Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken Paws

Chicken Feet, Ya gotta love em.

At the Dinner last night with the Doctors, they asked us if we would like an order of Chicken Paws? We said we knew what they were. We all laughed at because they are chicken feet...and the Chinese love them. Here are some photos of Chicken Paws...we took to show you.

Kids, have a look.

Here is a tasty five pack of chicken feet for your lunch pail...or for on the go.

These are at the market cleaned and ready to cook. Notice the claws. They are interesting eating. Remember the people here love these and pick the bones clean...then spit out the bones and the toe nails. This is one little cultural difference between the East and the West.

Cooked Chicken Paws...ready to eat.

Another recipe of cooked chicken paws...ready to eat.

Still more...

Dana is selecting an individual lunch box paw or a fast food snack. They are seasoned, cooked and ready to eat. These are quite cheap too.

Would you like to try one? We will bring some home for you if you let us know how many you would like.

Checking out.

We found our new favorite drink in 4 different brands and containers. We will try them all to see which ones are the best. They are all Apple Vinegar juice/drinks...and they taste really good. Try one today!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We Ate Ostrich Today!

Check One off --

Da Bucket List

I have wanted to do this someday and had it on my bucket list. We actually ate Ostrich meat tonight at a nice Chinese Restaurant with a group of Doctors from a large hospital here in Jinan. They were great fun and so nice to take us out in gratitude for some favors we had provided to them, when we were invited to be visible Americans inside their clinic when some VIP guests came though on tour. We agreed to do this because we are friends. They simply reciprocated tonight. It was great fun too.

But, first, a photo of my bread making day on Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to be creative in the kitchen and made some really good bread and a couple of hamburger buns for dinner that night. They were excellent hamburgers with all the trimmings. This just goes to show that you can do anything in China. If you cannot buy it, get it, or if they do not have it anywhere, just make it yourself. You can do it.

NICE HAMBURGER BUNS EH? My bread really turned out to be the best I ever made... and I am not bragging. It is a fact.
The meal was simply scrumptious.... That's China!

It was a little heavy to pick up a piece of watermelon with chopsticks. Dr. (Professor) Zho sat at the head of the table... He is the head cardiologist in the new hospital wing and has examined and treated me a few times.

The hot soy milk drinks tasted just like you would think raw soy milk would taste like and made things interesting and they made for some great toasts...all around. They look like milk shakes, but they are far from such.

This is the spicy Ostrich chunks mixed with potatoes and peppers.

Doctor Tricia has an Ostrich chunk on her fork... Oh yes, we taught them how to use forks.

One of the dishes we tasted was squid which was served with squid meat rolls along with bunches of squid tentacles. Dumplings and a watermelon, fruit plate ended the meal.

So, check 1 off my Bucket List. We were treated to such an interesting formal, yet fun, dinner party with the Hospital staff. They took us to a private room in a nice Chinese restaurant. The highlight of the dinner was the dish of meat which we struggled to identify after first tasting it. It tasted pretty good. I asked if it was several meats including if it was dog? and they said no. Finally after a lot of feathered, long necked, large Australian desert bird descriptions, we learned that it was Ostrich meat and it was really quite good. Even Dana ate it. It was a little stringy and could have passed for turkey breast, but not exactly -- and with the added spices, it was well camophaged Ostrich.
We also had black, spiny sea cucumbers in a fish soup, sea worms with cucumber salad, Deep fried Pork short ribs, sliced pork sausage, scrambled eggs with little red, popping fish eggs mixed together, tender bamboo shoots sliced, sweet and sour shrimp. We ate pickled summer squash, followed by hot soy milk toasts of love, happiness and prosperity, all around. They had some trouble understanding that we did not want alcohol, beer, wine, tea or coffee. We announced that we did not drink those drinks as it was bad for our health and they are all doctors, so they agreed and drank what we drank. The Sprite we finally ended up with, was great until the doctors stated that it contained a lot of sugar. I said: You're the Doctor! and they all laughed.
We finished it all off with a fruit plate and then a plate of Chinese green vegetable dumplings dipped in garlic and vinegar. It was really fun as we joked, laughed and enjoyed the party, trying all the time to speak Chinese, much to their delight. I learned how to say "You look as Beautiful as a Flower" before coming and used that one everyone including the male doctors. At least, they understood me and they laughed. It was fun. Then they took us home in their mini van.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PHASE: Alive and Well in China.


Dana's PHASE (Peers Helping Advance Self Esteem) leadership Program at Shandong Universtiy, Jinan, China:

This Group of students could perform the name game without missing, the longest of any group.

Here their knees are touching and they keep with the beat of "Let The Name Game Begin"

Each group has a leader who has been trained to do "Listening" Leadership Activities.

If you have done PHASE in the past in Utah, you remember the part where you have to talk to someone you know the least. Instead of talking about Panic, Hope, Achievments, something they have seen, or what is entertaining, they change the conversation to talk about their hometown of JINAN and just what makes them Joyful, feel Important, Need things, remember their Ancestors, or what makes them feel Necessary in their lives. They must do this activity in a circle, face to face. There are no carpets to sit on in the classrooms, so I bought some material for one classroom in one of my assigned building for those groups to sit you can see below. They love it.
In Building 9 the halls are too dirty so this is these English Class groups that have stools to
circle--ize on.

