November 30, 2007

Student becomes the teacher

Posted in Journal tagged , at 1:05 am by Jenn

The great thing about living in another country is that you have the opportunity to teach as well as be taught.

I’m taking Russian classes twice a week.  I thought I would be further along by now, but it is a very hard language to learn.  Lots of rules to remember.

The word for tea in Russian is Чай, pronounced Chai.  This led me to ask what they call Chai and I was informed that chai was tea.  We went back and forth for a few minutes and I realized that she wasn’t aware that there was a type of tea called Chai.  I explained to her that Chai was a flavor of tea like orange, jasmine or ginger.

This weekend while I was in Poland I visited a quaint little tea shop and purchased several terrific teas including one bag of Chai for my instructor.  I presented her with her gift today and she was thrilled.  I am curious to hear how she likes it.


November 29, 2007

Jenn’s Mix

Posted in Jenn, Belarus at 12:15 am by Jenn

I picked this challenge (Posting Challenge #9) as my first challenge because I thought it would be easy. Now I know why it’s called a challenge. I love music, but I’ve never thought of my life as a collection of songs, and only 10 songs at that.

Here’s my mix:

1. Summer of 69, Bryan Adams – this is the year it all began, so I couldn’t think of a more appropriate song for a June baby.

2. Grease, Frankie Valli – I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie, how many times I’ve quoted characters in everyday dialogue, or at how many sleepovers the Greased Lightning dance was reenacted

3. Shining Star, The Manhattans – Patrol Camp, 1979. Troy Pepper was the counselor and my first childhood crush.

4. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club – Summer, 1984 in South Hero, Vermont…boom box, Lake Champlain, synchronized swimming routine performed for family (doubles with my sister). Oh yeah!

Read the rest of this entry »

November 28, 2007

Poncho kit

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom at 11:33 pm by Jenn

I’m still new to this blog thing and I can’t figure out why I can’t make a post on my pages instead of a comment, so sorry for those of you wanting an amusing story from Belarus, this is for the knitters!

 Here are the yarns that I will be using for my poncho:

Poncho kit yarn 

I can’t wait to get this Christmas project finished! I need the needles it’s on to make this poncho. Now that is a true incentive to get knitting.

November 27, 2007

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Thanksgiving dinner was a huge success!  We had 10 guests and 4 “to go” plates, including one for “old guy” who came out of his booth to kiss me he was so excited.

I am so glad I managed to pull that whole dinner off on my own.  It was a lot of work, but well worth it.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the meal.  I think the thing I am most proud of is pulling off Pumpkin Pie without Sweetened Condensed Milk (SCM).  Here is the recipe for Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute…it WORKED!  I was a little nervous so Scott and I sampled the pie the night before and I was amazed how good it was.  I will use this instead of SCM for all my future pumpkin pies.

I also ventured off the “safe” path and tried this Pecan Pie.  No Karo syrup and it was FABULOUS!

So with that said, soups on!  Today is turkey soup day.  Scott is sick so it is perfect timing!

Recovery mode

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 11:28 am by Jenn

This was a very different Thanksgiving weekend for me.  Instead of the usual decorate for Christmas and spend way to much money Christmas shopping on QVC I went to Warsaw, Poland with a friend for the weekend.  She was taking her daughter and daughter’s friend for the weekend and asked me if I wanted to tag along.  That took about 1 minute for me to answer.  SURE! 

We left Friday morning and returned Sunday evening.  It is about a 6 hour drive from Minsk to Warsaw.  The Belarusian roads were better than the Polish roads so most of the trip thankfully was through Belarus. 

We stayed at the Sheraton in Warsaw.  A very nice hotel with extremely expensive restaurants.  Saturday morning when we came down for breakfast we were told it would be 99 zloti (which is about $40).  Needless to say we passed.  Dinner the night before for the four of us was 671 zloti (tip not included).   It was good and I didn’t mind paying it, but I certainly didn’t want to pay $40 for breakfast!

Saturday we spent the first part of the day walking and making purchases in local shops.  There was an awesome glass shop where I purchased a few handpainted Chirstmas candle holders.  I wish I had made a few more purchases there.  I also really liked the quaint little tea shop that we went in to.  I bought several different kinds of tea and a few for gifts.  Most of these stores closed around 3 or 4 in the afternoon so we decided to head to pottery store and then mall. 

Parking at the pottery was probably the best story of the trip (other than the $40 breakfast).  The man at the parking lot did not speak English and we did not speak Polish.  Alexandra (daughter’s friend) is fluent in Russian so we had her give it a go…no luck.  We did get that we could park in the lot for 24 hours for 20 zloti, but what we wanted to know is if we paid him 20 zloti, would he be there at 7:30 to open the gate and let us leave.  After about 15 minutes of pointing, talking slow, talking loud and finally deciding to give up a man who spoke English and Polish came in and saved the day.  THANK YOU~English speaking Polish guy.

The pottery store was nice, but nothing screamed out for me to buy it.  The patterns were pretty, but not “me”.  The mall was very overpriced  (75 zloti for a MAC lipstick…um, I love MAC and faithfully wear it everyday, but can see paying $30 for my $14 lipstick) and I just enjoyed walking around, people watching and actually entering a store where hundreds of people could shop at the same time.   I did by a pair of knee socks (yes, knee socks) at H&M.

Here is a picture of St. Alexander’s Church in Warsaw, it is just up the street from the Sheraton where we stayed.  Right behind this church is the Burberry store where I discovered the tie that I wanted to get for Scott was $160 – sorry (I didn’t buy my $500 scarf either)!  Prices in the states are much better than in Poland.

St. Alexander’s Church

Dana and I agree.  The next trip to Poland should be during the week rather than a weekend with more time spent in the quaint shops in town rather than “the mall”.

November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving menu

Posted in Journal, What's for Dinner tagged , , , , at 10:31 pm by Jenn

We are hosting Thanksgiving for 8-10 people this year.  I’m doing all the cooking.  Here’s what’s on the menu: 

Turkey w/stuffing


Mashed potatoes w/gravy

Sweet potato casserole w/pecan topping

Green Bean casserole

Mixed greens

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Rolls

Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread

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