Strawberry Fields Forever

January 11th, 2015

It is finally strawberry season in Taiwan! One thing I definitely took for granted in the US was being able to buy any produce I wanted whenever I wanted it. In Taiwan the produce is on a seasonal rotation. You have no idea how excited I am for avocado season. Anyways, in order to get my strawberry fix I asked my co-workers where they went. They told me that they went all the way to Maoli to pick strawberries, and that they would suggest I just scooter there instead of take the bus. Now when I heard Steve say Maoli I heard Houli, which is the district right next to Fengyuan. Perfect! It is close and I wouldn’t have to travel far. After Googling strawberry fields in Houli I found one called JiaJia. It was easy to get to, so I invited Kristen and Caitlin to come along on my little strawberry adventure. We drove to the Google destination and were surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. We saw small patches of some sort of vegetation, but that was about it. I was really disappointed, but it was a beautiful day so we decided that we could just keep driving and see what we could find. We stopped for gas before we kept driving and I asked the gas station guy if he could speak English. He could and after inquiring about strawberries he informed me that they were down the road. We drove not to far down the road and found a decent sized strawberry patch. Through rough translation we were informed that we could pick the strawberries and then pay for them. I went on a strawberry frenzy and picked away. By the end of the row I had almost a full basket without even noticing how much I had been picking. After taking pictures and walking around a bit we went to pay for our strawberries. My total came to 350NT (11USD)! Although I was not planning on spending that much on strawberries it was worth every penny because they were delicious.

We drove back to Fengyuan and departed ways. Kristen and I met up again at a coffee shop where I blogged and she read her book. Then we departed ways again. I decided to go on an errand run again and get all the things I wanted. It was finally time to start cooking at home and plugged my fridge in for good.

First stop I made was at a shop in town called Espresso. An old Taiwanese man runs the place. He sells coffee from all around the world and he also makes coffee in the shop. He roasts the beans and will grind them for you too upon request. I picked out the beans I wanted, some coffee beans from Africa, and paid for them. 500NT (15USD) for two bags. The coffee isn’t that bad and now I can make coffee at home.

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Getting my coffee beans ground

Getting my coffee beans ground

I then went to Carrefour to buy more cooking and baking supplies. Then I went to an Everything store to pick-up more supplies that I couldn’t find at Carrefour, and also a table to cook on. The table was 615NT (20.5USD), but after just one week of having it I am glad I bought it. Now I have been able to cook and bake with ease thanks to my shelf and table set-up.

IMG_0659Although it may seem a little bit more expensive to cook at home the benefits of eating food that is better for me has outweighed the costs. Let the baking and cooking adventures begin!