Hot plate hot problems

I don’t really know what the title of this post means. I only have a hot plate in my kitchen here, so I am going to be experimenting with Hot Plate Cooking. I haven’t even made the dish in question yet, so maybe it will be fantastic. Haaahahaha it will not.


This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like it. It’s from the Osh Bazaar.

Today I discovered a horrible truth: there are apartment-hunting websites far, far, far, far, far worse than Craigslist out there. Like, I am sitting here actively thinking I WISH THERE WERE CRAIGSLIST IN BISHKEK. This seems like a very bad sign just about life in general. (The ads here either don’t tell you where the apartment is or who the roommates are, or they want a girl who will pay no rent in exchange for making borsht.) Continue reading


C is for Cookie Disaster

This is a guest post from my dear friend Freda, whom I have known since earliest childhood. She is awesome.


In the Disney movie Ratatouille,  the adorable rat Remy is guided by the spirit of Chef Gusteau who boldly tells him “Anyone can cook!” Well readers, I am here to tell you he was wrong.

I cannot cook. I can, however, turn the perfectly wholesome idea of yummy chocolate chip cookies into a pipe-bomb-like disaster.

It all started out very well intentioned.  I placed six Hershey’s frozen break and bake cookies in a Pyrex dish and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Once done, I placed the Pyrex dish on the stovetop to cool.  At this point I thought to myself, what goes  better with cookies on an unseasonably chilly night than a cup of hot tea?

Now, here’s when things went a bit awry…

In my exhausted stupor, I put the kettle on the back burner, but turned on the front burner instead—the very same front burner that I had rested the Pyrex on.

Three… Two… One…. BANG

Shortly after, I heard what sounded like ten different dishes dropping on the floor. In reality, it was little bits and shards of cookie and glass shattering to bits, coating my kitchen in a dangerous kind of pixie dust.  Oops.

Did I mention the small kitchen fire?

The entire mess took three days to clean. And I can’t even say how this has affected my relationship with chocolate chip cookies.

Moral of the story?  Not everyone can cook. Some people really do need adult supervision. And next time you want warm, gooey, fresh from the oven homemade cookies—go to the supermarket.


On an unrelated note (it’s me again), you should make some mug cookies.

I made this a really long time ago and don’t even remember if it’s good. But it probably was.