Friday, September 12, 2008

What's for Dinner?

I remember Ryan and Lacey coming through the door at night asking, "Hey, Mom. What's for dinner?" I never really was the Rachel Ray type so they could always count on something familiar like spaghetti ala Prego or my specialty...Stouffer's lasagna! Now that I'm here in China without all the conveniences of a local Meijer store, I have to fend for myself. Going to the local cai shi chang (vegetable and fruit market) is an amazing experience in sensory overload! There are sights, sounds, and smells that we never get in the States, and some I'm sure are very glad about that!

I generally try to go to the same vendors in order to build the relationship and practice my Chinese with people that know I'll be back to patronize their stands. The fruit lady is really nice and when she sees me coming, she makes a special point to greet me and give me a small basket to put my fruit in. The fruit is really delicious! I could eat it all day, everyday. The vegetable lady is the same, but she is always very busy, so she doesn't have much time for small talk, which is all I can really do right now.

It's very interesting to wander around the market and check things out. I usually stay away from the fish and meat stands because they often smell like...well dead meat. It's pretty rank about 4pm when the owner and the product have literally been hanging out all day waiting for a buyer. The fish and crabs are pretty interesting. A lot of the fish look like snakes. Nothing like the "snakes" we threw back while fishing at the lake in Minnesota. I'd take them over these any day of the week. Yuck! Nothing is refrigerated, so if you buy eggs or perishable items you have to cook them up right away. Who knows how long they've been sitting there in the summer heat.

I've tried to attach a short video on my dinner for tonight. It can also be seen on Youtube if you search for Chinachick or chinachick61. Bon Appetite



Barbi V said...

Sounds like becoming a vegan may not be a bad idea in China!