The last time I lived in China I was pregnant and craving only bland homely comforting food. I went off anything spicy or meaty and I was deeply suspicious of all restaurant food. Marred as my early pregnancy was by a combination of food poisoning and morning sickness, eating for me in China stopped being very pleasurable and I was only too happy to go back to Scotland and be very well fed by my lovely Mum.
How things have changed, now that we’re back all I want to do is eat!
We’re only two weeks in to our new life but I can honestly say that, with the exception of a cup of English tea with milk (not UHT!), I am not missing British food at all. Remarkably, the children don’t seem to be either.
My eldest F. who as a toddler ate everything, at three and a half had hit a very fussy patch. Mealtimes were becoming very challenging and anything with ‘green bits’ was treated with great suspicion. I’m not a big fan of ‘kid food’ and as we tend to eat all our meals together, this was causing tension as I was too stubborn in my insistence on meals full of vegetables.
Day 1 in China, after an epic journey the day before, we approached breakfast in our budget hotel with some trepidation as to how the boys would take to it. We needn’t have worried, F. was soon slurping down rice porridge and L. was getting stuck into steamed bread mantou and cold hard boiled eggs. I won’t pretend my children have changed overnight but I have been gobsmacked at the range of foods they will now try. When F. refused to leave a restaurant as he hadn’t yet finished his cabbage, I knew things had changed for the better!
As for us, we’re on a whirlwind adventure through the many flavours of Sichuan cooking, both in restaurants and in our home cooking. We’re vegetarian which does make things a little harder but so far we are eating well, feeling healthy and working on upping our chilli tolerance!