Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Visit to the Hutongs and Vegetables

While in China, we had a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs.  The Hutongs are in the older part of town and consists of narrow alleys with gates that lead to a court yard and small, older homes. 

During the rickshaw tour, we stopped to visit with a family who has opened their home for visitors. 

The family we visited is a husband and wife.  Their only child, a daughter, has moved out.  They are the 5th generation to live in this home.  As we walked into their frontroom, we noticed incense burning by a statue of Buddah.

The frontroom had stools for visitors.

Just off the front room was the bedroom.  There is no toilet in the house.  They use the community squatter.  However, this family has a room where they can wash and shower.  They are very excited about that!

We asked her questions, through our interpreter, Oscar.  After several minutes of visiting, we asked if she had any questions for us.  She had only one, "Why don't you cook more vegetables!"  I guess she doesn't consider fries and ketchup vegetables! So, in memory of and respect for our gracious hostess, (she's the one in pink) I have a recipe for you:

Ranch Salad with Roasted Vegetables
6 red potatoes, washed and cubed
4 long carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1/4 red onion sliced in thin wedges
1 T. olive oil

Place on large cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper or seasoning salt.  Bake 350 degrees until fork tender.

I didn't want to heat up my oven or kitchen, even though it didn't bother me to bake cookies the night before,  so I put the vegetables on aluminum foil, sprinkled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, folded over the foil and placed on the gas grill outside.  But first I had to remove a 2 week old hamburger patty from the grill. 

Being the carnivores that we are, I threw on some hot dogs too!  (Might as well please the whole family) 
While the vegetables are cooking, tear romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Toss with
ranch dressing and place in individual bowls.  You can add other vegetables to your lettuce; radishes, tomatoes, etc.
Spoon hot, tender, vegetables over lettuce.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or grated cheese. 

The warm vegetables make this a hearty salad that will fill you up.  The hotdogs in buns, smothered with ketchup, mustard and relish also helped make it a filling meal!  (And she thinks we don't eat vegetables!  Bah!)


Cherie said...

Oh my goodness Connie can you imagine not having a toilet in your house. Are we all so spoiled here with 2 or 3?
I'm with the Chinese woman though - we should all eat more veggies :D

Your recipe looks good!

Julie Harward said...

This does look good and I'll bet if I ate just this each day, I'd be a lot all the trips to the squatter might be good too! LOL Come say hi :D

Anonymous said...

Hahah! I ask myself why I don't cook more veggies too. All the time. And I love that you admitted you didn't mind heating up the oven for cookies! Very insightful. That's the kind of logic I'd use too. Not sure I'd put the warm veggies over the salad. I might enjoy them separately, though. Thanks for the idea!

Julie said...

Funny you wrote about this because I told Rex just the other day we needed more veggies. So we bought just about every kind we could and cooked them last night. Delish. This looks yummy though. I love summer salads like this! I'll have to give it a try. I hope that China person reads your blog! :)

Doran & Jody said...

Now THAT is why I don't eat more veggies.
This does look delish but it would have been a lot easier to throw those frozen fries in the oven and go take a 10 min nap.

Rebecca said...

FIFTH generation to live in their home? So that goes back to mid 1800s? Wow!

Kimmie said...

I really connect to these simpler standards of living...not living to excess, but being content and grateful for what you have.

What a gracious hostess!! (I can't imagine not having a toilet in the house)

What awesome memories you created on your trip to China and I'm sure you came back SO HAPPY and GRATEFUL for what you have!

You always have the best recipes! What a great way to eat your veggies. I've never thought of lightly cooking them and then putting them over a bed of lettuce and creating a salad out of them. I'm going to have to give it a try.

OH, and thanks for all of the FUNNY humor you added in about the cooking process. I always know that I will get a daily dose of laughter each time I visit your Blog. I have missed you and I'm SO glad you're back.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Cris Goode said...

That salad looks yummy! Thanks for stopping by GOODEness Gracious :)

gigi said...

I LOVED your pictures and how wonderful that you got to visit this home. I can't even imagine the way they live and the fact that they don't have Google. Or an indoor potty :}.

I think I'm going to pull out that solar oven I bought and give this recipe a try. It's way to hot for cooking down here. Yesterday's heat index was 111* All I can do is sit under a fan in the air conditioned house. I am spoiled.

Jenny said...

That is interesting that her only question was about our vegi intake!

Your recipe sounds yummy. I would be the only one eating if I make it.