Lisa and I had our bags weighed down with chicken, mushrooms, ginger and rice wine. That day, we were making 麻油鸡, a delicious Taiwanese chicken soup that uses rice wine to add flavor to the broth. I was excited because I wanted to learn how to cook this staple soup, and also because I love to cook.
We made it to Lisa's house with all our ingredients and started cooking. It felt so good to cook in a real house. In the minsu where we are, it just does not feel like home. Maybe it's the plain colored walls, barren space, the lack of interior design...it is just missing something. But cooking with Lisa, in her big kitchen, with colored cups and pans that belong in certain places, and the inviting smell of bubbling soup...the splashing of dish washing, the pictures on the wall and the piano in the corner...it just made me feel so at home.
My Chinese is good enough to a point where Lisa and I mainly converse in Chinese. As Lisa was sautéing the chicken, she yelled over her shoulder, "做飒飒，做飒飒！" She was saying, “make Sasa, make Sasa.” It sounded like Salsa to me, and since she had asked me to DJ earlier, I went over and found some Salsa music and started playing it. At that moment she turned around with a confused look on her face and pointed to the cutting board, where onions, olive oil, tomatoes and cilantro where placed. "做飒飒" She yelled again. "我现在没空！" Confused, I pointed to the music. Exasperated, she waved her hands and pretended to chop all the ingredients into a bowl. "Aren't you from Arizona? It's that close to Mexico? They all like to eat Sasa!"
Salsa. Oh gosh. She wanted to make the salsa to eat. Not to dance and DJ the music. We looked at each other, and then burst out laughing. I quickly started chopping up all the veggies, making the best Salsa this Arizona girl in Taiwan can make. And it was pretty delicious. The entire dinner was delicious. Especially the salsa. I must add we did dance a little salsa afterwards too.
Author: Lin Wang, 2015-2016