Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Another Apple Pie

Despite Apple Pie being about as iconic American as you get (or perhaps due to that!), it seems quite popular in China! After teaching a class on it in February, the organizer of them asked me several times if I could teach one again at her house. Due to life being busy and then moving, it didn't work out until about 2 weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon.

Not going to lie... when the time to leave rolled around, I really didn't want to go. Saturday afternoon nap times are such a cherished time for Ryan and I to spend time together. I didn't want to leave him, but I also knew this was a good opportunity to be a good ambassador, and I do enjoy teaching and cooking. :) Plus, it's likely to be quite a while before I have time to do this again, as when our little Ellie joins us, life will be even more full!

I'm always amazed when the Chinese characters in an address someone texts me and I paste into an all-in-Chinese taxi app actually gets me to the right place, but it worked! Only, due to mis-reading numbers on my part and the taxi driver, he ended up dropping me off at the wrong apartment complex. Thankfully, it turned out to be just next door to the one I needed, so after wandering around for a while with an armload of baking necessities, I made it to the right place!

 There were a lot more children than I expected! The organizer had made it into a "tastes of the world" afternoon, with ladies from Germany, Indonesia, and China demonstrating other dishes after me. I thought it would be more for adults to learn, but they made it into a fun time for children!

I definitely don't usually cook on such a low table... it was a challenge. But, it allowed the children to get close to watch, which they enjoyed.

The pie turned out to be one of the prettiest I've made... Always nice when you're doing it for a demonstration! ;)

While it baked, they asked me to give a short talk about America. It was pretty much on the fly. ;) I talked about how the country is diverse, like China, with northern cold with lots of snow, to southern heat, to oceans and mountains and vast open farmland... America is truly "the beautiful" and living away from my home country makes me appreciate it more. :)

I did look up one thing to pass on to them: the origin of apple pie. Turns out, like almost everything else in America, it actually originated in England and we just borrowed and brought it to our country, taking it over as a signature dish of our own!

 The pie baked beautifully, even better than it does in my oven at home. I've had a sneaking suspicion that our large toaster oven isn't doing it's job (as baking/cooking almost anything takes twice as long as a recipe says, and even then often isn't done), and this confirmed it - her smaller toaster oven baked it better! But again, great for demonstration to have it turn out so well!

The children were enthusiastic in giving me plates to put little pieces on, and the pie disappeared quickly, seeming to be thoroughly enjoyed.

With my duty done, though they were still in the midst of just the 2nd demonstration, and I am interested in learning to cook other dishes, I was happy to go home to my husband and daughter now up from her nap. :)

We planned to go swimming, much to my daughter's excitement, until we were turned away by a worker telling us it was dangerous for a pregnant woman to swim during pregnancy. Never mind that I'd gone the two weeks prior. Never mind that it's one of the top recommended exercises for pregnancy in America... We tried to argue our point, but with their limited English understanding and refusal to budge, we finally left. Yet another instance where they are overly careful in what they allow pregnant woman to do in China... I appreciate their concern, but it can be hard at times as I can't just stop living because I'm pregnant! ;) But a walk on campus soon cheered Hadassah up... It is good to be a family together.

1 comment:

  1. Anna - you are a marvel! Your pie looks beautiful, and I'm sure it tasted just as good. Here are two quotes on the subject which you might enjoy:

    "Good apple pies are a considerable part of domestic happiness" - Jane Austen

    "That was a wonderful breakfast. It is unusual to begin the day with cold apple pie, but the children all said they would rather have it than meat." - The Railway Children