Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American BBQ

Last night four of my Chinese students came over to celebrate the end of the semester with a good ol' American barbecue. They were invited to come between 5:30 and 6:00, so naturally they all showed up together at 4:30...

Though I wasn't quite ready for them at that time, we managed to pull everything together (with Ted's help) and had a fantastic time.

I made barbecue chicken for the first time (recipe here - I marinated mine in the sauce for about 6 hours before grilling), along with potato salad and grilled asparagus. I also taught two of my students how to make guacamole; everything from how to cut an avocado to how to smash it up with a fork. They had never had guacamole before, but they liked it!

My lone female student, Maggie, took over my kitchen upon arrival to make a big batch of Chinese dumplings (good thing I had actually gotten my cooking done ahead of time!).

The boys, who were no doubt missing home and their mothers' cooking, wolfed down that whole platter in minutes.

I borrowed some corn hole boards from our neighbors and taught my students how to play. If you've never been to the midwest or had midwestern friends, you've probably never played corn hole.  Let me explain how it works.

Basically, you have two boards set about 30 feet apart; each board has a small hole near the top. You take turns throwing bean bags (or corn bags, hence the name) onto the other board. If you land one on the board, you get 1 point. If you get one in the hole, you get 3 points. However, if your opponent also lands one on the board or in the hole, you lose that many points. You play until one team gets 21 points.

The red team scores one point here, because they have one more bag on the
board than the tan team. 

My students quickly picked up on the rules, and we played for a long time. They really liked it.

They also taught me the Chinese way of choosing teams. Everyone who is playing stands in a circle, and on the count of three, everyone thrusts their hand into the middle with either palm up or palm down. The palm-up people are a team, and the palm-down people are a team. It worked out perfectly!

The evening included other entertainment as well. One of my students is a singer, trained in the bel canto (Italian opera) style. He has also taught himself to play the piano! So he played and sang for us, and I played and sang for them. We were all very impressed with each other. :)

So that's that! We're all glad the semester is coming to a close. Now time for summer vacation! (...after one last final exam at 8am on Friday morning... which is just cruel...)


  1. Looks like fun. I wonder if you can share the blog with your students?

    1. I shared the photos with them but not the blog. I might share it with them before they leave for summer vacation, so they can keep practicing their English reading skills!

  2. I think you need to learn to make the dumplings for our family reunion. Yummo!!

    1. I'll see if she can tell me the recipe. I watched most of the process, so I think I could recreate it!

  3. Fun! And what a wonderful experience for your students! (PS. if you can see that Paul deleted a comment, that was me accidentally writing this on his account)

    1. We had a great time. :) Now I want to go to China, and they're all anxious to host me if I come. That would be quite an experience!