Mobridge will be a change after three years in China
By Travis Svihovec
It wasn’t culture shock exactly, but it was certainly a change for Stephanie Humann when she moved to Mobridge from a city of 10 million in China.
“It’s very, very different than China,” she said.
Stephanie graduated from high school in Seattle, Wash., in 2006. She attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., and holds bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education and elementary education. In September, she’ll be the teacher at Zion Lutheran Preschool. She moved here on July 14.
Stephanie stepped out of college and into education by taking a job teaching English as a foreign language to elementary children in China. She did that for three years, the first year with sixth-graders, then with fourth-graders, then third-graders. A company called Friends of China helped with the arrangements.
“We got a crash course in Chinese and teaching,” Stephanie said. The language barrier wasn’t as difficult as some might expect. Public schools in China are required by law to teach students English by the time they are in third grade. Anyone 30 or younger, she said, speaks at least some English.
Stephanie is from a big family (3 brothers, 4 sisters) and missed the traditional Christmas gatherings while she was in China. It actually helped that there was no Christmas break in China as there is in the United States, because it helped her stay busy during that time. It was a good experience, she said.
“I met a lot of nice people. They’re incredibly hospitable,” she said. “They love foreigners, love to practice their English, and love our tall noses, white skin and light hair.”
Stephanie liked the people there too, and also learned to love Chinese food. She’d make it more often now, but it’s hard to find some of the ingredients for authentic Chinese food. She has a few slow cooker and oven meal recipes, but her strong suit is baking.
“I try,” she said. “I love baking desserts. Anything with chocolate in it I’ll attempt.”
Among her favorites are a knock-off of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and an old-fashioned standby of chocolate chip cookies. She’s learned from her mistakes along the way. She once used the wrong flour to make cookies, which ended up being thrown away in the woods near her family’s home in Washington.
“Some raccoons sniffed them and walked away. They wouldn’t eat them,” she said. “That’s so sad.”
In her free time Stephanie likes to read and enjoys a recreational game of softball, volleyball or basketball. She also learned how to play badminton while she was in China.
“It’s intense. They’re very serious about that and ping-pong,” she said.
Stephanie said the preschoolers at Zion this year will be presented with a lot of play-based learning. There will also be emphasis on literacy through books, labels and words placed around the room so the students gain familiarity with common words and phrases. She’s getting to know Mobridge and has made a few trips down Main Street. She’s also been to Klein Museum and the Senior Center.
“I’m excited to learn more about Mobridge and the area,” she said.
STEPHANIE HUMANN’S RECIPES
Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (2 sleeves ground to a fine crumb)
2 cups confections’ sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
Peanut Butter Bar Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
Combine first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well-combined and smooth. Spread evenly into a 9×13 baking dish.
Combine ingredients for the peanut butter bar chocolate topping in a medium glass bowl. Melt in the microwave for 1 minute at a time on 80 percent power. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. Spread on top of the peanut butter bar and place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and cut into individual bars. The size will depend on the number of bars you would like to serve (20-30 bars).
Hot Crab Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 Tbsp. milk (or substitute 1 Tbsp. white wine)
6 oz. canned crab, drained
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 Tbsp. seasoned salt
Mix cream cheese, milk, mayonnaise, horseradish, crab, onions, and salt. Place in a small casserole dish. Sprinkle paprika and almonds. Heat 15 to 20 minutes at 275 degrees or until hot.
Serve with crackers.
Jon and Mami’s Guacamole
2 avocados, smashed
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 red pepper, seeded and chopped
Mix first five ingredients. Squeeze juice from half lime and add salt to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips or on a hamburger.
Gong Bao Ji Ding
(Kung Pao Chicken)
1 carrot, cubed
1 cucumber, cubed
4 Tbsp. oil
1 chicken breast, cubed
Half cup peanuts, shelled and soaked in water (15 minutes)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Salt to taste
Chicken bouillon powder to taste
1 Tbsp. Kung Pao Stir-Fry Sauce (optional)
Heat oil in wok. Cook chicken until it is halfway done – remove chicken and set aside. Heat oil and add carrot, cucumber, and peanuts, stir fry for a couple of minutes
Add salt, chicken powder, and soy sauce – continue to stir fry.
Add a tablespoon of Kung Pao Chicken Stir-Fry Sauce and stir (optional).
Add the chicken and continue to stir fry until chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve over rice.
Note: add oil or water as necessary when stir frying. Once the meat is cooked all the way through the dish is done! Vegetables should be soft on the outside but have a little crunch on the inside.