Familes are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

The Harvest Moon Festival and the Temple

In September Taiwan celebrated the Harvest Moon Festival. That morning we were invited to watch the building of a traditional stone oven. They build a framework with cinder block and iron rods and pile the rocks on top and around, leaving an oven cavity. Then they build a very hot fire inside the cavity and let it burn for a long time until the rocks are very hot. They then quickly but carefully clean out the leftover fire materials and put whole stuffed chickens and yams inside. With shovels they then smash the oven stones down over the food so the hot stones are directly on the food. Last they cover the entire thing with sand and let it cook for several hours. I'm sure it is an efficient way to cook a meal, but it was already 95 degrees outside and I had a hard time appreciating a hot fire. 

completed stone oven

The fire burning inside the oven

Putting sand on the hot rocks

The Taiwan Taipei Temple

A good place to go

Here we are with Sister Liu
Also in September we were able to attend the Taiwan Taipei Temple with our Ward. We left super early in the morning on a bus from our church house. We arrived in Taipei around noon. Sister Liu met us there. She owns our apartment and is very nice. She plans to attend the temple with us each time we go. She also treated us to lunch. It was a very good day.

On the ride home we got to watch the sun set over rural Taiwan. It is the first sunset I have seen in Taiwan. You just don't see the sun set in a big city. This is the best picture I could get from the bus window. David was thrilled to see the country side because it reminded him of how Taiwan looked when he was here 42 years ago.

Food in Taiwan

So, Food in Taiwan is different. I like some of it quite a lot, and some not at all. And some of it I just can't bring myself to eat. 

Our hosts showed us how they stuff these chickens for roasting. They are stuffed with herbs and vegetables. Notice the claws are still attached. They eat these after they are cooked. And I always complained that the wing didn't have any meat on it.
Taiwan people are not camera shy. 

Every meal includes soup of some kind and they are usually quite good, though mostly vegetables. This is a fish soup containing several kinds of fish balls and formed fish. They color the formed fish lots of colors like the pink and yellow below and put it into different shapes. Strange colors to have in a soup, but it all tastes just like fish.
This is my bowl of soup.
One night we had soup at a little restaurant down the street. They had us pick out the fish we wanted and then they made it into a soup for us. The head, including the eyeballs, and the tail were floating around in the soup. I just didn't look at it while I ate. It tasted good. David thought we should have chosen the squid instead of a fish. I have a hard time with the tentacles on squid and octopus.
Kaohsiung is bordered on one side by the ocean, so seafood is prevalent in their meals. The fish at left were being grilled. The fish is always cooked with head and tail attached. Sometimes it hasn't even been cleaned before cooking.

This is Hot Pot. You start with a bowl of broth and a plate of vegetables and the meat of your choice. The broth is on a hot plate and you control the temperature. You put whatever you want into the broth and eat it as it cooks. When you finish, you have a yummy broth soup to finish off your meal.
the soup at the end of my meal.

Taiwan pot lucks are great. The Ward finds an excuse to have one about twice a month. There is always lots of food, but there is seldom a dessert table. There may be a few cookies but that's about all. They like meat and vegetable dishes. We've learned that everyone brings their own bowl and chopsticks from home. When we didn't have any, the members insisted on us using theirs. That was rather awkward. This particular potluck was for the Women's broadcast. 

They have wonderful bakeries here. Most of the bread has some kind of filling and we never have any way of knowing what it will be. We always get surprised. I think that is rather fun, but David has ended up with too many raisins and blueberries and red beans and is getting kind of leery of the breads. The only one I haven't liked so far is the the shredded pork filling.

Mostly, the food is very good. I don't have pictures of the pot stickers and Shui Jiao. They are absolutely wonderful. Also the fruit milk drinks make a great meal all by themselves. I'm having a hard time keeping my calorie count in check.