When you accept the expat life you have to forego many, many things. Your friends’ birthday party celebrations. The birth of your brother’s son. Family and friend crises.
So you work as hard as you can for your sanity and your children’s happiness to recreate pieces of what you’ve left behind. You FaceTime call on birthday’s. You send gifts for major celebrations. Sit on the phone with a friend as they cry there eyes out about what’s troubling them. In a way the distance makes these actions just as meaningful as being there in person.
That’s really all you can do when your so far away.
There are other things that you also leave behind. Sure, they’re more materialistic things, but those things are what makes your home country your home.
Target. Oh how I miss Target. Transgender bathrooms and all lol! (By the way, in Shanghai, theres a restaurant called Element Fresh- similar to Panera’s that has unisex bathrooms. It’s cool. People go pee. Some people wash their hands. No problem.)
End of the season sales. There’s in nothing like a Midwest USA sale. When tourists come to California to go shopping I always laugh. California is not where the sales are. Get over to Ohio and Michigan and see what a real markdown is like.
Food. Ok this should not come as a surprise to you. I am the Recipe Nomad after all, so you can assume that I enjoy eating. I’ve been able to recreate lots of dishes that are USA exclusive. Most of the original recipes are really bad for you, so making it at home is not a bad thing even if you live in the US. (Taco Bell Mexican Style Pizza. Hamburger Helper. Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup).
French Onion Dip. Yes good old, Lay’s French Onion Dip and Yoder’s French Onion Dip. That stuff is like white gold to me! I love it with chips. As a dip for vegetables. On crackers. Amazing. Yes I can make a copycat with Lipton’s French Onion Soup Mix. I have about 10 boxes in my pantry. But then you wouldn’t have gotten this interesting story.
Field’s is having their 7th Anniversary Sale, so they’re highlighting lots of specialty ingredients these last few weeks. Including Black Garlic.
What’s black garlic? It’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
First time I had it? Molly (no surprise! She speaks Chinese and has a really cool job that allows her to travel throughout the region) She brought some back from one of her trips and I was like Damn that’s good! Since then I’ve also had black garlic at various Chinese restaurants.
So, what the heck is black garlic? According to the website, Black Garlic:
There’s only one ingredient-garlic. It’s aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, where it develops its darker color, softer texture, and sweeter taste. Amazing what a month can do.
It tastes sweet and caramel-like, as if you soaked the garlic in Balsamic Vinegar or Molasses. But better. It does not taste garlicky at all. That’s the crazy thing.
Ok so why all of this talk about Black Garlic? What does it have to do with French Onion Dip and expat life?
Ok, so you may be confused how black garlic could taste like French Onion Dip. You’re just going to have to trust me on this way and make it.
This is my new favourite spread. It’s absolutely delicious and has such a unique flavour!
Will you give it a try! Leave a comment below and tell me, would you try it? Have you ever tried Black Garlic?
Don't let the colour scare you off! The molasses undertones of the black garlic make this spread taste just like French Onion Dip. Spread it over crackers or vegetable dip. It's going to be your new favourite dip! I guarantee it!
- 200g Cream Cheese
- 2 tablespoons Sour Cream
- 2 Black Garlics
- 2 Green Onions, green parts only
- Salt and Pepper
- In a food processor, process all of the ingredients together until well combined.
- Serve with crackers, carrots, celery and potato chips.
If you have the time, store the spread in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavours to develop.