Archive for November, 2009

I love Coffee

I actually really, really love coffee.  Thus I was super-duper excited when I saw this at the grocery store this afternoon:

My New Coffee Cup!!


Yep. It’s coffee and a coffee mug.  What’s better than that? The coffee I regularly buy at the same price with a coffee mug!? Um, that makes the coffee mug free.  Well, I guess free coffee and a free mug might be better.  Oh and even better than that would my own baritsa.  But, today, I got a free coffee mug and that’s okay by me.

I guess it’s a good thing that little things make me happy.  Or, in this case a green coffee mug.

One last thing, for my American readers I know that the coffee brand Jacobs looks like the “J” should be strong like Jack or Jill but here in Bulgaria it’s a soft “J.”  Now you know.  For what that’s worth.


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My New Poinsettia

On my way home from my Bulgarian lesson, I decided to buy a poinsettia.  I bought it. Making sure to pick out the most beautiful one. I love poinsettias. There’s something uber-Christmasy about the plant–more so than Christmas cookies, Christmas carols or even Christmas parties. I think it’s the mix of vibrant red and verdent green that really does it for me.

Serves me right that I spent a bunch of time picking out the perfect plant.  Because, I got it home and took the plastic off of it and one of the three branches came off as well. Gross.

This made me really mad.

I swore a little bit in my head.

Poinsettia and Mandarin Oranges

Then I thought about throwing the whole plant away.  Then I considered just throwing the branch a way but decided against it.  Rather than throwing the branch away, I cut it and put it in water. We’ll see how long it lasts in the water.  I am guessing two days. As for the potted plant, I turned it so that the broken branch doesn’t show.  It just looks a little scraggly now.  It’s kind of like Charlie Brown and his search for a Christmas tree.  Now I have to try to love this scraggly two-branched poinsettia.  I am going to try. Really, I am.

But for the record, I am still kind of angry about the whole thing.

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The End of Thanksgiving

Me and My 2009 Thanksgiving

It appears that all I’ve done for the last 10 days is to write about Thanksgiving.  I promise this is the last Thanksgiving post for the year.  Well, I think so any way.  The food was great and my friends were wonderful.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the day.  For full disclosure I did disappoint a few friends when I decided to buy pre-cooked chickens from the deli at Billa rather than cook a turkey myself.

For me at least, the turkey (or in this case the chicken) is really one of the least interesting parts of the meal.  I’d rather focus on the stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrot casserole, green beans and pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. But in hindsight, maybe I let down my non-American guests by not serving turkey.  I did look to see if there were any turkeys being sold at Billa–there weren’t or who knows maybe I’d have bought one. (more…)

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100 Things I am Thankful For

  1. I am me.
  2. My MoM and dAd.
  3. This adventure.
  4. My brother N. who I often don’t understand but who I love all the more for it.
  5. My little sister C. who while she’s five years younger than I am no longer seems like my baby sister.
  6. Work that is meaningful.
  7. Coffee.
  8. Extended family.
  9. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing.
  10. Laughter.  (more…)

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Thanksgiving Day dinner in Sofia:  Pumpkin Gnocchi served up with a big spoonful of lyutinitsa and shredded kashkaval cheese.  I make the gnocchi all by myself which is probably why they look um, like a five-year old’s craft project.  Anyhow, they taste great and look so-so.

Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi

The one thing was that I spent so much time making each one of these little gnocchi I forgot about what I was going to put on them.  One recipe I looked up suggested a browned butter and sage sauce.  But that was too much for me.  So I looked in my fridge and there was the jar of roasted tomato and red pepper sauce (the lyutinitsa) and kashkaval cheese.

I guess that means that I had a Thanksgiving inspired Bulgarian influenced dinner.  And before anyone starts felling bad for me because I am in Bulgaria and I am not with my family, I should remind you that I had a big Thanksgiving dinner last weekend at school.  (more…)

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My students and I had a big debate about babysitting recently.  The they didn’t get it.  They were rather shocked by the idea that teenagers would look after little children in States. They kept saying things like: why would you trust a teenager with your child? why would a mom do that? teenagers aren’t responsible enough for this. Then they started telling that in Bulgaria grandmothers watch small children.  They are more reliable and trust worthy.  I tried to explain the American mentality behind teenagers babysitting.

I am a long time babysitter.  In the States it’s a pretty common thing but by the time I was in high school I had regular families that I babysat for.  I knew who liked what, which songs to sing, how to trick children into bed, which book would put them to sleep and just how to get someone back to sleep if he or she woke up.  In one case after school from 3-6pm four days a week I went to same family’s house and did my homework until the toddler woke up from his nap (his mom working at her graphic design and adverting job a few rooms away in the office); I’d get him up, hold him, give him a snack in his high-chair and then we’d play until mom came out.

It’s a pretty routine kind of job.  You show up and smile.  You listen to directions–feed them this, put them to bed by x time, they can’t go in here, watch out if you play this game it has little pieces and call this number if you have a problem we’ll be there.  (more…)

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I found a great new bakery.  Really, I just stumbled up on it.  Well, stumbled might not be the right word because it’s at the corner of Rakovski and Neofit Rilski. Anyhow, the name is Sofi: French Bakery and it’s brand new.  Yep, they’ve been open for no more than a week.

Sofi Bakery Croissant

After dinner with friends, we stopped in and I bought a pastry.  Well two but I didn’t really want to share this with you until I realized that I had to for the rest of my post to make sense. (more…)

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