Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Random thoughts...

I have been searching for ricotta cheese, I did say random thoughts, and it has proved to be nearly as elusive as the hot dog.  I have searched to date, five different grocery stores.  I did finally find one that carries ricotta, unfortunately they were sold out.  Lasagna is just going to have to wait a little longer.  I did find Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, a favorite of Lucas', at the City Shop.  I also found cucumber flavored chips.  While I have seen many unique chip flavors here in China, this one is the first I was willing to give a try (prawn!).  I'm not sure what to think of them.  They do taste like cucumber which is an odd thing for my brain and taste buds to comprehend.  I don't think I would describe them as cool and refreshing like the bag though.  To me that have a bit of the crispness you expect of a cucumber, and a bit of salt mixed with the potato.  All in all a bit strange.  I don't think it will be my new favorite though. 
The kids and I made chocolate chip cookies this week.  The Chinese traditionally do not bake and you won't find an oven in a typical Chinese apartment.  Lucky for me I can afford the much more expensive Western apartment that does come with an oven.  I'm still getting used to the oven though.  It does not have a temperature setting so its a good thing I brought my digital thermometer with me!  I found where 350 is approximately and marked it on the oven with a marker.  That does not guarantee it will stay at the temperature I set it at though.  I'm finding that it can fluctuate as much at 25 degrees. As if that didn't make using the oven fun enough it is also much smaller than a standard US oven.  I had to buy a baking sheet here, my other ones were all too big.  This one allows me to bake 8 cookies at a time instead of 12.  Kinda sucks, but at least I have an oven.  I gave some of our cookies to Ayi and Eric, my Chinese teacher.  A real treat for them since neither bake.

Meet Chem, our fabulous driver.  I don't know what I would do without him.  He is a good guy and funny as hell.  His English isn't the best, but I told him it is much better than my Chinese.  Now that I am learning Chinese he helps me practice. We don't always understand each other and we often make each other laugh with our miscommunications.  I have learned that he has been married for two years, he is from Shanghai, his wife is not, he has a brother (couldn't figure out if he is older or younger though), he has a 3 year old nephew, lives in Puxi, and has a new puppy.  Most of this we pieced together over several "conversations" using his English, my Chinese, and gestures.  By the time I get back to the States I'm going to be unbeatable at charades. 


  1. Can't wait to see (and taste) what you've learned!

  2. Oops... that was suppose to be a comment on the cooking lesson blog entry.