Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Spring Inside

What says spring will come - more than bulbs forced during the winter?

Paperwhites and music

With some truly cold weather recently, these seem to have flourished and not ended up with that paperwhite scent that can get so cloying. Unfortunately, there will be no more this winter chez nous. Next fall, I must remember to get hyacinths to have them in the depth of January and February. I know they sell them in the stores, but forcing them to bloom at home seems like an ancient magic.

This is...

Thanks to the suggestion from Threebuttons to complete this week's This is my favorite cup, I'm showing you my favorite cup. Sadly, it's the only one left of a pair I've had since my days back in England 30+ years ago.

Belleek Shamrock tea cup

The pair were carefully packed away during our kitchen renovation, and it was only in the later unpacking that I broke one of the fragile teacups. Now there is one teacup, two saucers, and one cake plate. The shards sit and await a future use. Suggestions accepted.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stick to the plain ol' ...

I decided to surprise my eldest and make him some oatmeal cookies. Now oatmeal is his favorite as an adult but certainly not a cookie I'd think of making nor has my dh ever asked for them or showed interest in them. Somehow tho, I thought I'd make them - uhm more interesting?

I consulted with my virtual friends and came away with a recipe that sounded delicious, at least to non-oatmeal-cookie-eater-me. Don't they look good???

Oatmeal Scotchies baked

We all agreed on the looks but my ds took a bite, grimaced and said These have sunflower seeds in them, don't they? Ah, how could I deny the accusation. His wife sighed and agreed. It was plain old traditional (boring?) oatmeal cookies or none at all.

Fortunately, I have a 13 year old grandson who knows what to say...for free food. I hope he enjoyed them and I promise to make some REAL oatmeal cookies one of these days. But thank you Booberry! I liked them!


Oatmeal Scotchies with Sunflower Seeds

3/4 cup all purpose flour (92 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda ( 2.5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (114 grams)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (98 g)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (98 g)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (5 ml)
1 1/2 cups oats (126 g)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels (60 g) – I used salted
3/4 cup butterscotch chips (126 g)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C).

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and both sugars using high speed of an electric mixer, scraping sides of bowl often. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and stir until absorbed, then stir in oats, sunflower seeds and butterscotch chips.

Drop by generously rounded teaspoonfuls (3/4 inch mound) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten tops slightly and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

Makes about 3 dozen

Many thanks to our teacher Virginia Olson

She was patient and she was thorough. I know that I need to practice, practice, practice, but then that is what life is about.

Virginia Olson, Chef & Teacher

Memories of Day 2 Baking Class

This class was not so long ago but somehow it seems like another lifetime. I'm glad I took notes and had a camera. It was really a worthwhile experience.

Yes, I have been fortunate to have a Community College so nearby and one that really works to get adults involved and also into specific job training. We have a Hospitality and Culinary section that has wonderful classes and prepares students for immediate jobs or for transfer into one of the $$$ 4 yr schools. I am especially blessed and I mean that word, that as a senior, I can take the classes for free. They started this over twenty years ago when 60yr olds didn’t go to school that much. We current seniors LOVE it.

Baguettes

The two versions of challah that were made today. We had broken into pairs and only one pair made challah and they did a fantastic job of braiding and washing…those seeds really stuck.

Two Challahs

The final breads were the Pain de Campagna that two pairs made (one round boule per person) and the MultiGrain Extraordinaire that one pair made and was formed into 6 small loaves. The boule is about 6 or 7 inches across.

MultiGrain and Pain de Campagna

One especially nice thing about this class is that it is small…only 6 students …where the classroom is designed for 16. When I took an earlier class we had 16 and it was wild.

What I have no pictures of are …the éclairs that were filled with pastry cream (OMIGOD) and then glazed with dark chocolate and drizzled with white. Let me say that if piping the chou pastry was a hoot, the piping the filling in was x-rated.

But good??? Oh dear god…I ate 4 little ones and almost went comatose. That’s why I decided to give my other six to a friend. AND, the two pair of students who didn’t make challah made cinnamon buns. I couldn’t even look at these, and gave my whole pan to my partner, taking only 4 extras to my friend. If Dick were home, I would have brought a few home but by that point I had crossed my own eating line. But those éclairs were soooo sooo good!!

