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September 28, 2016

Comments

P.A. De Voe

Ha! A cautionary tale for all parents!

Elaine Viets

Don't let this happen to your children.

Karen in Ohio

Love this, Elaine!

Shh, don't tell my mother, but I used to sneak peeks into her not-so-well-hidden copies of The Carpetbagger and Candy. Now that was a shocking book.

Elaine Viets

Oooh, I forgot about "The Carpetbagger." Didn't that have mixed race love affairs?

Marcia Talley

I lived in Taiwan when Peyton Place came out. The Taiwanese had no concerns about copyright, so the minute a copy of a US bestseller arrived in Taipei, it would be "photocopied" and reprinted on thin, Bible-like paper and sold in local bookstores. My girlfriends and I read such an edition of Peyton Place aloud to one another, in our bedrooms after school. On a related topic, one could also buy a pirated copy of the complete Encyclopedia Britannica in Taipei for about $50, but every mention of "China" (as in mainland), Mao Zedong, etc. would be blanked out.

Elaine Viets

You always have the most exotic fun, Marcia. Lucky you got top read "Peyton Place" with all the intact pages. Maybe it made a difference in the story. Love the pirated encyclopedia, too.

Karen in Ohio

Honestly, I don't remember. It was, gulp, more than fifty years ago. But I vividly remember some of the wildly imagined fantasies of Candy. Steamy!

Elaine Viets

I never stumbled across "Candy." Wonder how steamy we'd find them today?

Karen in Ohio

Candy was written, as a joint, long-distance project purely for the money, in 1958 by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. It's an interesting story, but the novel itself is bonkers. It was made into a movie starring Marlon Brando in 1968, and again as an adult film in 1978, neither of which I've seen.

Elaine Viets

Sounds like the history is more interesting than the novel.

Storyteller Mary

I remember on of my high school friends making a brown paper cover for a class text and writing PEYTON PLACE on it. I remember reading FOREVER AMBER back then.
One year we had an exchange teacher from Ghana. I sent an e-mail reminder of Banned Books Week to colleagues. He had never heard of banned books.
Wouldn't it be lovely if we didn't have to fight for the right to read?

Elaine Viets

It sure would, Mary, since this is a constitutional right. But we're still fighting. As a librarian, I know you'll work for the cause.

Alan P.

I have always read, or re-read a banned book for banned book week. For this year, I "assigned" a series of essays on why Book logs don't work to the HIGH SCHOOL student who needed to turn in a signed by parent book log each week. Next week "Dying in Style" starts the weekly reading list. BTW, the class no longer has to turn in reading logs.

Alan P.

I do miss the Lipstick Chronicles. Nicely, the archive lives on. And so does the tale of reading racy novels circa 2008

http://thelipstickchronicles.typepad.com/the_lipstick_chronicles/2008/08/a-helluva-read.html

Elaine Viets

So glad you got rid of book logs in that class, Alan. They are useless. Congratulations on less red tape for readers.

Elaine Viets

OMG -- I forgot about that essay. I'm one of the many Lipstick Chronicles' fans who was sorry when Nancy Martin pulled the plug on that beloved blog, but delighted the Femmes Fatales gave me a new home.

Ellie Enos

Marcia, I lived in Tainan, Taiwan from 1967-69. I bought a cookbook created by nuns that were kicked out of Mainland China so they went to Japan and taught Chinese cooking to support their order. The cookbook was 50 cents and I wore out the page with the sweet and sour pork recipe. I always make the sauce for dipping won ton, spring rolls, etc. so that little cookbook was worth it's weight in gold!

Elaine Viets

Wow, Ellie, that's amazing. When we were in China in the 1980s, we were told the best Peking duck chefs were in Japan.

Ellie Enos

Thanks, Elaine. I got off topic when I saw the Taiwan reference, but we had an English teacher (Mrs. Berlin) that allowed three of her Junior students to read The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, because we had finished Ivanhoe (6 weeks ahead of the other students). Mrs. Berlin had also taught English to my mother at the beginning of her career.

I realize now that I didn't have the life experience to appreciate how raunchy Tom Jones was on several levels. At that time, I just knew that I preferred Tom Jones over Ivanhoe.

