Back in June I spent a lovely weekend attending the Oxford Food Symposium, held in St Catherine’s College, Oxford. It’s very remiss of me not to share the experience here on the blog, as I had a wonderful time attending delightfully diverse lectures, meeting fellow delegates and appreciating the excellent catering. But I made few notes and took no photographs, so it’s unlikely to make it onto the blog…
One of the best things about the weekend was making new friends. Diana and I discovered we had a huge amount in common: not only our interest in food, which was a given for all those attending the symposium, but our style of eating and cooking and much about how we view life and choose to live it.
When we meet again in London, the week after the symposium, we exchange home made preserves. I am very taken by the beautiful hand-printed card Diane has slipped inside the cellophane around her kumquat marmalade.
I ask her to explain the design. She tells me about a well known proverb in Chinese that goes, “eating a small amount of something increases the enjoyment of its taste”. Diana adapted this to create her own motto, “knowing how to eat increases the enjoyment of tasty food”. When she talks about it, it’s clear how well it encapsulates her passion for food and the way that learning more about the history, traditions, techniques and recipes of the world enhances her enjoyment of food.
As for the stamp itself, that’s another lovely story: During the years she and husband Tack lived in Brussels (where they met), the Imperial Palace Museum of Beijing was invited to show an exhibition of cultural items at the Belgian Royal Museums for Art and History, which lasted for 6 months. One of the staff accompanying the exhibition from China was a master in traditional seal carving. Tack persuaded the master to take him on as a student and attended lessons with him every day until he, and the exhibition, returned to China. In the years since then, Tack has designed and carved many beautiful seals including this stunning one for Diana.
During some of our many rambling chats at the symposium, Diana mentioned how she loved the idea of sharing some of her own recipes and cooking tips but didn’t want to start a blog of her own. So I cheekily asked if she’d be interested in being a guest writer for Kavey Eats.
Tomorrow’s post is her first contribution and I hope there will be many more. Please take a moment to leave an encouraging comment for her and if you give her stir fry recipe a go, let us know how you get on!
See all of Diana’s posts here.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!11 Comments to "Introducing Guest Blogger Diana Chan"
Sounds lovely! Attending the Symposium leads to so many exciting voyages of discoveries like these.
Yes, it’s a shame you couldn’t make it this year Sejal, it would have been nice to catch up.
My mum ALWAYS says the thing about eating a small amount of something and it is always true. 🙂
Sweet! It’s a nice saying and I love how Diana has adapted it too.
Welcome, Diana! 🙂
Margin Fades, thank you!
Hello to your new friend Diana. Always nice to make new friends.
Nana, my dad, was fond of saying something like this; “eat a bit less (of a good thing) than your stomach wants/hold your hand back when you still have a little space in your stomach, then you will keep wanting more”! We found it very hard to do as children LOL!
Hand painted labels for one’s own produce is not a bad idea, makes it personalised and it is not hard to do.
Hello Mrs Gupta. Very happy to have met Kavey, and what a lovely introduction. I still find it hard to exercise self-restraint. I much prefer self-indulgence. ; )
Not quite hand-painted ma, but hand made — her husband carved a stamp to use multiple times. Beautiful, no?
Oh why remind me of Diana kamquat jam?? I was fortunate enough to be gifted with the jam when she was in New York and have been longing for it for so many years! Thanks for bringing back the memory of the delicious kamquat jam.
Diana – What does the seal say?
Mooi, thank you, yes very lucky to have the delicious jam. We swapped our home-made offerings.
Diana gives the information about the meanings above, you will see it in the text paragraph above the picture of the seal.