May 03, 2010


Foods we miss:
  • Rhubarb. This is definitely in the number 1 position as I miss every kind of dessert ever made with rhubarb.  Rhubarb bars, rhubarb platz, rhubarb cake, rhubarb pie, rhubarb pineapple jam...I love rhubarb!
  • Blueberries (for pancakes)
  • Farmer sausage. We occasionally try a Chinese or Korean variety. They are alright with eggs and onions, but that's about it.
  • Fresh peas
  • Sweet corn
  • Pickerel
  • Lentils
  • Chocolate milk

Foods for which we have a growing appreciation:
  • Various greens that we don't know the English names for
  • Pig feet
  • Chicken feet
  • Tofu: various kinds, soft, hard, aged, fried, sliced, flavored
  • Several (often unidentifiable) varieties of fish.  Last night we had Swordfish steaks at a friend's house
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Lotus root
  • Duck eggs
  • Lamb kabobs and most Western Chinese cuisine 
  • Various hot pots.  We find that some hot pots we love and others we really dislike.  And be warned, if you are going to eat hot pot, don't wear a white shirt!  Everything gets covered in red oil.  
  • Milk tea and various other teas (like roasted buckwheat, flower tea, green teas)
  • Street cart food.  My favorite is a fried piece of dough with eggs, leeks and pork inside.  These are always guaranteed to be very tasty and very unhealthy.  
  • Fresh Soybeans boiled in their pods with anise and Sichuan peppers - very tasty!
  • Many different snacks made with sesame or peanuts

Foods which play an irreplaceable role in our diet
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Mounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.  New varieties include dragon fruit, pomello, durian, a wide variety of melons.  All the fruit and vegetables from the market are amazingly sweet, fresh and crunchy.
  • Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings)
  • Baozi (Chinese meat buns)
  • Dried mung beans, soybeans and cornmeal
  • Chicken breast.  Ironically, this is not a preferable cut of meat in China.  The chicken breast is thought to be dry and not very flavorful.  Oh well, it works for us!
  • Ground pork.  Much cheaper than beef, but works for the same recipes.
  • Eggs and milk
  • Mushrooms, especially shitake.  Very cheap compared to Canada
  • Egg fried rice
  • Peanut butter and bread

Foods we have tried and are not fond of
  • Much of Aiyi's Anhui cuisine, which usually consists of whole animals that have a strong salt and smoke flavor (fish, ducks etc.)
  • Dishes that sit under an inch of red chili oil - they may be good at the time, but the day after may not be very fun!

Foods that we must buy from the Western store
  • Coffee (non instant and not sweetened!)
  • Enriched flour and whole wheat flour
  • Margarine
I mostly wrote out these lists because I've been thinking about how much I miss rhubarb lately.  What I really wanted to do was blog about rhubarb, but I figured that would be boring, so I though I might give a little insight into our changing diet.  We buy much less preserved food than we ever did.  I can't remember the last time I bought something that was in a can or anything frozen.  With so much fresh produce, there is very little need for those things.  

A few months ago James was at a conference where he was served crocodile and duck tongues.  When I told the boys what Papa was eating for supper, Ari said, "Do you mean that now there are a bunch of ducks that can't say 'quack' anymore?"

1 comment:

Shanilie said...

Hi James and Jess :) I just got your url from Mom & Dad. Love the blog. I look forward to keeping in touch with you.

I was just telling Ryan I need to find someone with a rhubarb patch because this time of year rhubarb anything tastes sooooo good!