Monthly Archives: April 2012

Peking Duck

My dad’s recipe for Peking Duck. We have this for Thanksgiving every year at the Lin Family, much juicier than turkey!

Peking Duck
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Recipe type: Chinese, Holidays, Entree
Author: Juintow Lin
Prep time: 48 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 49 hours
Serves: 8
This makes two Peking Ducks.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 3-4 table spoons of honey in a container
  2. Lay duck into the mix (one at a time) and make sure all skin touches the mix
  3. Hang ducks in a windy and cool place not warmer than 75 deg F for 2 days
  4. Place both ducks (legs and breasts up) in a oven and bake for 70 minutes at 400 deg F, turn over at 45 minutes
  5. Stick a chopstick on legs and make sure the juice is clear (not pink)
  6. For sauce, mix one bottle of Hoisin paste with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, add some water and white pepper and boil
  7. For pancakes, mix 4 cups of flour with 2 cups of warm water (1/2 boiled 1/2 room temp), kneel well into a dough
  8. Divide dough into about 40 balls, dip one ball into oil and combine with another; spread the pair into a thin layer; repeat for the other 19 (pairs)
  9. Heat a pan (no oil) with medium heat, put pairs into the pan and bake until seeing bobbles in between, separate the pair
  10. Slice two bundles of green onions into thin shreds
  11. Slice duck skin and meat
  12. Take a pancake, add sauce and shred green onions, add duck skin and meat, wrap before eating

 

Flickr vs. Smugmug

I was a long time flickr user, and still have a pro account there. But about a year ago, I switched to Smugmug because I got tired of the flickr’s graphic layout. Smugmug is not free, but so much easier on the eyes. I have the power account, which is $60/year but they have a 30 day trial in case you are on the fence. There is a lot I miss about flickr, like the community, but in this case, better design won out.

Best photo management software is Lightroom

I finally settled on a photo-management software. Now I shoot in RAW, upload my pictures to my computer and edit using Lightroom. What I like about it is that:

  • the software is not that expensive
  • it’s easy to use
  • can upload to flickr, facebook, smugmug, pretty easily and sync between them.
There are some downsides. It won’t handle videos, and the connection to facebook is not great.  I shoot with a Canon T2i. It takes great pictures with little need for post processing, but all pictures look a bit better with a little work. Also Picasa does a standout job on tagging faces. I hope the newer version of Lightroom will deal with videos and tagging… I have yet to try v.4. I bought the software three months before the update.
Here is the basic workflow
  1. Put memory card into computer
  2. Import photos to Lightroom
  3. Lightroom downloads them to my hard drive and files them in an orderly way
  4. I look through the images, and use the very handy shortcuts to reject, pick, rank, the images
  5. Select all rejected and delete them
  6. Tag all photos as needed
  7. Adjust photos that need adjusting, usually I crop, adjust brightness, contrast, blacks, and change some to black/white
  8. Sync them to my online facebook and smugmug accounts
  9. Delete the images from my computer.

Occasionally, I bring the pictures into Photoshop in order to fix blemishes, such as milk mustaches, etc.