Saturday, April 11, 2009

DanBings for Breakfast

Lately I’ve been paying Sierra to scan old fotos of my mission etc…

Some of the fotos that really brought back a bunch of memories were from my first area in HuaLien County. We went to the same place for breakfast every morning. It was my first exposure to Chinese breakfasts. I had never considered Chinese food for breakfast before, and I was reluctant to try it my first morning in Taiwan. It was AMAZING! One of the things I liked most mornings were DanBing and DoJiang cold. Dan Bing translates as egg cookie. DoJiang is simply soymilk. I missed soymilk so much when I got back to the United States that I made it myself from scratch several times. I’m so grateful that I can walk into any grocery store now and find it. The plain stuff is almost the same as what we drank in Taiwan.

Since scanning those fotos I have been craving DanBings. To my surprise my kids love them. Kohler was afraid to try them last weekend. Today he asked for them! I was happy to oblige his wish this morning.

Here is how I made them.

#1 You start with green onions and you chop them up finely.

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#2  You beat 2 eggs. I use egg beaters. They are better for you and you don’t have to beat them. Then stir in the chopped onions. To make it authentic add some white pepper. (some people don’t like white pepper. I LOVE IT!)

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#3 I use two frying pans this makes it much easier. Heat them both up on the stove with a little oil or a spray of PAM.  You can use spring roll wraps or the raw tortillas from Costco. Lightly fry one side of the wrap.

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#4 In the other pan pour the egg-onion mixture.

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#5 Place the wrap fried side down on top of the cooking egg mixture.

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#6 When the egg starts to firm up flip both the egg and the wrap into the other pan.

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#7 When the wrap starts to brown fold it in thirds.

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#8 Cut it into bite sized strips.

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#9 Dress it with chili paste and soy sauce.

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#10 Finally watch your kids gobble them up. Sorry Kohl, I should have taken another foto, your eyes are a little funny in this foto. But you CAN tell that you enjoy it.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Alto do Mandu

A few of the days that I was in Brazil in February Cynthia had to work. This was a good opportunity to work on my Portuguese with these two ladies, Cynthia’s Mom, and Grandma.

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They are two of the most fun ladies I know.  This day I talked them into going for a walk with me around Cynthia’s neighborhood, Alto do Mandu. This is a beautiful part of the city. The neighborhood is built on a pretty tall hill that Cynthia’s family lives at the top of.  The family has lived there for generations and many of her cousins live close by. Evenings spent in Alto do Mandu are often enjoyed out side talking to the neighbors. It is a very fun place to live.

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Mom and Grandma love to laugh. My Portuguese is not very good at all but they are still a joy to be around. They truly know how to have a good time. They KNOW how to have joy.

We walked down the hill, around the hill and then back up the hill on the other side.

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We only stopped for a rest once. That break was filled with laughter also.

When we got back Mom and Grandma waived their arms in the air and yelled:  ‘Chegamos, chegamos!’ ‘We’re back, We’re back!’

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This was another treasured memory from my trip to Brazil.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I like food. If someone calls it food, I will probably put it in my mouth. In any part of the world my favorite food is street food. In China there are some street foods that I would steer away from. There are still many that I like. My favorite above all is the stuff that is barbequed over hot charcoal. I love being in a place overseas and smell that sizzling meat over wood smoke smell. My mouth will water immediately.

In India a couple of years ago I went to a Muslim section in Delhi. I walked hundreds of yards through this alley that was filled with people that appeared to step out of the past. The alley was packed with humanity. No one was in western dress. It was all ankle length robes and beards. There were beggars in the muck. I was greeted with strange stares. It seemed that their eyes were saying… 'I wasn’t expecting an American here.' I was driven. I was driven by that meat and charcoal smell. Finally I found it. Grilled skewers of lamb meat and onions were my reward. It had been covered in garlic and fiery curry style spices. It was heaven in my mouth.

It was hot and humid my last Saturday in Brazil. Cynthia had to work half a day. It was difficult to be away from her after the amazing weekend and start of the week that we had alone together in Porto de Galinhas. I was grateful for the time that we were going to have together. Cynthia’s Sister drove me to her work to pick her up.

The first news was not good. Cynthia had lost her position in the company. It was really still a new job. She was only just at the end of her three month probation period. I felt that perhaps the company had just used Cynthia in a dishonest way to cover for an administrative assistant that was out on maternity leave. When this other employee came back to work, they told Cynthia that she was no longer needed.

This was very difficult to swallow. Cynthia really amazed me. She expressed her feelings about it. What amazed me was her faith in Heavenly Father’s hand in her life. She was able to look at her situation with an eternal perspective, and honestly say; “Heavenly Father has something else in store for me, and I will be okay.”

We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and the evening. We spent the afternoon on the temple grounds talking and taking pictures. We talked about future possibilities. A real blessing to me was to be able to be there while the love of my life suffered this set back. I never feel so helpless than when my love is suffering and there is little I can do because of the 7500 miles that separate us.


We ended the day at one of those amazing street vendors selling ‘spitinho’. This is the Brazilian version of barbequed meat on the street. It was amazing. I have been trying to replicate the end result ever since. My favorite part is this garlic sauce that they put on it with crunchy flavored manioc crust on top called ‘farofa’.

Any moment I spend with Cynthia is a treasured memory. This tender afternoon and evening was tinged with sadness. It reset our perspectives. It allowed us to test our faith in Heavenly Father’s hand in our lives. This memory will stand out in my life as the cream of a treasured moments. I am so grateful that I could be with my honeysinha on that day.