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    They appear to have evolved in parallel with the spade money in the north-east of China. These large knives are attributed to the State of Qiand are found in the Shandong area. They do not appear to have circulated much outside of this area. Although there has been considerable controversy concerning the date of their issue, archaeology shows them to be products of the Warring States period. They are known as Three Character Knives, Four Character Knives and so on, according to the number of characters in their inscriptions.

    Some consider the three horizontal lines and the mark below on some reverses are part of the inscription. The inscription refers to the establishment of the State of Qi. The two later dates are the most likely for the introduction of these coins. This type of knife money is distinguished by their long, pointed tip. They were unknown untilwhen a hoard was unearthed at Chengde in Hebei province; later hoards have also been found in this area.

    It has been suggested that such knives were produced for the trade between the Chinese and the Xiongnu Huns who occupied this northern area at the time.

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    It could be that this type was merely a local variation of the Pointed Tip knives, or that it was the original type that became modified as it was inconvenient to use. Some fifty inscriptions have been recorded, which consist of numbers, cyclical characters, and other characters, many of which have not been deciphered. The end of the blade is curved but lacks the long pointed tip of the needle tip knives. The find spots of this type of knife money in the north-east of China associate it with the State of Yan.

    In recent years, hoards of up to 2, of these knives have been made, sometimes tied together in bundles of 25, 50, or Over different inscriptions have been recorded. Some inscriptions represent numbers or cyclical characters, but many have not been deciphered. Unlike the hollow handle spade money, the characters have not been generally associated with known places names. Ming knives are generally smaller than pointed tip knives, and their tips are approximately straight.

    This type of knife money takes its name from the character on the obverse, which has traditionally been read as ming Chinese: Other proposals have been yi Chinese: A mint for Ming knives was unearthed at Xiaduto the south west of Peking. This was the site of Yi, capital of the State of Yan from BC, so the reading of yi has found favour recently.

    Moulds have also been discovered in Shandong. These coins themselves have been found, often in great quantities, in the provinces of Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Manchuriaand even as far afield as Korea and Japan.

    They are found together with pointed and square foot spade money. Two different shapes of Ming knife are found. The first, presumably the earlier, is curved like the pointed tip knives.

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    The second has a straight blade and often a pronounced angled bend in the middle. A wide range of characters is found on the reverses of Ming knives. Some are single characters or numerals, similar to those found on the pointed tip knives.

    Two large groups have inscriptions that begin with the characters you Chinese: You has the subsidiary meaning of junior or west; zuo can also mean senior or east. The excavations at Xiadu revealed in the inner city a zuo gong left-hand palace, and a you gong right-hand palace. The similarities between the other characters in these two groups show that they were determined by the same system.

    A smaller group has inscriptions beginning with wai Chinese: A fourth group has inscriptions beginning with an unclear character, and other characters similar to those found in the you and zuo groups. By analogy with the wai, this unclear character has been read as nei Chinese: Their general appearance is similar to the Ming knives.

    The ming character is large and angular. They have extensive reverse inscriptions. A hoard of these knives was unearthed in the Jiaqing period — in Boshan in eastern Shandong. Later finds have been made in the same area. This area was part of the state of Qi; and their legends also refer to Qi. Between and BC, the State of Yan occupied most of the territory of Qi, and it is generally accepted that these coins come from this time. Otherwise, their reverse inscriptions, which appear to refer to place names, have not been satisfactorily deciphered.

    One reading gives the first character as Ju Chinese: These are smaller knives, and their blades are not curved or only slightly curved. They were issued by a few places in the state of Zhao. This category includes some other smaller knives of various shapes.

    They are found in hoards with Ming knives. The round coin, the precursor of the familiar cash coincirculated in both the spade and knife money areas in the Zhou period, from around BC.

    Apart from two small and presumably late coins from the State of Qin, coins from the spade money area have a round hole and refer to the jin and liang units.

    Those from the knife money area have a square hole and are denominated in hua. A hoard found innear Hebi in north Henan province, consisted of: Another example is a find made in Liaoning province inwhich consisted of 2, Yi Hua round coins, 14 spade coins, and Ming knives. The liang, the Chinese ounce, consisted of 24 zhu Chinese: This means that Ban Liangs are found in a great variety of sizes and calligraphic styles, all with the same inscription, which are difficult to classify and to date exactly, especially those of unofficial or local manufacture.

    The History of Han says: A remarkable find was some bamboo tablets amongst which were found regulations drawn up before BC concerning metal and cloth money. A thousand coins, good and bad mixed, were to be placed in pen baskets or jars and sealed with the Seal of the Director. At Zhangpu in Shaanxijust such a sealed jar, containing 1, Ban Liang of various weights and sizes, was discovered. At the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty, c. In BC, the weight was set at 4 zhu.

    Private minting was permitted again, but with strict regulation of the weight and alloy. By this time, a full monetary economy had developed. Taxes, salaries, and fines were all paid in coins. An average of million coins a year were produced. According to the History of Han, the Western Han was a wealthy period: In the capital the strings of cash had been stacked up by the hundreds of millions until the cords that bound them had rotted away and they could no longer be counted.

    A labourer could be hired for cash a month; a merchant could earn 2, cash a month. Apart from the Ban Liang coins described previously, there were two other coins of the Western Han whose inscription denoted their weight: The San Zhu Chinese: The records are ambiguous, but the later date is generally preferred.

