This morning Drew and I didn't have classes, so we thought it could be fun to spend the morning together and make a yummy breakfast. We woke up, headed straight to the market to get some ingredients, and headed back home to start cooking. We bough fresh melon, fresh kiwi juice, and the ingredients for banana pancakes. I was especially excited about this idea, because I thought that banana pancakes would be something that would taste like home, that could be made here in China. Although you can't find maple syrup, or even corn syrup, we decided, peanut butter, honey, or jam would do the trick.
We got the batter prepared and heated up the pan on our hot plate. I'm not super familiar with hot plates (especially this one, because all the buttons are in Chinese), but it definitely was not made for pancakes. The heat settings you can choose from are hot and hotter, so we ended up with a weird, burnt scrambled mush. Obviously pancakes weren't going to work our, so we put the rest of the batter in to little muffin tins and tried baking them in the toaster oven. The result was a strange, flat, quiche textured banana patty. It was very strange and not satisfying at all. Lucky for us, our attempt for a nice breakfast took all morning, and it was already time for lunch, and since there's only a small window of opportunity to eat (as i've mentioned before) we went straight for the cafeteria.
When we got to the cafeteria, the options weren't looking too great. I just wasn't in the mood for chicken stew. You may be thinking chicken stew?! That sounds delicious! But chicken stew is a little different here. it's not like chicken breast and potatoes, it's like an entire chicken chopped up in to a pot. The first time we ordered it, we were downing it! It tasted so good. and then we saw a chicken foot floating in our pot...and then the liver...and then the head with it's little eyes and beak and everything, just staring at you! Now don't get me wrong, I understand chicken feet are a delicacy, and it really doesn't taste that bad, but its hard work physically as well as mentally to pick around the toes and scavenge for the little bits of meat around the head, so we decided to leave the cafeteria and find somewhere else to eat lunch.
We drove around a bit and found a noodle shop and decided to eat there. They had some pictures of the menu items, so we pointed to the one that looked best and anxiously awaited our food. When the huge steaming plate of noodles and veggies arrived we couldn't wait to dig in. Drew took a big bite and his face said it all.
It had a very strong, distinct smell and taste, and it was NOT good. When Drew can't even eat it, you know it's bad. It was very vinegary and the meat in it was actually stinky tofu...like, it's literally called "stinky tofu". You can find it all over the place here. Everyone seems to love it, but every time we walk past a food vendor cooking it, I literally gag.
After a terrible breakfast and a terrible lunch, I was determined to have a good dinner. We planned on going out to a place that we knew we liked and ordering something familiar so we could fill ourselves up. Well dinner time roles around and so does someone to fix our internet, which has been one of the biggest pains. As excited as we were to have our internet fixed, it was right during dinner time. We were hungry and need I remind you, we only a small window of time to eat, so each minute creeped by. We waited around for things to get fixed but it was taking a long time. After a little over an hour Drew decided he would just run across the street and grab something so we didn't miss our opportunity to eat.
When he came back, we were told the internet couldn't be fixed today and we realized none of the rice we ordered was in the to-go bag, so we felt pretty let down. Let's be honest, rice is what the kids actually fill up on, so with out that, it was a given that we were going out to ice cream after!