I have vivid memories of our first Thanksgiving. We had lived in Chicago for about six months, and by then we were fully immersed into the realities of our new home country and its culture and traditions. I was very excited that we were about to spend our first Thanksgiving, and I did a lot of shopping to mark the occasion. I bought and roasted a whole turkey, which we had for lunch and dinner for a good few days. Then, I made other dishes and forgot about the half-eaten turkey. Two weeks later, the turkey was still in the fridge, and I found it and threw it away. I was so ashamed at the waste of half a cooked turkey! In retrospect, it was all my fault. I bought a whole turkey when I should have known better.
These past couple of weeks have been really crazy at work. We are approaching the end of the semester, and demand for tutoring is increasing. Students have lots of assignments to turn in, lots of questions in preparation for the final exams, lots of extra credits to think about. There’s so much to do, and so little time. I’ve been dragging my feet (figuratively speaking) from one day to the next, hoping to catch a break and to get a few hours of extra sleep. All of my co-workers are exhausted, and we all look forward to the winter break.
Sadly, I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been a slacker in the kitchen, living off cold sandwiches and late night store-bought pizza. At the moment Thanksgiving still seems very far away, and I haven’t even thought about the menu. But I promise you, my readers, that I’ll be back soon. I’ve even planned a little surprise for you. So stay tuned! 🙂
Today is Halloween, and we’re about to say farewell to October. Where has this month gone? I don’t know. These past few weeks have been very busy for me, and sadly I have been further and further away from the kitchen. Still, I wanted to make a pumpkin pie to celebrate fall – and what better way to make a pie than to use fresh pumpkin, and thus to make use of one of the most popular fruits of the season?
In my experience, eating dinner is the last thing you want to do when you get home late, on a freezing cold night. You just want to shower and cuddle up under the blanket, hoping that spring would be upon you soon (if only this were true!). Still, on this cold Chicago weather, what can be more enticing than a hot panino, oozing cheesy goodness, nutritious, and quick to prepare? I think panini are the perfect quick comfort food: You can make a healthy meal out of only a few ingredients in very little time. A fresh panino and a hot cup of cocoa – that’s my new idea of dinner bliss.
Going back to this blog to write about food and the pleasures of eating and drinking – to write about life – is not easy after a week of grief, following the death of a friend. I needed time to heal from sadness, and now I’m glad to be back. Also, on the plus side, my job has kept me very busy, and I’m grateful for that. Being so busy, I had less time to cry while thinking about my friend, and I channeled my energy into my work and my new responsibilities as a school tutor. It is difficult but not impossible, and I’m working on it – taking it step by step, one day at a time.
Today was the first day at my new job as a school tutor. It went pretty well, although it was overwhelming at times. It’s been awhile since I had a job, and I approached this new opportunity with enthusiasm, but also with fear. What if I’m going to fail? What if my gap in employment will get the best of me? My usual fear of failure set in, and I felt insecure, vulnerable, and out of place.