Monday, January 30, 2012

Adventures in the Kitchen: Part I

     So today I embarked on my first day in the kitchen. Since our arrival in SPb on Saturday, the program has been feeding us breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but after a quick "practical" tour of the city today (we learned how to use the metro!) I headed back toward campus and grocery shopped my heart out. Needless to say, I was more than overly enthusiastic about the fact that I will be able to cook my own meals this semester as anyone who knows me would easily list "Cooking" as my favorite past-time. After perusing the grocery store for quite a while and gathering up what I deemed as essential at the moment, I wasted no time getting to work in our ill-equipped "kitchen". I only say this because "kitchen" in Russia is taken to mean "two hot plates, a frying pan, and a refrigerator/freezer".

Armed with only a frying pan and tea pot, I managed to concoct today's masterpiece: Curry Chicken Breast and Veggie Pasta! (Feel free to be jealous that you aren't as talented in the kitchen) "Just how did you do it?!", your envious brain may be wondering. Well, I'll show you...but it wasn't easy!

It took a whole lot of improv! I know I've never made pasta in a tea-pot before, but it most certainly won't be the last time this semester. It will, however, be one of the last times I use a bowl as a cutting board and a butter knife for anything!

Newly purchased ingredients needed to make a delicious meal: Olive Oil, curry chicken seasoning, some seasoning written only in Russian, noodles, a frozen vegetable mix of zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, and red peppers, half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and chicken!

1. Saute garlic cloves (chopped) and onion in pan with olive oil. 2.Boil pasta in tea-pot until tender. 3. Combine sauted ingredients with pasta in frying pan. 4. Add vegetables and Russian seasoning. 5. Set aside. 6. Season chicken breast with "Chicken Curry Seasoning" while heating pan with olive oil. 7. Cook chicken in pan, making sure to brown on both sides aaaaaaaaaaaaand BAM! A delicious meal is served!

And one more shot in-case you aren't drooling or impressed by my feat!!! (you don't need all of your fancy kitchen tools from home!!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


So, let's get right to all of the awkward, "You left us off at 'Life as an Intern, how did your semester in India end?" and "WHERE ARE YOU?!" moments that haven't been blogged about since my last post from India.

  • First, let me start off by apologizing. Sorry for leaving everyone with a major cliff-hanger!!!
  • And now, let me start things off with a quick summary!

 My semester in India was AMAZING! It ended on an extremely high note. After making it through my internship presentation, MC-ing the closing ceremony, and saying good-bye to all of my friends I jumped on a plane and have spent the past month at home. Being home, also AMAZING! I had a great time telling my family and friends about my stories and adventures, even the parts that weren't my favorite, and really enjoyed unpacking and setting up my NEW room. Yes, that's right, NEW ROOM! I love my new house and had a great time breaking it in (let's just say it was great to be back in the kitchen). But that month flew right by and I was soon packing, crying (it was actually harder leaving home the second time around), and flying off again. This time for the second half of my adventure.... 

Cue the Logan---> Heathrow flight path!!! BAM!

     After a 2 day stop for some adventuring in London, England (which I obviously thought was cool since my last name is London), where I got to see famous sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and took a Jack the Ripper walking tour of the city, I was off to Saint Petersburg, Russia, where we landed late yesterday afternoon. We chose our roommates, were given our keys, dinner, and a brief orientation meeting to conclude day one.
     Today we wasted no time and got started on sightseeing in the major part of the city! Although it was freezing, I can definitely say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the city I will be calling home for the next four months. Seeing all of the beautiful buildings that I had only gotten to see in pictures for years is totally worth toughing out the dead of Russian Winter. Although the temperature today was -14C (!) I am sooooooo amped to get some free time throughout the semester to really check out all of the museums and sights right here in SPb. I clearly won't have enough time in Russia to see every exhibit in the Hermitage Museum (the largest museum in the world, exhibit-wise), aka about 9 years to view their 3 million or so exhibits, but I am definitely planning to spend some serious time there and am even considering signing up to be a museum volunteer!
     Tomorrow's activities include: language placement test, taking our first SPb metro ride, and my first grocery shopping experience in the city! I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am to take on the challenge of a semester of cooking without an
I'm including photos below from my adventures around London and some sights of Saint Petersburg!!!! 



 Checkin' out some prehistoric skeletons at the Museum of Natural History in London
The T-Rex wasn't too happy when he spotted us....


 Prince Albert Memorial (upper left), Westminster Abbey (upper right and above)


 I am a fan of the British goose

 Buckingham Palace

Warning: Random Tank-in-the-road alert!!!!

They don't call it Saint PetersBUUUUURg for nothing!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the frozen Neva and the lunatics who dare to walk on it!

Entering the Peter and Paul Fortress

The two-headed eagle in the archway looks both east and west, symbolizing Russia, which spans from Europe to Asia

Sightseeing at Peter and Paul Fortress & Sitting on a statue's knee for good luck

And so many other beautiful sights to see.....,

SMC Blogger