Thursday, November 1, 2012

The OTHER Grub Club

This week's regularly scheduled grub club was canceled due to a scheduling conflict with Halloween.  While this was kind of a bummer (not entirely, but we're not going to talk about why I wasn't entirely bummed here because I've recently become aware that people actually DO read my blogs), it does give me the chance to write about the other grub club (once upon a time, Fearless Leader referred to it as an "in-house" grub club, but that was short-lived....just think about it).
Six or seven weeks ago, I invited Mad Science, PE, and Lit over for Mexican food, and they enjoyed it so much that we decided to cook for each other once a week.  Since then, we've had a delicious lasagne, possibly the best chicken and dumplings that anyone besides my mom ever made, and some sort of fantastic Burmese (maybe???) dish.  I may have struggled with making friends when I first got here, but I tell you, I got the best ones (and this statement is not just limited to the aforementioned cooks).  So last night it was my turn again, and while I was valiantly striving NOT to do work during the last of my vacation I realized that I could manage a Greek feast with what I can get here, and so that's what I did.  Above, you can see my Greek salad and moussaka (the bechamel FINALLY turned out right!) and below is the tzatziki and a loaf of bread I picked up at the Minii Delguur outside of Merkuri (which was a find - it was so fresh the bag was steamy and it was still warm...mmmmmmm).  I was blessed to work for an incredible chef (disguised as an academic supervisor) in Korea, and when Bronte ran off to Greece to get married I became doubly blessed - I can now cook both some really good Korean dishes as well as some really good Greek ones.
I knew it would happen eventually, and it has - this week I've found myself missing Shanghai - but this is probably largely a result of the fact that I bought myself a ticket to go there over spring break.  I decided at some point that this will be the year I go to all those places in China that I kind of wanted to and never actually did - provided Uncle Hu approves my visa.  I will probably cry now if he doesn't.  I've decided to make a run to Xian from Shanghai while I'm there, hit Chengdu over our 3-day weekend in March, and if I can swing it, the Harbin Ice Festival during Tsaagan Saar.  But the thing I've realized is, I miss Chinese food (the places Meen used to take me, anyway), I miss my little Chinese seamstress, my fish, my hood, my taxis, my friends (and one enemy, at any rate), my students - it will be nice to go back.  Just don't hold your breath waiting for a reaction like I get when I'm back in Korea (ie, that I want to stay forever and EVER).

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