Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Snapshot of a day

Today is a normal day for me in Görögszállás.  Some things have been routine, some things have been unexpected i.e. a 20 minute wait at a railroad crossing where I was waiting with my bicycle.  Still, in a way, this type of unexpected waiting is also something I’ve come to expect this year.  

Today I also did something that felt familiar, but did in it an unfamiliar place. We have lots of zucchini in the house right now, so I emailed my parents for their zucchini bread recipe. As I’m mentioned before, Hungary’s gastronomy tends to be fairly flavorful but also fairly repetitive week in and week out.  So the idea of using shredded zucchini to make sweet bread got some funny looks when I first mentioned it here at the house.  

There were the expected things—like the taste of the batter with all of its cinnamon and vanilla that made me think “do I actually need to bake this?” And there was the shredder (is that what you call it) that still reminds of when I was small and kept grinding a carrot until I realized I ran out of carrot and started in on my finger.  These were the expected, or familiar, things.

And then there was the unexpected.  Converting Fahrenheit to Celsius only to discover that there’s no temperature gauge on the oven.  I told my host mom I wanted 175 Celsius and she seemed to know just where to turn to the knob.  There was also the grocery shopping trip to buy walnuts, raisins, and vanilla extract in which I wandered the aisles looking for the items and carried my iPhone with its Hungarian/English dictionary app so I could ask people for these items.

The bread tastes great, but only lasts a short time. The smell in the house is great too, and lasts longer!

I just opened an email from a family friend who lives in Iowa and happened upon my blog last week.  She read all of it, which was both great for sharing this experience, and also provoking in terms of what role the blog plays at this point in the year.

Lately, as time winds down here, I’m feeling more self-induced pressure to come up with conclusions on the experience so far, or at least articulate on-going questions. 

But the blog isn’t the place for those.  For now, I’m sharing this slice of a typical day filled with both the expected and the unexpected, the familiar and unfamiliar.

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