Students sit on some of my 31 stools in various outside class locations on the first floor. Right now it really cold here in Jinan but in just a few weeks, we will be going outside into the warm air to do our group leadership PHASE activities.
We are short 31 stools so I have 3 groups sit on part of the desks so they can form a odd shaped circle.

It has been exciting to see this PHASE Leadership program work with my 200 Freshmen Medical students. They are developing some great Leadership skills that I hope will help them as they use their English in the years to come. First semester they learned how to brain storm. This week I watched as they applied what they learned last year as they work with their groups. I am so proud of them!

Friday, March 12, 2010



Dana, Paul and Jay went to the outdoor market place we have dubbed COSTCO. It is a wholesale market where you can buy in quantity and for wholesale prices. Dana decided she wanted 17 more folding chairs for her students to sit on when she takes them outside for class. She does that often. They love it too. Now she can add these folding chairs to the ones we have already and the grand total is 31. These are very common chairs for use in China.

Dana on the bus with her treasure (17 folding chairs).

Now as we attempted to take the whole lot off the bus, the straps broke and the whole pile of chairs ended up off our hand truck and on the concrete. Did we allow that to get us down? No way. We all just laughed. Jay decided that photos of the disaster were most important, while Paula guarded all of our other purchases, Dana was assisted by a kind man who was going our way. He was very helpful in getting these back on the hand truck, tied down, and then on to our campus and home.

This really was a fun day because afterward the four of us teachers went out for Dinner at the Golden Hans, a great western buffet similar to the Golden Coral in Utah. Similar in that it has a few choices for westerners and western drinks. They bring you hot pinapple, beef, pork, chicken hearts, bacon, link sausage, beef intestines and squid on the long metal skewers. It is a German theme place where they serve pictures, no--pitchers of beer. Luckily they had a great variety of soft drinks and soda.

Wheat Grinder: This lady agreed to grind up Paula's wheat she bought at the outdoor COSTCO market. She ground the whole 1/2 bag (35 pounds) of white, hard wheat. Then she dumped the flour back into the same bag and Paula hauled it home on a small hand truck on the bus. So, we will have fresh whole wheat bread this weekend I expect. There is nothing better. Have you ever tasted Chinese bread?

THE CATHREDRAL: This is inside the huge Catholic Church on the other side of Jinan. We finally went there to tour this place and we got some good photos. It was a cold winter day and when we entered it was about 10 degrees colder inside. There is no heat in it. We both commented on how cold it was inside.

It was quite beautiful and the architecture was stunning. The gray block exterior has a very familiar look you may recognize as Dana entered into the "WEST" entrance to the church. In Utah, this would have been the east entrance I think. Does it not look like the east entrance?

What does this place remind you of? Taking your ideas and comments....please.

It was a beautiful tour and one in our own hometown here...Jinan.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


On one cold night a Chinese Medical Doctor (Radiologist and chemotherapist at Qilu Hospital which is across the street from our campus) friend named "Adam" stopped by, picked up Richard and Paula Watkins and Dana and me in his new Honda mini van. What a beautiful car. He had procured tickets to the local Lantern Festival at Baotu Springs Park in Jinan. We were glad to bundle up and go with him and his family to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival.

There were many robotic actors performing around the park. Lights were on everywhere and in every thing. The long history of China was represented in the theme of the park. Most were Chinese Lanterns.

We took a lot of photos in the dark. These children were cousins but acted like brothers and sisters. They kind of constitute the extended family for all festivals, vacations, and family activities where the families are small with only one or two children.

Baotu Springs is a beautiful park with bubbling springs and clean, clear water...

This crane was unique in that it has silk worm cocoons pasted all over it's body. It was kind of cool. Everything else, lights, actors, robots was covered, not in plastic, but with silk.

Unique way of decorating trees with lights...

Dana was warm in her rabbit hat during the Lantern Festival.

This is the natural bubbling springs...Baotu Springs.

It was warm under our fur hats tonight. We were glad to have them. It was really cold. But, we had a wonderful cultural night experiencing Chinese holiday: Lantern Festival with a Chinese family.

Thursday, March 4, 2010



We found stores and stores full of all kinds of heavy duty fireworks for the local people to buy and blow up to celebrate the happiness and good fortune of the year of the tiger. We were suprised at how cheap they were and how large the firecrackers were. The package of larege sized firecrackers in my hand was priced at 12 Yuan divided by 7 to get dollars, so approximately $1.70. They were wrapped so that they could be all exploded in rapid sequence with one light of a match. They were loud and dangerous and everyone had to blow some of them up in order to guarantee a prosperous and lucky 2010. They were Smokin Pollution Makers?

We took these for Joseph to see. He will be so excited and wish he were here. They are cheap Joseph. No size or danger restrictions and no limits! Can you believe it? These people are so free to blow themselves up I guess...but still free.

This is a roll of firecrackers, M-80's I think.


We finally found a Subway Sandwich store in Xian. They have one. There are no such stores in Jinan. Of course Jinan only has about 6 million people. We went a couple of times to remember just what real, healthy, fresh sub sandwiches taste like. It was wonderful.

Now this unusual electrical installation is a permanent one. In China, you would expect it, but I was surprised to find this photo at the check out counter of Home Depot, yes a real, actual, western store with everything you would want to buy...just like at home. This installation was feeding the Home Depot computers and the plug under foot is running a display. The wire has been fitted into a shallow crack in the concrete floor and then the wire was caulked over... Look closely. I don't think this would be allowed in the states. Oh, there is no OSHA in China.