December 30, 2010

What is it?

Answer coming soon. You know where to comment in the meantime.

December 22, 2010

Wednesday, from Anthony's cell phone

9:05am, near our house



11:20am, cooking hot dogs

11:22am, waiting for lunch

11:39am, lunch almost finished



6:25pm, waiting for dinner




9:14pm, home



December 14, 2010

Kari Ikan Makcik (Auntie's Fish Curry)

I thought about typing out the actual recipe on this blog, but decided it was too late (almost midnight!) to type it all out. However, if there are significant numbers of requests in the comments (like two maybe) I will be happy to post it.
Here is the story however... this is Auntie's kitchen. She's actually got quite the set-up as far as kitchens go. Her house is probably the nicest on our street though, so it didn't surprise me.
Part of the recipe calls for coconut liquid (not milk I don't think because I think that's just straight out of the coconut) The liquid here I'm talking about is gotten by pouring water over the coconut shavings. Here's Makcik (Maa-cheek) grinding out the coconut flesh on her special coconut grinding machine. The girl in pink is her house helper...who had just cut the fresh coconut open with a machete about 4 minutes before this. 
 Here's her rinsing (then squeezing) the coconut shavings. You can get the coconut liquid from a box at any import store...but like most things, the fresher the better!
 Speaking of fresh. She bought the fish from the Chinese guy who drives by everyday on his motorcycle selling fresh fish and vegetables. Every bit goes into the curry. This fish was really good... I have no idea the English name for it, but it's Ikan Bawal (Bawal fish).  Also, before you (in America) get grossed out by the thought of fish in your curry- maybe you already are?- I realized after cooking this with Makcik that "fish" or "chicken" or whatever other kind of curry isn't really all that different- at least not how she did it.  The curry was all made, then the fish put in at the end to cook in the pot. So it could have easily been chicken or lamb and it didn't really change the flavor of the curry at all.
 Here's the curry (before the vegetables and fish added). It's quite easy to make really...though Makcik owned a restaurant for 20 years, so watching her do it was a bit like watching a prima ballerina dance... she made it look easy.
 My throat was hurting pretty bad that day and as much as I'm just kind of take-it-or-leave-it on my feelings toward curry in general, when Makcik asked me to taste test it, the tiny little spoonful I got ran down my throat like warm powerful medicine.  Think vegetable soup times a thousand. It burned a bit because curry is spicy, but at the same time it felt amazing. Maybe it was numbed, I have no clue, only it worked.
Anthony was home watching the boys (who were both napping during the curry making) so Makcik loaded up the "mangkuk tingkat" or the stacked bowls with all the fresh food she had just made. She of course made fried chicken, rice, and an eggplant dish all while making the curry. So I had to take it down the lane to Anthony, then return to her house to eat our fresh meal together.
The curry is the bowl directly under Anthony's elbow. I saved what he didn't eat of it and ate about 8 spoonfuls like a soup the next day (you're supposed to eat it with rice). What was left of my sore throat went away after eating it. So. I can't say I'll be making curry all too often, but I do know what I'll make when I get a sore throat!

December 11, 2010

A simple woman's daybook...

...I am simply copying this idea from a blog friend... thought it could give me (and you) some insight and a picture of what's going on right now in my little part of the end of the earth...

Outside my window... It's dark. Saturday is done. There are crickets chirping. I can hear them because we have slatted(?) windows and they don't reaally shut.

I am thinking... that I only have 6 months to accomplish a lot in my language learning. So why am I on the computer? When I'm done with this post, I'm going to do something that increases my language ability a little. Maybe review some cooking terms.

I am thankful for... quality medical care. I took my son to the doctor today and walked out with all the medication (and more) he could possibly need to make him comfortable and better.

From the kitchen... today poured a washer-full of water into most of our tiny house. Maybe I should have put in the question above that I'm thankful for tile floors? A post on that later...

I am wearing... a striped cotton shirt from Gap and some old maternity pants. No, I'm not pregnant, the pants were just so comfortable, they never went back into the pile.

I am creating... organization for our tiny little house while dreaming about the slightly larger house we'll probably get in 6 months and all I'll want to do with that organizationally when the time comes. IKEA won't even see me coming.

I am going... to hopefully learn how to cook curry tomorrow from our 70-something year old landlady. She said to come at 10am on Sunday. I'm going. Hopefully she meant it. Anthony is hoping too because he would love for me to know how to make curry. A post on that to come too.

