It was a lazy morning and getting out of bed was such an ordeal, but I could smell the bacon my son was cooking in the kitchen. I couldn't resist not getting up and go where my olfactory nerves lead me, to my playground, the kitchen. Ann was making the batter for the breakfast pancakes, and I offered to make freshly ground brewed coffee from fresh coffee beans.

After breakfast, I went to the farmers market in Millbrae, the next town where I live. I had no idea what I was going to buy. I had to look around to see what the market had to offer me. I was looking for fresh, unusual fruits or vegetables that could spark the interest in me. Sometimes, I imagine what I could do with the produce when I see them. This morning, I told myself, "I feel like winter melon soup today", when I saw an abundance of newly picked winter melons sprawled on one of the vendors' table.

I came home with a head of cabbage, one 1 1/2 feet long radish, red pepper, green pepper, white and purple string beans, mint leaves, cilantro, 1 whole wintermelon, plums, Chinese broccoli, broccoli, jalapeno peppers, and different kinds of Italian bread: Panettoni, Foccacia, and Biscotti.

The Wintermelon Soup I was going to make needed a good soup base with a lot of flavors, so I went to buy steamed chicken, roast pork, pork tongue, pork intestines, chicken gizzards, duck gizzards, and pork ears at Cheung Hing, a Chinese restaurant in Millbrae that specializes in Hongkong-style barbecue roast duck, and other exotic Chinese delicacies. It was around 1:00 PM and it was too late to concoct anything from my kitchen and I was sure my children were waiting for me to cook lunch.


1 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
4 cups winter melon, sliced into 1 1/4" X 1/2"
1 tablespoon salt

Boil the chicken in 4 cups water with the salt for 10 minutes. 
Lower heat and simmer simmer in medium-low heat for another 15 minutes. Add the Wintermelon. Cook for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

*Serves 4 to 6 pax

*Kitchen Tested November 3, 2007


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