Memories of Day 1 Baking Class

I didn’t take my camera…darn…but things go so fast that we can barely stuff the first goodie into ourselves before there’s another one.

Surprise! It's Sears

First day we made piecrust by hand…with Crisco…;-( …but I have to say, I now have the feel of the mix of flour and fat. Most of ours didn’t roll out as nice looking as our teacher’s except for one woman we swear is a ringer. Says she doesn’t bake but if not, she has the hands. Our edge pinching again resulted in some creative looking shells. They got wrapped yesterday and plunked into the huge walk in freezer to be baked as Candy Apple Pies tomorrow. Not liking apple pie, I’m not over anxious on that one.

We also made pate au chou and baked them. Another recipe that was easy to make but watching us with our piping bags was another laugh session. I wasn’t bothered because when I make them I am just as happy to plunk them down with a spoon and make plain old rounds. My partner and I had very creative shapes. Just holding the pastry bag was a learning experience for me.

Our teacher demo’d baguettes and we each took home 2 or 3. I gave two to a friend and kept one that partially became melted cheese on toast for tonight’s dinner. I am still full from the items we made today. I am carb’d out in a soothing way!

Baking Class...Baby Steps

As a cook, I tend to cook by instinct. Recipes are nice- as guides, for the most part, and after years of cooking and eating all over the world, I can usually get a mental taste if not picture of the expected result. But baking. Ah...there's the rub, often a butter and flour rub! After many foolhardy attempts at desserts that involve some form of baking, I was gently chastised by a dear friend. "This is chemistry dear. The ingredients are listed AS IS for a reason. And yes, that is why you ended up with little cakes, not cookies." Fortunately, I have no hesitation about eating unusually formed confections.

But I had once been an instinctive bread baker, back in my days as a fairly new mother happily creating that luscious scent of bread in the oven. I knew by practice when to add more flour, when to add more liquid and my young arms and wrists enjoyed the exercise of kneading on an English wooden table, albeit a Conran English table. But fast forward 40 years, and the arms and wrists balk at long kneading. The Maryland climate is not the weather associated in my memory banks with bread making and so I must learn from others. A one day class of Artisan Bread baking leaves me fairly sure I can relearn. But trips to and on the West Coast and holidays delay my practice - both in the kitchen and in my life. I need more instruction.




I go back for a 3 day baking class. Bring on the Flour!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Portuguese Soupas

This was adapted from Rick Rodgers Ready and Waiting cookbook.

2 lb well marbled chuck roast cut in 1.5" chunks (don't worry about the size - 1-2" is fine)
2 medium or 1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 60z can tomato paste
1 28oz can diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 cup dry red wine
1 T pickling spice
Salt and pepper (original called for 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt - unusual for me but I added more salt
oil for browning
*Fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp dried mint
**(1 tsp ground cumin)

Brown the meat in batches in the hot oil, and add to cold crockpot as browned. Soften onions in fat until browning, then add garlic. Turn heat down, and add wine scraping up any brown bits then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and pickling spice, salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and then pour on top of browned meat in crockpot.

Cook on low for apr 6 hours.

This was designed to be served over chunks of Portuguese bread but as I had none, I made a savory bread pudding to use up some bread bits that weren't that substantial. I think it would also taste great over polenta.

* I had neither fresh mint nor dried but will try this one time. Peppermint?
** The stew tasted rather bland to me as it was cooking so in checking other recipes, I saw one that had cumin. I added a bit and dh said the final dish reminded him of the taste of stewed pork cheeks he had while we were in Spain. What can I say?

This dish could also be cooked in a cast iron pot (e.g. like the Le Creuset you see in the photo) and I'd just keep adding the ingredients on top of the beef and either simmer for 3-4 hrs or cook in the oven for that time...300 or so degrees, I'd think.

Getting Back to Soup

Winter has always seemed like a good time for soup round here. It gets colder, and there's nothing nicer than a steaming pot either simmering on the cooktop or bubbling up in the oven. If the day starts with a good chill in the air, the LeCreuset comes out, the Trinity gets browned, and the cookbooks come out.

Most recently, it was posole again. I had some nice small pork roasts from the Amish Market, and after boning and cubing one, I roasted the bones along with some riblets as a base for pork stock. Roasted bones went into the water with some veggies that had also been roasted...the usual carrots, onions and garlic...and away the bones simmered.

