body of a large amount of the HGH it produces. So, make sure that you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Too Much Carbohydrate:

When I was a child, I remember my parents always told me “Eat more rice if you want to grow taller fast” but unknown to me and my parents at that time, too much carbohydrates actually stunts individual’s height. Although, it give us lot of energy, too much of it has stunting effect because it raises the insulin levels in our body. Surge of insulin tends to switch off the GH production. This is the reason why Asian countries that always have too much carbohydrate in their diet like rice and corn have such a short average height compare to other countries.

Cigarette Smoking:

Cigarette Smoking is also one thing that stop your height from increasing. When you are smoking the level of oxygen in your blood decreases while at the same time the harmful substances that cigarette produces like the carbon monoxide increases. We know how important the oxygen is when it comes to our health. Carbon monoxide robs your brain, muscles and body tissue of oxygen badly affecting the health and of course our body’s growth. Aside from its stunting effect, cigarette smoking can also lead emphysema, lung cancer, and hearth disease. So if you are smoking, better stop it now before it leads to these illnesses.

Drinking Soda:

Drinking Soda is also one thing that can also prevent you from growing taller. Carbonated drinks deplete calcium in our bone. And aside from that, soda also contains lots of phosphorous that badly affects your body’s calcium absorption. So taking calcium supplements while drinking soda doesn’t help. It’s like you’re not taking calcium at all. We know how important the calcium to our bone’s growth. So stay away from carbonated drinks if you want to grow taller naturally.

Cheap Dublin Hotels

Getting a hotel in Dublin can be a bit tricky. Since it is a small city, its hotels often get booked to capacity fast. Early reservations are a must for travelers and tourists. And booking in advance may prove to be more than just practical. You can also get discounts by reserving a room beforehand.

You will need discounts especially in peak seasons when hotel rates jack up. But there are also reliably cheap hotels in Dublin you can afford even without discounts.

Cheap Hotels

Location plays a great part in the rates of hotels. The closer you are to the heart of the city, the more expensive accommodations become. But before you go ahead and check in at any hotel in the outskirts of Dublin, be reminded that public transportation is hard to come by at night. You may end up spending large sums on transportation that in the end would amount to the savings you got from not staying in a city hotel.

For a backpacker, Dublin's several hostels are your best bet for cheap accommodation. You may have to share a room with complete strangers but it would be fun to meet fellow travelers you can exchange stories with.

If you are traveling with your family or a large group of friends, check out the apartments you can rent for the duration of your visit. There are also bed and breakfast townhouses operated by families. Most of these are certified Family Homes of Ireland (FHOI). This may be the best way to experience Irish living. Their rates may be slightly higher though. Sometimes they can be priced higher than hotels too. So be sure you check the rates first and compare before deciding on your accommodation.

For best rates, book well in advance. And if you do not mind moving your trip, reschedule it during off-peak season. You will get rooms at a much cheaper rate. Also, mid-week accommodations are priced lower than weekends.

Teaching English in Japan – What to Expect

The economic boom that swept Japan in the 1980′s brought with it not only a period of wealth and prosperity, but also a sudden surge in a desire to study English. Fueled in part by Japan’s role as an emerging economic force, the need to learn English became a necessity for many companies hoping to compete in the global marketplace. As a result of the affluence during this time more Japanese were also able to travel abroad, thus creating a demand for studying English for those who hoped to hone their English skills before making the journey to a foreign country. Entrepreneurs sensing an opportunity to capitalize on this trend began to open English schools in unprecedented numbers, from large Corporate chains that catered to thousands of students, to small neighborhood schools often employing only a handful of staff. Although the glory days of finding a teaching job on the basis of being a native English speaker alone have faded, the good news is there are still many teaching jobs available in Japan for those willing to make a modest effort to pursue them. Renewed economic growth in the last few years in conjunction with a recent ruling by the Japanese Ministry of Education to include English as part of the elementary school curriculum will also create a need for English instructors in the future.

English teachers in Japan fall basically under two categories, those employed via structured programs such as JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching), and freelance instructors. Teachers who have come to Japan under one of the structured programs can expect benefits which include pre-departure training, visas, flights, living accommodations, and health insurance. Free lance teachers are individuals who arrive in Japan looking for work on their own or who have found a job prior to arriving. In regard to working conditions both can expect to teach approximately 20-35 classes per week, with lessons spanning 50 minutes to one hour in duration. Most teaching positions are at private language schools, with the majority of classes being conducted in the afternoons and evenings. Students range from elementary school, high school, and university students, to housewives and businessmen of all ages. Many of the afternoon classes are typically made up of children who study English after their regular school day has finished, and the majority of evening classes are attended by teens or adults. Size of classes vary, but on average consist of 3-5 students for many of the smaller schools, and up to 15 for larger establishments. Most schools also offer students private lessons.

Entry level salaries for teachers is approximately 250,000 yen per month, though this can fluctuate depending on the company. Some of the larger chain schools such as Nova and ECC offer visa sponsorship and other benefits, such as arranging an apartment for newly arrived teachers. Most schools also subsidize daily train transportation costs. Teachers with experience and a post graduate level qualification in the form of a Masters Degree can expect to make around 400,000 yen a month or more, with the majority of high paying jobs in this category to be found in the High Schools and Universities.