food

Thanksgiving in China ’17

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This hasn’t been most ideal Thanksgiving. With the passing of my mother-in-law, it’s kinda thrown our family out of sorts. JK and Eloise are still in the States spending time with family trying to help with organizing the estate while the rest of came back to China about a week ago.

None-the-less, we’ve made the best of it and have enjoyed our Thanksgivings separately. Honestly, I think between JK and me, we both kinda envy each other. I wish we could be with her and her family for yearly Thanksgiving tradition of heading to her brother’s house. And she wishes she could be here to be a part of our community Thanksgivings meals. On Thursday, our small group had a meal, and then again on Saturday we got to take part in a progressive dinner.

For the progressive dinner, at the first house, there was soup and bread. That’s where I contributed my secret recipe – buying store-bought food. From there we went to the 2nd house where we had chicken (couldn’t get a turkey), sweet potatoes and even cranberry sauce, and more main course items. Finally, we headed to the third house where we had a plethora of desserts. At the end it was a 4 hours well-spent!

Turn Up The Heat

It is said that SiChuan (四川)has the best food in China, it also has the spiciest food! Jeremy and I wanted to make sure we experienced this world famous food while we were there so for every meal we asked the waitress/waiter to give us SiChuan speciality food.

For breakfast Jeremy had boazi (包子)(top right hand pic.). It is basically a roll that has meat stuffed inside. They steam it in wooden baskets (seen in top left hand picture). We have actually had these before, they are a popular breakfast/snack food all over China. I ordered beef noodles (牛面). I have to say those where the spiciest things I have ever eat! They made my lips burn for 15 minutes after I was done eating. I loved them! (mmmm they sound good right about now.) The bottom left hand picture is strips of potatoes wrapped with a thin layer of fried bread. It was greasy but delicious!

Here we had a tofu soup, spicy chicken (bottom right) and fish (bottom left). I couldn’t eat the chicken plain, it was too spicy. I had to eat each bite with a bite of rice to soak up the spice. For both of us our favorite dish at this meal was the spicy chicken.

This meal brings back bad memories because we made a rookie mistake. When ever you are going to buy anything you ALWAYS ask the price. Often times Chinese will see your pretty white face and think to themselves “Ooo, they have money and don’t know any better, I can raise the price.” But after living in China we DO know better and we DON’T have money so we can usually get the “normal” price for things (what a Chinese person would pay). We could not believe that for a 3 dish meal they charged us 240 yuan! That is more than what we pay to eat western food! But because of our easy going natures we looked at each other, shocked and appalled, paid the bill and walked out. The meal was good but it was not worth what we paid for it.

Hot Pot! Hot pot is probably my favorite meal in China (click here to see when we did hotpot in our home). With hot pot you order dishes, then they bring them out and you cook them in your pot of water which has seasoning in it. As the dishes cook it soaks up all the flavor of the spices and makes the meat/vegetables taste delicious. SiChuan’s hot pot’s spices are suppose to be the spiciest in China. While eating it we both had to blow our noses and wipe our eyes a few times. (It was very spicy but I didn’t think it was intolerable – my breakfast noodles were spicier!) We got the pot that is split into two, one for spicy and one for not. That way if it was too spicy for us to handle we could cook our food in the non-spicy side. Again we asked the waiter what was popular and he helped up order. The majority of the things he said Jeremy understood except one. When it came we figured out what it was – lamb stomach! (bottom right) I didn’t mind it but Jeremy couldn’t eat it. We also got regular lamb meat, mushrooms, veg eatables, blue birds eggs and noodles. We also order yindubobing (印度博冰)Indian bread (that is the direct translation). This was one of our favorite things to order in Dongguan but haven’t had it here in Beijing. As we cooked each thing it soaked up all that spice and tasted so good and cleared out my sinuses at the same time. Over all this was my favorite meal!

Yummy Lamb Stomach!

We really enjoyed Sichuan cuisine and I am ready to go back for more.
Yeah Sichuan Food ~ Bring on the Heat~
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Wax Berry?

I have seen this fruit many times when I would go to the market and buy my fruits and vegetables. But being a unadventurous person I have never had the courage to buy it. I showed it to my friend the other day and asked if she knew what it was. She said she didn’t and I thought that was that. The next day when I was over her house she had bought some! She told me I had to try one and I instantly fell in love. This weird berry thing tastes a bit like a cherry. It looks and fells like a hard ball. There is a small cherry pit like seed in the middle.

My friend did some research on the Internet and found that they don’t have an English name but is most commonly called a Chinese wax berry. So whatever this fruit is it has made my top 5 most loved fruit!

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With June comes . . .

During the month of June the roses begin to bloom; trees are blossoming and these fruit (pictures on right) are ripe and ready to eat. The first city that we lived in here in China, Lechee would practically grow wild. We could just pick them off the the trees ourselves and eat them. That is where I first fell in love with this refreshing fruit. The outside is a hard spiky shell that you peel off to reveal a white fleshy “meat” inside. You bite into this sweet but not strong refreshing flavor. The inside has a good side pit.

I would eat soo much of them and our Chinese friends would worn me and say that a person should only eat 10 of them a day or it would cause the body to have too much riqi (pounced houqi here in QingDao). I didn’t care – I would eat as many as I could.

Lechee is famous for growing in the south but is only in season for the month of June. The emporer way back when also had a love for these fruit and would have them brought up over the rough roads of the day to be delivered to him.

After two years of eating them while living in Dongguan I was delighted to see them in Beijing while we lived there. When I went to purchase them I was shocked at how pricey they were, but I knew how much I loved them and it was worth the price. I was greatly disappointed when I got home and they were not very good. Because lechee only grows in the slow this fruit was imported making it so expensive & not very fresh.

Since moving to Qingdao I saw my favorite fruit out this past June but was very hesitant buying it since my horrible experience in Beijing. I don’t know what changed my mind but I decided to give it a try and boy was I glad I did. These lechee were very delicious! I have been reminded how much I love this fruit . . . . I think I might go and finish the few we have left.