When the stock was chilled and slightly skimmmed, I got the pork cubes browned in the trusty 5.5 qt LeCreuset. As I only had a half bag of New Mexico Big Jim chiles upstairs in the freezer, I made the decsion to add some ground red Chimayo pepper. 1 tsp. Well, foolishness got the better of me, and I added the 2nd tsp. Mistake. The red overpowered the green, and despite our love of 'heat' it was too much. Veggies and fire roasted tomatoes went into the pot, but the damage was done. Simmering away, the mixture warmed the house, but something needed to be done. After letting it chill overnight a plan emerged.

Since I had saved the water from boiling potatoes to make bread, I had a starchy bland liquid. I replaced 4 cups of 'hot' broth with 3 cups of potato water. This toned down the heat but the lovely taste of the green was lost. With corn, carrots, and hominy, the soup was ready.
Posole

4 men later, there was barely a full serving left. Alls well that gets eaten up - but I have learned my lesson, I think!

Pumpkin Soups - Compare and Choose

Spiced pumpkin soup with bacon- Nigel Slater

a medium onion
50g butter
2 plump cloves of garlic
900g pumpkin
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsps cumin seed
2 small dried chillies
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
4 rashers smoked bacon
up to 100ml single cream

Peel and roughly chop the onion. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan and cook the onion and the garlic, peeled and sliced, until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin, remove the stringy bits and seeds and discard them with the peel. There should be about 650g of orangey flesh. Chop into rough cubes and add to the onions. Cook until the pumpkin is golden brown at the edges.

Toast the coriander seeds and cumin in a small pan over a low heat until they start to smell warm and nutty (about 2 minutes). Keep the pan to one side for later. Grind the roasted spices. Add them and the chillies to the onions and pumpkin. Cook for a minute or so then add the stock. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Fry the bacon in the pan in which you toasted the spices. It should be crisp. Cool it a little, then cut it into small pieces with scissors. Whizz the soup in a blender or a food processor till smooth. Pour in the cream and taste for seasoning, adding the salt and pepper as necessary. Return to the pan, bring almost to the boil, then serve piping hot, with the bacon bits scattered on top. Serves 4, generously.

***********

Butternut Squash soup with Bacon and Thyme Bake and Shake

1 large peeled, seeded/de-stringed and cubed butternut squash (equal to a little over five heaping cups -- you could substitute pumpkin)
4 strips of bacon
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16 ounces of chicken stock, either homemade or your favorite brand
1 bottle of hard cider (or 1 1/4 cups apple juice, or more stock)
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt (less, depending on how salty your bacon is)
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice from half of a lemon
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, saute the bacon until fat has rendered and meat has crisped. Set bacon aside, and drain off all of the liquid fat. Add back 1-2 teaspoons.

Add the onions, garlic cloves and thyme, cracked black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes and sage -- saute until onions are soft, then add the cider to de-glaze the pan. Scrape up all the brown sticky bits from the bottom of the pot, and simmer for three or four minutes. Dump in the squash, add the chicken stock and simmer over medium until squash is fork-tender and liquids have reduced by a bit. Turn heat to low, and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring and tasting -- add salt (by the shake) if you feel it needs a little more.

Now, if you have a hand blender, just whizz everything up in the pot. If you don't, puree in batches in your food processor, blender or food-mill. Depending on how chunky you like your soup, use your best judgment when it comes to texture and time. I like a velvety puree, which is further enhanced when you (and post-puree, now is the time to do it) add the lemon juice (stir well), and cream. Stir, heat on low if needed, and pour into bowls. Garnish with crisped bacon, a little heavy cream or creme fraiche, thyme or some Parmesan and fried crispy sage leaves if you like.

Habanero Bites

APPETIZERS Habanero Bites via Annie

Savory Cheddar and Jalapeño Jelly Cookies from Rick Rodgers

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup jalapeno jelly, or sub apple butter or chutney

Place cheese and butter in a food processor (could be creamed by hand or mixer); add flour and process until the mixture forms a soft dough. Gather up the dough and divide into two flat disks. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until chilled, about 45 minutes.

Position two racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or use nonstick sheets.

