Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spatula, or Turner?

My parents have a long-running debate about what this particular thing is called (the third item):

 My mom, like most people, calls it a spatula. My dad however insists that it is a turner, because how else would you differentiate it from those rubber things that you scrape cake batter out of bowls with? I recalled this issue in English class on Tuesday night as we were teaching the ladies the names of kitchen things. (Side-note: There are so many types of things and so many names, sometimes it is hard to remember them all! It is definitely a team effort getting all of the right names matched with the correct items.) This is often how our table looks during English class. Sometimes it is full of animal toys, fruit and vegetable toys, pictures of emotions, etc. This day it was full of kitchen stuff.

We happened upon the metal spatula in the middle, and I comically told everyone (including the Americans) how my dad calls it a turner. They had never heard of such a thing and thought it was funny. Seeing the logic in his reasoning, I determined to look it up right then. I happened upon the first picture above on the Calphalon website, and accompanying it was the following description: 

As "pasta fork" was one of the other items in question, I was able to kill two birds with one stone and feel pretty good about my random knowledge of misc kitchen items! In conclusion, I may not stop calling turners spatulas, but at the very least I will no longer give my dad a hard time for categorizing it correctly. You do have to wonder though, how did he even know that? I suppose that given the few things that he knows how to cook (pancakes, eggs, grilled meat, and quesadillas) it is probably his general instrument of choice, and maybe somewhere along the line he learned from another correctly informed person. Anyway, good job Dad. Keep up the good cooking. 

What have we been up to recently?

Good question! I am so glad you asked =). Besides working at the community center and language learning, here are some things that we have been up to recently:

Shopping at the market. I wish I could just take some really good pictures of the market, but I feel like it would be awkward and I have even heard it is a little illegal. So I just told Ronnie to take a picture of me in the market - much less awkward, right??

Last week in our advanced English class, we read the first chapter of a book that many of you are probably familiar with. Can you guess what book that was? If you can, I take full credit for the drawings.

Eating really small bananas.

We are trying to start back up exercising/jogging. My heart is loving it. Don't be too impressed by my 3 minute 1/4 miles though, it takes practice. =P

We got our visas! YAY!

We have also played this game (a gift from the Kridners) a few times recently. I (Jessica) have been dominating, possibly by skill, possibly by Ronnie's choice. However, either way I think we all know it is to everyone's advantage this way.

In other news, today we learned our first tongue twister in the local language! Translated it basically means, "Does this yogurt have garlic in it, or does it not have garlic in it?" But you should know it sounds much more interesting and impressive untranslated =).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Big 100

This is my 100th blog post! I can't believe it, but I suppose that over the few years that I have had this blog, that actually isn't very much blogging =). I wanted to make it an especially good post, but I was getting nervous from all of the pressure I was putting on myself, so it is just going to be a normal ol' post. Fortunately, it is one with lots and lots of pictures, so enjoy!

Today, we took an adventure to celebrate a friend's birthday! We went to... well I don't know exactly how to describe it except that there were lots of animals - some in cages and some not. It was like half zoo, half petting zoo. And since it was a slightly freezing, dreary day, we and our friends were practically the only ones there. There was a funny little mix of animals, including many random albino ones. Among my favorites were the Saint Bernard puppy chasing us around everywhere, seeing a peacock strut his stuff, two monkeys, baby chicks hiding under a hen, a baby wallabee peeking his head out of his mom's pouch, mountain goats, and a deer family (as well as the camel behind them). Oh and I unfortunately didn't bring my good camera, so all of the pics are iphone pics. I was bummed about this but still very thankful for my phone.

Ready to go!

A peacock by a windmill, and a nice little donkey. I don't know if it was the same one that was begging from us during lunch, but if it was we named him Methuselah.

Our epic breakfast buffet. Look at that spread (mostly cheese)!

Oh you know, just turkeys and monkeys. 

 Had to make sure we got in some of the pics. I am with yaks, and Ron with an ostrich. 
(He was afraid to get too close, but so was I)

This pig pen gave me a whole new perspective to the Prodigal Son story... no thank you! 

Swan lake - literally. Also, the cutest couple of young cows that wouldn't let me touch them =(. 

We got pretty muddy. 

My all-time favorite! The wallabee in the back had a baby in that pouch, and I got a glimpse of him sticking his little head out! Oh and that is an albino wallabee...

We attempted to play volleyball on this "sand court", which was really a mud-pit!

Llamas! This is for you Mom!

We ended the day with a bbq lunch which we did ourselves (so fun!), and a diet coke or "coke light" for me of course. It was a big square picnic table with a bbq in the middle of it. So neat, and very practical since we were kind of freezing outside!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Girls' Night!

Last night, in honor of Valentine's Day, some girlfriends and I had a GNI (girls' night in). We had invited some local friends, none of which were able to make it, but we were determined to have fun and eat good food anyways. I made sure that I came prepared with my heart socks and heart shirt. I have to brag on the spread, since they put so much time and thought into it...

The meal: Domino's pizza, spinach and artichoke dip, chips, hummus, carrots, fruit salad

The drinks: sodas, hot Russian tea/cider, and sprite with strawberry-lemonade ice cubes

The desserts: fruit pizza (cookie, cool whip, strawberries), cupcakes, and rolo pretzels

The events of the night consisted of a game of Disney Scene-it, fishbowl (using the names of romantic movie titles), and Pride and Prejudice. It was a perfectly girly evening and a great excuse to fill up on chocolate. I am so grateful for my friends here and the good times we create together!

Out and About

There is a pretty big mosque in town that we had yet to visit until last weekend. Even though it was a pretty dreary, rainy day, it was an educational experience...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Waffle Date!

We went on a special date/trip to a part of town where we could get some delicious made-to-order waffles. There happened to be a little jewelry/trinket market nearby and I bought one of these necklace pocket-watches that I have been wanting forever! Eek!!!

We walked up to a crowd of people and wondered what they were all looking at...

It happened to be a guy selling blown glass stuff and he was blowing it right there at the table! It was sooo cool.

Then we headed over to the waffle bar to get our made-to-order waffles. We could have our pick of spreads (dark chocolate, white chocolate, nutella, banana, pistachio, strawberry, carmel), fruit (pineapple, strawberry, kiwi, or banana) and toppings (nuts, chocolate chips, and other random candy and candied fruits). They fold the waffle, stick it in a foil wrapper, and hand it to you. It was seriously one of the most delicious things ever! Ronnie was a big fan.

We took a quick picture by the water...

 And then this happened to the sky! God is good...