Tuesday, September 28, 2010

41 Countries in 41 Weeks

  No we didn't go on a 41 week vacation.  We stayed home.  But for 41 weeks, our family of 5 took a culinary trip around the world.  One Friday night the kids decided they wanted to have Chinese food on our regular Pizza Party night.  So being the mom who always goes a little overboard, I thought it would be fun to supplement our frozen potstickers with some traditional home made Chinese food.  The problem was that even though I am a decent cook I had never made anything Chinese from scratch.  So I spent a few hours searching for recipes on the internet.  I finally decided on potstickers, chicken fried rice and hand made steamed beef curry dumplings.  It took longer to make than our usual dinner, but I learned some new techniques.

The kids set the table for the feast and we all sat down to eat.  Though the dumplings didn't quite look picture perfect, they tasted great.  Even our 6 year old who pecks at food like a sparrow, gobbled up everything on his plate.  We spent the rest of the night watching the kids' favorite movies and playing Guitar Hero together.  "Can we do this every week Mom?" asked Ryan.
"Yeah can we pick a different place each week?"  Jessica and Alyssa added.
I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into, but I replied, "Yeah I think we could do that."
"Let's study all about each country for the week, and make signs with words from the language, and get pictures, and    ........"  Alyssa was fired up.
"Ok.  I think that's a great idea.  You guys can even help me cook the food", I said, starting to think it was a great way to teach the kids more about geography and culture.
The three of them looked at each other, "Maybe you can cook and we'll set up all the other things like posters and stuff",  Jessica said.
"Oh ok.  What country should be next?"  I asked.
"China!"  Ryan said immediately.  "I love Chinese food!"
"We just did China.  Let's do Tuvalu", Jessica replied.
"Tu...what?  Is that even a country?"  I asked.
"Oh yeah, Mom.  It's a tiny island nation in the South Pacific."  Jessica said with a smile.
Ok, maybe I'll be the only one learning here.  I thought.

 So far, we have had the cuisine from 41 different nations, from varying continents. And yes we did have a Tuvalu night. We have taken breaks occasionally and gone back to Pizza Party Friday, but we have decided that our culinary trip around the world won't stop until we have tried all 192 countries.  Not everything is gobbled up as quickly as on the first night, and the kids don't spend as much time learning about each country as I would like, but they have tasted everything and opened their minds to new foods.   Most importantly, we have all enjoyed this family journey staying right at home.  

Spice up your life this week!


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