Using 1 teaspoon dough for each, roll the dough into small balls and place 1 inch apart on the sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or 1/2-inch-thick dowel, poke an indentation in each cookie. Place the jelly in a small plastic bag and force it down into one corner. Snip off the corner of the bag to make a small hole. Pipe the jelly into the indentations.

Return to the oven and bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper.

Williams-Sonoma Pork with Pears

ENTRÉE Adapted from Roast Pork with Pears via Williams-Sonoma

Here, a boneless pork loin is stuffed with a flavorful herb-and-garlic mixture, then roasted with fresh pears and leeks. A creamy mustard pan sauce adds the finishing touch to this succulent dish.



3/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup packed roughly chopped fresh sage,
plus whole sage leaves for roasting
3 whole garlic cloves, plus 2 cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 Tbs. olive oil
1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 1/2 lb.,
halved horizontally (I had a pork roast that was not boneless but had a small bone on the bottom)
3 ripe red Anjou pears, halved lengthwise
4 leeks, white portions only, trimmed, halved
lengthwise and rinsed (I used regular onions)
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a mini food processor, process the parsley, chopped sage, whole garlic, salt, pepper and 3 Tbs. of the olive oil until a fine paste forms. Spread the mixture on the cut side of one half of the pork loin, then place the other half on top. Tie the roast together with kitchen twine and tuck whole sage leaves underneath the twine. Season the roast with salt and pepper.

In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the pears, cut side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the pork to the pot and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Place the leeks, cut side down, in the pot in a single layer. Set the pork on top and place the pears along the sides of the pot.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 140°F, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the leeks and pears to a platter.

Pour the pan drippings into a bowl and discard all but 2 tsp. of the fat. Warm the reserved fat in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the broth and pan drippings and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the mustard and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the pork into slices and arrange on the platter. Pass the sauce alongside. Serves 8 to 10.

adapted from originalWilliams-Sonoma Kitchen

Crockpot Sweet and Saucy Beef Roast

Sweet and Saucy Beef Roast

3lb chuck roast (mine was closer to 2lb)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large white onion (I used about 1/4 cup dried onion)
1 (10.35oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c water (I used apple cider)
1/4 cup sugar (I used light brown)
1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp table salt (I did not use at all)
1 tsp prepared mustard (I used ground German grainy mustard)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Brown meat in skillet/heavy pan on stove in oil till brown on all sides over medium heat.

Chop onions into 1/4inch pieces and combine with remaining ingredients in medium bowl, stirring till well mixed. Pour mixture over beef, cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 hours.
n.b. I did not add any salt because of the high salt content of the condensed mushroom soup and the Worcestershire sauce.

Winter Lasagne

Winter Greens Lasagne


Total: 1 hr 35 mins

Active: 30 mins

Makes: 10 to 12 servings

By Amy Wisniewski @ Chow.com

Wilting the greens with cream and layering them with ricotta and Parmesan makes this a satisfying lasagne that’s both easy (no sauce to prepare) and vegetarian. Even those who don’t usually get excited by cooking greens enjoy the earthy flavors they provide here. What to buy: Crème fraîche is a naturally thickened fresh cream with a tangy flavor and a rich texture, and it doesn’t curdle or separate when heated. If you can’t find it, sour cream is a decent substitute.


* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 medium white onion, medium dice
* 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1 pound red kale, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
* 1 pound Swiss chard, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
* 1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
* 1 (9-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
* 1 pound fresh ricotta
* 2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oven to 400ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2. Add cream and a few handfuls of greens, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted. Continue adding greens, a little at a time, until all are slightly wilted. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, completely wilted, and coated in cream, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and remove from heat.
3. Spread 1 cup of the crème fraîche evenly over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 4 noodles, allowing them to overlap slightly. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/3 of the greens mixture from cream and evenly spread over the noodles, then cover with 1/3 of the ricotta and 1/4 of the Parmesan. Repeat to make two more layers, and end with a final layer of noodles on top. Evenly pour 1/4 cup of cream over noodles. Mix together remaining crème fraîche and Parmesan, and spread evenly over the top.
4. Cover with foil and bake until bubbling and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is browned completely and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

AnnT's Greek Souvlaki


Chicken Souvlaki  

recipe courtesy of AnnT at Garden Web

 


Chicken breasts
Fresh minced garlic
dried oregano
lemons
olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes (MMR notes - cut the thinner bits off and use for a chicken curry or bits in a chicken soup)

Place on wooden Skewers that have been soaked in water (prevents sticks from burning) or on metal skewers.

