Of course, there is nothing anywhere near here for making authentic dishes, so we drove to a larger city nearby, and visited their local Chinese market. Stepping inside that shop brought back overwhelming memories of China- smells, sights, hearing the Chinese being spoken - it's all there. We love to visit there and it was even more fun with Leon running from item to item with a big smile on his face. I think for him it was like a piece of home and he loved every minute of it. So, we packed up our many food items that I can't even pronounce, much less tell you what they are, and headed for home. Leon could not wait another week to cook it, so he convinced us that he would make just one dish THAT day. He wanted to make the black chicken soup so that is what he sets to doing. We pulled a smaller-sized chicken out of the fridge - it was wrapped in plastic - and looked much like our cornish hens. As he began to peel back the plastic, I noticed that they weren't kidding- this chicken REALLY was black. I had never seen anything like it - Once I got over my initial shock, I watched Leon clean the chicken and proceed to drop it into the boiling water and spices. Now I have NOTHING against trying new things, and I trust Leon - he won't make something horrible - BUT I have to draw the line when he begins to drop the chicken in the pot - because THIS CHICKEN STILL HAD A HEAD AND FEET ON IT!!!! I told Leon kindly that there was just no way I could bring myself to eat this small creature as it swam there in my soup bowl looking at me and asked (ok, begged) him to PLEASE just remove the head and feet and I would be ok. I don't think he even understood why, but he kindly obliged me - that's just the kind of guy he is!! So we smelled this chicken simmering away all day - and I knew that Joe and I would be game to try it, but I wasn't so sure about the boys! Finally the hour came to try this soup - and I must say that the smell was incredible - I was excited to give it a try. I gently encouraged the boys to at least try it - and would you believe it - they each ate three bowls full!!! It was wonderful - So we say a hearty "THANKS" to Chef Leon - I still don't know the name of the soup - or how to pronounce it, but now we can't wait for the next dish!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
If you have been reading for any length of time, you know we have been blessed with a college student from China named Leon. We just feel like Leon's been a part of our family forever, and we love our time with him. So, this past Saturday, when he offered to cook us an authentic Chinese meal - we were thrilled, once again, to have him here to share these things with us. Now maybe you all remember my "China Experience" - I almost NEVER ate anything other than a burger while we were in China (and always in our hotel!!) and then the one time I got real brave and ate out of the hotel and tried something authentic - I got SICK, so I have a lingering fear of these foreign foods - I have just never been that sick, before or since, and I hope to never be again. That is why, when I think of eating authentic Chinese food, I nearly break out in sweats. But I need to get over that fear - I know many others eat it and are fine, so this was my initial step to conquer that fear! Leon scoured the store to find just the right menu - he asked Joe and I what we thought of Pig's Feet - Honesty is always good, right?!?!? I told him that was probably not something that we would EAT on a daily basis, but we could sure try the soup - he is such a good sport, he sensed the hesitation there and decided on black chicken instead.
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.