small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Eating

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 Or rather, that everything I had learned to cook so far in my life was no longer applicable in the new culinary… Continue Reading →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!

  To Win Chinese New Year, You Must Master Snacks 13 China Mysteries No Expat Can Explain These 9 Chinese Notebooks are All the Inspiration You Need

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 →

To Win Chinese New Year, You Must Master Snacks

If you want to host a Chinese New Year’s party, you’ll find plenty of tips and how-to’s online about what dishes to serve, what decorations to use, different Spring Festival greetings to use, how to accumulate enough fireworks to start… Continue Reading →

An Expat Tale (Of Taxis, Trains, and Turkeys)

    What is it with U.S. American expats and turkey?!? In honor of Thanksgiving and our beloved bird, I’m recounting a couple crazy turkey tales over at Taking Route today. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving! An Expat Tale (Of Taxis,… Continue Reading →

What in the Middle Kingdom? Tamarind, the Cat Poo Fruit

I knew tamarind existed before we moved to China. On trips to Mexico and Thailand, I had met this fruit, but only in the form of drinks, candies, and pad thai sauce. It was nice to discover that tamarind is… Continue Reading →

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