Thursday, January 31, 2013

Water, water everywhere, and a foray into Russian cooking

Kristen says...

Wow, it's February already and I'm still catching myself writing the "12" for the year...silly Kristen!

Well hello there, happy February...or, while by the time you read this I'm sure it will be February, I believe in the US it's still late January! :)

Today we are experiencing something new in this Russian adventure...rain.
Of course, as you can see, it's taking out some of the snow, but it's also almost immediately freezing, so it's really slick out. Thankfully our car isn't here yet so we're not even tempted to drive, but I'm sure getting around this hilly city will be interesting for some people today...

I am also happy to say that the method of sidewalk ice removal in Vlad seems to be leaning more toward sand and less toward salt, which is making Pip's little paws very happy. :)

We're not just dealing with water outside today, but also inside. Thankfully the leak isn't coming from the ceiling or in through the windows, but from our lovely large bathtub!
We first noticed it last week after we'd had a plumber come unstop the slow drain, so Chris took the front panel off...not surprisingly we found an old, disgustingly moldy wash cloth stuck under the drainage system...which was also angled 90° about 3 inches under the drain (hence why we needed a plumber)...

So far we've had four different people come look at it, some who spoke English and some who did not. The old 90° system was changed, but the leak actually got worse after that. Also, I thought that one of the guys said he'd turned the water off (he pantomimed no water from the bath spout), so yesterday I didn't even get a shower, but another guy from the consulate came and said the water was on to the shower, just that we were not to take a bath (not that we were bathing much, anyway...).

At any rate, the water is still flowing freely from under the tub as of this morning, so hopefully that situation is fixed over the next week or so. It's not really a problem as it only leaks when we take showers, but it is just one more thing to worry about keeping Pip away from...I don't think he's supposed to drink the water here.

Actually, I don't know that any of us are supposed to drink the water here.

In Honduras we knew there were amoebas, but here...we were told not to drink it, but nobody can tell us why...

Anyway, it doesn't really matter was we have this:
Yay water distiller! I, predictably, have absolutely no idea how this works, but the water that comes out tastes pretty good and (knock on wood) hasn't made us sick yet, so that is a good thing. :)

So, we've been in Russia a little over two weeks now, and I'm still playing what I call the "50s Housewife"...and, I have to say I'm pretty sure if I was June Cleaver, Beaver and Wally would be dead. I am a terrible housewife! I am bad at cleaning and organizing, I stress about what to cook every night, and if I never wash another dish I'll be forever happy...

However, all grumpiness aside, I have been able to work out some interesting dishes. I made a veggie stew, some of my delicious (if I do say so myself) pasta sauce, and, branching out into my first Russian cooking foray, Baked Pirohi.

Of course, in usual Kristen fashion, I didn't exactly follow the recipe...mostly because I didn't have sauerkraut (nor, to be honest, did I want it...I'm moving into new foods slowly.) ;)

Here is the was kind of gray-colored, which wasn't terribly appetizing at the time.
 I didn't start taking pictures until these were in the oven because I wasn't sure how well they would turn out...
The filling is what I had in the house, so carrots, onions, and cheese...yum
 Even after all those were made, I had a bunch of dough and filling left, so I used my new empanada press (clearance at Target) to make some bigger-sized ones, just to use everything up.
 Frankly, they were a little bland, but not bad for a first try. Certainly edible, which is important when making food.

Anyway, that's about all the news that's fit to print. I can't say it's terribly exciting, but it is what's happening here. :)


  1. Looks like some interesting food!
    Very cold here in Iowa. The wind chill is supposed to be 20 degrees BELOW zero in the morning.
    Love you!

  2. We had 1 water distiller installed in Honduras before I left - If they had the money for that, then you probably really aren't supposed to drink the tap water. The distiller water is totally safe!

    Love your empanada press! Made some empanadas for poker night at our house a couple weeks ago - they turned out okay. Filling was good, but need something other than my flaky pie crust for the outside.

    50s housewife is not the most fun life, especially when you are used to working. Is it feasible to hire help there?


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