Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I wanted to pay a little tribute to my little oven. I admit I was a little skeptical about how much this little oven could do. With my kitchen being so small I really am happy that my oven is little. It has been impressive how much it can do (which is helpful when I only have a two burner stove. I haven't had a microwave for the last 3 years in Cairo and I have come to realize how useful one is this past month. Here is what this little thing can do:
- steam function (veggies)
- convection (I have baked cookies and brownies)
- grill (this feature is good for toast)
- steam& microwave simultaneously
- plus many other settings.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Last Saturday we didn't venture out much as I (Emily) was feeling a little overwhelmed with life in Hong Kong and needed some down time. We are loving Hong Kong but culture shock has been creeping in every once in a while and we are feeling nostalgic for Cairo. Life is starting to get a little easier here for me so this weekend I was feeling much more up to an adventure. I cleaned the kitchen, bathroom and did some laundry (I really miss my maid back in Cairo) and we set off for the MTR station (a 2 minute walk from our apartment).
We then rode the MTR to Kwun Tong to the APM Mall where Coco's is located. Having found Coco's last weekend Brad needed curry again (good thing we don't live super close to this mall or Brad may move into Coco's). The MTR lines here are VERY extensive and Brad has figured out how to navigate them really well. I am still getting my barrings.
The mall that we went to was HUGE (as are all placed in HK) and one of the most amazing malls we have been too. Many of these malls are like little towns. Next weekend I should start taking pictures of the public bathrooms because I am always so impressed (especially coming from Cairo where I would NEVER use the public restrooms, if I could help it.
At the mall we went to Inception and loved it. We had to book our tickets the night before because movie theaters fill up so quickly here. Good thing Brad was with me because I get a little confused in complicated movies.....
We finished off the evening with dinner downtown for an Italian meal with new friends (another couple on our floor). It was fun to hang out with another couple and explore Hong Kong together. It was also fun to not eat Asian food :-)
After eating we went and sat by the water and looked at all the beautiful tall buildings all light up.
This morning we went to church and enjoyed the service much more than the first time we went....although I think the church search still goes on. It was much easier in Cairo where the choices were much fewer. We just got our cheese order (a lady who works here has a hook up with cheaper cheese) so we made some big sandwiches for lunch today. Brad is off taking a nap and I have some books that are begging to be read. The weekends are just not long enough..........
Thursday, August 19, 2010
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I was elated. (see photo) Obviously, we stopped for lunch, and we discovered that the restaurant was the first of its kind in Hong Kong, and had only been open for 2 months. I had my old "usual" dish: Chicken Cutlet Curry with 500 grams of rice, level 2 spiciness, with extra cheese (at CoCo's, you get to customize your meal, specifying how much rice you want, how hot you want it to be, and what sort of meat or vegetable you want in it). Here's the ol' Chicken Cutlet curry with cheese:
Emily ordered a vegetable curry (notice I didn't say vegetarian, as all the curry sauces are pork-based, which I think is the secret to their deliciousness). I think that Em enjoyed her meal, but I would say that I was a bit more excited.
Usually, we don't take our camera with us when we go out to run errands, but our new cell phones have cameras in them (I know this isn't as exciting to most of you as it is to us, but we've been living in Egypt for the last 3 years, where technology isn't as cheap as it is here). Thus, Emily was able to capture my first bite of CoCo's in 8 years:
It was delightful. (although I discovered that I can't eat as much as I used to. 500 grams, or 1 pound of rice was never a problem for me to eat when I was 22. Now that I'm 30, it's a bit tougher to put away).
Since we've been living overseas, we've come to realize that food is one of the easiest ways to make yourself feel at home in a new place. As you likely noticed in our post on chocolate chip cookies, we go to great lengths to insert familiar items into our weekly diet. It's a great way to add a touch of the familiar into foreign surroundings. If you would like to comment on this post, here's a question for you to answer: if you moved to a new city or country, which foods would you take with you to remind yourself of home?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We are one step closer to making HK home. It has taken almost three weeks to figure out how to bake in my new tiny kitchen using my crazy little oven and WHERE to get all the key ingredients. Two days ago I found the final component of chocolate chip cookies....the chocolate chips! My neighbor and I have been on the hunt so to speak.
