I took the train down to Miaoli (苗栗) and ventured into Hakka country to visit MJ Klein and his wife, Hui-chen: http://www.thenhbushman.com/2008/09/01/saturday-in-miaoli/ plus friends last Saturday. We met up at Andres: http://dreintaiwan.blogspot.com/ uncle's cabin for a KTV cookout in the mountains. MJ broke out his Dutch oven (see above pic) and cooked some really delicious grub, a kind of thick beef stew that was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. According to MJ, the Dutch oven was used to feed New England lumberjacks in the 19th century. They obviously ate really well. The Dutch oven is a weird and wonderful cast iron contraption where heat is directed down on the ingredients over an extended period of time.
Andres' uncle was also cooking. He'd fished a pile of river shrimp, which he barbecued in a beer can. I've come to the conclusion that I don't eat as well as other people. Life in Taipei means an endless stream of fried or boiled slop for people on the go, with the occasional Subway sub to break up the monotony. MJ seems to have it figured out. You get other people to do work for you, and then just focus on what's important - eating, kicking back to discussions on the future punctuated with listening to or making music.