The staff at the University of Rhode Island opened their kitchens this month and received delicious You Cai, Pork Rib, Mjadra, Tabbouli, and Khaliat Nahal in return. Chinese cooking has been part of Program Coordinator Dan Carniaux’s calendar for a few weeks now; two generous students have helped add culinary expertise to his accomplished Chinese language ability.
Gathered around a stove, they steamed, braised, and sautéed their way to a reward a few hours later of eggplant, pork, and greens.
Making Middle Eastern food in her home on another night, Director Kimberly Sizelove rolled up her sleeves and used flour-powdered arms to knead Honeycomb Bread. A student was her instructor. After kneading, they turned the 14 small dough balls into a single round sheet of glazed sweetness. The rest of the meal was Tabbouli and Mjadra, lentils and rice, made with his mom’s touch of cayenne and tomato sauce and side of macaroni. Digging in and pronouncing it a success, the student played with the dog Skip and the whole family watched the Olympics. This student will finish A.C.E.’s final Level 6 this session, but the Sizeloves will see more of him as he matriculates to full-time study at the URI this fall.
The delicious activity indoors is met with summery activity outdoors. Kimberly, husband Adrian Van Alphen, Je Young Lee from Korea, and Chi Chi Zhang and Chuanxin Zhu from China (who also go by Walter and Norman) found their balance in kayaks two days later on Saturday and took a morning tour of Wickford Harbor. Launched, they immediately met an exciting obstacle: paddling under a bridge at high tide meant careful maneuvering to avoid hitting their heads. Clearing it and reaching the “boat channel,” Instructor Ryan explained some rules of the water. Kayaks have no right-of-way, like bicycles, and to watch for yachts and fishing boats.
The group was doubled-up except for Adrian, and at a mid-trip break on the beach, Walter asked in his politest voice if he could pilot the single.
Adrian could only smilingly acquiesce. Until they landed Walter had the time of his life and was, in Kimberly’s words, a “demon on water.”
In Wickford, the group had a stroll, a snack, and a drink. As they returned to Kingston, they were glad they had their kayak adventure in the morning. The temperature ratcheted up and the typical summer day met its Rhode Island promise of hot and humid.