A Taiwanese ‘Family’

Being away from home is tough, especially when you’re closest people are your family. Thank goodness for my Taiwanese family! The Dengs are the most wonderful home away from home in Taipei, just an hour away by bus. I  常常 go there (frequently, chang chang)

It’s a long story that I’ll attempt to make short. We know them from my great grandparents who taught at their university. They are family friends and we first met when I was 10, visiting to adopt Grace. Here are G and IY

Grandmother and Grandfather Taipei

The first time they visited me driving through Yilan. We met for dinner at the restaurant I’d visited first with Kevin in NYC and then with Aria and Mary Kate earlier in the month, Loving Hut. If you’re keen on good quality vegan food, I’d say check this place out, it’s got places all over the world, each run by an independent person so the food isn’t shipped in like many chains.

Allen and I

I got to know the grandsons a little, but their English wasn’t good enough that my poor Chinese couldn’t meet well enough. We still had a great time playing an hour of 5 person baseball before dinner, in Yilan Sports Park.

Reading

I brought some gifts for them, namely some nice magazines for the boys and some pot holders for the family. G read to the kids and they tried the Highlights word search while we waited for our food to arrive.

HOT POTTTT

I ordered my favourite, mushroom hot pot, which I hadn’t had before here, but looked promising. I’ve discovered that hot pot is simply a favorite and I wasn’t disappointed with this one. Both the boys ordered this too.

G’s meal

I loved the different mushrooms in the hot pot, but wasn’t so keen on the glass noodles inside. I’m just not a noodle person I guess. They could have easily substituted more squash/pumpkin and other veggies for those. Maybe next time I’ll ask to have that done.

It was such a lovely time that we promised to see each other soon, this time with me going to Taipei. It wasn’t many weeks until I was seeing this:

My bed.

G had called me up and asked whether I wanted to participate in her choir that friday evening- did I EVER!

Everything was like I remember when I visited as a child.

My bedroom

The living room

While G prepared dinner, I plucked out notes of the choir songs on their piano.

I hear this song and immediately think Josh Groban.

ebony and ivory

I had to sneak a few pictures of her cooking.

look at her go!

They really do have a nice kitchen by Taiwan’s standards. Mostly made so by the Vitamix. I’m still in love.

VITAMIX

She cooked soup, which I’ve started making for myself here. It’s so simple and so delicious. I usually have countless bowls.

I think this one is water, a bit of oil, bamboo, and dried mushrooms?

Our tin openers used as….magnets? Not sure….

Dinner night one: egg and scallion pancake, some sort of tofu thing, sauces, eggplant, bamboo, and broccoli.

I can’t get enough of this food.

mi fan.

Except the rice. So kill me. I don’t like rice.

Yellow Kiwi, Red Dragonfruit, and Mango

Always fresh fruit plates for dessert.

plated.

I’ll be going here often, methinks.

That’s as far as I’ll get for now. Next post will be all about Saturday, the first. Pictures of breakfast on the mountain, walking around, etc.

Love, Hannah

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4 thoughts on “A Taiwanese ‘Family’

  1. I think my favorite part of international travel would definitely be getting to help make some of the different food. Eating aside just the learning experience of how to make something so unique would be amazing.

    I just spent the last 30 minutes or so running through some of your recent posts. Great recaps 🙂

    • haha really? I’m so flatted 🙂 It makes me so happy to hear that people are interested in what I”m going through. It can seem kind of myopic being in one city going from home to school, home to school. The world is much bigger than any of us think.
      It’s really fun learning to cook their way- I’m having a lot of fun learning new dishes. They never use a microwave, and mostly no one has ovens. I’ve become a big fan of soup, despite the hot weather.

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