Adventures in Food

So I know everyone is curious about what we eat here, and how we do it.  We haven’t exactly gotten it down to a science yet, but we thought we would share our adventures in food with everyone.  We have made some mistakes, so try not to laugh at us too hard, okay? 🙂

Okay, so first, we don’t have Walmart, or Target, or Kroger, or any one-stop-shop sort of place, so in order to get the materials together for one meal, we have to go to at least 2 places, sometimes 3, so we really have to plan our meals, which is usually a challenge for us, we’re more fly by the seats of our pants kinda people (exhibit one: we live in Taiwan).  We are slowly (like snail’s pace) getting better at it, and finding out the best way to do our shopping.  These are the things we have figured out so far.

1. The Farmer’s Market is only open from about 6 am-1pm, so we can really only go on Saturday mornings
2. The grocery store closest to our house does not have everything that we need.  There is a bigger grocery store farther from our house that has more of a selection, and it’s close to the Farmer’s Market.
3. Any type of bread has to be bought from the bakery, but it’s so delicious!
4.  If we need any special cooking utensil, we have to go to the affectionately named “everything store.”  We don’t know what it’s really called, but it pretty much has everything you could need for anything (mostly). 😉

Some of the delicious bread we get from the bakery.

They are all stuffed with some interesting, yet delicious filling. We still aren’t sure what this one is.

We had to get it!!! Unfortunately it didn’t dawn on us to take a picture until we started chowin’ down.

The Farmer’s Market. Part of it anyway.

Fish anyone?

So, one “real” meal requires going to the Farmer’s Market to get the meat and veggies, and going to the grocery store to get any other things we need, like spices or rice etc.  Oh and did I mention, that Taiwan has a very limited selection on most things?  And the things we can get are usually a little different.  The spices we can find are very limited, they mostly have different versions of pepper.  The milk tastes different.  The peanut butter is sweet.  They don’t have baking powder, or cream of tartar.  They don’t sell vanilla extract.  There are only about 6 kinds of cereals sold here (and most of them are chocolate flavored).  And there is a huge shelf devoted to rice.  This just means that we have gotten more creative!

Our first bit of creativity. If you didn’t notice in the house pictures, we don’t have an oven, so we had to make due.

All in one pan. It didn’t look very good, but it ended up tasting great. That’s the important thing, right?

Or first batch of pancakes. Remember how we said we couldn’t find baking powder here? Well we tried to substitute baking soda, but to our dismay, they are not the same at all. Needless to say, these weren’t very tasty 😦 They were beautiful though.

We decided to make our own tortillas! They were delicious!!!

We used our tortillas to make breakfast burritos. 😀

We also remember that when all else fails, there’s always McDonalds 🙂  Which by the way has happy hour during peak lunch and dinner times, so we get our meals for cheap!!!

We are really enjoying the opportunity to be creative and experience the culture here.  We are hoping to have some friends from work over for dinner soon, so please be in prayer that we will be able to continue a good friendship with them and have opportunities for deeper conversation.

Love y’all

Categories: Cooking, Humor, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Adventures in Food

  1. Erin Timmons-Mitchell

    We have a store here just for baking. I haven’t figured out why though because most people don’t have ovens. The next time I go I can pick up baking soda and vanilla. Oh the vanilla I used in Noah’s cake was powered. Maybe it is with the sugar.

  2. Shannon

    Please tell me how to make tortillas


      3 cups flour
      1 tsp. salt
      1/3 cup vegetable oil
      1 cup warm water

      1. Combine all the flour, salt, vegetable oil, and water until it forms a dough.

      2. Roll the dough into a big ball and take about an 1 to 2 inch pieces off. Pat the dough flat with your hands or take a rolling pin and roll into circles.

      3. Put the dough on a flat pan on the stove and let the sides cook until there are little brown specks on both sides like you would see on other tortillas.

      This is the recipe we used from It only took us about 30 minutes total, and it made 10 medium sized tortillas. It was really easy! A tip for step 2 is to put the small dough ball between 2 plastic bags and smash it into a circle with your hands. It keeps the dough from sticking to your hands and the surface, and it peels right off when you put them in the pan. 🙂

  3. Hey! It’s Hannah! There is a baking store right by my house, so if you need vanilla or baking powder and stuff, just let me know and I can mail it to you!

