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Amparo Bertram

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12:38 pm: Trick or KitKats
This past week I started my annual offer of candy to any student brave enough to come to the teacher's room and say "trick or treat." Since I learned (from past years) that the students always take KitKats if they're available (mainly because they're bigger than other kinds of candy, so the students feel they're getting more for the effort), I packed my plastic jack-o-lantern with three types of KitKats (with a couple other things just in case there's a student who doesn't like/can't eat chocolate).

As I've mentioned before, KitKats come in wildly varied flavors here, mostly changing seasonally. I picked plain, red bean flavor, and the special Halloween caramel flavor (which is a vast improvement over last year's pumpkin flavor). Most of the students choose the caramel one, probably because of the cute wrapper. (One of the caramel-choosing students actually argued with a friend who was trying to take a plain one, saying, "No! You're supposed to take THIS one!")

The down side of the "seasonal" food attitude is that you can never count on a particular flavor of anything sticking around long. As an example...Japan doesn't do chip dip. They have a million different kinds of sauce (sauce for okonomiyaki, takoyaki, teriyaki, yakisoba, tonkatsu, and so on and so forth), but no dip for chips. I had been managing a reasonable approximation by pouring some onion salad dressing over cottage cheese, but the flavor of salad dressing that I used has now vanished. ;_; I tried mixing up something by blending sour cream with onions...but it never tasted like dip, just like sour cream with bits of onion in it.

Last week I noticed fried onion flakes being sold as a salad topping, so I picked one up. When I opened it, it smelled just like French onion dip, so I figured I'd give my mixture another try. I mixed the fried onion flakes with sour cream, and smoothed the flavor with dashes of sugar, salt, mayonnaise, and mustard. It actually turned out rather well. I put a little too much sugar in it for it to go well with potato chips, but it would have been great as a vegetable dip. I wound up using it as a sandwich spread, and that wasn't bad at all.

In other news, I had a scare on Friday when I came home and noticed my apartment was surprisingly warm and smelled of hot oil. It turns out I had accidentally left my stove on after making lunch that day. Luckily, it had been on low and hadn't started a fire. I'm still working on cleaning the baked-on oil off the pan, though.

I had tried to make a resolution to keep my apartment as clean as it was when my parents visited. That lasted about two weeks before I returned to my slovenly ways. It had finally gotten to a point where it was a little much even for me, however, so this weekend I worked on housekeeping. I managed to scrub out the bath and wash all the dishes that had piled up in the sink and on the kitchen table. Maybe next weekend I'll get the books picked up off the living room floor...

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[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:October 29th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Soak the pan in baking soda and a bit of warm water. Baking soda+oil+water+heat makes primitive soap.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 30th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try.
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