“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

The sun was here then it disappeared. The sky keeps getting darker. I checked the weather which says sunny. It’s not and doesn’t look as if it will be. That’s fine with me. I’m staying home and doing laundry. I figure a cloudy day is perfect for chores. I feel as if I’m not missing a thing.

I’m back to isolation with the windows closed, but on a Monday morning not much is happening. The birds are in and out, and I enjoy watching them. The gold finches have disappeared but the chickadees have retunred. I guess they just take turns like having deli numbers.

Lately I’ve been cooking more, reading recipes and looking for appetizers I can use this sumer on movie nights. We are muhammara fans so that’s on the list. The cheese pesto dip and the calzones I made for the first time last night for our Amazing Race viewing are now new favorites. I love cooking foods I’ve never made before. It’s an adventure in eating.

Last week I saw a program about McDonald’s restaurants in other countries. I always thought they were refuges for Americans craving familiar foods. Come to find out, they are very different from country to country and reflect local foods and customs. In India there is no beef, but you can order the Chicken Maharaja Mac sandwich, made with two grilled chicken patties topped with onions, tomatoes, cheese, and a spicy mayonnaise. In Singapore you can have a fried shrimp sandwich. Norway offers grilled salmon in dill sauce. In Israel the food is kosher, and you can order a McKebab which is two patties with Middle Eastern seasonings stuffed into a pita bread. In some McDonald’s, you can even order beer. I’ve decided not to be such a food snob and check out the McDonald’s in any country I visit, but I’ll wear a disguise.

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18 Comments on ““Food is our common ground, a universal experience.””

  1. splendidone Says:

    Love learning something new everyday! Monday was always laundry day at my grandmother’s house, keeping up the tradition as well! thanks as always for the delightful tunes!!!!!xoxoxoxoxox

    • katry Says:

      It is my pleasure to give you delightful tunes!

      I am waiting for the whites to dry-colored clothing dried and folded!

  2. olof1 Says:

    I think it was cloudy most of the day here, but we got some sunshine before it went down, warm day though. They say we’ll get cold but sunny weather this coming weekend, almost winter temperatures.

    I knew there were some variations around the world when it comes to McDonald’s, no beef in India and kosher in Israel but i didn’t know that about Norway 🙂 I think we have much the same things as You in the US but I know we get smaller glasses with soda than You do. Our big sodas are like Your small ones I’ve heard 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      The sun came back for most of the afternoon but it was cold. I didn’t go out but hung around the house all day.

      There are some other countries with special dishes and Asia has a lot of them. I can’t even remember the last time I was in a McDonald’s. When I was assistamt principal of the year for Massachusetts, all 50 of us from around the country were underwritten by McDonald’s who flew us to their corporate headquarters. It was an amazing weekend, and the awards dinner was wonderful. We each had a picture taken with Ronald McDonald!

      Enjoy the evening!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember reading about some interesting foods sold in Tokyo McD’s but I can’t remember now what they were. Pickled things and something along the lines of raw fish but weirder than the average sashimi. Not fugu, though. Imagine. Micky D’s fugu. o-O

    Up here the day is opposite of you. We started with grey skies and rain and now the sun is out but the wind is very brisk indeed. Makes it feel even colder than it should be. The peonies down by the swamp are up about 6 inches. The ones up near the drive are just peeking through. There’s chionodoxa all over the lawn and the forsythia down back are all in bloom. It’s like it all exploded over a few days.

    I’m avoiding grocery shopping but I must do it now as there is nothing in the larder except peanut butter and jelly but there is no bread for that.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryne,
      The foods in Asian McDonald’s are really the most interesting. Seeing them made me want to go just to eat in one. A couple are upscale restaurants and are popular for wedding parties.

      The sun came back and so did that wind you mentioned. My forsythia is beginning to bloom. I noticed it this morning.

      I know exactly that nothing to eat but hate to grocery shop feeling. It is cat food which finally drives me to the store.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    I had an idea those franchise stores had to adjust to the nations diet to succeed. But I’m glad I read what you found. I wonder what they serve in Russia? That’s a Micky D goldmine as they are now in 40 cities or more. Down here Five Guys have taken over just about everywhere. We now have one 10 mins from the house but before I go again I want to know if they serve that “pink slime”. I’ll have to say, we stopped buying hamburger since the ABC news story and our stores, except Wal-Mart, won’t disclose which beef has it. So we just don’t buy any. I’m making my favorite beef stew tomorrow but using sirloin instead of beef chips, a finer cut but worth it under the circumstances.

    • katry Says:

      The Boston news a bit back had a story which said that most grocery chains here would no longer sell hamburger with pink slime.

      There is no McDonald’s here in Dennis, only a Burger King. The Yarmouth francise owner tried to get into Dennis, but the limit the town had put on drive-up windows had been reached and what is a McDonald’s without a drive-up window?

  5. Bill S. Says:

    I had a seaweed burger in McD’s in Japan and it was delicious. I wonder what a McD’s in Ghana would serve??? As for pink slime, Peg always gets a chuck roast or bottom round roast ground for her at the grocery store, at no charge. That way we know what we are buying and eating.

    Tonite will be clear and very cold–maybe single digits. We covered most of the new plants coming up, but farmers around here are concerned about the apple buds after last week’s 80 degrees.

