How to teach a Chinese maid to cook Western food: write a cookbook

Page 120 of Cuisine Mei Wenti is slightly faded and daubed with grease stains. That’s because Zhang Ting, my full-time maid, or ayi, in Beijing, has been using it once a week for the past three years to cook French Brittany crêpes for my family.

She prefers to have the cookbook in front of her, even though she has already mastered the recipe for the crêpes and makes our family happy every week with her tall piles of the thin, golden treats.

Cuisine Mei Wenti – or “Cuisine no problem” – by…

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