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Oct 13, 2012 03:35 PM

'Welcome back from China' dinner ideas?

My parents are coming back from a two-week expedition-style holiday in China where they have apparently been roughing it - and not just in terms of 'squat-over-a-hole' type hotels but also foodwise. From the few messages that have managed to reach me through the heavily censored internet over there I hear that they have been dining on mostly egg, savoury porridge, bull's penis and a few 'real deal' versions of the kinds of things we get in Chinese restaurants in the west. I'd like to cook them a welcome home dinner when they get back in two days, and I want it to be the kind of thing they will have been yearning for while chewing through another bowl of noodles. (Therefore not spaghetti!)

So: what kind of meal would you guys suggest as a perfect contrast to a lot of Chinese food? What would be the best thing to come home to after two weeks of hiking and bulls' penis? What's the kind of food you just long for after you've been in a really foreign place for a while? I'd love to know your ideas!

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  1. Wouldn't this depend on where you live, what your parents' background is and what their culinary interests are? I can suggest a lot of ideas but apart from describing their adventure on the mainland, there's really no guidance in terms of what they might crave.

    Outside of food, I'd be assuming running water, shower and toilet facilities designed and manufactured by the Japanese would probably be in order.

    1. Make them their favorite foods, unless their faves are pasta! But mac and cheese, if that is a fave, would not be the same as a bowl of noodles. Or you could grill steaks, or make barbecue, especially if they like those things.

      1. For me it would be a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.
        For a welcome home dinner I'd like a good roast beef dinner with yorkshire puddings,roast potatoes and loads of veg and gravy and a pint or two of proper beer.

        1. I was gonna say Mexican or Tex-Mex food but then checked your profile and saw that you were in the UK. Maybe Indian food?

          When I came home from periods in India and elsewhere, I always wanted stuff like a big mixed greens salad. I lived in places where there was cabbage or something called "Russian salad," but no leafy green salad...when I got on the plane on the way home I just relished the pathetic airline salad and then had a lot more salad at my house. Definitely include that.

          1. Two thoughts. 1) It is not unusual for travelers returning from a Third-world country to have upset tummies. I would inquire as to whether they are eating a normal diet just now. 2) Why not ask them what dishes they missed and what they long for? Maybe some traditional family favorites. But first, find out if they're restricted to tea and toast and Lomotil.