Monday, October 24, 2011

One potato, two potato, three potato, four...

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)


While it's less surprising to hear that tomatoes are a fruit, a 1893 Supreme Court case unanimously ruled the tomato is a vegetable. For taxation purposes only, as they recognized that tomatoes are botanically a fruit, thus furthering the belief that anything can be a vegetable if you want to tax it badly enough.


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.

et tu??!

In summary:


Sunday, October 23, 2011


My weekend mostly involved photobombing the recently arrived Polly. I gave her Friday night to rest, but Saturday and Sunday we hung out, doing the usual things (though I'm not entirely sure what that means).

Classic Polly

Reunited, with colored wood chips and Lenin. Just how it should be.

"can i stop pretending to take a picture now?"

Polly looking adorable

What is it with russia and its terrifying public toilets/deathtraps?

I'm also recently finding joy in the ability to buy things on the street (wool socks) and in underground passageways (headband, featured above).

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

Cookies, boats, tunamac, cookies...

I've found it difficult to write much, as my life is devoid of anything particularly noteworthy.

Sometimes I bake cookies. These are the same lemon butter cookies from the previous blog post... only a better picture.

yet they still only look a fraction as tasty as they are

LL had its annual Moscow River boat party a few weekends ago, which I was ridiculously excited about. Alas, I largely neglected to take photos in the same manner as last year, though I did feel the urge to snap a picture as my new roommate (on the left) approached and said he was definitely not going to remember most of the party. Later he admitted he had been shotgunning beers in secret on the side of the boat. A real class act, this one...

the marker of a good time?

An acquaintance-turned-friend has visited me a few times this year already, a girl named Sara. She is also an American, and in her last visit gave a thumbs-up approval of our tunamac before it went into the oven...

anything that looks like this can't not be good, right?


And finally: more cookies. These are snickerdoodles, made from this recipe, but I substituted 2 tsp white vinegar for the cream of tartar. The end result was a wonderfully soft, chewy cookie. I love snickerdoodles, if only for the name...

...that's not true, only 50% of my love is due to the name

In conclusion: my life is not interesting.

OH! Although, I did receive a text from Polly today, who is back in the Moscow region. The second great reunion of 2011 will happen tomorrow!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When life (or illness) gives you lemons...

Make lemon cookies, because it's Russia and Autumn and definitely too cold for lemonade. I found this recipe, and on my unexpected (though welcome) break, came home and tried them out because... well, justification is never really needed for cookies, but I'll say that I'm trying to keep things culinarily interesting for the elusive Russian Boyfriend (not hard, since when I asked what he wanted for dinner and said I didn't have a lot of time, his suggestion was hard boiled eggs. At least the bar is low).

It turns out they are no less delicious than they sound/look (granted, the low quality webcam photo doesn't do them a lot of justice).

In other news, I'm working a lot, and consequently tired a lot. It's not all bad, since I basically have three day weekends.