Monday, October 22, 2012

I Like Cooking

I'm going to brag about myself in this post.
Yes, I could just say "Here's a post about my cooking adventures..." but really, this is me bragging because I'm super proud of myself for not only surviving, but for enjoying this thing called cooking.

If you took the tour of my apartment and looked at my kitchen, you'd be seeing all that I have to work with.  I have one, slightly broken, pot.  One hot plate which is all in Chinese and the lowest setting is 120 C which is 'high' on an American stove.  A toaster oven that only has a 15-minute timer and nothing else.  A microwave.  A rice cooker.  I DO have a gas burner but I haven't ventured there yet.  I kind of like seeing how simple I can be.

Back up to when I was living in the states.  I hardly ever cooked for myself.  When I lived w/ some friends in college, I LOVED when they cooked and asked if I wanted to eat their food. Um, YES!  So I got out of cooking a lot.  Kraft Mac-&-Cheese? Sure. I'm pro at that.  I could make some coca-cola chicken too but that requires dumping 3 things into a pan and waiting til it's done.  I don't count that as cooking.  I literally stood in my kitchen, when I moved here, and just thought 'ok Hailey, you better figure this out now because you like food and you don't want starve'.  So I figured it out and still am.

It's not so much the cooking that I'm proud of.  I only make simple things.  It's the simplicity that I'm forced to deal with along w/ my lack of experience that is has made me proud of myself.

Things I can't get here:

Sour cream
Vanilla (I have some though)
Cinnamon (Also have this)
Chocolate chips
Cheese (Technically I can get this, but w/ my lack of self control and the price of it, it's not worth it.)
Peanut butter
Cocoa powder
Good noodles (I have rice noodles & egg noodles.)
Spaghetti sauce
Baking dishes
Baking soda

There are plenty of other things I'm not remembering, which is probably good.  Basically, things are limited here and I've had to learn how to cook and make some strange substitutions at the same time.  I also don't have measuring tools.  I have my cup for rice which is a cup, but everything else is just a guess.  So far, it's all working.

In the last week I have made: snickerdoodle blondies, a pear crisp, spaghetti w/ meat sauce, baked cabbage, potato salad, and last night I made pumpkin & carrot soup.  I found a recipe for Chick-Fil-A nuggets and honey mustard sauce, which I tried and loved.  Peanut sauce on some veggies and rice is another new fave of mine.  I'm finding things, and trying them.  I love it.  I cook sometimes just because I want to.  Nothing I've made has turned out horribly... that's a lie.  I made attempted to make crepes ('A' did it at her house and I saw it work, but her house is WAY more Americanized than mine is) and they didn't turn out well but I made them into something else.

Pre-pumpkin & carrot soup

I am anticipating the tears that will be shed when I go to a grocery store in the states.  It'll be interesting.  I'll have someone video it or something.  People always ask me what foods I miss most from home and I never really know where to start.  The list is quite long.  I've managed to think about all of the delicious, terribly unhealthy things that I miss the most and not start crying.  I talked to an American man the other night who said he gained 18 lbs last time he went to the states.  Oh joy.  I believe it though.

I really just felt like talking about food because I didn't eat breakfast before 4 hours of class and I came back wanting to eat a feast fit for a village.  Now I have food in this belly of mine and I'm much better.  Time to return to my new Chinese habit of mid-day nap time :) Mexico & China have some good lifestyle advice to offer us.  Best piece of advice: NAP TIME!

-Zai jian

1 comment:

  1. You're a special one. Thanks for the cooking lesson. Bracelet. :-)