#119: Taiwan

It was 80 degrees at the Pumpkin Patch this weekend!?

I know, right? That’s ridiculous, if we are being honest. I often wonder what people who don’t believe in Global Warming think when it’s this unseasonably toasty a week away from November… I can tell you for certain though, it was a beautiful, sunny outing with the gal pals and the littles to the patch. As an adult, I can’t recall the last time I was at a pumpkin patch, though I have to confess, it’s been more than a decade. It was really refreshing to feel like a kid for a few hours though. I couldn’t help but feel that maybe we all left that adventure believing that The Great Pumpkin would actually visit Denver this week. Good grief, Charlie Brown, I hope the Great Pumpkin brings some cooler temps with him too 😉

THE DINNER: Continuing on our spicy pathway and our unseasonably hot weather, the heat wave on AW195S continued! We chose Taiwan as our locale for Sunday’s meal and pulled another sassy recipe for Spicy Beef Noodle Soup. While the weather didn’t really nurture our soup venture, the spicy was right on our agenda for this month. We hit up a five alarm fire last week in Haiti and I think my dad was secretly praying that not all the engines showed up for the burn down this week. My mom and I, however, had the smoke alarms at the ready.

Spicy food in many cultures is just food to the Hoklo peoples (Those are the Taiwanese natives, btws). Regionally, spicy food is more concentrated in Taipei, but in a general sense, the whole of Asia celebrates the spicy. This type of soup is commonly referred to as a “hot pot” which is exactly what it feels like it should mean: everyone in the tub, guys, and oh, yeah, here’s some noodles. The ingredients are basically whatever is on hand and it simmers in clear broth (no cream) and then noodles are added. Voilà! Soup’s on!

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Hot Pot Soup Recipe: http://thewoksoflife.com/2016/02/spicy-beef-noodle-soup/

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: THREE STARS out of five this meal!
This one was a little deceiving. It would seem “hot pot” renders visions of easy cooking, right? I mean, throw it all in, let it get happy and then eat away to your hearts desires! WRONG. While it was very far removed from rocket science or brain surgery, it was involved. Lots of cutting and prep and lots of measuring. But, all that aside, all ingredients were a piece of cake to come by and it did take less than an hour to prepare. All things considered it wasn’t as bad all that, just not as simple as we have been getting lucky with.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and a HALF STARS out of five for Meal!!
For those keeping tabs, it was not as spicy as Haitian food. It was not, however, mild. It was spicy. A lovely hit of cilantro and anise later, it was also aromatic and fragrant, but in all the right ways. This meal was satisfying and tummy warming. If we are all being honest, who isn’t in love with thin sliced beef and rice noodle combos? That’s right, all of us with taste buds did utter, “Amen”.

This is the time for ghouls and goblins, but they aren’t going to scare us away from #120 with a detour to the Czech Republic!!

It’s just a little Hocus Pocus, darling!!
Happy Halloween 🙂

– L & K

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