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  • Melissa Orquiza

Hui Tomato Beef Noodle Soup,The Silk Road, Kraftwerk, Coldplay, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silkroad Ensemble

Hui Tomato Beef Noodle Soup. Soup and noodles! The comforting alternative to pasta ANYDAY!

Ooh! Hui Tomato Beef Noodle Soup Slideshow! Please slide through the pics!

Hui Tomato Beef Noodle Soup, The Silk Road, Kraftwerk, Coldplay & Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

My mother, while single, had the most elegant taste in fashion. As a toddler, about my daughter’s age, I would bury myself in the closet, scouring for her colorful high heels, wrapping myself in her tailored coats with fur trim. She had finished her residency in Baltimore, so all her coats were weathered for the cold. I would watch her slowly apply makeup, entranced by her red and fuchsia lipsticks, masterfully applying black eyeliner, marveling at the transformation. As a young child, I looked forward to the morning ritual, part play and part fantasy, unable to wait until I could do the same.

As the years wore on, with two more children in tow, multiple moves around the country and the final decision to set up a private practice in California, my well dressed, chic, elegant mom gave way to a more functional version of herself. Now as a middle schooler, my mom no longer wore makeup except for the occasional lipstick. She would still do her big set, curled hair, per the time in the Midwest and the South, but the chic high heels and tailored dresses gave way to pants, flats and jeans. I asked her why she still kept her clothes and shoes from her single days, even though she could no longer fit into them. She said they were so well made, she couldn’t bear to part with them. Secretly, I think it was a wry mix of nostalgia and art. They traveled with us everywhere… her shoes in a small part of the closet with her fur lined coats hanging precisely above. When I started my first entertainment job at 20, upon a visit home, my mom advised I dress like a well bred lady while working. She gifted me her silk scarves from her single days, the cute, Asian - Pacific Islander pediatric oncologist, who loved spoon bread.

I still covet the silk scarves, but alas, rarely wear them. They range in rich greens, blues, reds and orange. Collected either as gifts or purchases from friends and family from around the world, they serve as an artisanal reminder from her elegant past. That woman disappeared when I was in middle school- working around the clock in order to help my dad with his business, working on rotation, shuttling us between all our commitments, cooking, cleaning and tutoring. Unaccustomed to doing domestic labor, my mom gave up the luxuries of her old life, to blaze a more difficult path in a new country. The life of most working women.

Now, as a mother to a daughter who loves running into my closet, diving into costume jewelry and is addicted to my makeup drawer, I know the everyday need to look lovely is rather ridiculous, nowadays. Every now and then, I remember how elegant my mother used to be and I slowly pull up my hair, take solace in applying my makeup, bathe in my love of femininity and marvel at how refreshing beauty is to the soul. Here’s to capturing your beauty, in your heart and on the outside, even when it feels self- indulgent.

Did you know there are two definitions for “The Silk Road”? Here’s the one you probably learned in junior high.

And, here’s the illegal dark web definition. I thought I’d mention it considering the erratic over and underestimation of cryptocurrency from its infancy until now and its unfortunate role in “government regulation.”

Here’s Yo-Yo Ma and “The Silkroad Ensemble”, a multi-cultural collaborative musical, performance and teaching ensemble comprised of musicians from all areas. As an advocate to soft diplomacy, here is a prime example of the universality of music and its ability to bring people together.

The Silkroad Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma - Heart and Soul ft. Lisa Fischer, Gregory Porter

How can I not bring up computers without a mention to Kraftwerk? Considering the ease of the digital age, it sounds almost painstakingly quaint, knowing the analog manipulation involved…. and still coming up with something catchy and groove oriented.

Kraftwerk - Computer Love

Here’s Coldplay’s Take. Yes, they asked for the rights before they reworked the opening motif with guitars. Creation and intellectual property- an unfortunate constant in the digital age. Here’s to the love affair between nostalgia and music.

Coldplay - Talk (Official Video)

Thanks for reading! I hope this makes you think, laugh and maybe think about the reciprocity of diversification. Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

Hui Tomato Beef Noodle Soup. Here's to switching up your ramen and pho!

Hui Tomato- Beef Noodle Soup

adapted from “Beyond the Great Wall, Recipes and Travels in the Other China” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

The Hui people are an East Asian ethnoreligious group predominantly composed of Chinese-speaking adherents of Islam distributed throughout China. They are direct descendants of Silk road expatriates or travelers.

(I riffed off this recipe, substituting beef, adding more ginger, tomato, spices, and a bit more beef. It’s a good base but try to make it your own. You can riff the aromatics with whatever you have on hand and it’s a good way to make use of what’s in the fridge. The condiments can be mixed and matched to round out flavor or make bitter, spicy, or hot more prominent.)


3/4 pound wide egg noodles

2 Tablespoons peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil or rendered fat

3 knobs minced ginger

2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot

1 lb. beef stew meat (original recipe called for goat meat)

salt (to taste)

4 medium tomatoes

8 cups of stock

1/2 small container of spinach

2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 Tablespoons black vinegar

3/4 Tablespoon Chile Sesame oil; (It’s not hot, just nuanced but you can substitute sesame oil if you wish).

For each bowl

drizzle of hot chile sesame oil (or sesame oil)

cilantro to top

sliced green onions to top

a sprinkling of crushed Sichuan peppercorns

Directions 1. Heat the oil or fat in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the meat, raise it to medium high, and brown it all over. Stir in salt then add the tomatoes.

2. Add the stock and add the dark soy sauce, black vinegar, chile sesame oil or sesame oil. Bring to boil. Lower heat to low after boiling and let it hang out. ( I did about an hour while I was playing with my daughter).

3. When ready, boil water in separate pot for your noodles and cook.

4. Grab your noodle bowls. Drain the noodles. Separate in the noodle bowls, add spinach, and ladle beef soup. Top with green onions, cilantro, crushed Sichuan peppercorns, and drizzle with hot chile sesame oil or sesame oil. Enjoy!

#huitomatobeefnoodlesoup, @jeffreyalford&naomiduguid, @yoyoma, #thesilkroadensemble, #kraftwerk, #coldplay

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