Qingdao is abloom. This is the peak weekend for cherry and peach blossoms as soon the trees will be green instead of pink and white. At Zhongshan Park, Cherry Blossom Lane is bursting with white flowers, but my favorite trees were in Chengyang at our old school. We met up with some former students and wandered the grounds.
For lunch, we went to Jack and Qiu Qiu's apartment, which is very near the campus. We have been friends with them since our first months in China, back in 2007. Unfortunately, we do not see much of them anymore since we moved downtown to Qingdao. It was great to see them, made even better because Jack cooked lunch. He makes some of the best Chinese food we've had here. It's delicious, pleasing to look at and eat! He is a chef at a local hotel, but we have the honor of eating his food in his and Qiu Qiu's home. The food is always excellent.
A lot of Chinese cooking demands precise knife skills, which Jack deftly exemplifies in all his dishes. It's a pleasure to watch him cook. He also always has a smile on his face. For lunch we had a spicy cucumber salad, fried pork (which I love!), a dish with potatoes and peppers, stir fried eggplant, fruit salad, and pasta with meat sauce. This is the first time Jack served Western food, and I think it was a success. The sauce was fairly authentic except he included cinnamon sticks, which gave the sauce an extra aromatic jolt. I give him a lot of credit for even trying though, as many Chinese seem to be fascinated by Western cuisine.
We love seeing our friends and wish we could see each other more often.
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