Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chinese Food

I’m what some might call a jag eater. That is to say, when I get a craving for something I have to eat it until the craving is gone. Not in a bulimic, eat all the cookies in a package until I’m sick kind of way, but in a eat a couple cookies every day kind of way. Eventually, I lose the craving and move on to something else. It doesn’t happen all the time, every day, but when it does happen, I just have to eat whatever it is until I get it out of my system.

For example: When I was pregnant with Chase, I needed to have the same sandwich every day. It wasn’t a pregnant lady craving thing, this is just the way I am. It didn’t matter if it was for breakfast or lunch. It was egg white, with a slice of cheese on whole wheat bread with spinach or greens on top. I think I ate it every day for a month. (Hmmm, it’s starting to sound good again)

At any rate, when I arrived in Asia, I started craving dumplings and won tons. Now, two months later, I have eaten so many dumplings that I’m finding it hard to think about eating another – ever – in my life.

Over our dumpling lunch (must be dumplings, it is New Year’s Day, after all), hubs and I started discussing Chinese food. While the food here is better than I could have possibly imagined, it is actually getting hard to think about eating Chinese food every day. (I think it is going to take us a long time before we order Chinese food after we move back to the US.)

So why not mix it up? Why not cook some Indian food, or some Italian food?

Well, one of the hardest things, I’m finding, is that it is near impossible for me to find Western ingredients here. There are some shops that sell some odds and ends, but for the most part, when I look through my cookbooks, I can not find all the ingredients needed. Also difficult, I’ve found, is that packaging is different (and in Chinese) – so I never really know what I’m getting.

Then there’s Pungy (the lifesaver), who I often send to the grocery store so I can avoid the crowds, but she often comes back with something totally different than what I asked for. Generally speaking, however, she is excellent at picking out produce, etc.

Anyway, I sent her to Walmart on Friday, with a list of about 14 items. Granted, it was right before the Chinese New Year, so it’s bound to be crazy, but the trip took her an hour and a half and when she got back, she had only found half of the items on the list. And for some things, she did a little improvising. For example, I asked her to buy cream (I was having a friend over for tea and really wanted to make scones), but then she came back with cream cheese. Hmmm, right.

So now I find myself in a hard spot, because while Chinese food is good, inexpensive and plentiful, I am craving thai curry, indian food, French, Italian ... Anything but Chinese ...

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