Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Misery Loves Company

Chinese people are great. They are very proud of their heritage and extremely hospitable. When you combine the two, you end up eating out at some really cool restaurants. When I visited Chongqing (about 2 hours west of Shanghai by plane), the local engineers explained that this was the home of Sichuan food (spicy). I knew I was in for a treat. And that was true for 80% of the meal. Read on.

Clockwise from top left: (1)Rabbit with very hot peppers (Xin Yi explained as I grabbed one of the green-colored peppers, "Don't eat that!!!" After we were finished, I did try one and paid the price for several minutes.) Delicious was the rabbit though. (2) Green vegetable of some sort. Neutral flavor but good for killing off the burn from the green-colored pepper. (3) Kong Pao Chicken - Kong Pao Chicken originated here. It was quite different than the Americanized version. Very good.

My camera phone does not have the greatest picture quality so this picture of some fish soup does not really represent the colors present. Those are bright red peppers floating on the surface. The waitress skimmed those off before we started dishing out the fish. It was also very good. There were a couple of other dishes that I did not photograph including a pile of angus beef chunks with onion. I'm looking forward to visiting to Chongqing again except for this next item.
And then there was the proverbial "terd in the punchbowl". I can count on one hand the number of times when I had to turn down food that was put in front of me while living in China. And that's pretty good for a foreigner. And I did actually take 2 "bites" of this before I grossed myself out. I guess this goose foot is also very famous in this part of the country. Eating goose foot is one thing. But when I noticed the goose foot had it's webbed feet fully intact, I gagged. And when I saw my new friends, maowing down on the webs themselves, I nearly re-introduced my kong pao chicken to the dinner party.

And thus the title of this post. I really can't get the foot out of mind. A flock of them were chasing in my dreams last night. Ugh. Sweet dreams blog readers. Come again soon!!!

(Maybe I should start a stomach scale for the blog:
G - Good to read
PG - Pretty Good to read
R - Read at your own risk)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shanghai Dumplings

We always enjoyed getting Shanghai dumplings for weekend breakfasts. We've found a good spot down the street for buying them. Xiao Long Bao is the family favorite. Read more about the steamed xiao long bao here. The other favorite from this restaurant is the fried Guo Tie. Learn more about the fried goodness here.

Here are some pics of R and E while we waited on our fresh made order.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another flashback

Due to some travel and a minor cellphone issue, I'm slightly behind on my food article. I've got 3 days' pictures down including some decent looking fish. Need a couple more pics and will be ready to invite you to dinner.

In the meantime, a flashback to an earlier post from 2007....some of you old-timers may remember the toilet blog. What better way to get prepared for the lunch food?

Check the link here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

so thankful!

This week I (Aimee) have felt TERRIBLE--worse than I have felt in a long time. Starting Saturday, my head felt like it was going to explode, and my body ached, my back hurt... As I felt like crud, I saw so many things around me to be thankful for.

1)for my awesome husband who as soon as he came home, sent me to bed and took over everything for the rest of the night.
2)for my kids and their sweet get better pictures and hugs
3)for our friends next door who have had the kids over a ton just to give me time to rest
4)for doctors and medicine. I don't like going to the dr and tried to get over this on my own and yesterday gave up and went to get some help. I came home with 7 different medicines to help treat the different symptoms and they are helping! I can tell when the wear off, but am so thankful for the relief that they bring! I have a sinus infection so the antibiotic should help to get rid of that, and the flu which I am getting near the end of how long the dr said it should last. Thankfully, the rest of the family got the flu shot, so hopefully they will not get it! (It was on my long list of to dos before we left and it never happened :(
5)I have to be honest, I am so thankful for movies--they has helped us get through this week

Monday, January 17, 2011

Company Lunch Show and Tell coming soon

Yes, when I saw the fish head up for grabs in the lunch line, I knew that a blog post capturing a week of entrails, I mean, entrees was much needed.

In all serious, I really enjoy the lunches at work. So much so, that both the chinese and expats are shocked (expats) and delighted (chinese) at my ability to down the chinese morsels. I have strategic avoidances, like aforementioned fish head, but do eat the majority of offerings. And they always include a choice of meats so I get my protein (don't worry Mom).

So, come and visit early next week for a pictoral "play-by-play" of lunch at work. My big decision is whether to "take one for the team" and pick outside my strategy for your viewing pleasure. Time will tell.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

House Pictures

It is honestly very humbling for me to put pictures of our house on the blog because of its size, especially in a place where people have so little. I keep having to remind myself that God really put this house in our lap and to be content and joyful that He is so gracious and generous even though we are so unworthy. So, that being said, welcome to the picture tour of our house.

This is the main room on the first floor.

Then as you work your way back, you come to the kitchen

(I'm still waiting for the dish fairy to come and put my clean dishes away :))
the laundry room (the working machine is on the left--the machine in the middle is the washer/dryer unit that came with the house that we still cannot get to dry clothes after many visits from the repair man.)
so, welcome to our dry room! I am so thankful that we have this extra room because my couple of days of hanging clothes out in 30-40 degree weather was NOT fun!

Now, to the second floor we go! Thank you cute little stair model!

Sammy has been found multiple times scaling this ledge. Now when he goes by it, he says, "no, no".

The master bedroom:

there is even an office in the master bedroom. So far, it just collects all of the junk.

