Memorial Day

I’ll miss the family time, games, good eats (mmmm…barbeque), movies, shopping, window shopping or even non-shopping. But I will certainly take a moment to say a prayer of thanks for the many soldiers who have valiantly fought and died for the United States of America.

Eight Days a Week

Due to my laziness and anticipation of returning to the U.S.A. for summer vacation, I’ll most likely post on your Monday through Friday.

But I’ll still love you, eight days a week.

PS- I’ve got some fun photos of Puxi and the Hershey store (in China!). Come back on your Monday.

The List

Great Wall at Mutianyu. I need my dictionary or my Dad :) to help translate this.

Based on the suggestion of other expats, I’ve kept a running list of goods I’d like to haul back from the U.S., including medicines and medical items. Currently, my list is at fifty items. Today I’m adding:
Chinese dictionary (I accidentally left my favorite one.)
Fruit roll ups (The Circus loves Fruit by the Foot.)
Glow sticks (For fun.)
Kids’ sunblock (Unavailable in China.)
Kids’ bug repellent (Difficult to find kids’ formula in China.)
Glee DVD season 2 (It’s a habit I can’t kick.)

Good thing each Circus member is worth two suitcases.

Department Store Royalty

We walked by a department store in Beijing and 2/3 of The Circus was thrilled to pose with a costumed Emperor and Empress. In America, stores have Santa, the Easter Bunny, clowns, superheroes or even the Little Caesar’s Pizza Pizza Guy, but out here they have Huangdi.

18 days until U.S.A. and the Pizza Pizza Guy.

Steamed Buns

A mere six months ago, The Circus chowed down on boxed mac ‘n cheese or jam sandwiches for snacks. Now, they enjoy a different kind of good eats. Baozi, or steamed buns.

There’s a stand down the street that sells fresh steamed buns, by the thousands per day. According to Mr. Smith, it’s a renown chain with better hygiene standards than other stands. Good to know, eh? (Not that it’s saying much out here…) Buns cost 1 RMB a piece and contain sweet or savory fillings.
Veggie bun with chard, shitake mushrooms and bean curd. Believe or not, Pinky Stinky chows down on a whole veggie bun.
The Kid prefers sweet red bean paste.

If I’m lucky, they’ll allow me to snap a photo of the stand and their menu and I’ll add a second post. In the meanwhile, I am astounded that my Circus has converted to some incredibly authentic Chinese food. Cute little Circus buns.

We Like Meatballs

One of my good friends enjoys sharing recipe throwdowns with posts on gingersnaps and sugar cookies from Alton to Martha. I wouldn’t consider this post a throwdown, but we have been on a bit of a meatball kick. First, we tried my friend Catherine’s recipe.
The Circus loved them. It’s a bit like meat candy. I had to alter the recipe a bit. I only had white vinegar (gasp, I know some people use it only as a cleaning agent) and hickory barbeque sauce, but no one minded. I’ll definitely be adding this to my monthly meal plans. However, I’ll probably grate the onion, since Pinky Stinky had a fit once she saw them.
Later in the week, I had the special privilege of making more meatballs with a wonderful Italian lady.
V&V’s mom was visiting from Venice, Italy. The Kid and I were lucky enough to make meatballs with her. She spoke to me in Italian the entire time, as if I could understand her. I was in hog heaven.
The mix seemed standard enough, with parsley, garlic, egg, bread soaked in milk and dry breadcrumbs. Fresh Grana cheese from Venice was a special addition.
Beef and pork, rolled in dry breadcrumbs. Browned in oil and simmered in canned tomatoes and water.
Tender, melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
I attempted to recreate the recipe tonight. The Circus loved the meatballs, but it was a far cry from what I sampled last week. I couldn’t recreate the tender texture. I also used fresh parmesan, which doesn’t substitute well for the Grana. I’m going to work on the recipe and post it when it’s a bit more perfected. It gives me a chance to make more meatballs.

I had to start Jillian’s 30-day Shred work out today. But it’s worth it.

Sweeter Ride Part 2

Be my driver.
Is it just me, or are these boys extra happy?
More Zoolander “Blue Steel.”

These trucks remind me of Optimus Prime.
But instead of a Transformer, it’s a “MAN” vehicle.

There were some really outlandish and flat out ugly cars at the show. The Audis were as heavily guarded (roped off) as the Lamborghinis and Ferraris, go figure. According to Pu, we can get closer to these fancy cars just driving around town, or parking in the underground garages. My friend posted pics of the New York Auto Show, which ran simultaneously as the Shanghai show. Maybe next time we’ll be lucky enough to get Lightning McQueen and Mater at our show. (Shanghai has some NYC envy.) I guess we’ll keep perfecting our “Blue Steel” modeling gazes for next year’s show.

Chicken Lollipops

Sunday night dinner conversation:
Pinky Stinky: And I can’t wait to have those chicken lollipops.
Me: (confused) Chicken lollipops?
The Kid: Mom, she means drumsticks.

KFC drumsticks taste as good as lollipops. PS will get her chicken lollipops in a mere 22 days, U.S.A.

Sweeter Ride

A few weeks ago, Pu & J invited us to attend the Shanghai Auto Show.

I had to give my best Zoolander “Blue Steel”

Concept cars, galore. And crowds. Walking through the buildings was like salmon spawning upstream.
Many cars were accessorized with anorexic models.
But the cars spoke for themselves.

My camera battery died after taking one photo. Thankfully, Pu & J had their iphone and ipod on them. Great shots for an ipod touch.

Note to self: buy extra camera battery and an iphone. :)

Sweet Ride

I love War’s song “Low Rider” but in this case, it’s a very high ride. Driving around town, I often come across carts and scooters piled high with recyclables, furniture, windows and other things. My favorite was a man on a moped scooter, simultaneously driving and holding a giant 50-plus inch flat screen.

Two men sat in this particular cart, one sitting and the other driving as vehicles wove around them. It’s so crazy (READ: no helmets) and incredibly different to me, but a common occurrence here.