HIIIII!!!!!!! Hello, world! Hello, friendskies!
Russia thought she had me good, with these silly Internet limitations, unusual living situations, and all that jazz. She thought she could stop me from blogging. She thought she could dominate the Sarah.
Oho, no. Oh, nyet. It’s time I fight back. Take that, Russia! You can’t stop me! Because I’m Sarah, and I do what I want!
….How’s that for a triumphant return?!?!
No, it’s the truth folks. I was seriously missing blogging, and feeling a bit a-jumbled without it! So, I took action. I talked to the boss-man (with whom I am still living….) and we worked out how it will be okay for me to blog and all. So here I am. Hurrah!
To be honest, I haven’t really taken very many pictures in the past 2-3 weeks, but we’ll start small, no? Soon enough I will be back into the swing of things, I am sure. But! Until then, let me show you some things I ate a lonnnng time ago. They’re pretty, though!
Let’s see, let’s see…
Miss Heather and I one day had a fabulous “date” after our training program. We walked by a little bakery-cafe, and realized THIS was where we had to be. It was so cute and un-Russian inside! Look at all those beautiful baked goods!
We couldn’t decide what to get, there were so many tasty-looking treats. After much debate, we ordered:
I enjoyed a good-quality latte (as opposed to that instant “coffee” that is served most places) and a roll with what was something like blueberries and creme fraiche under a crumble-cover. It was ochen, ochen tasty.
After we walked around a bit, I decided that I was craving soup (as I am wont to do, I suppose) so we went into our neighborhood Yolki-Palki for a bit more to eat.
Of course, I chose pumpkin soup. It is fall, after all!
We also ordered what we expected to be like mozzarella sticks, but ended up being closer to fried cheese cubes served with duck sauce (?). Not what we thought we were getting, but still palatable.
And when we were leaving, we noticed a strange scene:
…Right…. Just, you know, some stuffed ducks (geese?). They get really into themes, here, I think. Yolki-Palki is like the Ukrainian version of Olive Garden, as far as I can tell. Whatever, the ducks/geese were weird.
I also have discovered a great snack. Cottage cheese plus fruit preserves! I know, I know, I could do this myself. But when I eat these, I pretend they are Fage twin pots instead. Maybe that is pathetic, but whatever. They make me happy, stupid cat and all!
This little baby has 5% fat. Oi. But, basically, no-fat and low-fat do not exist as concepts here. You either eat fat, or you eat fat. And that’s that. In some ways, I can appreciate this–not all of the food is weird frankenfood like we have in the U.S. to stop ourselves from eating 2 more grams of fat. I definitely have more fat in my diet right now, which I don’t think is that bad… But on the other hand, everything is really rich and heavy, and my tummy fills up quick!
On our last day of teacher-training, all the teachers-to-be and the other staff went out to a pub for a few brews. I hadn’t yet eaten (I had to practice teach until 9:15 on our last day!), I loaded up a huuuuge plate. This was definitely a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach!
I got a tray full of:
- salad (I think maybe cucumbers, peppers, and cabbage in oil??)
- grilled veggie mix
- 1/2 a pretzel
I did what I could, but I couldn’t quite finish the veggies or the schnitzel, if memory serves me right. But who knows, because the rest of the night seems kind of hazy now… I’m going to blame it on the time lapse, and not the number of beers I drank
I DO remember that Heather and I were dubbed “The Pie Girls” after word of our pie-baking escapades got out. See, other teachers from our company have developed a scheme to open pie shoppes in Russia called “All Right Pies!” I think that Heather and I have jobs should this teaching English thing fall through. What a weird crew, no? Anywhoodle, I will have a new pie update for you soon!
The night after that was my last night in Moscow, before moving to the city where my teaching post it, Domodedovo. I was feeling funk physically and down mentally. There was really just one thing that could cheer me up: Georgian food. You see, Georgia has one of the (if not the) tastiest cuisines in the world. Everything is very flavorful, and ingredients like pomegranate, walnuts, lemon, plums, garlic, and spices are in many dishes. It is seriously so, so good. Here, in Russia, Georgian food is ubiquitous, sort of like how it is never a problem to find a Mexican restaurant in the US. So, it was just a matter of us finding an inexpensive reasonably close Georgian restaurant. I did a little online research and found what was rumored to be a very tasty and moderately priced Georgian place about 2 metro stops away. When I met Heather at Barrikadnaya (a neighborhood/metro stop), we wandered around looking for this little place on Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Ulitsa (which means “Big Georgian Street”–what I figured was a good sign!). We wandered and wandered and wandered, but couldn’t find this restaurant. We finally went into a cafe where the restaurant was supposed to be located to ask if anyone knew where we should go… No one knew! The closest that the unusually helpful cafe man could tell us was to go to Shesh-Besh, a chain restaurant that specializes in Caucasian food (I would compare this, also, to Olive Garden!). Desperate for my beloved kharcho, we decided to bite the bullet and go to Shesh-Besh instead. Oh, well.
We started with some warm bread:
A few posts ago, I asked what everyone’s favorite soup was. I said mine might be borsch or black bean, but those were LIES (plus, who am I kidding? There’s not a chance I could pick one favorite soup. If you call it soup, I will love it). I don’t know how on earth I could have forgotten kharcho! It is a really flavorful soup made out of a tomato base, with rich chunks of meat and rice. It is made with pomegranate juice and ground walnuts, and is just a bit spicy-hot. Basically, it is super-delicious. Times a million. If you are interested in trying this culinary delight, a decent recipe can be found here. (I use this and another recipe sort of blended together when I make this myself. I change the ingredient proportions a bit, and tweak here and there, but this gives you the picture. And is easier than many other recipes!)
For our entrees, we decided to split the lyulya kebab (ground, spiced chicken roasted on a skewer, served with onions, pomegranate seeds, herbs, and a spicy tomato sauce, to be wrapped in flat lavash) and the grilled vegetable plate (pepper, tomato, eggplant).
It was a pretty good meal, and okay for the price. It wasn’t totally Georgian though–I will have to eat out again to show you better (oh, the things I do for you guys!)…
Again, the next day I moved from Moscow to Domodedovo, which more or less turned my life upside down, again. But I am working on getting it right-side up! Another post coming soon, I promise.
Until then, a few q’s for you:
What’s the most exciting thing I have missed?!? What is the best thing that’s happened to you in October? For me–I moved, I started “real teaching” and have been speaking more Russian. Right now life is a bit mundane, but I think it is because I am still settling in…
What is your favorite herb or spice to use? I couldn’t live without red pepper flakes/cayenne and cinnamon. I brought my own supply to Russia! For fresh herbs, I really like basil and rosemary best, I think. Dill, which is everywhere here, is growing on me considerably….
Oh, and another triumphant return? Another fabulous Sarah! But you probably all already know this, right? (Gimme a break if I’m slow on the uptake–I live like, a million time zones away, k?)