Elijah's bedroom
the jack-and-jill bath

Rachel and Sammy's room (with Sammy's big boy bed for when he learns to stay in bed)

Now for the third floor
there is that cute stair model again! On the third floor is our school room. The kids are on the sofa that we snuggle on when we read
and now are showing where they do seat work

Anna's bedroom (and the to be guest room if anyone wants to come visit!)

Lots of pictures! thanks for taking the time to look! Most of the shelves are empty as we still are waiting for our shipment. I will post pics again when we have put away everything--especially of the "home" items.

Rachel and Sammy

Rachel and Sammy are beginning to have a lot of fun playing together. Anna and Elijah take off as soon as they are excused from school to play with friends next door so Rachel and Sammy are home to play just the 2 of them.

They love to play baby where they are my babies and I put them to bed. (Bed is the only place where they are allowed to suck their fingers. See the joy in their eyes?)
Here they are playing babies where they are the parents and are feeding their babies. :)


On Sunday, we visited one of our favorite places from last time--the aquarium. Each time I go, I am stuck by how amazing our Creator is. It is so fun to see how unique each creature is that He made to live in the water.
Anna at the entrance to the Africa exhibit.
Elijah and some really big fish!
Sammy's reaction to my "say cheese!"
Rachel and Daddy
Rachel and Mommy surrounded by fish

lesson learned

Reserve walking to the grocery store for trips where there are only a couple of items to buy.

Above is the load that Aimee carried/pulled back from the grocery store a couple of nights ago. As I was purchasing everything, I began to think of how I was going to carry it all back, so actually put things off of my cart, but obviously, I did not put off enough. The "short" walk to the store was not so short as my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Two days later, my arms still hurt. :) The lesson has been learned. I won't do that again! It was a great work out though! :)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

And the answers are:

(1) They were cookies but looked nothing like the can including appearance and actual ingredients. Some of the cookies were strawberry raisin. Others were regular raisin and a third looked like cherries.

(2) Shower gel. Aimee figured it was something else the first time she used it. Ryan just thought it was a little stickier than other varieties and used it every so often. Sure enough, after Aimee sniffed out a problem, Ryan was able to magically create suds out of his hands in the sink.

(3) Yogurt. Perhaps Ryan could have known when he purchased that it was not milk as the picture on the front, when you look close, shows it 'flowing' more like yogurt.

Thanks to our contestants on their guesses. The products have been relocated to new homes that better match their intended usage. (Who wants the strawberry raisin cookies?)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Let's Play Guess the Product


Now for a little slice of Bowman life. Imagine going into the grocery store, looking for very specific items that you need. Sounds easy enough to make your purchases, right? Now pretend that you can't read any of the labels. Yeah, pretend they are CHINESE!

We got a surprise on the products pictured below. We thought we were getting (1) soft and delicious chocolate chip cookies (2) hand lotion and (3) milk.

Make your best guess as to the real contents. Then tune in tomorrow for the answers on what we actually (1) got to eat (2) rubbed all over our hands…Ryan did multiple times and (3)poured in hot chocolate.

Good Luck. Feel free to comment your best or funniest guesses.

Over and out. And special thanks to our product models.




Sunday, January 02, 2011

getting around

Hey all! Here are some pictures first--I can't figure out how to move them around so some are out of order but here we go!

The first set is when our friend Joab and his older 2 kids showed us around some of their favorite spots and how to get around on the subway. It was COLD--not Michigan cold, but Shanghai cold feels cold when you are out in it. When Ryan told me it was going to be mid 40s so to dress warmly, I was thinking MI temps so didn't go all out but after walking around a while, I realized that mid 40's with wind is still cold.

Elijah is always such a happy trooper. So thankful for that!
All of the kids enjoyed riding on the horse statues.
Elijah and friend Asa, with Joab spotting
Anna and Miriam
Sweet Sammy

This next picture is out of order--but is when we went as a family to the store down the street. It is nice to be able to shop without needing the driver to bring me there. It makes me feel a lot more free. The store is like a big Meijer, with anything we might need just a short walk away.

Breakfast is the kids favorite meal time so I thought I would take pictures of them enjoying their favorites.

Anna loves toast with Nutella.
Elijah loves chocolate cereal.
Rachel loves hard boiled eggs
Sammy loves it all.

This next pic is when we were walking home from the store.
The kids are doing great as we go around town, figuring out where things are and how to do life here.

I am really going to try to be better about blogging this time around. It is totally not me--but it is a great way to keep people posted with what is happening around here and to see pics of the kids so I will try. I am not funny or good with words like Ryan so bear with me.

This time of adjusting has been SO much better for me than last time. There are many factors that contribute to that--knowing what to expect, having friends already here that we look forward to seeing and even live next too, good weather (it has not rained once since we have been here where last time it rained everyday so the kids and I were stuck inside all of the time), and this time Ryan's work has been so gracious in allowing him to get his family and life settled before having to dig in totally to work. It has been so helpful to have him here to watch the kids while I go out looking for groceries or household items. I get no attention when I am out by myself but when kids are in tow, it is a whole different story.

There is still much to explore and figure out but we are tackling it one day at a time. There is a very limited menu still of what we are eating because we are waiting for all of the spices and herbs to come on the boat shipment, but I am slowly figuring what I can make with only basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Thanks for checking in on us. We love and miss you all so much!