So I decided to instigate one new dinner night each week where we would highlight a new foreign country and we would call it “International Night.” I know, creative name, right?
I figured China would be a great way to start since we’ve been there…and we had a bunch of stuff we could use to bring China into our kitchen.
I had our old family movies going when we were walking along The Great Wall of China as we were getting things set up.
It was really not a big deal…I was making dinner anyway, and figured since there is one night a week that the cramming-in-of-family-dinner-amidst-the-jumble-of-extracurricular-things wasn’t quite as tight.
So I decided to make it count.
But the kids thought it was a big deal. They had stars in their eyes about all that Chinese stuff.
I made this super easy stir fry recipe my sister gave me.
Here’s the recipe:
thicken after a minute or two
Dave told us/ reminded us all about China and gave us some interesting facts and figures.
We spotted it on the map:
When we were done everyone scooted out to do their dinner jobs and rush off to mutual and gymnastics.
And that was that.
Until the next Tuesday when Claire told me she just could not wait to see what we were going to do for Wednesday night. In the hustle and bustle of the after-school chaos I didn’t know what in the world she was talking about. Then she reminded me: It’s international night.
Yep, my plan was working.
So that week I went out to an International grocery store and braved it’s stinky-fish-odor to try to find the ingredients I would need for “Thai Night.”
I was anxious to put our new Thai cooking skills to work that we learned In Thailand (back here).
I found most of the stuff I needed.
…and got to work making “Panang Curry:”
Here’s the recipe for the sea bass:
…and just for kicks, here are the other two recipes Elle and I learned in Thailand…just for future reference, although I’m not sure they are even clear enough to be read.
I even found some authentic “Thai soda” at the International store:
(which was actually kinda gross…I’m glad I only bought two bottles)…I know Fanta is everywhere, but when we were in Thailand the kids said it tasted different, and then someone said it’s because they use “real” sugar outside the U.S. Not sure if that’s true or not, but I figured maybe it’d be that same taste if I bought it at an International Store.
We used our tablecloth from India but it had elephants on it so it was kinda Thai too…
Last night (International Night week #3) we had dinner from Japan.
My brother and friend went to Japan on their missions and make the best melt-in-your-mouth Japanese curry that we all love so much so I figured it was time to figure out how to make it myself.
We sat on the floor trying to be authentically Japanese to gobble it up.
(The kids were pretty excited about that.)
I’m very happy that Ariel could make it to Japanese night.
The recipe for the curry is easy-peasy: just buy this at the International section of the grocery store:
(They’re even written in Japanese if you prefer 🙂
My family lived in Japan for a month when I graduated from high school. I bored the kids to tears telling them all about how my parents had someone come show us how they do their ritualistic “tea ceremonis” and someone else came to teach us how to wear kimonos. I told them how they have packs of perfect grapes lining the shelves in the grocery store for $40, and watermelons for $75. I told them how we went on the bullet train and how all nine of us slept on these small little Japanese futons on the floor in a house we exchanged with someone. We learned SO much that summer.
I almost tried to talk my brother into dressing up in his kimono and skyping us from Washington D.C. I had visions of him telling the kids all about Japan in a Japanese accent. But I decided to take the easier option and show the kids these awesome videos he sent:
…and give the kids these facts he sent:
|1. Tokyo, Japan – 32,450,000
2. Seóul, South Korea – 20,550,000
3. Mexico City, Mexico – 20,450,000
4. New York City, USA – 19,750,000
5. Mumbai, India – 19,200,000
6. Jakarta, Indonesia – 18,900,000
7. Sáo Paulo, Brazil – 18,850,000
8. Delhi, India – 18,680,000
9. Õsaka/Kobe, Japan – 17,350,000
10. Shanghai, China – 16,650,000
Pretty interesting stuff.
I think everyone’s favorite part was dessert.
My family ate a truck-load of these suckers when we were in Japan.
We had a couple contests to see who could eat them the slowest.
By the end of our little chunk of dinner-time the kids were a little loopy.