Well, it’s been quite the holiday here in Shanghai, hence the lack of posting. Now it’s time to catch-up!
We had one office holiday party to go to which was at a lovely old building here in Shanghai with wonderful food, but before the dinner the American contingent got to experience a favorite Chinese past time:
We heard everything from old revolutionary songs that the older people knew (the tunes were quite fun, actually!) to more modern Chinese music, and the Beatles which is in English so that we could take a turn, being the good sports that we are.
We needed to look for one more bed for Meredith to sleep on as Shanghai Centre couldn’t provide us with a roll-away, so we headed to Wall-mart in the hopes of finding a blow-up mattress. We actually found one, but not a pump that would fit that particular mattress. Not being too keen on using lung power, we decided to opt for the Chinese version of extra bedding which are slim foldable mattresses. Quite convenient, actually.
We found a few other items as well, at the Chinese Wal-Mart that you won’t see in the American Wal-Mart.
There’s always a long list of things you’re not supposed to do that is read before performances, as Chinese people don’t have a lot of experience with appropriate theater behavior. The list varies from theater to theater and some of them are kind of funny–no children under 3 feet, no gum chewing, no slippers (?)! People still try to take photographs during performances, but there are attendants who are watching for such behavior and when the offender is spotted, they will walk up the aisle to their seat with a brightly lit neon sign that reads “no photographs” and point it at the person!
This theatre was very serious about cell phone use during the performance. If they caught you using your cell phone, they pointed a red laser pointer at a you!
We spent the day unsure if Ben was getting in at 6:30pm or 11:30 pm as flight tracker was saying his plane had switched course and landed in Alaska! But the airline was insisting the plane was on time, so we went with that. Apparently they did change course slightly, but there was no Alaska landing.
Luckily he landed in time for us to go to “midnight” mass at 9pm in between the Korean and French masses at St. Peter’s.
Not quite as good as the real deal as I had to make them by hand, rather than in the bread machine and then cram them all in to my tiny convection oven which doesn’t heat the same through-out. So some of them weren’t entirely cooked. But enough of them were!
I got this from a French butcher who according to my on-line searches is supposed to have the best meat in Shanghai. He didn’t have it when I went to his shop, Les Garcons Bouchers (at 31 Yongkang Lu in the French Concession), but it was delivered to our door the next day!
Was it really great meat? Probably. It was cooked a little more than I had hoped. I’m still having trouble knowing how to use the convection oven (although I do seem to have brownies down pat!) I used a recipe from Paula Deen where you cook it for an hour, then turn off the oven for 3 and reheat for a half an hour or so without ever opening the door the whole time. But the recipe was for a 5 pound roast in a regular oven, and I had a bigger roast so I thought I should make some adjustments for size and the convection oven and perhaps I adjusted too much! I do think it’s a clever way to make a roast though.
And an amusing song since Ben currently has extremely short hair due to a hair cutting accident.