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Bitterballen & Beer Social Event @ Nonzero
透過食物的連接，我們相信人與人的距離可以更加靠近。本次的活動源自與荷蘭食物師 Annelies Hermsan與Nonzero的晚餐；在荷蘭的社交活動中，“Bitterballen”有如不可或缺的Party開場白；運用本地食材，Nonzero邀請您和我們與Annelies Hermsan一起開始這次荷蘭與台灣的對話，我們以食物分享為起點，連結跨國界的對談！
I was asked many times at the party to explain laksa. It is a tough job because the different varieties of laksa in Malaysia can be VERY different indeed, from ingredients to taste and colour. Here is a pretty good infograph guide.
上個月 Ming和一群一樣在世界各地工作後愛上台灣的星馬朋友相聚，大家都很懷念laksa，因此特別舉辦了Laksa party讓非零朋友們相聚。
Nonzero，不只是一家餐廳的Nonzero – 這樣的概念如何讓更多會喜歡上我們的朋友認識? 我們從Ming和朱先生很喜歡的Kinfolk雜誌找到了一個互相呼應的詮釋。
Kinfolk創辦人Nathan & Katie Williams在新書《Kinfolk餐桌》的前言寫道：「雖然在每個人心中，對於聚會有著不一樣的想像，當我們邀請朋友來家裡一起共度時光、談心、分享食物，只要心意是相同的，形式上的細節將變得不再那麼重要，到了最後，所有的過程都會順其自然發生。」Nonzero和Kinfolk同樣以低調、不做作的方式創造生活的愜意，「把握與人交流的時間，遠比執行那些表面的細節重要，精心設計的華麗菜餚還有餐桌佈置都只是配角」。
We couldn’t be more excited about The Kinfolk Table, the first book from Kinfolk magazine. Launched to great acclaim and instant buzz in 2011, Kinfolk is a quarterly journal about understated, unfussy entertaining. The journal has captured the imagination of readers globally, with content and an aesthetic that reflect a desire to go back to simpler times; to take a break from our busy lives; to build a community around a shared sensibility; and to foster the endless and energizing magic that results from sharing a meal with good friends.
What Kinfolk represents is a lifestyle of understated and unfussy entertaining. This is precisely what Nonzero is about. We put the emphasis back into the relationships that surround eating. Let the people sharing your dinner table be the foreground and superficial details such as fancy recipes and table decorations can fade into the background. Dining should be comfortable, simple, slow and meaningful.
Bring yourself. Take your time. The food will bring the minds together as foreign as they might be. Friends will be found in a shared experience without need of history or gestures known. If you have a bit of hunger, bring that as well. We will not wear our masks here. Come with a word, think about a story. Come to eat. We are far from peril and storm. We are here. We are here together.
One-third cookbook, one-third narrative tale and one-third international adventure, The Kinfolk Table is a collection of 85 delectable recipes spread over nearly 400 pages from creative types around the world. Filled with gorgeous photography and design you’re used to seeing in the magazine, the book will inspire your next small gathering.
If you love Nonzero, you will absolutely love Kinfolk Table.
Have you ever seen Roselle Flower? Well it is technically not a flower but the calyx - the red, fleshy covering enclosing the flower’s seed pod. What’s special about it is that it is widely grown in Taitung, the only place in Taiwan suitable for its growth condition.
Peruvian quinoa is well known around the world as superfood though not many people realises that we have a local Taiwanese quinoa ( Chenopodium formosanum ) which is again, only grown in Taitung.
The house-made roselle jam and quinoa granola both contain produce coming from Taitung. Both roselle and quinoa are crops grown by indigenous people (Lukai or Paiwan tribe) and to get them from farm to table requires lots of manual labour. Due to the low economic yield and intensive labour requirement, there are fewer and fewer people planting them now.
Yes, now you see the Taitung connection. We love Taitung and this gift set encapsulates our love for this special place.
Buy these product and let the farmers see that there is a market for these plants.
Roselle in the wild
Taiwan quinoa 紅藜( Chenopodium formosanum )為台灣原生種植物，中文名為台灣藜。
The buy-local movement is firmly taking roots in Taiwan now. I gladly support this movement and many of the produce we use at Nonzero come from small farmers. Behind the noble idea of supporting farming practices that are gentle to the earth, there is a high labour cost associated with this farm to table practice. I know it from having grown my own vegetable. Unlike veggie from the supermarket, those from my garden must be soaked in lots of water, and each single leave must be inspected individually to check for bugs and dirt.
Many of the ingredients we use at Nonzero need to be prepared in this labour intensive way. Take the local quinoa （台東紅蔾） we sourced from Taitung for example.
The quinoa arrives in a sack after the lovely farmer has already completed the dry, shake, sieve and pick steps to remove as much twigs and debris as possible. However, it cannot be used as it is. It must go through 4 more steps. Rinse (to remove all dust), drain to dry, low temperature roast in the oven and pick out by hand the little stones and twigs. This is the most time consuming.
Then only can it be mixed with the imported Peruvian quinoa which comes cleaned and prepared.
The next time you look at our quinoa crisp, you will eat with a much deeper appreciation, for the journey from farm to table cannot be done without the love and care of many people.
This is a beautiful, not-too-sweet jam made from tangy Rosella flower that is rich in Vitamin C and anthocyanin antioxidants. Ideal on bread, pancakes, cakes and scones. Also makes a great accompaniment to cheese and crackers! Our jam is slowly cooked until the flowers become a rich, plump pulp. Sugar enhances the natural sweetness or balance out any tartness, to create uniquely delicious spreads.
1. Fresh roselle calyxes are quite tough. Deseed first, rinse and boil in a large pot until roselle is soften. Drain well. It is now soft and sour in taste.
2. Add sugar.
3. Thoroughly mix the sugar into the roselle. Stir into the corners of the pot to wet any pockets of sugar hiding there.
4. Stir often so the mixture will not burn at the bottom.
5. The mixture becomes caramelized. Beautiful!
6. Let it simmer and stir with care.
7. Check for your preferred texture – if you like to chunky texture, then stops at this stage.
8. Cook for a bit longer to further liquify the mixture.
9. Final texture of Nonzero house-made jam
Roselle bush near Nonzero Farm in Dulan Mountain. Ming discovered it on one of her foraging walks up the mountain.
Roselle, a species of hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), colloquilly called the ruby of Taitung here in Taiwan, has a deep red color fruit. Good for making jam or syrups for drinks. The best one I tried before was to blend the fruit with ice, making a kind of roselle sherbet. Perfect for a hot summer day!
It is the season now for roselle and pretty soon it will appear on our menu. While we are still perfecting the recipe for our roselle dish, I thought we could feast our eyes first by using it as floral decoration.
Ming preparing the freshly cut stems
Roselle red, isn’t this red beautiful?
More info on the plant can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle_(plant)