    • katry Says:

      That is so funny as I wondered the same thing when I was writing this morning. I figured they’d be yam or plaintain chips, a side of kontomire or red red and maybe a bush or goat burger.

      It is going to be in the 20’s here tonight. Thiis morning it was 48° amd now it is 39°. The wind is blowing really hard and has been all day.

      That’s a great idea for hamburger.

  6. Bob Says:

    I missed out on eating at Mickey Ds in Mainland China because I didn’t have a way to get around and I wanted to eat as much authentic Chinese food as I could. However, the first morning I was in Hong Kong I had a cup of coffee in the hotel and was charged seven US dollars. The following morning I went to the closest McDonald and ordered the regular coffee for about seventy-five US cents. I looked at the menu and it had exactly the same items as here in the US. I drank my coffee watching the locals scarf down egg McMuffins, pancakes with sausage, Big Macs and fries. Each McDonald store had a McCafe counter which sold overpriced and over calorie enfused cappuccino’s. I hate milk or sugar in my coffee so I don’t get cappuccino. The locals were also buying those at a rapid clip.

    When I was in Milan Italy the McDonalds on the main square near the ‘Duomo’, the big Cathedral, sold both wine and beer as did the Burger King around the corner. In Italy I didn’t waste my money or my appetite eating fast food.

    Today was another gorgeous clear day with light southerly winds and the high temperature in the mid eighties.

    • katry Says:

      West Africa had no McDonald’s in my day They may now in some countries but not in Ghana. I sort of wish they did as coffee is not big in Ghana; they sell only instant and in the north they still serve it with evaporated milk. You can’t find regular straight from the cow milk.

      I remember all the McDonald’s in Europe which I stayed away from as they served exactly the same menu as here. I can’t imagine eating fast foods when so many countries have such wonderful food of their own.

  7. Cuidado Says:

    In Australia there was a slice of beet, or as they call them beetroot, on the burgers at McDonalds. Not bad!

  8. MT C Says:

    You might enjoy the Mikey D’s here. Really friendly place, they smile as they take your money. On the menu is some local fare, some local sausage that I don’t much care for. Its not that its bad, its just I prefer the Egg McMuffin. One entry the boys really go for, and is on the local fast food menus also, is chicken pieces (with real skin and bone) spaghetti and rice in various combinations. With the exception of Wendy’s, just about every fast food joint in the US is here, somewhere, along with some from Korea and Japan. Interesting place, with English as its second language required in schools. All kinds of good food. AND a disguise is not necessary, but it would be appreciated.

    It is graduation week here in Baguio and I suspect it is throughout the Philippines. The oldest grandson is up for it today. Nobody knows who is to get the awards, nor what some of the rewards will be for. It is usually interesting and looked forward to by the parents. My daughter-in-law has made arrangements to entertain and feed her relatives in honor of her son’s graduation. I’ve been invited to take as many pictures as I like and that will keep me occupied I and my son are definitely in the minority, not disliked, shunned or treated badly, but relatives are relatives and they always seem to prefer those who share the jokes.


    • katry Says:

      Hi Carl,
      I’m now willing to give overseas McDonald’s a try but probably out of Europe. I want to go where the culture is really different and the McDonald’s food reflects that. I like the sound of yours!

      I hope you’ll be posting pictures of the graduation at MT C’s Place.

      I know exactly what you mean by getting the joke. As part of my Peace Corps training, I had to live with a Ghanaian family who spoke the language we were learning for three weeks. My “father” was a well-respected man in the town and every night people came and sat and talked with him in the living room. I was expected to be there for a short while. The people would look at me then speak to each other in Hausa then look back. I was always both uncomfortable and curious about what they might be saying.

      • MT C Says:

        Oh, yes. I’ve posted some pictures of the various parties we went to. Most of the folks here are very courteous and speak English in our presence. But I too am at times curious about what they say to each other. Their speaking tones are very soft and friendly in public but can become harsher in private when necessary. Their everyday street speech is something we don’t really hear much of in the States and it makes them seem really friendly and polite. Which is where most of the ‘friendly impression’ comes from with travelers.

        I’ve not posted may photos of Derick’s party yet. I’ve taken over 400 and of it and the ceremony which lasted over three hours and I think was at least 4 hrs too long. It takes time to go through them all and get some ready for posting. But I will get there and get his up too.

        Thursday, Walter’s brother-in-law has invited he and I to a rather large cock fight with lots of money involved. Its the second one I’ve been to, and I think I will wager something this time. If you pick the underdog you can win big. I know they are not popular in the States as it does seem a bit cruel. But I try not to be too judgmental when I’m on their home turf. Its been in their culture a very long time and it is really more than what you see in the ring. Hopefully they will let me take some photos this time.

        I have just about two more weeks of paradise and then its off to the sandbox. Haven’t heard back from the recruiter about the jobs I applied for. That could be good or bad. Walter checked with him the other day and said that they might offer me something else than what I applied for. We’ll see. I think I want to work, now that I’ve had nothing much to do for nearly two years. Not to get too involved and make a long time commitment, but enough to keep busy and live a little better. Which is always fun.


  9. katry Says:

    I’m sending hopes that you get a job you’ll love-nothing better than that.

    I don’t think I could watch a cock fight simply because I’m a sucker when it comes to animals, even chickens. When I lived in Ghana, I had to buy my chickens live. I never could kill one but I paid a man to do that for me, but I was great at plucking, a skill of little use here.

    Good luck!

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