Two blogs ago we wished Ani a happy birthday, now it’s James’ turn...even though it was almost 2 weeks ago. Oops. We did celebrate with him that week, no worries there. So let’s talk about our newest four year old for a bit and show off some photos. James goes to school Monday through Friday from 8:30-12:30. It has been a bit of adjustment for both of us, but it is moving in a positive direction. He has two buddies at school, Joel and Samuel. Joel is from Ireland and Samuel is from England. He has also met his match from the opposite sex. Her name is Hannah. She is from New Zealand and they both have gotten in a wee bit of trouble this week together. Anyway, he and I started a routine last fall (in the States) prepping dinner in the afternoon while the girls were either napping or at school and I am so glad to say that he is still my sou chef. Yesterday we made refried beans and tortillas. As we went to roll out the tortillas, I realized I haven’t bought a rolling pin yet, and our glasses are not round but square, so we used our Play-Doh rolling pin. He thought that was great fun.
I would like to spend a moment telling you about my new best friend, the pressure cooker. Now, I think anybody who has a stove and eats any sort of beans, pasta or potato or has ever had tough meat, should own one. So, basically that means all of you should own one. Everyone here does. Gas is quite the commodity and when it runs out it can be a bit of a pain to refill (we don’t have a gas line coming into the house, we have a big ol’ gas tank sitting right by the stove) and because we are at 6,500 ft., it takes longer for water to boil. So, the pressure cooker enables lots of cooking to be done w/ little gas. Back in the States, or even here, if I were to cook dried beans, I would have to boil those suckers for at least and hour - but two days ago I made a big pot of butter beans for a Minestrone soup and it took literally 8 minutes! I about made a belated Valentine card for my new best friend.
Today, I am having an “I miss home” day. I’m not quite sure why. We had a good day, filled with book club in the morning, a play date in the afternoon (that included swimming!), and pizza for dinner. It should really be a home run sort of day - but alas I am wishing to be home. I have asked a few fellow ex-pats, that have lived here for a while, if this place ever feels like home. The answer seems to vary - which I find comfort in. Please do not sound the U.S. embassy to come and rescue me, I really am fine. I actually would be more worried if I did not have these days.
Jayson heads out tomorrow (Thursday) for the Freedom Firm retreat. The kids and I will head out Friday after school. The retreat center is in the middle of tea fields in a nearby, larger town called Conoor. I have never been in the middle of tea fields... have you? There are actually tea fields a-ga-ga here - making for a truly beautiful landscape. They’re almost maze-like. I am hoping for a Sound of Music moment this weekend with my kids while running through the tea fields. I will let you know how that works out for us.
Thanks to everyone who gave me insight into baking/cooking in higher elevation. If any of you have a best friend named “pressure cooker” please let me know.