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I'm a foreign student host, what do I cook?

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posted on May, 29 2013 @ 12:51 PM
If the title wasn't clear (hey, even I'm not that clear on what my current title is...), from Sunday, I will be hosting foreign students in my home for short periods of time while they go on courses and get a feel for England and practise their English speaking.

We will be hosting mainly European teens (and some Japanese), and I realised today that I'm pretty horrified by the typical 'English diet'.
We eat a lot of carb heavy stuff, chips, breads, pastas, and I REALLY don't want my students to go home after the 1/2/3+ weeks with us, thinking we're all carb magnets.

I've already heard the stereotype that English food is bland and stodgy and thinking about it.... they're right, and it makes me feel weird.

The handbook recommends pizza, salad and garlic bread for the first night (as they will want something familiar after a long travel), and every day the kids are lining up outside all the fish and chip shops, the kebab shops etc, and so fried food, chips, etc are already a pretty big part of their meals each day (they get food tokens from the language school, to pay for their lunch).

Though we don't fry any food at all (we don't own a deep fryer, and we rarely fry anything in a pan), our diet does often consist of some kind of starchy carb for our main evening meal. If they've already eaten a large (and somewhat disastrously unhealthy) lunch, I don't want to be providing another heavy meal in the evening.

However, they are guests in my home, and as such, we don't keep the same eating habits as them, ie: a small lunch, rather than a large cooked meal.

Most host families cook chicken nuggets and chips for their students, and I really don't want to follow suit, I want to at least make an effort (famous last words lol).

I know its not going to kill them if they eat two main meals a day (though they might go back 5lbs heavier), but I'm now uncomfortably aware at how boring our food is. Help me?!

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:09 PM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

British staple - watercress sandwiches

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by Bilk22

Psh! Don't be silly, everyone knows teens don't eat anything green

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:20 PM
Well a proper roast is going to kill one days worth of worrying

But doing proper stuff like pita breads with loads of salad and some well spiced lamb/pork etc to fill it out

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:20 PM
Just make something that is normally made(like at a family event), these students wants to try something out of the ordinary. What is normal and bland to you might be different for them.

And yeah, that means no Fast food either, hehe.

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

I'll share one of my favorite summer recipes. Fairly healthy, and very easy dish to make, unless the ingredients aren't in season yet.

Take some fresh zucchini/courgettes and cut them in half (length-wise). Spoon out the flesh and place it in a pot. Simmer with some olive oil/butter and add garlic, pepper, salt, basil, and whatever additional spices you may like.
Place the flesh back into the "shell." I like to add sliced/chunked tomato, some spinach and chicken breast (have used canned chicken with great results). Top it with some grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350F/177C for 20 or 25 minutes. Very flexible dish (can add or manipulate to fit your family's tastes), those not eating dairy or meat products, you can simply leave those two ingredients without drastically affecting the quality of the dish.

Hope this may help, or spark an idea.
edit on 29-5-2013 by FatherStacks because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:27 PM
You absolutely should fix the typical English meal. The kids are there to learn about England, so give it to them!

I loved my time in England and my hostess served the traditional English foods. I couldn't believe how big the breakfast meal was, and how late in the day she served the final meal. That was a wonderful experience.

Good for you for hosting exchange students. Good luck!

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

Because the kids are still school age, they have a timetable for school in the day and activities in the evening, though I do plan to do a cooked full English breakfast at least once for each booking, and we need to plan our meals to their times, not our own. So breakfast has to be between 7am and 8:30am, they have lunch out in the town, and dinner has to be between 5pm and 6pm.

I plan to offer a metric tonne of vegetables for them as a side, don't want them going home constipated, or breaking my toilet

(Though to be honest, who on earth would feel comfortable pooping in a strangers house for days, who you've never ever met, just landed on their doorstep. I can't even go in a public restroom let alone someone else's house!)
edit on 29-5-2013 by Lulzaroonie because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:49 PM
Well, if they're spanish, french or italian, no matter what the meal is, don't forget the bread....and not sliced white.. I live in spain, and I've seen them go ballistic if there's no bread.....

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:51 PM
reply to post by Flatcoat

What types of bread would you recommend?

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 01:57 PM
Well, I suppose you'd call it french know the stereotypical long loaf...nothing fancy, just sliced in a basket on the table before the meal....sometimes they like to splash a little olive oil on it as well.

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 02:02 PM
I've never been to England, but I recommend serving what you typically serve...and then, after a few days, ask if they have any special requests for meals. You can find recipes for anything on the net. You may be surprised to find that they are perfectly happy with English food.

If I were to go to Mexico, I wouldn't want a hamburger. If I went to England, I wouldn't expect a chili dog. Food is part of the experience.

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

fish and chips? beef wellington? thats what u guys eat right?

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 02:51 PM

Originally posted by Lulzaroonie
reply to post by Bilk22

Psh! Don't be silly, everyone knows teens don't eat anything green

Then it has to be bangers and mash

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 08:15 PM
Bangers beans and mash

and probably lots of it

edit on 29-5-2013 by stirling because: (no reason given)

a shiite bilk beat me....

edit on 29-5-2013 by stirling because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 09:09 PM
I cook a lot of Japanese food. I lived there for three years .
I could give you some recipes to make your Japanese students feel at home.
Miso soup with breakfast is completely normal to them .
Their breakfast seems like our lunch .
Miso soup ,then eggs and a salad ,or I sometimes do edamame .

I make it myself when I'm homesick for Japan . Problem would be getting the ingredients .
Japanese scrambled eggs are not like how we do it ,but they won't complain . They eat them boiled,scrambled ,up .

I also think general English food is a good idea ,but you could do one meal Japanese once a week or something .
Up to you .

For British ,god I love a good bacon buddie .
I'm American btw . I make all kinds of stuff at home .

edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 31 2013 @ 03:56 AM
Do what others have said - serve traditional English foods then ask the kids if they had a preference.

Back in HS, there was this Spanish exchange student... But he was from Spain and not the stereotypical Latin America. His host cooked him tacos on his first night...he had no idea what it was. The host explained to him the taco and it being a 'Spanish' dish...the host realized her error after the explanation. But it did hold true to it being an American dish. They had 'normal' food after that.

The exchange student was offended, but never told his could she mix him up with a bunch of poor half breeds.... His words, not mine.

He then explained the churches in Spain... They had a side for the 'normal' rich people.... And a side for the poor class folk.

So....cook what you want to eat. Those kids will hold judgment regardless of what you do. Ask them what they want if you want brownie points.


posted on May, 31 2013 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

My family hosted Japanese and Spanish students for several years. The Spanish kids were easier to cater for as European foods are sold in most supermarkets now other than pizza, and most do some lovely Japanese food including undon noodles, miso soup and even catsu curry, which is almost like chip shop/Chinese curry sauce.
The Japanese kids tended to be more independent after a few weeks here.
Depending on the student, most Japanese kids had food parcels sent out and loved sharing their cuisine.

Try adding a raw egg over hot boiled rice and mix then eat, that's one of the Japanese breakfasts!!

edit on 31-5-2013 by Kurokage because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2013 @ 03:29 PM
Shepherd's Pie
Bangers & Mash
Fish & Chips

These are probably the most acceptable British dishes to most cultures...I know I could eat any of these quite happily...

posted on Jun, 10 2013 @ 03:39 PM
Weetabix for breakfast, beans on toast for lunch, cottage/Shepheards pie for dinner. Spotted dick for desert.

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