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Showing posts from March, 2017

Comparison of tenant deposit schemes in England and Wales

In England and Wales there are three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes (Scotland and Northern Ireland have different schemes). They are Deposit Protection Service (DPS) MyDeposits  Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Insured vs. custodial scheme Insured scheme: the landlord/agent can hold the tenancy deposits during the term of the tenancy. They need to pay a fee to the deposit scheme to register the deposit. At the end of tenancy, if the tenant raises a dispute, they must transfer the disputed amount to the deposit scheme until the matter is resolved by a free dispute resolution service provided by the scheme or a court.  Custodial scheme: the scheme holds the deposit for the duration of the tenancy. Custodial Schemes is free of charge for the landlord/agent. At the end of tenancy, both parties agree before the deposit can be released to the tenant/landlord. If there is a dispute, the release of deposit will be based on the decision of the free dispute resolution service provided b

Italian Tortellini and Chinese Jiaozi

I am not a big fan of Jiaozi dumpling, but when I notice the familiar shape of Italian Tortellini, I still felt glad of finding another similar western food. There are two kinds of Tortellini on the supermarket shelf, one filling is spinach and ricotta cheese, another bacon and ham. I don’t expect fillings like pork mince and garlic chives or cabbages as we usually do in China. During the research, I found that there are other varieties similar as Chinese Jiaozi along the Silk Road from Korea in the east to Italia in the west, all the way cross the Siberian Plain and turns at Middle East to India in the south west, such as Korean Mandu, Japanese Gyoza, Siberian pelmeni, Italian Tortellini and Ravioli, Turkish Manti, and Indian Gujia (also called gujhia). There are no questions that Mandu and Manti are cognate words, while Gyoza, Jiaozi, and Gujia are cognate words from another origin. Pelmeni is originated from Tartar Pilmän. The Korean word Mandu was derived from Chinese Mantou, w

Youtiao and Yorkshire Pudding

Youtiao literally means ‘oil stick’, is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough, it’s twisted like a cruller and so made that you can tear it lengthwise in two halves. If crullers are described as resembling "a small, braided torpedo", then I would say Youtiao is a mini "finger of God" tornado twister. Youtiao is eaten at breakfast, as an accompaniment for rice congee, soy milk, or stuffed inside a roasted flatbread to make a sandwich. We really missed this for breakfast in the first year in the UK, youtiao was one of the reason for homesick. One day we found Yorkshire Pudding, which is mainly flour-based and fried, with its similar texture and its golden colour, but it seems totally different kind of food judged by its round cup shape. Oven-baked for four minutes till it’s crispy when dipped into soy source, Yorkshire Pudding tastes exactly same as Youtiao and perfect with rice congee, and soy milk too!