Well I was supposed to spend most of today working, but long story short, I went to bed around 3:30 am last night and ended up running around town all afternoon getting ingredients for a dinner I was hosting tonight. Wang Jian and his wife Ya-Ya were coming over to check out our new digs. They are Shanghainese and though there was no pressure for me to make dinner, I guess I felt a little ridiculous always suggesting that we dine out when we get together. So, I decided to make dinner. Once again, my handy dandy bike proved its worth. First, I rode to the open air market down the street. Picked up some fresh veggies and fruit (mangoes and bananas). Then headed to the local LianHua supermarket (where the produce was disgraceful) and got yogurt, milk, TP, misc. stuff. I headed home to do a quick trial run and eat lunch. Made a banana yogurt smoothie (I can really drink a ton of that stuff!), washed all my veggies, and sauted some spinach (so good). I was still missing some goods though, so a trip to Carrefour was in order. Biked over, picked up thousand island salad dressing (that’s the only dressing they eat here), ice trays (I’ve had enough with that crappy IKEA flexi-tray!), and green raisins (couldn’t find plain purple ones). On the way back, dropped into the Mediterranean Bakery and bought a pizza crust (more like a large pita bread). All set.
Most of you probably already know this, but my god, food prep is laborious! I mean, especially without the aid of a food processor, there’re all these little steps: soaking, washing, rinsing, peeling, slicing, chopping, dicing, mixing, drying. Fifteen minutes till 7, armed with my 3-qt pot and a tupperware, I headed down the street to our favorite noodle shop. Soup and noodles to balance out the meal (or rather to serve as back up in case if my stuff backfired).
Back in the kitchen, the factory was in full production. Cookies in the oven, pizza waiting in queue, tossing the salad, filing the celery with peanut butter… Remy and Martin were probably wondering what all the commotion was about: never seen mommy in the kitchen for so long. Whatever, they were lovin’ it, the little scavengers.
WJ and Ya-Ya actually arrived 45 minutes late. They got lost and couldn’t get ahold of me because my cell reception here sucks. But the good news was they arrived hungry and every dish was a winner. Ya-Ya even said she was going to buy an oven tomorrow to recreate my pizza and cookies. And she also LOVED ants on a log. I was so pleased with myself, I had to document everything. You can see images of the feast I prepared on Imagestation. Yeah, let the mouth-watering begin!