Eating here hasn't been as big of a challenge as I thought it would be, though cooking has had its ups and downs. The good thing/bad thing is that we have a couple of great restaurants in our complex that serve great sandwiches and salads, so we tend to lean on them a little too much some times.
However, I decided that I was going to try an experiment - we were going to go a full week without going out to eat, which meant that I was going to be cooking, a lot. In our 12 years of marriage, I don't think there has been a seven-day stretch when I have cooked dinner every day. I'm not exactly the Julia Child or Rachel Ray type, especially when I can't make some of my staple meals because they don't sell frozen spinach and Prego here.
Le me start out my saying that our kitchen appliances are not American friendly. Or, perhaps, it's that they're not non-chef friendly. There are six settings on the oven, so I have to consult the user's guide every time I cook something, and for some reason, it recommends the same setting no matter if I'm cooking french fries, croissants or chicken. And, our stove top takes forever to heat up, especially when I forget to flip the switch that turns on the electricity to the stove.
So far, I have baked chicken kabobs until they were so dry they were almost indistinguishible, and burnt a $6 box of brownies (remember, groceries here especially fancy imported American goods like Betty Crocker brownies, Cheerios and Tostitos are pretty expensive), but we managed to salvage the middle. However, I can still make a mean grilled cheese.
And there are several groceries that I still don't know how to cook because I can't read the directions on them. So, we will wait until we have our next Mandarin lesson and I'll ask our tutor what it says.