  4. I loved your ‘All in one pan’ trick. I am going to try this out…!

  5. I love reading your blog! I am envious of your creative cooking skills! 🙂

  6. Belva Bowers

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds so yummy!

  7. Clay Bowers

    What fun to read your blog. Your writing skills are really improving!. As I saw the picture of the fish at the Farmer’s Market just one question popped into mom’s and my mind. “Chicken or Fish?”

    • I’m really glad everyone is enjoying it! I never though I’d be an author (even if it’s just of a blog). Hehe, that is always the question here. Thankfully I can say chicken in Chinese 🙂

  8. Patty Broadway

    I can help you out on the pancakes because I never use baking powder. I use buttermilk and baking soda; you get the same “rising” results but with much better flavor. No buttermilk? No problem: Take your measurement of milk and squeeze some fresh lemon juice into it to “sour it”; yes, that is supposed to taste awful. Let that sit a few minutes and then use it in the pancake recipe as you would buttermilk. The end result is delicious. I will send my buttermilk pancake recipe later so you will have exact measurements.

    I must warm-heartedly laugh at your eye-opening marketing experience! Welcome to the real world! You are now shopping like most of the planet, at least most of the planet 20 years ago. USA was the exception to the rule. (And yes, I am including Western Europe. And surprisingly Switzerland was one of the last to let go…) I’m quite jealous, actually; what you give up in convenience you gain in other aspects of culinary delight.

    After you’ve been there awhile and you decide to ditch “American” cooking and “go Asian” you will suddenly realize you have more ingredients at your disposal than necessary for endless possibilities. 🙂 Behind the wardrobe lies a whole new world of delectable experience.

    Bon appétit!
    Yours affectionately…

    • We though about making buttermilk as well, but we can’t find lemons!!! We have seen limes everywhere, but on our market excursion on Saturday we looked at every fruit stand and didn’t seem lemons at one!!! We are hoping to find some lemon juice at the grocery store, but if not, Nick has a theory about making buttermilk out of whipping cream. I’m not sure, but he sounds confident, so I’ll let him try. 🙂 Thanks for the tips!!! We really love going to the market. It’s fun and we feel like what we’re eating is more fresh and natural 🙂 Plus it really helps us experience the culture here!

      • Gert DeKruyf

        A little vinegar works just as well if not better than lemon juice. We’re looking forward to the Taiwanese recipes you’ll contribute to the Family Cookbook when you return.

  9. Patty Broadway

    Oh, and here’s an idea for getting around the absence of suitable cereal! Make more than enough rice at dinner one night…not “spiced up”. The next morning take a bowl of leftover cold rice, add milk, add vanilla if you like, cinnamon if you can procure it, sliced almonds or some kind of nuts, dried fruit or fresh if you have it on hand. Let that sit a few minutes. Breakfast! Hint: don’t drown it in milk like you would a bowl of cereal…

  10. Auntie

    What an awesome reading adventure! Just think by the end of the school year you’ll not be experts at creative cooking!!

  11. FOOD SCIENCE!!!! I love it! Now baking/cooking with me was WORTH WHILE, right?!?
    LOVE the “Dog” bread. Is this why people say Asians eat DOG? I used to feel bad about that, but this one’s really cute! 😉

    • We thought the bread was really cute too!!! We didn’t feel bad eating it, but we thought it looked mroe like a bear 🙂 You can decide for yourself when you’re here, we can buy some for breakfast one day. Baking and cooking with you is always worth while!!!! 😀

  12. Great descriptive writing Liv. One would think you were the one with the English major. I do not remember from the pictures of the house. Do you have any kind of fridge or icebox?

    • Thanks!!! I’m really glad everyone is enjoying reading it 🙂 It’s fun to write! My childhood dream was to be an author, who would have thought I’d be doing that (in a way). Anyways, we do have a full size fridge, I’m not sure it was in any of the pictures, it is right next to the stairs 🙂

  13. Rebecca Bennett

    Uuuuh, don’t feel bad… I thought baking powder and baking soda were the same thing too :/

  14. Pingback: Year one in review: what we’ve learned | Nick and Liv go abroad

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