If anyone who reads Chinese wants to make my banana bread, this should get you there! While our Chinese exchange student helped me make the bread, she told me about the “3 Cleans” that used to be expected of a Chinese woman when making dough….clean hands, clean bowl, and clean, shiny dough. She hasn’t achieved this herself, but she is convinced it is something to do with the water temperature….???
She was very meticulous in her notes. When she forgot how to write an uncommon Chinese character, she resorted to English. (She had one moment where it took her a couple of minutes to remember how to write the proper character. Eventually the Chinese Brain search engine kicked in, and she had it.)Also, as part of the recipe, the bananas need to be smashed into a paste. She said the Chinese word she chose for this would be the same word used if you were “making something bloody”. She also gave me a tutorial in how a character is used when writing proper Chinese so the right “adverb” is associated with the right “verb”. (I put them in quotes because I am not sure those words would accurately describe them from a Chinese perspective.) Apparently, the older Chinese think this character is still essential; our exchange student did not seem to share this opinion.
Her goal before she leaves our house next June is to make a batch of banana bread all by herself. When she gets home, she wants to make it for her family. She has mentioned the possible difficulty in finding sour cream, vanilla extract, and possibly cinnamon in China. She is a resourceful girl – I am certain she will find some way to get there. (Our Korean exchange student sent the recipe to her mother in Korea. Her mother made it in Korea without sour cream or cinnamon, and they still claimed it tasted good. I am not as convinced…)
With exchange students, you need to fully engage them in your lives! You never know what activity you are going to participate in when some interesting rabbit trail will result. Some days it is harder than others (my wife is on a business trip for 3 days), but the potential for mental cross pollinating certainly puts the “hardness” into perspective!