Trains at the Museum

Tonight will be a quick post as I have been busy with a presentation for my class tomorrow.

Today I made a quick visit to the Tracy Historical Museum. I had two purposes for the visit.

First, I am trying to track down some old pictures of where the Tracy library was.

Second, I wanted to see the model train layout.

Tracy Museum, Model Train Layout, Modules, ETE, European Train EnthusiastsTracy is an old railroad town so it is always nice when the members of the European Train Enthusiasts bring their modules to display at the museum.

Tracy Museum, Model Train Layout, Modules, ETE, European Train EnthusiastsIt is also great to see the creativity of some of the members. These new train cars are loaded up with logs that were cut from the creators back yard.

Tracy Museum, Model Train Layout, Modules, ETE, European Train EnthusiastsI like this picture as it makes me think of how logging is done in the mountains and the logs are sometimes brought to the sawmills by train.

Tracy Museum, Model Train Layout, Modules, ETE, European Train EnthusiastsThe same member that made the logging cars also owns this train. I really like the old steam engine.

Tracy Museum, Model Train Layout, Modules, ETE, European Train EnthusiastsThe passenger cars are just like the ones from when he was growing up in Germany, so it has special meaning for him.

It is really cool when you hear the stories behind why someone has specific trains, or how they have worked to construct one of the modules.

The train layout always brings back memories of the train set I had growing up.

Did you have a train set?

Steven

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Mooncakes

The  Mid-Autumn Festival is underway and it is time for mooncakes.

mooncakes, mid-autumn festival, asia, china, delicacy, festival foodWhile I was in Canada last month I had a Chinese student in my course. She has been in several of my courses over the past 10 years in Canada and we have become good friends as well as colleagues. As I was leaving she brought me a box of mooncakes.

mooncakes, mid-autumn festival, asia, china, delicacy, festival foodIt is traditional to eat mooncakes during this festival which celebrates the harvest.

mooncakes, mid-autumn festival, asia, china, delicacy, festival foodThe mooncakes are of course round symbolizing the full moon. The cakes are about four inches in diameter and about an inch thick.

My translation app could not decipher the symbols, but traditionally the symbols on the cake are for longevity or harmony. Also the name of the bakery or filling may be shown as well as symbols of the moon or harvest.

mooncakes, mid-autumn festival, asia, china, delicacy, festival foodThe filling for these mooncakes is white lotus seed paste, but they could have other fillings such as red bean, mung bean or jujube paste. Last year I had some mung bean mooncakes.

mooncakes, mid-autumn festival, asia, china, delicacy, festival foodThese mooncakes each have two salted duck egg yolks in them. They have a wonderful briny taste.

These mooncakes are really delicious and very rich. I looked at the nutritional information on the back of the tin. The serving size is 1/2 of a cake and each serving has 330 calories.

Oh, but they are good.

If you haven’t already, go outside and take a look at the beautiful full moon.  Also, think about this time of year when the harvest of many foods is taking place. It is not far from my mind as I live in the Central Valley which is one of the best know agriculture areas of the country.

Steven

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