Friday, July 16, 2010

Move Over Emeril

When we first came home with Drew and Jaxon other than the language barrier being my biggest concern, it was the food. I wasn't worried so much with Drew as he pretty much eats anything and everything. Jaxon on the other hand was not a big fan of western food. At. All!

I will have to say that he is really good about trying almost anything. Ramen Noodles have become a staple at our house as well as rice. Anyway, in an effort make him more comfortable, we took him to an Asian market to let him get a few things. Unfortunately, our Asian Market didn't have much that he was familiar with.

So, I asked him if he knew how to cook and he quickly and firmly told me "no." We had actually had this conversation in China with Jaxon and our guide and Jaxon told him that he didn't cook because cooking was for women. I had to laugh at that because it made me realize just how different America was going to be for him.

Well, it is amazing how the more comfortable he becomes with us, the more we are finding out about him. The other day, out of the blue he came to me with the translator and all it said was "I want to cook." Seriously, I thought I was reading it wrong or that what he was trying to tell me had been mistranslated. So, I made sure that wanting to cook is what he actually meant to say and he said "yes." I asked him if her knew how to cook and he said he did. I then went on to say that he told us he could not cook and he got a big smile on his face.

We spent the next couple of hours looking up recipes on the Internet. I told him to make a list of what he needed and we would go get it. I asked him if he would cook for the whole family and he said yes. Actually my BFF of over 25 years was in town visiting with her two girls so he cooked for them as well.

He pretty much did everything. I did help him cut up the meat because originally he didn't have enough. He has a small cereal bowl of meat that was supposed to feed 11 people. He looked at me with a surprised look on his face when I told him he needed more chicken and pork but agreed that more needed to be cut.

I will admit that I am NOT an adventurous eater so I was a bit nervous. I also knew that the other kids (mainly Emma and Gabe) were not going to be too excited at the dinner menu so I made mac n cheese and chicken nuggets. (I did tell them that they had to at least try it, which they did).

As we sat down to eat I asked everyone to thank Jaxon for cooking for us and of course he became very embarrassed. The food was SO good, and I am not just saying that. We ate until we couldn't eat anymore. I honestly don't think I have ever had Chinese food that was so good. We usually have leftovers, but not that night. There was nothing left, and I mean nothin, nada, nuttin.

We are having a family we met in China to the lake this weekend and I asked Jaxon if he and Adam would cook for us. He said he would, but he wanted to asked Adam first. Adam agreed, so Jaxon and Adam are going to cook for 18 people Saturday night! I am SO excited. Jaxon asked me what I wanted so I gave him a couple of ideas. He and Adam are going to make some of the same dishes from the other night as well as dumplings, Cashew Chicken, and Beef and Broccoli. We had to go to Indianapolis yesterday for Drew's doctor's appointment so we found and Asian grocery store there that was awesome. Luckily they spoke Chinese so he was able to tell them what he needed.

We also got a Chinese cook book. He told Matt that he wants to go to cooking school when he gets older. I have a feeling we are going to be eating alot of Chinese food and my time in the kitchen is going to decrease.


Tara Anderson said...

Can I invite myself over for dinner?!?! That food looks delish!!! Just when I thought you couldn't be more blessed, I find out that Jaxon is a chef! :)

Stacy said...

For some reason, this just brought tears to my eyes! I am so happy for Jaxon! What a blessing that dinner must have been for you and for him!

Lori said...

Macy and I will be right over! Yum, yum, yum!! And ummm, I wouldn't mind doing a little match-making either. :)

Oh and is Adam the son of Karen from MI?? If so, that's Macy's friend from her orphanage!

Take lots of pics of the boys cooking!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to get a couple of the easier recipes--my email is Thanks, Mandi! It sounds like Jaxon is really starting to fit in with your crew! Love, Manna(Tara's Mom)--He is very handsome, too

Valerie and Jeff said...

I cannot imagine cooking for 18 people! Let alone kinda cooking for the first time in a new culture--trying recipes for the first time. Oh my goodness, way to come out of the box BIG time in the kitchen Jaxon!!

As a total flop in the Asian cuisine making department, I for one would be THRILLED if Jaxon would like to be a guest poster and share any of his recipes?! (I thought the broccoli chicken look very good in particular, but it all looked wonderful.

It is amazing that you asked him directly in China about cooking and yet he has blossomed into it with time and the opportunity! What a blessing ... for everyone!

Amy said...

AWESOME!! What an amazing guy! The food looks fantastic. I have been trying to find some good authentic Chinese recipes... so far there is a show on the cooking channel (not food network) called Chinese food made easy. and the food is really good and seems pretty authentic but basic.. here's the website .
I am so impressed with your boy!

Anonymous said...


this is awesome!!!

so happy for jaxon, specially as he "comes out" with his wishes and desires.

GREAT job, MOM!!!!! :-)

and, what a great benefit...healthy, yummy food!

i'm sure he will be a great chef!


Diann said...

Looks great! Have a fun weekend with Adam and his family! Tell them Hi for us.

Miss you guys!

Diann,Bill,Chloe & Isabelle

Brendan and Melissa said...

Yummmmm!!! Just waiting for our dinner invite... Seriously.

The Kings said...

Wow!!! Looks Great!

connie said...

Wow, those dishes look delicious! Kooper likes to cook too, but we don't have an Asian market nearby so we make do. I can't wait to see pix of Adam and Jaxon cooking ~ thanks for sharing, Mandi!

Cari said...

oh you are so lucky...i mean blessed! cooking is not my favorite AT ALL. i'm waiting for one of my kids to take over that one for me, but nobody's jumping at that one yet. love your pics of the meal...looked so delicious.

Gretchen said...

YUM!!!!! It is so much better to eat at home than go out to a restaurant. Quality family time!!! Great food doesn't hurt either!

amy said...

YUM! So is he giving cooking lessons yet? I would love to cook like that, and Sam would adore it!! Seriously. I would love the recipes if you have them...or if Jaxon wants to have an audience :-)