Houses in China don’t have ovens. Well, let me rephrase that: typical Chinese houses in Shanghai don’t have ovens. I’m sure the Western styled houses on the big compounds that dot the city have gorgeously big ones with a thousand different settings and that don’t produce a ton of smoke everytime its turned on (unlike the oven in our student house in Loughborough). Then again, I’m sure these kitchens are also equipped with luxuries like a dish washer and a stove with more than 2 gaspits. In all honesty though, we got lucky with our little kitchen in our little Chinese flat. I’ve been told that it’s bigger than the average kitchen here, and it has everything we need. A stove, microwave, lots of cupboards, and a powerful tap… The tap isn’t connected to the boiler so it has no hot water, but hey: it saves electricity! And dishes are just as clean after being washed in cold water, right..? Ehm, yes.
But back to the no oven thing. It was a bit of a problem, seeing as I have a slight love for baking. And for eating baked goods. So when my flatmate said she had seen a toaster oven on sale at the Wallmart near Fudan, I got really excited. After staring at the little machine for a while and excitedly muttering that an ‘oven really is a necessity’ and ‘would be used daily’, we bought one. We brought it home and gave it a prime spot on out kitchen counter: right next to the rice-cooker and teapot (other necessities, of course, we live in China!).
I decided that our little toaster oven could only be welcomed into the real world of baking with one of my favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen. She calls them ‘crispy chewy chocolate chip cookies’, but I’d simply settle for: perfect cookies. Perhaps because I love chocolate. Or maybe because they’re a success everytime I make them for other people. I’ve baked them twice in the past 2 weeks, and after teasing my new classmates about their deliciousness, they insisted I make a batch and bring them to Fudan with me. They bought me chocolate, and so here I am! Standing in my Chinese kitchen in front of my already well-used oven. My day cannot get any better.
Well, maybe after I try a couple… Yum yum.
That is a very large kitchen for China…..I like to cook, and Chinese kitchens were a test.
I have an oven like that! I’m so gonna try and bake now. Gonna go to the Finnish shop here and see if they have gingerbread dough and will attempt to bake gingerbread!! Yummy! Or well perhaps I’ll try something less christmassy first. Something from smittenkitchen oooor Marine’s blog. But my plan for this weekend is to go visit the Finnish shop and buy lots of Finnishness which is well needed, as always. But I cant bake too much, because I’ll be the lonely sad sole eating it all as it’s not Lufbra where I can dump everything on other people. I also need to save money euuugggh as a result of the previous shopping spree. And because xmas and Paul’s bday is coming up.
Safe to say I’m for once not overloaded with work. Actually I’m trying to find things to do for once…Would rather be busy, but I’m sneakily using some time to send you a little message, following all your lovely emails.
Missing you. As always. <3