Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Buy One Get One Free...Sort Of

Last week, I made a mistake. One of those mistakes where even in the split-second that the decision is made, you know it won't turn out the way you envisioned it.

Do we all remember the crockpot I got off Asian E-Bay? The one who came to my stove's aid in its hour of need during its convalescence? To refresh your memory, read here. So needless to say, my dear crockpot and I have a long, happy history together.

Until recently.

It often happens that when our househelper buys chicken, she puts it all in one plastic bag and sticks it in the freezer, creating one big chicken ice cube. When I set out to make some BBQ chicken for dinner, this is exactly what I found. So here was my train of thought...

Too big to fit in crockpot.
Must break apart chicken.
Smash it apart. Yes, that sounds fun.
Use the floor? Use the countertop? No...
Wouldn't it be convenient when the chicken breaks apart for it to already be in the crockpot?
Yes, most definitely convenient.

So I lift the chicken brick about a foot above the crockpot (glass mind you) and let it fly. It was during the chicken's air time that I realized that this was not going to turn out well in the end.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

A few days later, my friend found the exact same crockpot on Asian E-bay. A few days after that, a huge box arrived at my door. Way too big just to be a crockpot. Upon opening the box, I found that the shipper had included a pressure cooker as well. (Oversights like that are pretty common on our side of the world.) I have no clue how to use a pressure cooker but I find it pretty ironic that my blunder was rewarded with a most useful cooking gadget that I'm sure I need and will grow to love.

Once I figure out what it does. Does anyone have a clue?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Higher Level Math

Today, in my tutoring session, I learned the words for "add," "subtract," and "multiply." (Not sure why "divide" was left out...maybe the other three math functions have a teenage girl clique and "divide" is the Ugly One who gets left out?)

So I'm supposed to read (yes, read. I am learning to read! Illiteracy, your days are numbered!) from my text book the following:

6x7 is how much?
6x7 is...

I rattle off the Asian-ese with no problem, but then come to a screeching hault. I thought this was supposed to be language study, not flashback to third grade multiplication tables? Oh multiplication kickball (true elementary school game--North Oaks Elementary really did rock the house), where are you when I need you? Mrs. Osborne, faithful third grade teacher, let me hear your sage mathmatical wisdom whisper in my ear...

Meanwhile, my tutor begins to prompt me. I decide to bust out my cell phone calculator to help this exercise along.

Forty two. 6x7 is forty two.

My tutor is impressed when I come up with the next answer so quickly. (He didn't know about the cell phone.)

I guess it should be promising when a crazy tonal language that once sounded like a fastfood menu gone crazy now proves to be more manageable than simple multiplication facts. Then again, maybe I should be making multiplication flashcards instead of vocabulary flashcards...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ice Cream Soup

Last weekened we hosted a "stay-cation" of sorts at our house with the other American friends that live here in our city. We decided to spring the big bucks and buy import food treats--including "real" ice cream Dreyers for around $8 a pint! After the madness of nearly 30 adults and kiddos in our house, we were richly compenstated by all the goodies left behind. A lot of goodies. Literally, I drew blood from my finger trying to get the drawers in my freezer shut yesterday. (OK so I've got a little freezer with weird drawers but you get the idea!)

Kevin, being the protecter husband that he is, has assigned himself the arduous task of cleaning out the freezer in order to avoid such future injury to his precious wife. Translation: eat yummy ice cream every night. Being the domestic diva (well sort of kind of at least) of this casa, it's very rare to find ol' Kev Kev in the kitchen. But on one particular night this week, I was detained and Kevin had no choice but to prepare his ice cream himself.

It's not uncommon for ice cream to come out of the freezer as hard as a rock, and seeing that I still haven't purchased forks & spoons of my own (still waiting to get a hold of the ones I left in America--ahem--Beth Wilson), I make sure to soften the ice cream a bit as not to bend my borrowed spoons. Kevin has seen me do this before so he thought he would follow suit. But unfortunately, the fact that I use the defrost function and only for 10 seconds or so, escaped his recollection. I'm sure you can all guess what happened to dear Kev's delicious (and might I add expensive?!?!) evening treat. You guessed it...warm, melty, sticky, gooey ice cream soup.

A funny thing that comes with learning a second language is that your language ability is usually limited to your spheres of life. This means that Kevin knows very few kitchen words. Another funny thing about learning a second language is when that word you want to say sounds remarkably similar to some other word you didn't mean to say, something inevitably hilarious comes out of your mouth.

Case in point: After Kevin concocted his ice cream soup, he confessed his culinary blunder to me and says, "Well, I don't even know how to work that carrot anyways!"

Disclaimer: This story really is so much funnier if you speak Asian-ese. So for those of you blog readers who do, hope you enjoyed yet another newbie language blunder! For those of you who don't, consider picking it up. It provides endless hours of entertainment!