Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rediscovered Yogurt, Cooking Lists and Country Songs

Phew!  About a monthand a half in, and I’m running out of things to make this blog interesting! Imight have to start inventing tales of glory and woe in which I save some of the4 year-olds from a rogue bus or something. 

Maybe tomorrow.

Today, we’ve got quite a unique blog post on the menu –topics of morning routines, teaching events and a dash of missionary letters onthe side.  Best served cold. 

As you picked up by now, we have meals at the kindergarten, right?Well, today  I decided I’m going to starttaking note of the Lithuanian recipes I really like, and try to recreate themlater on when I get back to the states. So far, my list consists of a few things:
SYRNIKI!!! Don't be fooled by the simplistic pancake look - these things are captured curd cheese ambrosia, best with some jam on top.  Basically, it's a mixture of a special type of curd cheese (that apparently is only in this part of the world) mixed with flour, egg and sugar.  Basically, they're amazing and I ate 3 of them for dinner tonight.
Šaltibarščiai - despite what the appearance may lead you to believe, this doesn't contain any Pepto-Bismol. Promise. It's actually a type of cold borscht, made with soy milk, shredded beets, dill, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers and other spices.  It's ridiculously easy to make, and deliriously delicious.
I wish I could tell you what the name of this goodness is, really I do.  But here's the problem - our Kindergarten Kitchen friends serve us this glorious creamy oatmeal for breakfast about 3-4 times a week, and every time, I nearly die of delight.  However, I can't ask them what's in it, how it's made, or even what this goodness is called!! It's similar to oatmeal, but the grain is completely different than how it's prepared in USA.  I'm not certain if it's simply not processed or what the secret is, but... I'm in danger of oatmeal overdose every time they bring it out for us.
So. Cepelinai.  It's kind of freaky and weird textured, but it's definitely the most normal of the traditional Lithuanian food.  If you'd rather go for pig foot, be my guest.  For the rest of us however, I would love to give everyone back home a chance to try these.  I'd imagine they're a serious pain to make, and the process apparently involved pantyhose and a multitude of smashing, but they're delicious and distinctly Lithuanian. So it's worth it.  Says me.

While there are some tweaks I would make to dishes (ExhibitA – the delicious greens and salads with a cup of mayonnaise on top.  My heart just cringes every time I witnesssuch a cruelty!), I really do like the Lithuanian food!  Plus, don’t even get me started on theyoghurt.  Today’s barometer of happinesswas drastically improved when I FINALLY found some of this goodness at Maximatoday:
In other news, the children I teach are crazy. See for yourself.
In case you can't tell, that's a fish face. Yep, they even have those in Lithuania.
So, Bailey played this game in class called "Digital Hot Potato" - more or less, you set a timer on the camera for 10 seconds, pass it around, and take a picture with whoever has it when the timer goes off. These are what resulted:

Left to Right: Martinas, Natas, Ema and Alysa

Alysa. She pretty much makes this face about 40% of the time. Either that or says "My precious" in a seriously creeper 6 year old voice.


The kid with the pirate hat? His name is Rokas. We call him "The Rock". He's great.

Left to Right: Danil, Sofia, Z, Teja and Artur

Martinas. She also makes this face about 40% of the time. Usually without the sticker though.

Ema and Natas

And just when you may think my life couldn’t get any better, let me mention these little tidbitsof joy:

1) I Skyped Sha this morning for about 2 hours.  She's just great.

2) MY MOM IS COMING TO VISIT ME IN LITHUANIA!!!!! I knowright? How cool of a Mom can a girl get? (I’m actually still trying to figurethat question out, so don’t ask me yet. Right when I think I’m getting close to understanding how awesome Momis, she flashes her “smolder” impression at me, and knocks my socks off allover again)

3) This video:
Basically, I just love Lindsey Stirling. And her dancing. And Alex Boye. And this song. 

 4)  I got a voice recording from Elder Crump!! My cousin Brayden is currently serving an LDS service mission in Brazil, preaching the gospel to families down there (HERE).  Turns out that letters from Lithuania to Brazil only take about a month to be delivered, which is much shorter than I expected.  I love hearing from him, and listening to his crazy stories whilst he serves.
2 years after this picture was taken, and it's still one of my favorite shots of us in existence.  In case you can't tell, he's the crazy red head in the corner. Cool guy with the fedora is Phil :)

Elder Crump serving in Brazil - he hasn't changed much :)
5)  I just listened to Josh Turner. If that doesn't make a girl's day, I don't know what would.

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