Today was really wonderful for a lot of reasons, but I'm going to focus on one aspect: I finally cooked (!) in our funky little kitchen. I'm getting tired of eating out for every meal and it doesn't do much for the ol' waistline.
Also, I am inspired daily by the delicious-looking, healthy meals on Freya's awesome blog, Freya On The Run. So I finally got up early and went to the morning vegetable market. I bought carrots, broccoli, and Chinese string beans. (They're really just regular string beans, but lumpier and purplish-green in color)
I ate the other veggies this weekend - just raw or steamed, nothing special. But I bought so many string beans (that's what happens when you randomly ask for five kuai worth) that I had to do something with them. Let's look at the tools at my disposal, shall we?
One burner, one hot plate.
One toaster oven.
One sink. And one window. What's that I hear? You'd like to pull that curtain down? Go right ahead! I just did the other day and I got a nice surprise.
So, in the warm glow of a fake Miami sky, I started steaming and stir-frying and baking my vegetables. The stir-fried ones turned out the best. I put in some oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and then accidentally threw in some paprika, because the little jar was right next to the pepper flakes - but I think it actually lent a nice flavor. Ironically, despite the fact that I wanted to cook to avoid the greasy restaurant fare, I ended up making a pretty oily dish. Oh well. I thought it was tasty and Jessica did too.
It's a pretty simple dish, but it's the first real thing I put any effort into here in China and there will certainly be more to come!