You can always tell when I’ve had visitors. How? Well, by the cups. The cups sitting on my coffee table in the living room. The cups which are usually half full. Or half empty. Or whichever way you prefer to look at it. You see, local custom has it that you don’t empty whatever the host has set before you. That’s impolite. Instead, every time after people have visited me, I have a bunch of cups filled with whatever drinks I’ve offered (usually water, the preferred beverage around here). And I am left to deal with that. I guess, my plants are happy, though. Because instead of normal (filthy) tap water, they get the privilege of being served good and fine drinking water. What a treat!
Undoubtedly, you will know many ways of how to conduct a real feast. We for our part have discovered a great way of feasting ourselves in recent months. Instead of going to a restaurant together, we’ve started taking out food from the various restaurants around campus, and I can guarantee you: there’s always loads to eat when we come together this way, and every bit of it is delicious. Or almost every bit, because I have not yet found the courage to try the chicken hearts some of my colleagues are very fond of. But fortunately, there’s usually such a great assortment of noodle and other dishes, that I’ll gladly leave the chicken hearts to my friends!
Admitted: they’re not really the healthiest kind of food. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious, really. Puffs, or as they are called here: pao fu. (By the way, did you know that the genius thing about pal fus is that pao fu sounds exactly like “puff” when you only say the word quickly enough? So, to buy them is hardly a challenge at all, even if you speak no word Chinese, really.) But, of course, I like them more for their flavor than their name, because as you (can’t) see, these puffs are filled with a sweet cream inside, which is what makes them rather yummy in the first place.
All0w me to tell you about a special treat: Dominosteine. Yes, literally translated that means domino rocks – or more simply: what you may know as dominoes. But I assure you, they neither taste nor feel anything like a rock or one of those game chips. Really. Where I come from, it’s a very common Christmas treat, but where I live now they have come to be a little treat from heaven. And now, let me tell you why. You see, they are cube of chocolate covered pastry. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, let me assure you: me and chocolate are very best friends! Anyhow, you take a bite of this little rock, and you realize it’s actually soft and juicy. And when you take a look, you’ll find that inside this little rock there are three layers: one of soft gingerbread, one of marzipan, and a thin layer of jelly. The perfect combination for a yummy Christmas treat on a cold winter’s day. Off to enjoy some more Dominosteine.
Oh what fun it is to … have yummy American treats during the Christmas season! Well, you may think there’s nothing special about bake sales in December. But I can tell you, for those of us who don’t really have any alternative to yummy Christmas treats, having a bake sale in December is a highly anticipated, and well received event. In fact, those bake sales are getting so popular that it’s rather a challenge to stand in that never ending line and hope that once it’s your turn there’s going to be at least a few treats left. I did manage to get a couple of yummy treats after making it through that long line, and now I’m left to deal with the sugar overdose that is to follow inevitably … Off to enjoy some yumminess!
I’m excited! Because today I got to fill my advent calendar again. This year it’s filled with special goodies that I brought with me from Germany, specifically for this season. And now I don’t only have the pleasure of a few pieces of good chocolate every day, but also a sweet taste of home in a season when family and loved ones (who matter more this time of year) are far out of reach. Sweet greetings for the season, everyone!
We had cake the other day. Some good ol’ brownie our chefs had added to our menu just recently. One of my colleagues, however, decided that just having brownie wouldn’t be enough to whet his appetite. He wanted to have carrot cake instead. And carrot cake he did end up with. Carrot cake of sorts at least!
Usually, in my food corner, I like to share some food samples of what we get to eat sometimes. Today, however, I thought I’d share with you a usual after-dinner aftermath! See, most western people eating with chop sticks think they need to leave their places all clean and tidy to meet with proper etiquette. Here, however, the more common approach to eating together will make the place of dining look more like what you see in the picture above – a battle field. Dropping your food matters just as little as throwing left-overs on the ground, or arranging them around your plate (if you happen to have one, which here we didn’t have our own plates). It may not be proper etiquette (even here) but it still works most of the time!
Fish is quite common around here, though it tends to be very bony. Often it comes in spicy soup, but this one was prepared in a delicious sauce. The only reason it doesn’t look so good on the picture is because I took the photo too late (after we’d been picking away at it for a while already).
I know I should stay faithful to my habit of reporting about Chinese cuisine. But doesn’t this tuna salad look quite yummy? (If you’re one of those people who like tuna salad at least.) Anyhow, I thought I’d share a little teaser with you today, though I’m aware that probably the who gets teased the most is me, since there’s no such thing as a tuna salad to be had here these days!