Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bok Choy with Chicken-n-Dumplings on the Side

That's sorta how the menu looks around our house sometimes: Southern China Meets Southern Living...a mixture of 'east meets west'.
I actually grew some Bok Choy last year - in the school garden...with my students and sidekick, KK (who is going with me to China). Maybe I better say, "WE grew some Bok Choy."
Sometimes it DOES take a village.

The recipe for Chicken-n-Dumplings is a Southern Living favorite.
The Bok Choy - a Chinese cabbage-y type vegetable - is my own copy cat creation.
Saute onions in coconut oil
Throw in the cleaned Bok Choy.
Sprinkle with powdered chicken broth seasoning.
Sprinkle with sesame oil and tahini (soy sauce).
Stir it around.
Listen to Emily squeal with delight.
Gobble up...
and pray the kitchen angels come behind me to help clean up the mess I've made.

Last night I Fed Ex'd a biggie to the adoption agency. This was the entire package that will be submitted to the Chinese Embassy - probably in Houston - to obtain our Visas into The People's Republic of China. After 4 days of hem-hawing around and answering the questions on the documents, here's what I sent on behalf of Emily, Karen, Kourtney, and me (the travel bunch):
-4 passports - one from each of us (...and obtaining Emily's US passport required that I engage the help of -my US Congressman's office -- for weeks and weeks! Let's just say I had issues - but all was resolved.)
-1 color copy of each signature page/photo page of 4 passports
-Chinese Visa applications -- for each of us (Oh.The.Joy.)
-2x2 passport-type photo of each - We looked like illegal aliens hauled in for questioning.
-color copies of Emily's adoption certificate/decree
-Emily's Chinese passport with Visa stamp - from back in 2008 used for her adoption (I thought to myself, "Friends in China....I've been lookin' for the sunglasses on the top of my head, and you want me to locate and whip out this official item from 2008? Uhm...hang on a second.)
-and once again, a fat lil ole check to pay for it all (KK and I are goin' halves.)
I kissed all the employees at Fed Ex 'goodnight' and went home.
We're establishing quite a relationship these days.

Phew. This is done.
I actually keep checking my email to see if there's any word on my Article 5 being signed, sealed, delivered.
The Travel Team at my adoption agency is standing by. I've completed their information sheets.
The international travel agent who is booking all our flights to and from China has my file filled out and sitting nearby. I sent in all that info a few weeks ago.
All we need now: Article 5, Travel Approval, Consulate Appointment date, and travel dates.

I'm gathering items that will be packed....medicines, gifts, fun things for "the girls" to do while in the hotel.
The To Do List is fluctuating daily.
Today - Obtained Bank Check to trade in for crisp, clean new bills to pay for all government, medical, and adoption fees while in China.
Tomorrow - Go to another bank's main office. The Head Teller is expecting me at 3:30. I'll exchange that B-I-G Bank Check for the crisp bills from their vault. (required by Chinese gov't)
Friday - Money to be stored in safe deposit box until time to travel.
Weekend - Work from Fri. afternoon until Sun. evening....then back to teaching school on Monday.

Carrying on....

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