I have limited counter space as you can see:
Here is a picture of our amazing little oven. I put it on top of the fridge so I had more counter space. We have a step stool so I can open it up but getting the cookies in and out was still a challenge. However, it is much better than not having ANY counter space. Refer back to picture 1, that is all the counter space that I have, well I use the top of my stove as well for counter space *when it is not on :-).
The finished product: Tada! They were delicious and we made cookie ice cream sundays with them (thank Kalina for the great idea).
Can you guess where these key ingredients for the cookies are from? (hint they are all from different countries)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
We stopped off at a local mall to have lunch. The mall is where all the restaurants seem to be, none are stand alone from what we can tell. There was an ice rink....with pretty professional little kids skating. As you can see from the picture the mall is teeming with people.
Then we set off to see the biggest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. You have to take a 15 minute cable car, which was really fun to get there and saw the most amazing scenery along the way.
We arrived in the cute little village at the base of the Buddha. We had to take the following picture for Tyler....there was a "real live ninja" doing a demonstration, so we will have to bring you here when you come for Christmas :-)
As we walked towards the Buddha Brad and I found out Chinese year we were born or what we like to call our "power animals".The statues were actually generals with the animal on their head. I (Emily) was born in the year of the dog, which means I am loyal and honest but tend of be stubborn.
has a deep desire for knowledge and has an excellent memory, but they also tend to be strong willed. Based on Chinese zodiacs Brad and I are NOT compatible, so good thing we don't believe in them!
Friday, August 6, 2010
We all participated in a refugee simulation to help build understanding about and empathy for displaced people groups (in our case Afghanis). It was a very powerful simulation and evoked many emotions of fear, total loss of control and panic. While I found it very difficult to be yelled at by the guards Brad said it was WAY less intense than boot camp. We had identity cards and had to with our family group get food, medical supplies and try to get into the schools (bribing the guards all the way). My group was promised we could "escape" and then were sold into human trafficking. It was a great experience overall and I think Brad should take his high school students. It really helps you to identify with 42 million people world wide who experience an average of 12 years of displacement (we only spend 45 minutes).
We will be sure to post pictures this weekend.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
We both love plants (maybe me a little more than Emily), and were excited to see such a variety of exotic plants for sale in the space of just a couple of city blocks. There were probably a couple hundred vendors, selling everything from bamboo to orchids to papaya trees and everything in between. We actually visited the flower market twice this weekend - both Saturday and Sunday (we had only planned on going on Saturday but we could only carry two plants back with us on the MTR, so we had to go back today to buy our bamboo). The first thing we bought was an orchid. Here's a picture:
This afternoon, on the way back from church, we decided to take the scenic route. We took a trolley from church (on Hong Kong Island) to the pier (still on the island), then caught a ferry over to Kowloon. Once there, we realized that we still hadn't bought the bamboo that we'd wanted for the kitchen, so we hopped on the MTR train and went to the flower market (only 2 stations away). We kept it brief and only bought bamboo:
And of course, we can't write a post without showing you just what the inside of a flower shop looks like. Here's one of the shops that sells only orchids (there were about a dozen of these):
Hong Kong is a bit like the Middle East in that stores tend to be grouped by the type of goods that they sell. We told you a few days ago about our visit to kitchen street. Well, kitchen street and flower market road aren't the only streets devoted to one type of product. There's also a street in Kowloon specializing in fish. They've got everything from goldfish to beta fish to clown fish. We also noticed (somewhat disturbingly) that interspersed among the pet fish stores were a few restaurants serving (you guessed it)... fish! It kind of made us wonder where they got their meat. Here's one of the vendors that was selling fish on the street:
Feng Shui dictates that apartments should have a view of the water. We've read that in extreme circumstances, a fish bowl can be a suitable substitute. While we've resisted the temptation so far to buy a fish, it's not outside of the realm of possibility. If you'd like to comment, here's a possible topic: what kind of fish do you think would go well with our new orchid and bamboo decor?