Kitchen, Cooking, Christmas / by Joshua P Jacks

I have realized since moving to Laos why people always think it is important to have a big kitchen.  I never really needed a big kitchen mainly because in the states, most of our meals came from a box. Here I have been able to really expand in the area of cooking.  I’ve always admired my mom’s and my mother-in-law’s cooking.  I wondered if I would ever be like them or if I was destined to be a box dinner mom, grandma, and wife.  Moving here has definitely helped me to head in the right direction!

Josh and I had his English class over for a Christmas party tonight.  Immediately, I got out a piece of paper to make my shopping list.  I have started to find joy in my kitchen.  Yesterday and today, I spent the whole day in my kitchen cooking.  I was able to use my lovely new apron Josh bought me from the night market! Definitely has helped me stay relatively clean the last 2 weeks haha!  I made brownies and sugar cookies.  I made yeast rolls from scratch and used dry beans in my chili. Reviving dry beans and making them taste like canned ones is no easy task, but for my first time I think I did a great job.  Granted, they did soak and boil for a good part of the day.

Josh and I decided to introduce Chili to his class.  I used his dad’s recipe.  I had to tweak a few things to make it possible to cook here in Laos.  Instead of minced beef, I used minced pork.  Instead of green peppers I used a mild green chili pepper that ended up not being so mild (thanks to Josh for asking me to try it and see if it is spicy).  While I stood in the kitchen and cooked, baked, and washed dishes, Josh cleaned the rest of the house all with the power being out! Luckily, the power came on right after I took my cold shower haha. Students arrived shortly after.

The night was a huge success! About 20 of Josh’s 27 students came. They all had some chili and ate most of the fried rice (which I am so happy to have leftover chili for us to eat).  They helped put icing on the cookies but didn’t finish all 3 dozen of my cookies. It’s ok though, I sent most of the cookies home with Eunjin and her father. She is one of Josh’s two Korean students. We played Pit, talked, listened to Christmas music, ate, and Josh’s guys played some video games.  Two of the girls did all my dishes!  That was such a blessing. Now I sit and type out the rest of this blog while Josh and his student David (also from Korea) play video games. 

We have a busy month ahead but instead of telling you what is going to happen, I will just wait and tell you what has happened.  Until then, this lady is going to bed.