Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chili Today, Hot Tamale

Home Plus has sharp cheddar again! Peppers, onions, a few cans of beans, tomatoes, spices, and lime juice later, and we've got vegetarian chili.

I also bought a new pyrex baking dish-- I'd been baking stuff in the roasting pan, but it's really way too big for two people, so I picked up a more reasonably-sized one. I made dessert in it tonight, and it makes an appearance in the chili picture.

With that goes Mexican rice (err...rice with turkey stock, crushed tomatoes, cumin, lime, and taco seasoning in it?), and -- because why not? -- pineapple upside-down cake.

mmmmm chili. Simmered for a couple hours on the stove, then baked with cheese.

Followed by...


Pineapple upside-down cake ftw!

(All photos JJ)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dinner Tonight

Tom Ka Gai. Homeboy's a little under the weather, and as far as I'm concerned there's nothing better than chicken soup in the winter. Doctor Mom told me that adding coconut and cayenne makes it the ultimate throat saver, so I thought I'd try Thai.

As usual, I accidentally made enough to feed a small army, but that's why God invented tupperware. I'd post pics, but I didn't take any -- it tasted a lot better than it looked :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate chip cookies.

I made too many, lucky for the pregnant office assistant who sits next to me...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Birthday Package

Dear Parents,
My birthday package has arrived! It came in plenty of time, and arrived safely at my apartment. Now my only problem will be trying to convince myself not to open it until my birthday, because I know it will be an extra-special treat then! Thank you so much for sending it. It's really nice to have a little bit of home, as I am so looking forward to coming home in a little less than a month.
Love,
Dara
Way to be an hour late, Dean.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Still at school, since Dean came to ask me for help editing his personal statement and asked me to teach him how to speak in complete sentences.

Now, the personal statement thing I can dig. It's 3 short paragraphs, and it was easy as the chocolate cinnamon custard pie I made a few days ago. He's not a bad writer. But teaching a kid who's studied English for a decade how to suddenly start speaking in confident complete sentences? Tall order.

Now, I have the rest of the week off. I don't have to go to school at all, Tuesday-Friday. But his KAIST interview is Friday. So I'm going to come into school to work with him on Wednesday, from 12-2. He promised to have his self-introduction memorized by then (I told him it's OK if it isn't perfect), so we'll work on that and on speaking in complete sentences.

At first, I felt like I was making a sacrifice. I have a whole week off, and I could take off and go anywhere. I had vague plans to go back up to Seoul to meet with some of the Smith alumnae I just met. But this isn't a sacrifice, or something outside what I signed up for-- it's a prime example of what my job is and should be. My school and students really ask very little of me, and if I can help this kid pass his interview into a top school, then I'm cool with that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mexican Night at Casa Del Dara

Tonight's Menu:

-Salad

-Mexican Chicken (a highly authentic Mexican dish, involving a chicken from the Korean grocery store, rubbed down with the Old El Paso taco seasoning I bought back in Connecticut)

-Fresh home-made Tortillas

-Mexican Rice

Happy 500 Days, Korea!

Korean couples celebrate their anniversaries a little differently, counting milestones of 100 and 200 days rather than months.

My lovely fellow ETA, Sarabeth, just pointed out that all of us who came to Korea together on July 5, 2009 have now been in Korea for 500 days!

Now, obviously I've come home a couple of times, and traveled to Indonesia, the Philippines, and some sort of mysterious place I heard the locals call "Wisconsin." So I haven't been here for 500 days. But just as you celebrate your other anniversaries without docking for days spent apart, I'll count today as my 500 day anniversary with Korea. Happy anniversary, Korea! Here's to the best open relationship ever.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Parents,
Thanks for the early birthday present!
Love
the baby

Presidential Elections

Congratulations to Alexander, who won the election for Class President of class 1-1!

Laws passed by 1-1 are:
1. Extend maternity leave for 1 year
2. Reduce time in army from 2 years to 1 year.

We ran out of time, so we will hear bills proposed by the Communist party next week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dinner Last Night

I've volunteered to coordinate the food part of Thanksgiving for the renewing/extending ETAs. It'll probably be quite a few people, certainly more people than I've ever cooked for before. On Thursday I came up with a potential menu, and last night, I did a rehearsal for three (of five total) Thanksgiving side dishes.

1. Candied Pecan, Naju Pear, and Cranberry salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
2. Baked 4-cheese Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
2. Swiss Chard sauteed with Bacon and Apples

(Serving suggestion: beer and Peppero)

It took me about 1.5 hours altogether.
Ingredients = ~ 50,000 all together, including stuff we didn't finish (extra apples, dried cranberries, TONS of leftover m&c, and a few other things)
Amount = I ended up making enough mac & cheese for at least 12 reasonable people, swiss chard for 3 probably, and salad for 4. Of course, we're highly unreasonable people around Western food, so we killed the chard and salad and got through almost all of one of the three mac & cheese trays I baked.

Pictures to follow.

Oh, and if anyone in Daejeon wants mac & cheese, come on over -- I physically cannot eat this myself.