Rub with fresh minced garlic and dried oregano
Squeeze fresh lemons over chicken and some olive oil
Salt and pepper

Marinate for up to 1 hour. If marinating longer do not add lemon juice
until the last hour. Lemon juice "cooks" the flesh and changes the texture.

Place on hot grill and turn often until done. Serve with Greek salad and
rice.

NOTE: This recipe works well with Pork (I use Pork Tenderloin) and with Lamb

CZ Rounded Corner Tutorial


A Rounded Corners Tutorial for Photoshop Elements from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

World's Best Meatloaf

ENTRÉE WORLD'S BEST MEATLOAF via CanaryBird

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs - (tear up soft sliced bread - don't use fine crumbs as for breading)


1 1/2 lb ground meat (beef or pork & beef) (about 700 grams) 


1 beaten egg 
1 onion chopped fine 


1/4 teasp DRY Colman's (or similar) mustard 


1/8 teasp ground sage 


1/2 teasp ground thyme 


1 1/2 teasp salt 


1/4 teasp pepper 


1/8 teasp nutmeg


1 chopped green pepper ( MMR I rehydrate dried green peppers)


1 tin condensed tomato soup (eg Campbells's) or better 10 oz of Sofrito


3/4 cup grated celery 


3/4 cup grated carrot

1) Mix meat with egg, add onion and seasonings and bread crumbs, greens and carrots

2) Add half the tin of soup and mix everything well. Turn into greased loaf pan or glass casserole dish 8.5 x 11 x 2.5 inches and pour remaining soup over the top, smoothing it evenly over all.

3) Bake 350 F (177 C) for 1 1/4 hours. Source: American Pro Footbal Player's Wife in 1963

Asian Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Asian Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts
Source of Recipe - Nancy at Garden Web's Cooking Forum

5 LBS boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

1 C veg. oil
1/4 C sesame oil
3/4 C soy sauce
1/3 C minced garlic
1/4 C minced ginger
2/3 C minced cilantro
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp Black Pepper

Combine marinade in a container large enough to hold the chicken. Refrigerate 4+ hours. Overnight is fine.

Remove chicken from marinade and grill over med. hot fire. Done when thermometer registers 160 degrees.

Note from Nancy: If only a small quantity of chicken is needed, you can divide chicken and marinade into freezer bags and freeze until needed. Chicken will be ready to cook as soon as thawed. Leftover cooked chicken makes a great sandwich either cold or reheated in the microwave. I like it heated with provolone, sliced chicken, tomato, lettuce and mayo.

Also makes a great Asian Salad. Chop the chicken, lay over greens, sprinkle with mandarin oranges, roasted sunflower externals, rice noodles and a sweet sour dressing.

If You Lived Your Life Abroad

While this comes from the Facebook Group called You Know You Went To an International School... it is how I felt in 1986 when I returned to the United States.