I am reading... "The Count of Monte Cristo" on our Kindle and am 93% done. I started it a couple weeks ago and once I start a book I usually average only about 4 days at the most in finishing. This book is a bit longer than usual...add to that moving to the other side of the world and all, and there's a little wiggle room in finish-time.  It's good though. Nothing like the movie, but it helps because I put the actors' faces in my mind as I read.

I am hoping... for a lot of things actually. 1) That language class will start well on Monday. 2) That Isaac will get better and be able to start preschool on Monday too 3)hmmm... lots of other things to put... I hope mostly in the Lord. It's why I'm here. With him though, my hope is always so sure. Maybe that's what I should have put in the "I am thankful" spot?

I am hearing... motorcycles (or rather "motor bikes" as 125cc's barely counts as something to be classified with Harley's) outside on the little lane in front of our house. Believe it or not, it's great ambient noise and the boys have slept longer and better since moving here. Occasionally though, there are one or two that are a bit too noisy.

Around the house... fans are going. No air conditioners here. But then I wouldn't hear the crickets now would I? We have one pointed at us right now, sitting on the bed as I type. It's rainy season, so the heat hasn't been bad at all.

One of my favorite things... is watching (and receiving) Isaiah give kisses. Isaac fell asleep at 7 tonight because he's sick. At every chance he could, Isaiah would run into their room and lean over and try to give Isaac kisses.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Include starting language class, watching my first born go to preschool, hunting down a fabric store and seeing if I can manage to get a tailored traditional outfit made before my good friend's wedding in a couple weeks, seeing the beach which is only about 2 km (1 mile) from here. Me not going to the beach (even if I have to wear long-pants) must be remedied soon.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing... it's not a great photo in itself, but I took it the other day. It's the view of the bay from one of the malls here on the island. Really? I live here? Yessssss!

December 05, 2010

A glimpse at the new house...

There's still a little work to be done (new fridge, re-do curtains, get rid of moth-ball smelling dresser) but we're excited... moving in today! (Monday)

December 03, 2010

"Blasten Colden," an afternoon in Germany

We left Orlando, slept on the plane overnight, and after a fairly uneventful flight we landed in Germany and had a few hours to kill so we went out of the airport (or for this post I think I'll call it the "Flughafen") to go see the Christmas Market in Mainz near Frankfurt. It was FREEZING!

Isaac loved the train from the flughafen. There was a lot of snow on the ground and there was no chance of it melting as it was 25 outside and "felt like" 9.  Isaiah slept on the train and only woke up as the cold air hit his face as we got off the train.

 I'm sure we sounded pretty dumb as we passed all the neighborhoods on the train and walking through the streets as we kept saying, "Wow. This is so neat. It looks just like Europe." and "Those houses are so cute. Very German like."  and so on. We left our "We're Tourists!" shirts at home so we figured we should make it extra clear. Expertessen aur we nau?

The Christmas Market was adorable and all we had hoped it would be and more. By "more" I of course mean "painfully cold" or "Blasten Colden" as Anthony so aptly named it.  We were layered sufficiently but we have a lack of decent cold-weather gloves so we looked for a little while, got a fried German potato cake thing with applesauce squirted on it, then sought refuge inside a nearby store. Thawed out then went to look for a nativity or something to buy. We ended up getting some sort of natural candle carved into a nativity scene and a small magnet. We pack light.

Then we asked a few locals where we could get "traditional German food" from and ended up at HDW, which wasn't like an old school German pub looking thing, but a sleek modern restaurant. Oh well, it was warm. We ordered a couple types of sausages and were delighted with the yummy saurkraut (we think?) but the oversized hotdog- in the menu described as a "Haggis type dish"- came back 50-50 on the review.  The Parents weren't too thrilled with it but the Kindersboysen really seemed to like it.

We hopped into a cab and caught the train back to the Flughafen. I give props to Germany in that every person we stopped to ask directions of or an opinion about where to eat, were all friendly and tried to help.  If we at some point find ourselves planning a trip to Europe, I think I'd like to go back to Germany and see some more, buy a Lonely Planet guidebook for it beforehand, and of course go in the summertimzen when its hottenaddel outsiden.

More posts about us arriving at our final destination later! We are here and safe and trying to combat jet-lag as best we can... photos to come!