- 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
- 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
- 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
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?"