1) You can't answer the question: "Where are you from?"
2) You speak two (or more) languages but can't spell in any of them.
3) You flew before you could walk.
4) You have a passport, but no driver's license.
5) You run into someone you know at every airport
6) You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
7) Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times (or six, or seven times...).
8) You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel.
9) National Geographic (OR THE TRAVEL CHANNEL) makes you homesick.
10) You read the international section before the comics.
11) You live at school, work in the tropics, and go home for vacation.
12) You don't know where home is.
13) You sort your friends by continent.
14) Your second major is in a foreign language you already speak.
15) You realize it really is a small world, after all.
16) You feel that multiple passports would be appropriate.
17) You watch a movie set in a 'foreign country', and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.
18) Rain on a tile patio - or a corrugated metal roof - is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
19) You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
20) Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: wet and dry.
21) Your high school memories include those days that school was canceled due to tear gas, riots, demonstrations, or bomb threats.
22) You get back to the states and serously cannot remember the currency exchange
23) You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
24) You automatically take off your shoes as soon as you get home.
25) Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
26) Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
27) You go to Pizza Hut or Wendy's and you wonder why there's no chili sauce.
28) You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country.
29) You have best friends in 5 different countries.
30) It takes 24 hours to reach home in a plane
31) You can only call your parents at 8am and 8pm
32) You never really use a seatbelt
33) School trips meant going to a different country
34) Your high school football team had to play against itself.. if it had one
35) When you were in middle school you could walk into a bar and order a drink without being questioned
36) You got sick a lot and often had food poisoning
37) It wasn't unusual to find a lizard or cockroach in your house
38) You got to go home twice a year ...thats if you're lucky
39) Home almost felt like a museum
40) You are a pro packer, or at least have done it many times
41) Living out of a suitcase, you find, has it pros
42) You bump into your old teachers all the time
43) Family photos you sent every year took months to arrive and often were in front of some exotic statue or endangered animal no one has heard of
44) Your check from your parents takes a month to reach you
45) Talking to your school office and getting signatures from your parents is a week-long event
46) When you return to the States you are overwhelmed with the number of choices in a grocery store ( I stood by the chocolate syrup for about 20 min. because there was a whole row)
47) You literally have real friends (not facebook friends) from different schools all over the nation on your friends list
48) Everyone had a 'staff'; maid, house cleaner, driver and babysitter
49) Most of the 1st graders have cell phones
50) You get excited when a relative sends a video tape of regular TV with commercials.. its in ENGLISH!
51) There was only one grocery store.. usually at the embassy that resembled the ones at home.
52) Once you get home you miss your adopted home and visa versa
53) You are never content in one place, be it city, state or country for long. You're a mover.
54) You never had a job until you reached college
55) Blackouts are quite common, yet after a while no one seemed to notice and sometimes you would find yourself doing homework to the light of your phone or flashlight
56) Class reunions.. are not at your old school.. not even close
57) Police, imported from a different country, guard your school...carrying machine guns
58) you know everyone else in this group, because he/she went to school with one of your friends
59) Your passport has more stamps than a post office
60) When the power cuts out and you sit there wondering when the generator is going to kick on... only then you realize there is no generator
61) When you carry converters because you actually realize there are different types of outlets
62) When people give you funny looks because you are a gold or platinum elite member of your airlines
63) When you constantly feel like you have to catch up with TV programs, actors and other people or songs you are not familiar with
64) You don't think its strange that you haven't talked to your best friend in a couple years, but you know you will always have a unique bond
65) You wake up in one country thinking you are in another
66) You don't feel at home at home anymore
67) When a friend talks about their dreams of traveling to across the world to a secluded country and you can give them all the best restaurants and places to visit. You're like the traveler guidebook.
68) You don't even bother to change your watch when traveling
69) You hate subtitles because you know there is someone that can make an accurate translation.. you!
70) When you have little or no contact with he locals but are best friends with people across the globe
71) When you think everyone else is a foreigner in a county foreign to you
72) When something unusual happens and it just doesn't seem to phase you as being something unordinary
73) When you speak many broken languages at once when you are drunk
74) When your friends take you to an 'ethnic' restaurant as a joke and you can read the menu, order food for them and actually stomach the meal
75) When you start introducing yourself followed by your country of origin....
76) Your yearbooks are all different; made of fabrics known to that area and have stuff like elephants on them. Its your favorite keepsake.
77) Famous people like Uma Thurman went to your school and you had no idea until you researched (AES)
78)You have to change your passport because it's full... not because it's expired... and this several times during your school years
79)Paying a cop is not considered a bribe
80)You've dated people from other countries
81)You start to keep your experiences overseas to yourself because people look at you as though you are spoiled for having the opportunity to indulge in a new culture.. sad
82) You are afraid to go back to visit your school because you know no one will be there that you used to know, they all moved
83) You have the opportunity to intern at your Embassy/Commission over summer without qualifications
84) When you have free accommodation in any city you travel to around the world because some friend from the old days lives there!
85) You're scared of going 'home' because you haven't been there in so long, and changed so much, that you think people might not like you anymore
87) You have more than one driver's license, none of which are valid at home, that, or in college, you still can't drive!
88) You always have to think which side of the road to drive on
89) When you greet someone you start bowing or kissing them on both cheeks.
90) When you you and your siblings know different languages or at least studied different ones

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