Saturday, May 3, 2008

Quiet Saturday OR: How does Man Yung get all that energy to dance five hours non-stop at every Milonga?

Usually, weekends are a tango marathon for us - milongas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. However, since our favourite traditional milonga has decided to switch to hosting a "Latin Night" every first Saturday of the month (as everyone has decided over the past four months to go to the "Alternative" Milonga on the same nights instead) - we are tango orphans today.

So, in anticipation of our quiet Saturday, we danced until the bitter end on Friday night (including dances with no less than several members of the creme de la creme a.k.a. Royalty of Toronto Tango), and spent Saturday doing what normal non-tango folks shopping, watching Tottenham vs. Reading on tv in the morning, taking a nap, meeting up with a friend for dinner and conversation, and watching a chinese mafia movie on tv at night. We even made soup!

Blood strengthening Oxtail soup with Chinese Herbs


One pound oxtail, trimmed and cut into pieces

Half a beef tendon

(one skinless stewing old chicken or half a black silkie chicken can be used as substitute for the above oxtail and tendon)

Five pieces of Astragalus (called huang qi in chinese, this herb is a root that promotes blood circulation, alleviates vasodilation, reduces blood pressure and may be also effective in treating diabetes)

Five pieces of Codonopsis root (called dang shen in chinese, it promotes digestion, reduces nausea and weakness from anemia, activates metabolism and improves blood circulation, and counters extreme mental and physical fatigue)

Ten Red Dates (called hong zao in chinese and also known as the jujube, it contains Vitamins B, C, E, P, phosphorus, calcium, iron and more. It improves immunity and strengthens the body)

Five pieces of Chinese Yam (called huai shan in chinese, it enhances vigour, promotes muscle growth and tissue repair, and alleviates bodily weakness)

Three tablespoons of Chinese Wolfberries (also called goji berries or kei chi in chinese, it improves eyesight and is beneficial for the liver)

Salt to taste.

We parboiled the oxtail and tendon to remove grease and impurities, and then placed them in a five litre Slow Cooker with the herbs and enough water to fill the Slow Cooker, leaving a half-inch space between the water and the brim of the crock. After covering the crock with the lid, we turned the Slow Cooker on high setting, reducing it to low setting when the water came to a boil. Eight to ten hours should be enough to bring all the flavours out into the soup.

Man Yung's review: "I like this soup. The soup's aroma is of oxtail, not of herbs. It has a nice soothing taste balancing the oxtail flavours with the herbs, which give the beef broth depth and a tingly aftertaste in the back of your tongue and throat. The sweetness of the red dates adds flavour without being overpowering. Because the beef and the herbs together have a pronounced blood and body strengthening effect, I highly recommend it for men, especially those who manifest listlessness, bodily weakness, inability to hold a correct tango posture due to reduced spiritual and physical strength and impaired endurance on the dance floor and elsewhere in their lives."

Thank you, dear readers, for reading this edition of Irene and Man Yung's "Excruciating Minutiae." More editions to follow in the event of further closures of traditional milongas - some of the fascinating topics will include: Irene's fair-isle knitting with photos of work-in-progress and steek cutting, How to clean your bathroom using ingredients from your refrigerator, and Man Yung's chinese first aid tips, including a pictorial demonstration on how to stop a nosebleed with fresh chives. Hasta pronto!


toronto argentine tango associates inc said...

Does this recipe apply only to men? Or to Chairmen? What about women?

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear TATA,
This is an excellent all around strengthening tonic for women and men, but beef may have more "yang" energy than chicken, which is more "moderate" or balanced between yin and yang (It's always better to have balance rather than too much of one or the other for health purposes). The "Chairman" finds that drinking soups like these on a regular basis (about four different tonic soups a week, there's quite a few different recipes) makes him feel a lot stronger and less "ancient" - and it's healthy too because it's low fat and you can control the salt!
Thanks for your comment, one day we will teach special workshops just on slow cooker soup cooking and their relation to tango - shall we call it, "Slow Cookango"?

Unknown said...

GREAT recipe ..... Thank you!

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