Thursday, October 8, 2015

Monday, September 1, 2014

New food Friday (on Monday)

This is an occasional post where I share new foods I discovered and tasted in Baku.


found this in a grocery store not knowing what it was. Kefir is an ancient drink that is popular in this region. It's gaining popularity in the U.S. Along with other fermented drinks, like kombucha. I bought one with the Azeri word for cucumber on it. Bottoms up!  It had chunks of cucumber and a strong dill flavor. It was slightly carbonatedand just a little sour. I liked it, but in love sour drinks and tart fruits (and dill pickles). It's fairly low calorie and, if you believe the fermenter crowd, super healthy. Happy drinking!

Kefirkeefir, or kephir (/kəˈfɪər/ kə-feer),[1] alternatively milk kefir, or búlgaros, is afermented milk drink made with kefir "grains" (a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter) and has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains.[citation needed] It is prepared by inoculatingcowgoat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.

This site shares some if the myth and legend of kefir:

Kefir "grains"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baku Dispatch #3: Lost at sea sea freight is MIA. The company that shipped it from the US says it's been here for over two weeks and should be in customs (if not through). The company here in Baku says it hasn't yet arrived. They are going to get back to us.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Baku Dispatch #2: How is it going?

I know I've been absent. We got to Baku and had some interesting experiences that I posted on FB and should re-post here.

At the beginning of July, we headed back to the U.S. for vacation (as our UK friends call it, "holiday"). It was really only vacation for Don; Bella and I have been on vacation since the end of May. At least, that's how it feels. All the wives and children leave for long periods over the summer and Baku was pretty boring. After visiting Houston, Maryland and Buffalo, Don headed back to Baku. Bella and I had a beautiful drive back to MD which made me miss the East Coast terribly! 

We had a great time at home, visiting DC and Atlanta and I got my fill of crab cakes and beer. 

So, to the original question, how's it going? I honestly don't feel like I live here yet. It's like a looooooong vacation in a hotel. Still waiting on a move date, though we've picked out a house already. Still only able to cook a few things because I have a small kitchen and only a fraction of my cooking supplies. Still can't use half of my new appliances because the hotel circuitry doesn't agree with our transformer. We are on shared internet and a few TV channels with English.

All that sounds like complaints, but the experience has been good overall. I haven't spent all day grocery shopping or cooking, except for when I was so bored that's all I could do. There's plenty to see and do, especially for the adventurous. The Azerbaijani people we've met have all been really nice. Yes, some stare and take pictures, but I prefer that to some of the experiences I've had in the U.S. Me and Bella have spent a lot of time together. I picked up some U.S. contracts that will start to fill my time. And the other expats are really helpful and friendly.

All in all, I'm having a great vacation. #IJS

Monday, June 23, 2014

#fail: spaghetti sauce from scratch

Knew there was a reason Prego and I have been in love since I was a child. Don't ever try to make anything with foreign ingredients, without measuring spoons and with a measuring cup that measures in liters...bad combo all around. The sauce is eatable, but boy do I miss my Prego. Off to find a copycat recipe. #IJS

Dispatch from Baku: In a land far, far away

We had a great flight from Houston, but got very little sleep on the plane. Leaving at 4:30 pm seemed like a great idea, but both Bella and I were up until about 10 pm and our plane landed at 2 am CDT / 8 am UK time. As soon as we saw the sunlight, both of us were wide awake and unable to sleep again.

We boarded our next plane three hours later, after Bella had the UK style bacon from inside of an English muffin (that is NOT a muffin, says Bella). Another five hours and we were in Baku. Unfortunately, Don was not allowed into baggage claim to help us with the bags. I asked him to set up the executive service like his manager suggested, but it didn't happen. :-/ I should have taken a picture of the six suitcases and four small bags that I loaded onto two carts at baggage claim. Bella (barely) pushed one of them while I pulled hers and pushed mine toward the door. Of course, customs stopped us at the door to ask about "metal" in my bag and the bottle of conditioner that had spilled and was leaking through the zipper. I opened the bag and showed them the bag of foreign coins (mostly US) and the leaking bottle of conditioner (which was in a plastic bag that SOMEONE inspecting my bag left open). Oddly, they said nothing about the food that I brought. So much for paying duty and all that. They don't even ask for the normal immigration card like in the other countries I've visited. On our next trip, I will bring more!

Once we got outside of the baggage area, we found Don. He brought me roses! :-) Bella ran up to her Dad like in those commercials where military husbands come home. Our driver helped us cram the bags in the car and we headed for the apartment at the Hyatt.

More on the next dispatch....#IJS


Listening to Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me and I had to lol at the text acronyms the FBI has compiled in their secret internet glossary. What people will use the FOIA to procure...

Who uses these? Comment if you do!

NIFOC: Naked in front of the computer
BOGSAT: Bunch of guys/girls sitting around talking
DILLIGAD: Do I look like I give a damn?
YKWRGMG: You know what really grinds my gears?
PMYMHMMFSWGAD: Pardon me, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a damn.

On the last one, the host said it's been replaced by the more pithy "FU." WTF?