Friday, December 20, 2013

Day 114 – Cooking with Zina in China

Day 114 – Cooking with Zina in China

Finals interviews went well today except in the classroom that I have my 10 a.m. class in.  We are cold here, in the ‘teens, and not all of the windows on the buildings will close tightly, so the classroom was COLD!  I kept my coat on the whole time and my feet were frozen by the time I was done.  I came home to get warm and was just barely starting to feel warm when we had to go back out in the cold and catch a taxi to the TV station.  Kadie, Seth and Carolyn all tried to catch me during the time we were home to wish me well. 

We were able to catch a taxi right away and made it to the station by 2:30.  We had to stand outside for about 10 minutes until the people we were supposed to meet got there.  They took us into the studio.  It is a regular cooking show and this was for their Christmas Day special they will be airing on December 25 at 5 p.m. 

We checked to make sure they had all the ingredients and equipment.  The regular cooking lady doesn’t use measuring equipment, at least not what I would be familiar with, so I brought a bowl, my measuring cups and spoons and two pie pans.  In looking through the equipment, they had most of the stuff we needed, but they had to go clean it before we could use it.  On the floor were a bunch of dishes that were dirty and they would sort through to see what we needed and then go wash it somewhere.  They hadn’t bought the right shortening or lard, but they did have enough butter and so I used that instead.  The bananas were missing so they sent someone out to buy bananas and when they got back we were ready to start.  I went through some of the steps that I would be doing with the anchor and then we started filming. 

The studio.  You can't see all the dishes that were just sitting on the floor behind the counter. 
Before we started, they took our picture and wanted us to look like were were doing something.  Fighting over the butter?  

Li Yuan in the red dress was interpreter and an anchor.  The woman in the yellow apron was the cooking anchor and we never heard her name.  That is the final product, banana cream pie in the middle.

The filming crew and production assistants.

They wanted us to talk about some of our Christmas Traditions, so when there was a lull in telling them what I was doing, then David would talk about some of our family’s traditions.  The anchor would interpret for the “audience” and then talk to us in English.  The regular “cooking” anchor might have understood some English, but not enough to want to say anything to us.  They asked me to involve both David and the “cooking anchor” in what I was doing.  I tried to do that as best I could and I think it worked out.  They didn’t realize that after I made the pie, it needed to be refrigerated for three hours so there was a little bit of improvising we had to do at that point.  This kind of cooking is so foreign to them.  They like to eat everything as soon as it is cooked. 

We had told them a little about our classes and that David likes to sing with the guitar in his classes.  We had also told them about our large family and they wanted a picture of them, but the idea came up of having them come to our apartment and film David and I singing with some of the students and they will bring the pie on that day and taste it then.  They can get a picture of our large family from the one we have on the wall. We set up a time for Sunday afternoon for them to come and we will have some people here that can sing and interpret for us. 

When the taping was all done, we went outside and they were going to get a taxi for us.  It was a bad time of day and on the wrong street for trying to catch one.  We stood out there in the cold for over 45 minutes.  Finally, we talked it over with the people from the station that were trying to get the taxi for us and decided that we could get a bus that we thought would take us close to our campus, so we did that.  The traffic was very slow (combine Friday night with rush hour traffic and you have a bad scene here!) 

We had made plans to have dinner with Eric, the young man who wants to study at UCLA, so we met them at the North gate of the campus and he took us to a place that serves some good steaks!  He had a girl with him who also wants to be in the same program that Eric wants to, so she came along so they could both practice their English.  Dinner was really nice.  We had Peppered Goose Liver Sauce on filet mignon and really enjoyed it.  It has been a long time since we had steak, so we thoroughly enjoyed this meal and the company.  Both really great kids, so I hope that this practice gives them more confidence when they interview next week for the program. 

If you are interested in seeing the program, the website is  The program airs at 5 p.m. on Christmas day here, so that would be on Christmas Eve afternoon sometime in the US.  

Here's the link:


David Milo Pearson said...

So, are you trusting to eat the banana cream pie you made on the show, or are you going to make another one to be certain it was properly refrigerated and all?

Also, the peppered goose liver sauce on steak sounded interesting.

Zina said...

I believe they did take care of it, but I made another pie just in case for today's taping.

The Goose liver stuff may not have sounded that appetizing, but it was.

David Milo Pearson said...

France is well known for it's haute cuisine condiment of goose liver pâté that I've read is when best, a bright yellow/golden color. The goose pâté (or paste) is so good, the price per ounce, I've heard, at times, can be higher than gold!

So was your 'goose' condiment more of a fluid, or paste?

Zina said...

Fluid. Definitely Chinese, too.

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