    The Wu Zhu Chinese: Sometimes Wu Zhus can be dated specifically from dated moulds that have been discovered, or from their find spots, but the majority cannot. Those of the Western Han Dynasty have a square top to the right hand component of zhu; on later coins, this is rounded. Only a few of the varieties that have been described by numismatists are included here.

    Jun Guo Wu Zhu Chinese: Sometimes has a rimless reverse. Taken to be the earliest Wu Zhu. According to the History of Han, in BC the Commanderies Jun and Principalities Guo were ordered to cast 5 zhu coins with a circular rim so that it would be impossible to clip them to glean a bit of copper. Chi Ze Wu Zhu Chinese: The Han records state that in BC the mints in the capital were requested to cast Chi Ze coins, with one being worth five local coins.

    Only these were to circulate. Chi Ze means Red or Shining Edge, referring to the red copper showing when the edges were filed smooth. Minting was now confined to the central authorities. These coins usually have a raised rim on the top of the hole on the obverse. This is a do-it-yourself procedure. When fajitas are cooked cut into small slices.

    Perfect compliments for this divine composition are frijoles and Spanish rice. But they don't call them skirt steaks in San Antonio--they call the fajitas. From what I was able to learn, it seems fajitas are something of a Southern Texas--or Tex-Mex-phenomenon. They have become popular only in the past few years, but they have become very popular.

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    According to one meat buyer I talked to, "When I put fajitas in the ad, I'll go through betweenand a quarter of a million pounds in a week They even have fajita cooking contests in Southern Texas. I learned that the champion for the past five years was Red Gomez, a butcher from Brownsville, Texas.

    I called him to see if he would be willing to share his award-winning recipe with me. Ranchers, who usually butchered their own meat, kept the steaks and roasts for themselves and gave their hands what they considered the less desirable cuts, including the so-called skirt steak, which is a section of the diaphragm. The long, narrow, beltlike strip would be marinated overnight in lime juice to tenderize it.

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    The next day it was grilled over mesquite, a cheap, plentiful wood that itself has become a cooking fad. The meat was then cut into thin strips, each diner filling a flour tortilla with it and with pico de gallo, a spicy relish of onions, green chilies, tomatoes and cilantro.

    Those familiar with Mexican dishes may notice the striking similarity between fajitas and tacos al carbon and carne asada. But tacos al carbon, a fad that preceded fajitas, are made with a better cut of meat that does not need to be marinated and they reach the table already rolled in tortillas. As for carne asada, it is grilled meat and vegetables.

    The view around here is that fajitas made their way north from the border to Austin about five years ago and began arriving in Dallas two years ago. For the uninitiated, fajitas If they don't come to the table sizzling from the grill, they are not fit to be called fajitas.

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    In a trend sense, they are even hotter. The Houston Restaurant Assn.

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    In Pasadena, a restaurant called Manana Mexican Food and Drink of Arroyo parkway has erected a large sign inquiring 'Have you had your fajitas today? They used to almost throw them away, like junk,' said Bud Smith, a Texan who grew up in Pharr, near the Mexican border In Los Angeles, the fajitas trend is so new that the name is virtually unknown outside of restaurants According to Texan sources, fajitas originated in San Antonio.

    However, others day the idea came directly from Mexico. Under a different name, arrechera, skirt steak has a venerable history in California. In the early version of fajitas, Zelayeta marinated the meat with vinegar, oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, then added tomato sauce and broiled it.

    Bywhen 'Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking' was published she dropped the tomato sauce and cooked the meat over the coals instead of under the broiler Fajitas have crossed the ocean to Paris, where they are served in Tex-Mex restaurants along with flour tortillas shipped from Amsterdam.

    They are also popular in New York and San Francisco Beer is a popular accompaniment to fajitas Welche commented on the meteoric popularity of skirt steak. They ground it into hamburger.

    K1 Gifted cook, inspirational leader, respected teacher, social motivator, mom. Elena was born to innkeeping parents living in a small Mexico mining town. Food played an important role in Elena's early life.

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    When she was young, the family relocated to San Francisco. Details of these early years unfold like an interesting menu. Elena married and had children. Her eyesight was compromised early on; soon after her second son was born Elena was totally blind. She re-learned her kitchen and took life one day at a time.

    When Elena's husband passed away unexpectedly, she found strength in her culinary experience and used it to support her young sons. Elena opened a restaurant, taught cooking classes, wrote books, started her own business, partnered with major USA food companies, and hosted a TV cooking show.

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    Characterized by contemporaries as charismatic and fun-loving, Elena's legacy touches every one of us on a deeper human level. Food is the fuel of physical sustenance. Zest for life enables us to savour the meal. Besides keeping house for her family of four, she teaches cooking, gives lectures and writes on cooking.

    Baking a cake requires precise knowledge of the exact location of everything in the kitchen. The recipe is memorized and special measuring cups are used, one for one third cup, another for one-fourth cup, another for one-half cup.

    Eggs are broken into her hand and then the white drains through her spread fingers into the bowl while the yolk remains in the palm of her hand. After ingredients are mixed, the cake is popped into the oven. After two minute radio programs the cakes is done. Her daily routine includes cleaning her own house, darning, cooking and washing.

    Her delicate sense of touch tells her where there is dirt or dust. Stockings are darned over a china egg, her spools of colored thread being marked in Braille. She know foods by their odors, and spices by taste. That year, also, she made her own Christmas presents pounds of Mexican pressed quince paste, cut and wrapped in cellophane.