Thursday, March 8, 2012

{Chicken Noodles}

It's funny how memories can be tied to foods. When I was little I used to spend days over at my grandparents house making peanut butter cookies with my grandmother, and ever since, the smell and taste and making of those cookies reminds me of her. Of course, so do a lot of foods, particularly chicken noodle soup.

It's one of those comfort foods in our family that has been passed down and is made when we feel sick, or in need some soothing. Made from scratch it takes a couple of hours, and is a routine and familiar process. It's taken me years to try to perfect the noodles, sometimes too tough, too thick, to fuzzy ( Ask Jeff about the first time I tried to make them for him...hardy har), but regardless of the imperfections it always tastes of home, familiarity, and my grandmother.

So, yesterday, the day began with starting the broth, chopping the vegetables, and boiling the chicken. by the late afternoon I had a stockpot full of fresh noodles and a fragrant soup ready to be consumed.
In a strange land, it's a comfort to be able to have days like this where we can cook like we're at home, to have friends over and enjoy company, eating familiar foods, enjoying a banana split, feeling safe and secure and quelling any home sickness accumulated over the day.

More importantly, I enjoy paying homage to my grandmother in my cooking. I miss her, I miss Sunday dinners with family, and while everything is changing, shifting, and evolving in my life, sometimes it just a relief to have a moment of remembrance and comfort.
My noodles, were -almost- perfect, this time.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

{What's New}

I know it's been rather quiet from our end  as of late. We have a couple of pictures and anecdotes to share, but haven't had the regular flow of internet at home to do it. I promise that when we get it up and going though you'll be the first to know.

Things are otherwise quiet for the time being. We've been settling into a groove and are enjoying the stabilized routine of life after the exciting chaos of Shanghai. Suzhou is much more suited to our tastes, or at least mine. It's on a smaller scale, quieter, and filled with drivers who seem to respect the road laws. We've settled into our little apartment and are enjoying home cooked food, space to call our own, and the view. Jeff fights off the boredom by continuing to explore, making friends with the woman that work at the local markets, and continuing to astound local people wherever he goes, be it bus, sidewalk, taxi, market, etc.

We're settled between two lakes , so when you look out the windows on one side of the apartment, you see lights on the water, bridges and some of the distinctive buildings of the Suzhou skyline. When you look out the other side you see the other lake and the golf course that our apartments are named after.
I'm enjoying my job quite a bit, and am blessed for the team that I'm a part of.  Jeff has been going to church each Sunday and has already been making friends. He's also already taking on responsibilities there for which they are grateful to have him and his time to devote to service. I'll let him divulge more on that when he gets the opportunity.

All in all, Suzhou is working out pretty darn well for us. It's still westernized enough that we haven't had to give up too much on our part to assimilate, but it's still new and strange enough that we get to explore another culture and have quick access to nearby attractions and cities. The weather has been cold and wet, but when it warms up we're looking forward to visiting the local gardens that make the city so famous, and sharing the pictures  and our experiences with you.