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.

The Beautiful Mountain Town of Sapa Vietnam

Sapa is one of the naturally serene and lush towns in Vietnam. It attracts many travelers with its magnificent landscape, which features colorful tribal villages, French colonial villages, lush vegetation and numerous green fields stacked on one after another.

Sapa is also close to Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Nestled at an elevation of 4921 feet or 1500 meters, Sapa is in Hoang Lien Son mountain range, in the northwest region of the country. Because of its geographical location, the town's rugged scenery usually experiences being clouded by a warm mist, which only adds to Sapa's beauty and charm, and making it truly a unique place to visit.

Sapa is about 376 kilometers from capital city of Hanoi. Sapa has risen to be the most popular mountainous district in Vietnam. You will easily be charmed by the terraced rice fields, the ethnic lifestyle and the cool climate, inviting you to stay longer in Sapa than you intended. Becoming a tourist destination paved the way for the establishment of hotels and accommodation facilities in this town so you do not have to worry about finding a place to sleep during those tranquil nights. If you really want to immerse yourself into the Sapa lifestyle, you can also arrange for a homestay in one of the tribal villages.

One of the best things to do in Sapa is walk around the town early in the morning as the tourist crow is not yet in full swing. The town is small, so you can easily navigate your way on foot. In fact, everything in and around town can be explored on foot making the most popular activity in Sapa – trekking. Trekking to various villages is fun and adventurous. Just make sure that you have good trekking shoes or boots and waterproof bag. There are also tours that involve renting a bike or motorbike to explore the countryside and visit waterfalls.

There are other less rigid things to do while in Sapa. You can always visit other neighboring villages like the Lao Chai Village, by hiring local transport like a jeep or van. You may also watch ethnic minor dance performances, sign up for the Hmong sewing classis and visit noticeable attractions like the Han Rong Resort, Sapa Culture Museum, the Sapa Lake, Bac Ha weekend market and the European orchid gardens and colonial buildings.

Sapa is home to a couple of ethnic minorities such as the Dazao and Hmong. These people live a simple life and have managed to maintain their culture and traditions. It is a rewarding travel experience to visit their villages and learn about their way of life. You can ask them to be your trekking guide instead of getting one through the hotel. Other than agriculture, the tribes are also now relying on tourism for a living.

Remember to always be respectful and courteous when dealing with them, especially when taking photos; always ask their permission first. The best time to visit the town is arguably from September to October as this is the period when the rice fields are turning their color from green to yellow. During wintertime, the town receives more of that appealing fog. No matter when you visit Sapa , you will definitely enjoy this new pin on your travel map!

Fashion Jewelry – The Peridot Birthstone

Birthstones have gained its popularity in the 70s. Although it has waned in the 90s, it has made its comeback into the 21st century along with other jewelry and fashion accessories. Birthstones are not only fashion statements but personal statements as well. People love the idea of ​​wearing the stone designated to their birth month.

The Peridot birthstone is no exception. It is the birthstones of those people born on the month of August. It is a sparkling golden green in color and does not change in color. This gemstone is ideal for women born on August and who also happens to have clear green eyes. It brings out the green in their eyes. Because of its clear, sparkling green color, the Peridot is also very refreshing to look at. It has a calming effect as one gazes into the multi-dimensionally-cut Peridot green color. The Peridot gemstone is even called the "evening emerald" in some jewelry circles.

The Peridot has come a long way in history of fashion jewelry and fashion accessories. In ancient Egypt, the Peridots were often used along with other sterling materials as adornment for queens and pharaoh's headdresses. In the Medieval Period, the Peridot gemstone had been also used, along with some of the semi-precious and precious stones, to adorn, and beautify churches, and sacred church relics such as crucifixes, chalices used in mass, altars, etc.

The Peridot gemstone is ideal for fashion jewelry or fashion accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and anklets. Peridots look best with gold, copper and bronze settings, giving it a rustic look. Most especially, Peridots are excellent with silver and white gold settings. This lighter pairing creates a dainty piece of fashion jewelry that can be used in day or night events.

As fashion jewelry and fashion accessories need not be expensive, this light green semi-precious stone can definitely serve the purpose of adornment for the August birthday celebrant without draining the pockets unnecessarily.

How to Get Approved For an Apartment Even With a Criminal Record

One of the most frustrating episodes ones can encounter is a denial of housing. Apartment complexes, which in reality are run by real estate management firms, use a number of factors to determine who should rent and who should not. One of the most common factors that they use is criminal background check. A criminal history can be one of the greatest huddles one can ever come across in the process of renting an apartment.

The reason apartment communities request a criminal background check is first of all for the safety of the overall community. There is a general consensus that people with violent pasts are bound to fall back into their previous destructive habits. The concept of history repeats itself seems to be a prevailing belief in many places when it comes to criminal history and nowhere more so than in apartment leasing offices.

Another reason why apartment leasing offices conduct a criminal background check is so as to create the appearance of safety in the community and in so doing have the justification to charge more for rent. If a neighborhood or apartment housing community has a high level of crime, then tenants will not want to renew their leases and this means that there will be more housing units which are vacant and which the management has to fill (or risk being censored by the owner). The more housing units are vacant in an apartment community the more it hurts the management bottom line because this drives down the rent.

When conducting criminal background checks, apartments normally concentrate on felony convictions. Misdemeanor crimes which are only punishable by fines are generally not a concern. If you have a misdemeanor, you should not be concerned but if it is a felony you may get a denial.

There are two main ways to get an apartment approval if you have a criminal record. The first one is to check the nature of your offense and see whether you received what is called a deferred adjudication. This is a probation granted to first time offenders and is also known as community supervision. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, and got probation, you can go to the county clerk’s office and request for what is called a court deposition. This is a print-out that shows the offense, the court that heard the case, and the judgment that was rendered and the fact that you have deferred adjudication. The printout also states that you have successfully completed the community service without any other incidences and that you should not be discriminated against when it comes to services. You can take a copy of this document to an apartment manager and in most cases they will approve you.

Another way to get an apartment is to get an expungement. This is the sealing of your criminal records and can be done depending on whether you’re eligible. There is an excellent eBook out in the market regarding how to get an apartment even with an existing criminal record and bad credit and you can get it at [http://www.simplecreditsecrets.net]