Sunday, June 27, 2010

One order of General Tso's please

So Michael attends an American University in France. Logic stands to reason that he is surrounded by both American students and French students (well, if I would take the time to explain the program, you would know this). However, this time has also given us an opportunity to become acquainted with many people of many other nationalities. We know Italians. We know Indians. We know a Colombian. We know...many other nationalities that I can't think of at the moment. But the reason for this post is that we are friends with (and for the summer, Michael works with) a Chinese guy named Chen, who was willing to cook us a fabulous, authentic Chinese dinner one night last week. And as always, sorry for the horrible indoor pictures, our building designer apparently was not a fan of natural light.

Here's Chen, preparing dinner in this equally tiny kitchen, one dish at a time on one induction burner. 

He was running a little late (old news to us, we are awful at entertaining on time) because *gasp* he cleaned his apartment, for us! So while we waited we drank orange Fanta and watched the beginning part of a Chinese animated movie, it was something about a Lord Tiger (2010 is the year of the tiger, so naturally he is lord), a pack of greedy wolves and a herd of goats (or sheep, apparently they don't differentiate in the Chinese language) who all worked for the Lord Tiger at his amusement park.

Chen is a bachelor, and as such, he owns one bowl and one pair of chopsticks (right beside him on the counter), so in in order to be fed, we had to bring over our plates, bowls, and chopsticks. And as we watched our cartoon, the plates began filling up, one by one

until they were all plated

and we were seated.

Dish #1: kidney and green peppers
The Verdict: delicious & different

Dish #2: slightly sweet egg and tomato
The Verdict: eggcellent (sorry), it was new to me but eggs and tomatoes are two of my favorites

Dish #3: pork and celery
The Verdict: salty (just how I like it ) and yummy



Can't you see the pain of too much good food in Michael's face? We were warned that if we didn't finish everything, we may never see our dishes again.

That warning came from this charming fellow who is making us tea in this photo (I was enamored by the glowing water kettle).

Then we ate more! This was one of the sweetest (and messiest) watermelon I've ever met. Boy knows how to pick a good watermelon.

Thanks Chen, the food was amazing!
And now we must find a way to repay you with some delicious, authentic American food. What does that even mean by the way, people? Sadly, fast food is about all I can think of and I'm counting on you all to help! If you have any ideas of "authentic" American food (no chicken please), please leave them in the comment section of this post. The help will be greatly appreciated.

And just for kicks, I thought I'd throw in this last picture:

Sign #2 that you're a bachelor (after only having one bowl and one pair of chopsticks): your seran wrap is stored in the fridge.

Ok, enough picking on Chen.


  1. Greasy hamburgers with lots of cheese, bacon, and mushrooms(?) on real hamburger buns with pickles and potato chips. Or a Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know. I was asked by two Lithuanian girls in Italy what Americans drank. (Germans-beer, Italians-wine, Russians-vodka, etc. America is such a mixing pot of food and drink, that it's hard to say what, if anything, is quintessentially American.

  2. I know Laura, it's so hard to pick something out. When we asked him (and everyone else here) what "American" food meant to them, they all said fast food. So I'm trying to come up with something a little less greasy and gross (not that I don't enjoy a good, greasy hamburger), maybe try to spread the word that not all Americans are fat fast food eaters.

    We've obviously got pie for desset but we're struggling with the main dish. It doesn't help that we eat so much "ethnic" cuisine that our diet can hardly be categorized as "American.