Saturday, December 24, 2011
My first impression of Sochi (other than the gorgeous mountain range and coastal views as we came in for the landing) was that it reminds me a lot of San Diego. In fact, the temperature was the same in both places yesterday, about 11C.
After a lazy afternoon in the hotel (comprised of watching hip hop music videos and napping) and early bedtime, we awoke early and exchanged Christmas gifts, then went down for a leisurely breakfast. Now we're off to find the sauna/pool/etc and then walk around Sochi, looking for Christmasy photo ops.
Merry Christmas, internet :)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The difference is that now it's been in the negatives a couple of days in a row, and the forecast says more of the same is ahead. Thank god. I'm tired of the rivers and lakes of mud slush covering the streets I walk to work on.
The downside of snow is that it's kind of a gamble. Sometimes snow can be so peaceful and beautiful to walk in, other times it can feel a lot like tiny pieces of ice pelting your face (depending on temperature and wind). So we'll see how it goes today.
In other news, I usually dislike Christmas music, but I have listened to this song every day since I found it:
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
- Sound only travels in a downward direction.
- Things (all things) become more vulnerable to destruction upon crossing Russian borders. If they are made in Russia, they are inherently less durable than their foreign (yes, even Chinese) counterparts. Especially products containing glass.
- Washing machines in Russia (not necessarily Russian washing machines) have a strange habit of discoloring all clothes. Even when they are all the same color.
- Those same washing machines also have a penchant for deconstructing clothes.
- Russian books age faster than their Western counterparts.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
- All Russians own an electric drill, and use it frequently.
- All Russian teenagers own a Tamagotchi
- Russians, like Americans, love Apple products. The difference is that they are apparently willing to pay (even more) outrageous prices than we do in the states.
Friday, December 2, 2011
In culture news: Tomorrow night I will escort Polly to the ballet, a production of La Sylphide at the Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow.
In political news: Russian legislative elections will be held on Sunday, December 4th, which seems like a strange day for an election.
In teaching news: Approximately 10 days ago, an 8 year old girl wrapped her little arms around me and proclaimed me her "true mother."
In sports news: last Sunday afternoon, Polly and I stopped during a walk through the park to watch a group of middle-aged, slightly overweight men play soccer. The full report can be found here.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Last year we went all out. This year, the only reason any kind of Thanksgiving dinner will take place is because of my roommate's enthusiasm (and fortuitous day off). That said, it's contagious and has gotten me involved in the preparations (also the fact that the boyfriend will be eating it and I don't want my roommate to eff anything up).
I am thankful for:
- the awesome friends i've made here, especially polly
- the boyfriend, who i simply adore
- my parents
- my health
- and about a million other big and little things
Monday, November 14, 2011
Another time I was there, I couldn't help but notice a lock on the bathroom door. Actually, two locks. One on each side of the door. When I pointed this out to Polly, she exclaimed, "Who is mature enough not to lock people in the bathroom all of the time?!?!" An excellent question. Certainly neither of us.
- mango salsa
- cilantro and lime rice
- beans and corn
- fajita-style onion and peppers
- raw peppers
- cheese and sour cream (ok, we bought these at the store...)
- and, of course, homemade tortillas
Also in foodnews: a gift from a student. I made sure to include something that might be of a recognizable size in order to offer some kind of scale. On the left we see marinated cucumbers and tomatoes with garlic. On the right, an even larger jar of some kind of juice, the explanation of which thoroughly confused me (it's apparently cooked). The generosity of Russians never ceases to bring a smile to my face. And I mean that 100% sincerely.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
- The preferred food of adult Russian men is meat and potatoes
- The preferred food of Russian teenagers is pizza
- Sushi is available in every single restaurant in Moscow (or the Moscow region)
- Pescetarianism is to Russia what raw veganism is to America
- All Russians love cabbage and dill
Monday, November 7, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Quick. Name the first 10 vegetables that come to mind. If you answered: potato, corn, beetroot, carrots, chard, lettuce, carrots, onion, broccoli, peas, beans, cauliflower, then congratulations, you have not been so severely mislead as I have. Or you are a botanist.
You see, since I've arrived in Russia (just a time marker, really), I have slowly been learning that many things I once regarded as vegetables are simply not so. Eggplant? Fruit. Cucumbers? Fruit. Peppers? Fruit. Okra? Fruit. Zucchini? Fruit (technically, the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower)
As if the shattering of my lifelong vegetable paradigm wasn't enough, I've also been surprised to learn that many things I once believed to be simple fruits (and occasionally vegetables) are actually berries. Eggplant? Berry. Though “eggberry” is a decidedly less appetizing name. Watermelon? Berry. Tomato? Berry. Pumpkin? Berry. Banana?!?!?! BERRY.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Also, next weekend is Halloween. Actually, not quite, but there will be a Halloween party, and that's really the most important thing.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Add the garlic, about half of the scented oil, and the salt to the yeast sponge and mix. Then start adding the flour. If you have experience making bread, you'll know that it's impossible to be very exact in terms of measurements. I add flour until I can knead without the dough sticking to everything. Once I was able to knead the bread, I chopped up my blue cheese (I suggest no less than 250 grams to start) and kneaded it into the dough. Once I felt it was more or less distributed (and the dough'd had enough) I rolled it into a ball, coated it with some (not all) of the remaining scented oil, and let it rise for about an hour. I always throw things in the oven to rise, either on the lowest possible heat setting (no more than 100 degrees fahrenheit) or off entirely (for the draft-free environment).
The finished product was very tasty and had a convincing bread consistency, although I will absolutely use way more blue cheese next time (I think I used about 100 grams in this loaf, and it was nowhere near enough).