It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.
Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.
It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.
Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?
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Dear Chinese mother-in-law is honoring us currently with her presence and thanks to that I have no shortage of stories to share with you. Originally I had something else planned for today but this blog is like a therapy for me and I really need to get this out. You have read it probably too often already but my MIL is certainly something else. She knows everything better than anyone else and she does everything better than anyone else, at least that is how she sees the world. The reality is very much different but she would never accept that.
Before coming to Germany my wife gave her mother a little food shopping list. To be precise this shopping list was all about Liangpi 凉皮 the best noodle dish ever created. There are specialized restaurants in Xi’an which offer these noodles in a box to take away and mix the noodles and sauce yourself. You should consume the food within two weeks otherwise it might be not that good for you any longer but two weeks are more than enough. When we were last time in China we brought home 16 boxes for just the two of us. I think they didn’t even last a week and I don’t even feel bad about it as they are just too delicious. When MIL heard that she should buy them for us her first reaction was “They don’t taste at all, they are terrible, I don’t buy them!” (She has never tried them before). Her second reaction was “They are too heavy, I don’t buy them!” (She wanted to take more of her weird stuff with). However my wife insisted that MIL would get them and her third reaction was “My homemade ones are much better!”. In the end my wife won and MIL took at least a few boxes with to Germany.
Now coming back to “My homemade ones are much better” I have to say that her Liangpi ain’t bad. They are actually pretty good as soon as you add some salt and spices (something she never does, she never uses salt for anything). But they are still no match for the takeaway Liangpi yet alone to the freshly made ones in certain restaurants. My mother-in-law believes that her food is so much better than in any restaurant. Last year she tried to proof that to me and my dad when we were in China by making Pizza for us. She had never made pizza before and had no clue what to add. She even tried to put in Durians and Bananas, thankfully my wife stopped her from that. I can’t remember the taste but I do know that my stomach was upset for the next two days.
MIL is preparing food for us now every day, same as she had done during the past visits over the years. While her noodle dishes are rather good, the other dishes are barely eatable. Whenever she made some dishes to be eaten with rice I prepared myself for the worst. The good thing is that my wife concvinced her mother to make noodle related dishes at least five times a week. No matter how much my wife complains about the cooking skills her mother still believes she is the best chef who has ever walked this (round) earth (MIL kind of believes that the earth is flat). In fact MIL does not even like most of the food she prepares but she won’t admit to it but we can clearly see it when she suddenly stops eating after one or two bites. Her explanation for that is usually that she doesn’t want to eat too much so that we have more, yeah right.
How are your cooking skills?
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The previous blog post about the food my wife makes was rather well received so I convinced my wife to make another wonderful dish.
As before I have to mention that the ingredients and different steps are not written down on purpose as I just have no clue at all (I only can boil water anything more than that is exceeding my abilities). In case you are interested in more information just leave a comment and I shall do my best to figure those things out.
For this wonderful day I present you:
西葫芦饼Zucchini pancakes with 酱油醋蒜调味汁soya sauce with vinegar, garlic and chili. In the last picture you see the final dish together with a cold cucumber side dish and some congee.
Pancakes? Pancakes! Do you like them and how many different styles and version do you know?
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