About Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine

by Molly Matthews


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Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine is a novel about improbable allies, an Irish single mother and a Chinese physician. It’s the story of love, persistence and entrepreneurship as the gateway for immigrant survival. Set against the backdrop of the 19th Century Catholic church and historical events such as the building the transcontinental railroad, child labor, and the vigilante group the Molly Mcguires, it is the story of family and hope despite injustice, tragedy, and forbidden love. 

This blog introduces the book and how writing fiction became my career re-invention. 

If you would like to get the book on Amazon go here, on Kindle go here. And thanks!

If you want to get inspired to create work you love, subscribe to my Instagram and Twitter and get a “Work You Love” daily quote.

And comment or share your work you love story here.


2019: 150th Anniversary of Chinese Workers Building the Transcontinental Railway

by Molly Matthews


Building the transcontinental railroad.

Building the transcontinental railroad.

Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine has several love stories, one between an Irish woman and Chinese man. As immigrants they would have many things in common: fleeing oppression, escaping starvation, confronting prejudice, and surviving violence. They found each other only because the Irish and Chinese laborers both worked to built the transcontinental railroad.

We know that between the years of 1864 and 1869, Chinese laborers joined Irish immigrants ina race to complete the project. The Chinese proved to be of great value as they laid track at a much faster rate than their Irish counterparts due to their strong  work ethic and sense of community. They didn’t get inebriated with regularity, were strict about cleanliness, and boiled their food (preventing communicable and intestinal illness.) But there is much history yet to be discovered.

Read  https://web.stanford.edu/group/chineserailroad/cgi-bin/website/for more about Stanford University’s The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project that “seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West.”

If you would like to get the book on Amazon go here, on Kindle go here. And thanks!

If you want to get inspired to create work you love, subscribe to my Instagram and Twitter and get a “Work You Love” daily quote.

And comment or share your work you love story here.


Favorite Chinese Dish: Peking duck

by Molly Matthews


Tables are set with delicious ethnic dishes in Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine and scenes in the book show characters enjoying the ritual of shared meals from home, celebrating full bellies, and taking comfort in memories and one another. 

In one scene in the book, aromatic Peking Duck is on display in the windows of Philadelphia’s Chinatown.The dish is associated with imperial menus and although named after Beijing (‘Peking’ is an older spelling), it originated in the former Chinese capital of Nanjing, which lies in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Peking Duck became  a feature dish in American Chinese restaurants in the early 20th Century so technically the timeline is a little early but I imagined that some Chinese, especially those with aspirations of nobility, might have started to sell Peking Duck ahead of the trend.

If you would like to get the book on Amazon go here, on Kindle go here. And thanks!

If you want to get inspired to create work you love, subscribe to my Instagram and Twitter and get a “Work You Love” daily quote.

And comment or share your work you love story here.

RECIPE

Picture from Agricole Hospitality

Picture from Agricole Hospitality

Ingredients

1 whole duck, head on

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 cup molasses

2 cups oil, hot

Directions

Fill large pot 3/4 full with boiling water. Preheat rotisserie or oven to 375 degrees. Soak the whole duck in the large pot of boiling water. Remove it as soon as the skin changes color.

Sprinkle the inside of the duck with sugar, salt, and five-spice powder. Rub the skin of the duck with molasses. Truss the duck with string and hang in an airing place for 2 hours, or put the duck in the refrigerator overnight without any cover. This will dry the skin of the duck so that it will be crispy.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is reddish brown.

Before serving, pour hot oil over the skin to increase the crispiness. Carve the skin and meat from the duck, and serve.


Favorite Irish Dish: Colcannon

by Molly Matthews


Do you remember a particular meal or dish the brings back the feeling of family, community, and love? For me, it’s the smell of onions and celery that my mother would sauté early Thanksgiving morning. After she stuffed the bird, the aroma of roasting turkey floated around the house all day. 

For Johnny, the little boy inIrish Luck, Chinese Medicine, his favorite Thanksgiving dish is colcannon, maybe because he could play with his food, making melted butter puddles in his mashed potatoes.

If you would like to get the book on Amazon go here, on Kindle go here. And thanks!

If you want to get inspired to create work you love, subscribe to my Instagram and Twitter and get a “Work You Love” daily quote.

And comment or share your work you love story here.

RECIPE

Ingredients

Picture from Simple Recipes, recipe from Kerigold

Picture from Simple Recipes, recipe from Kerigold

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into large chunks 

3/4 cup milk 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

6 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter, plus additional melted butter if desired 

1 cup chopped onion 

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage (or one 10-ounce package) 

1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded Kerrygold Dubliner® Cheese or Blarney Castle Cheese 

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cook potatoes in boiling water about 20 minutes or until very tender; drain well and mash with skins on, adding milk and salt.While potatoes are cooking, melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Add cabbage; cook and stir for 5 minutes more or until very soft. Stir cabbage mixture and Kerrygold cheese into hot potatoes and season with pepper.

Mound onto serving plates and make a well in the center of each. Pour a little melted butter into each well, if desired.