Cheddar Cheese

Before moving to Central Asia, I thought that cheddar was a staple everywhere. I mean, every recipe calls for it, right? I have since discovered that it does not typically exist anywhere outside of America, but out of the blue and seven months into living here… we found it at a local supermarket. Out of fear it might not exist again, we bought a whole brick, and wIMG_3028hen I say whole brick, I mean like 5 pounds. Thankfully, cheese freezes well.

As far as taste, it certainly isn’t a well-aged sharp cheddar, and yet… it is still cheddar which makes today the best day ever.

Lesson Learned: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone.


Signs of Summer

Yes, it is still the beginning of May, but since Spring started at the end of February, it is starting to feel like summer already. We have had a few 90 degree days, but I know it is only bound to get hotter. Before it gets too hot, we are enjoying lots of strawberries, sitting outside  under umbrellas and drinking fancy lemonades.

Since strawberries are seasonal, we are buying, eating and preserving as many as we can. In addition to eating them with pancakes and yogurt, I have made strawberry muffins, cake, smoothies, and (Benjamin’s favorite) cookies. The cookies were a surprising hit with our language teacher who tries to eat healthy. With no refined sugars and plenty of oats, we have been eating these cookies for breakfast. Here is the recipe if you are interested: Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies.

In other news, I have been on a Mexican kick this week making beef barbacoa and chicken enchiladas with Spanish rice. I thought getting my Mexican fix would be a laborious process since some of the essential ingredients are not accessible. Fortunately, a local woman has learned to make flour tortillas and sells them at a great price. Also, I brought a lot of spices with me which allows me to make enchilada sauce from scratch. Both turned out great, so if you want those recipes, here they are: Beef Barbacoa and Chicken Enchiladas.

Lesson Learned: Maybe I shouldn’t make really spicy food when it gets hot out.

Ups and Downs

We woke up Monday morning to find out that the hot water had been shut off to our building and so this meant I skipped a shower on Monday. When Tuesday morning rolled around and we still had no hot water, I felt skipping another shower would be counterproductive for building relationships, and so I bravely faced the inevitable. I quickly realized it was worse than I had anticipated because not having hot water doesn’t mean you get lukewarm but rather ice cold water. I cannot remember taking a colder shower, and I shivered for quite awhile after. While we were hoping this would only last for a few days, it finally ended a week later.


On the other hand, the spring brings fresh fruits, flowers and bicycles for rent. After work and class were over for the day on Tuesday, Benjamin and I tried to end on a good note by enjoying the beautiful weather and getting in some good exercise.

Lesson Learned: A cold shower doesn’t have to determine the outcome of the day.