small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Eating

Cross-Cultural Dinner Fail

“They’re going to love this!” ← Famous last words of a naïve cross-cultural chef, preparing food that’s totally unlike anything the guests have ever tasted. Has anyone else been there? I sure have. Lots of times. One time, I was… Continue Reading →

Figuring out Thanksgiving Far from America

It’s turkey time! If you’re an American living overseas, Thanksgiving is often the hardest holiday in terms of logistics. Is it worth the hassle and expense to get a turkey? How will you cook it in your EZ Bake oven?… Continue Reading →

Rambutan in a Foreign Land

When was the first time you saw an avocado in China? Or a bag of Doritos? Or a can of Dr. Pepper? You were probably elated and amazed. You probably bought it despite the hefty price tag. You may have… Continue Reading →

8 Foods You Never Knew You Could Make from Scratch in China

When we first moved to China oodles of years ago, it felt like all my cooking skills evaporated. Or rather, that everything I had learned to cook so far in my life was no longer applicable in the new culinary… Continue Reading →

Yunnan Mint Butter Beef

We moved to Kunming nearly two years ago. It’s high time I started adding some Yunnan recipes to my repertoire. So, here’s dish #1. My creation is loosely based on an iron-plank beef dish my family loves here in Kunming. It’s… Continue Reading →

Forks vs. Chopsticks – The Showdown Winner!

It’s time to announce the winner of the Fork vs. Chopsticks SHOWDOWN! Honestly, I thought these two utensils would be evenly matched, and we’d be seeing a very close race. However, it quickly became clear that one of them was winning by… Continue Reading →

Forks vs. Chopsticks Showdown – Vote Now!

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Thanksgiving is Bland, Pale & Overly Sweet (and we wouldn’t want it any other way)

When I, an American, see a big ol’ Thanksgiving feast spread on the table, it makes me salivate. It’s a feast I spend weeks looking forward to. I think that’s probably true for most of my countrymen. But to my… Continue Reading →

One Pumpkin, Four Ways

Our friends gifted us with this gorgeous gourd about a month ago. Wow. It was so pretty that I couldn’t bring myself to slaughter it right away. I just wanted to enjoy looking at it for a while before we… Continue Reading →

China is Secretly One-Upping Mexico’s Snacks

Conspiracy theory time! Claim: China is quietly waging a secret war on Mexico solely by trying to one-up Mexican snacks. Want proof? We’ve got it below. China’s method seems to be: 1) take the original snack and 2) encase it in something… Continue Reading →

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