CARPINTERIA, Calif. Rodney H. Chow spent the day cooking a Chinese New Year Feast for friends.
The Carpinteria rancher and author wanted to toast the year of the dragon in a special way.
Chow made chow mien and water cress soup from family recipes that he is willing to share.
He served the meal on china he inherited.
"The secret to cooking this is you give it a lot of vegetables," said Chow."
Chow said he learned to cook when his beloved wife died.
"What you want is Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, caramelized onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and you do each one separately in a dish and then the noodles you boil it, you fry it, just the right brown, not crispy, and then when everything is done you put everything together, first you put the vegetables, then you put the bean sprouts," said Chow, " and then what I do for sauce is I take a couple of carrots, slice it up and then I boil the water, that is my sauce, pour it in here and then add a little flavor, you add a little bit of oyster sauce because you don't want it too salty, and then you just mix it up and let is simmer."
Friend brought other side dishes and a rose centerpiece from Myriad Flowers in Carpinteria.
Chow, 94, said he was born in the year of serpent.
His latest book is entitled "Stories of the Good Old Days."
A photo of his little sister is on the cover.
Chow's first book is called " American as Apple Pie."
You may see him selling both at the Santa Barbara farmers markets.