Author: thorben

Crochet charity

Crochet charity

I learned about a crochet charity here in Shanghai through a WeChat group. Clara, the founder, is organizing events where volunteers crochet hats or other items from recycled (sorry: upcycled) wool. They then sell the results and donate the profit to an organization that supports orphans.

Since I have been traumatized in elementary school when I was forced to crochet (and I have two left hands), I am no help when it comes to making the hats. Luckily, Clara is also building a platform to sell the hats and needed some pictures.

I volunteered to be one of the photographers and also did my best to smile with different hats on my head. It was a fun Sunday!

Fun Fact: No Chinese man would ever wear a green hat, since that is the sign that his wife cheated on him.

It’s Hairy Crab season!

It’s Hairy Crab season!

There are many things in the Chinese cuisine that are a little weird. One thing are the hairy crabs. It is hairy crab season now and everyone is very excited. I finally tried them yesterday.

Similar to lobsters, they used to be considered pests and only became a delicacy pretty recently. Here in China that started with the big famines in the middle of the last century: people had to eat everything to survive. Leaves, bark, and well, hairy crabs, the pest in rivers and lakes.

Now everyone eats hairy crabs at least once a year in the fall, when they are in season. They are steamed (alive?) and taste … okay. The meat in the legs is pretty good but I didn’t care much about the yellow stuff on the inside that is supposed to be the best part. It tasted a little like egg yolk. Also, they really are hairy, see for yourself.

I read an article that the hairy crabs are migrating to European and North American waters and are a threat to local wildlife. So … start eating hairy crabs, people!

I had them during our department workshop, which was more about the crabs than the workshop. We went to an island in Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou. It was a great location – accessible only with a water taxi.

Everything we ate was locally grown – the snails, the vegetables, the hairy crabs. They even grow their own soybeans and rice.