Posts Tagged ‘ chinese ’

Food Wars

Today Dave made me oatmeal for breakfast. Then he left for the gym. While he was gone I ate my oatmeal out of the pan (while holding the baby on my hip) and made a batch of granola.

He came home from the gym and made himself a bowl of fresh granola and sat down at the table to eat. A few minutes later I smelled something spicy.

“What are you having with that granola? Is that some weird Chinese stuff? Or you having that for breakfast?” I was appalled.

Dave sheepishly nodded that yes, he was having weird Chinese stuff for breakfast. I wish I knew what exactly he was eating so that I could tell you…but I don’t. Probably spicy beef tendon. I really couldn’t look at it because it was too early in the morning. It may have been tripe. I don’t know. Whatever it was, it wasn’t meant to be eaten for breakfast with granola and milk, I can tell you that.  At least according to this white girl.

But such is life in a racially diverse household. Poor little Amelia is going to be so confused. Dave will eat any food at any time, but other than the occasional slice of cold pizza in the morning, I like to eat breakfast food at breakfast.

I wonder who Amelia will take after. As much as I’d like to think she’ll be just like me, I sort of secretly hope she’ll be a food lover like her daddy. He needs someone to eat spicy tendon with in the mornings.

 

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How to miss a fortune cookie

I know it’s wrong to make generalizations about people based on their culture or race…..so I’ll just tell you this story and let you make your own.

A few weeks ago Dave and I went to our favorite local Chinese take out restaurant. They have the best lo mein around. Trust me, we’ve tried the lo mein at every take out restaurant within oh, at least 30 miles. And this particular restaurant is only 1 mile from our house. Bonus.

As we walked in, the young Chinese girl behind the counter smiled at us, did a double take (yes, that’s an Asian guy with a white girl), did a triple take (yes, the white girl is very pregnant) and then smiled at us again. And then whispered something in Chinese to the older lady next to her. We smiled back at her and gave her our order.

“Your wife?” she asked Dave as she wrote down our order.

“Yep.”

“Having baby? Congratulations!” More smiles. We smiled back at her. She turned and smiled at the older lady.

As she rang us up she asked, “What is it?”

Not wanting to go into the whole “We’ve had 5 ultrasounds and 1 said boy and 1 said girl and the last 3 were inconclusive so we’ve pretty much just given up and are going with girl because that’s what the ultrasound tech said” story, I told her, “It’s a surprise.” She smiled and nodded like that was cool. Very smiley, this one.

Dave added, “But we think it’s a girl.”

Her expression changed. No more smiles.  Disgust crossed her face. “How you know? Guess?” she asked with contempt. She wrinkled up her nose like she smelled something bad and spoke to the older lady in Chinese. That lady stopped smiling too.

“Well, we don’t really know.” Dave tried to save the situation. “Maybe it’s a boy.”

“Yeah, maybe boy. Boy is good.” The girl tried to smile and nod again, but she was still recovering from her shock.

“A boy would be fine too,” Dave said with a smile.

The girl looked at me one last time, and tried to give me an encouraging smile. The older lady said something in Chinese.  The girl handed Dave his receipt and looked one last time from him to me. She gave 1 more half-hearted, worried smile and said, “Good luck baby. Congratulations.”

We sat at a back table and waited for our lo mein. We could hear the girl talking about us to an older man. He walked right up to us, looked us over without saying anything, and then went straight back to hear more about the crazy mixed couple who thought they might be having a girl. We enjoyed the attention at first. It was too ridiculous not too. They were talking about us, and we were talking about them. After a second man walked out of the kitchen to take a gander at us, (don’t they have any work to do back there?) we were happy when our food was ready to go.

“I hope they didn’t try to poison us for being crazy and wanting a girl,” Dave said as we got into the car.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I laughed as I opened the bag to check our order. “They didn’t poison us, but they did short us a fortune cookie.”

“What?!” Dave was amazed. “I’ve never only gotten 1 fortune cookie.”

“Well, you’ve never told a bunch of Chinese people that you hoped you were having a girl either. That’ll teach you.”

“Yeah, next time I’m telling them it’s a boy. Way simpler. And they’ll probably give us more food that way.”

Ahh, that’s my Dave. Always thinking with his stomach.

Foreign Language for Babies?

I know that teaching babies and toddlers foreign languages is very popular right now (Dora, anyone?) but here’s my question. Is it weird? Is it one of those “pushy parents” things to do? Is it trying too hard to give your child every possible advantage?

Here’s the thing. Dave is Chinese. While he and his siblings aren’t fluent in the language (expect for James and his wife…hi guys!) his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all speak Chinese.  I think it would be great for our kids to be able to speak Chinese with their grandparents and relatives. Of course, this means that I would have to learn more than my 25 words, and Dave would have to brush up on his speaking skills considerably. How hard should we try to teach our kids this language? It would be easier if Dave’s parents lived closer, then we could just ask them to only speak Chinese when they are around our kids. Instead, Dave and I will have to learn it and teach it, and all the native speakers will play more supportive roles.

What do you think? I hope our kids will have some good language genes in them. Dave’s dad speaks 4 languages fluently (Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and English) and my dad speaks 3 (English, Spanish and Russian) and reads 2 (Hebrew and New Testament Greek.) Maybe a little of that will get passed down to our kids. I love the challenge of learning a new language (I’ve taken 2 years of both Spanish and Latin), but Chinese scares me a little.  All those tones. I hate sounding stupid and I know I will sound so white for the longest time. I may just have to swallow my pride and go for it though. Here’s hoping the library has lots of Chinese language cds.

Scallion Pancakes

These are not your traditional pancakes. They are better. In a much less maple syrup-y kind of way.

Dave and I beg, I say BEG, his aunt to make these for us whenever we are within an hour’s drive of her house. Last night, our dreams came true.

She taught us how to make them.

We’ve been trying to get a recipe out of her for years, but she always says that there is no recipe. She said she would have to show us. So last night, she did. And all was well with the world. I even got to make the very last one all by myself.

We didn’t have our camera with us (oh, the shame) but we did take a few low quality pictures on my phone. Look for a scallion pancake tutorial here on HuYoung Heaven after the New Year.