I can’t believe that it is already March! It has been snowing off an on the last few days- which makes it hard to see the mountains from my window. If you look really closely at the picture below, you can see them peaking out just a bit.
I have officially been unemployed now for 3 months, and although I thought I would get really bored with nothing to do all day, I surprisingly haven’t. I have kept busy with homework for my Masters, cleaning, doing laundry, going for walks, and most of all cooking.
Cooking, and meals, here are very different than what I am used to in the United States. In the U.S. I was used to dinner being the big meal in which, as a family, we would all eat together. Here, the “hot” meal is lunch and everyone comes home from work to eat together. Lunch is the time when meals are prepared much like we would assume meals would be for dinner. Then for breakfast and dinner, meals are typically “cold” and consist of fresh bread from the bakery, meats from the local butcher, cheeses, and occasionally a hard boiled egg. And of course coffee is a given- with or after every meal.
Although this is definitely a different style of eating, I have come to really enjoy it. Many foods here are simple and fresh. Hardly ever do we have processed or pre-packaged foods. Its also nice to have a bigger meal at lunch and a smaller meal at dinner.
Since I have so much time on my hands, I have cooked- quite often. The first thing that I made when I arrived was homemade cinnamon rolls. Now, I have made these before and they turned out great. I’m not exactly sure what happened to these- whether I miss calculated an ingredient when trying to convert cups/tablespoons to grams and ml, or I made the yeast too hot and killed it- they were adisaster to say the least. The dough looked good after I was done making it so I set it to rise. An hour later when I came to check on it- absolutely nothing had happened. It was supposed to have doubled in size and I don’t think it moved at all. Manuel being the optimist thought that we should just wait a little longer. After some more time it still hadn’t moved. At this point I should have just given up- but I am not the type to give up. So I rolled the dough out, filled it, rolled it back up, and placed each roll in the pan. At this point they looked ok so I stuck them in the oven and hoped for the best. They came out hard as a rock and inedible. I had to chip them out of the pan. It was not a good first impression to make on my cooking skills.
Since then, I have made many more things- luckily they all have turned out so far. At the request of Manuel, we made enchiladas with refried beans. It was a challenge to find all the ingredients in the grocery store for that recipe, but after looking around for awhile we found a small Mexican food section. We also had to determine what the best type of cheese was because they definitely don’t have Velveeta here- or even American or Cheddar cheese. Everything ended up working out and they were pretty delicious!
I also made this great Greek marinated chicken with a tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad. It was a really easy meal to make and tasted awesome.
I promise I will stop boring you with my cooking escapades. Well right after this cake…. Here, in the afternoon it is typical to have coffee and something sweet so I have also been baking quite a bit. I went to Pinterest in search of something lighter that didn’t take a year to make. When I first came across this recipe I figured that it wouldn’t work out- so I kept scrolling. It just kept reappearing and since I had all the ingredients I decided to give it a try. It was one of the easiest cakes I have ever made from scratch and wow was it delicious! It’s called Magic Cake because once you bake it, the cake separates into 3 layers- a top cake layer, a middle custard layer, and a bottom light and airy layer. I am no food photographer but you can see the layers in the picture below.
Other than that, life has been pretty quite here. We are hoping to hear back this week on a job Manuel interviewed for. Fingers crossed he will get it! A prayer or two for him would be much appreciated. If he does get the job, we will have to start apartment shopping in Stuttgart. And then I can work on finding a job. I guess until then I will continue to work on my homemaker skills, and I just might have to try to remake the dreaded cinnamon rolls…