When I was required to take a class in Chaucer, I was very apprehensive, but now I realize that classics don't have to be boring and that the supposedly "scandalous" books aren't just a phenomenon of our era.

Marcia Talley

Ellie, what a small world! I went to TAS; did you go to Morrison Academy?

My favorite Chinese cookbook is a tattered paperback entitled "How to Cook and Eat in Chinese." My favorite food? Dumplings!

Ellie Enos

Marcia, I was a 19 year old military wife when I arrived in Taiwan. The cookbook that I purchased there is: The Art of Chinese Cooking Benedictine Sisters of Peking. I wore out the page with the Sweet and Sour Pork recipe, but I have that memorized and saved to our family cookbook for anyone that asks for a copy.

I only regret that I didn't buy a good wok and cooking implements while I lived in Taiwan.

Marcia Talley

Ellie, I still have a wonderful "hot pot" that once belonged to my parents!

Ellie Enos

Marcia, One of my friends had a cast iron wok that you never wash. She put water in the dirty wok, heated it up, then used a bamboo whisk to clean it before drying it and sometimes rubbing it with some oil.

So many of my favorite recipes I learned from friends and family. I watched the house girl make Taiwanese spring rolls and copied her ingredients when we returned to the states. A young Chinese guy from Hawaii taught me how to make wonton; I still use his recipe. I do follow the sweet and sour pork recipe from the nun's cookbook and the char sui bao from The Chinese Cookbook by Craig Claiborne and Virginia Lee.

Marcia Talley

Ellie, I still remember the fresh fruit we had for breakfast. Pineapple, mango, yellow watermelon and pomelo! I'll have to find a copy of that nun's cookbook! I have a mimeographed copy of the one that was used in a Chinese cooking class given to "young ladies" at the Grand Hotel in Taipei.

Marcia Talley

Ellie, look what I found! The nun's cookbook has been reprinted! I just ordered a copy. Also available in Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UMP0NDC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Ellie Enos

Mahalo, Marcia. I would love to get a copy for a few people including my daughter.

We had the fruit vendors come by our house. I learned how to peel a pineapple to cut all the "eyes" out by watching them. I used to amaze my friends when I served fresh pineapple. I loved star fruit and Asian pears. There was a lychee tree in my front yard. My son loved the tiny finger sized bananas that had ripened on the tree. Bananas from the grocery store never taste as good as those that have never been picked green or refrigerated.

Marcia Talley

Ellie, my favorite was the noodle man. He'd come to the end of our street in Taipei with his pushcart. Two containers of hot noodle soup, the steam like tendrils drawing us in. We were never allowed to eat local ice cream, but the noodle soup was boiling, so perfectly safe. Did they have decent milk by the time you got there? We were forced to drink this horrible reconstituted milk that mom bought at the commissary. Ugh! The local cows had TB or something, at least that was the excuse we were given. And amen to the little bananas! We can get them in the Bahamas, too, and they are sublime.

Ellie Enos

Marcia, I don't miss the soaking produce in Clorox water. We were advised not to eat celery from Taiwan (the cell structure kept the harmful elements inside). I went to the base to fill up my water bottles with the highly chlorinated water. I don't care for milk so I only cooked with it.

The small watermelons with the yellow interior were the best I've every had. The pineapples were smaller than the Hawaiian and were thoroughly ripened. I think the secret of the delicious flavors was that they were all grown within the local area and they were only available during their growing season. It makes all the difference.

Marcia Talley

Oh my gosh, we boiled our water and stored it in the fridge in gin bottles because they were square and took up less space. Every once in a while there was an "accident" when someone (usually a child) would mistake the Gibley's Gin in the liquor cabinet for water. Yikes!

Ellie Enos

Marcia and Elaine, I thought of a show I saw recently that brought back so many memories of Taiwan. It was:

HUANG’S WORLD | S1 EP7
Taiwan
Eddie heads to his parent's homeland and explores the complex history of the Taiwanese people to try and understand his own cultural identity.

The next one from s1 was e8 when he and his parents went to China. They were repeating Season One on the Vice Channel. It's also available on You Tube, Hulu, etc.

Elaine Viets

Definitely worth seeing, Ellie. And thank you and Marcia for a fascinating conversation.

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