Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spidey senses

Hello everyone! I'm sorry for the delay! I've been quite busy setting up house, going to work, figuring out where things are (and that it really wasn't my fault the bath isn't working properly) and fending off giant spiders (no, really. MASSIVE ones).

This picture is slightly misleading as I have a GIANT sink. This thing is the size of a dinner plate.

Oh. Also. I've been trying to figure out what exactly I AM and AM NOT allowed to put on here. You see. I signed this work contract and in it's very vague about not posting identifying stuff online. No big. No faces = okay. Wrong. even if faces are covered with smileys, student names omitted from work, etc. I'm not allowed to post ANY student work or students (again, even with identifying info omitted) due to this whole online privacy thing. As much as that sucks, I can't even put any pictures I take on Facebook for my family to see. Bummer. So. While I'm still figuring out a lot of what I can and can't write, generally, if it has to do with a student in any way shape or form, I can't post it. Sorry guys, I have to figure out what else to talk about.

For now, I'll keep you updated on daily life things (living in Japan, what my bills look like, etc.) and once I'm more comfortable with what I am and am not allowed to post online, I'll let you know. It may be for events that I can get permission to post photos, but in that case, I'll need student parent permission. So please. Sit back and enjoy what updates I can give you.

"Increase the soup."

The first thing I can give you though, is no matter how desperate (or depressed as you are at a low point in your homesickness cycle) you are. Please, don't try to wing making cookies in your ancient toaster oven. It just makes you depressed when the end result is this.

Watching your cookies burn is the most depressing thing ever.
Also, the internet has just been set up at my house, so hopefully I'll be able to update you all more frequently. I'm also planning on learning to make Japanese food, so maybe I can share some recipes.

In the meantime, I have a RECIPE for those of you living in Japan. Maybe some of you back home can use it as well. The recipe is for sour cream. I like sour cream, but can never find it anywhere. So here is a simple recipe. Two ingredients. 10 minutes. Really.

Sour Cream Recipe

Put 1 cup of cream (heavy cream works too) in a bowl. Add to it 1-2 tsp of lemon juice (fresh or otherwise). Mix with a whisk or blender until it thickens a bit. 

If you're using normal cream it probably won't thicken quite as much at first, but just put it in the fridge for a few minutes and voila! Sour cream! If you like it thicker I think you just add more lemon. If you like it thinner, add more cream! 

Simple. Easy peasy. Not as much flavor as the stuff back home, but it'll do in a pinch.

*Note: The "dessert" cream they sell at the store works just fine. It's generally half the price of heavy cream too. 

Also, another note, I've had a problem with my silver talisman tarnishing within a matter of a couple days since arriving. I hate scrubbing the tarnish off because it ruins the charm and takes away a little bit every time I do it. So. After researching, I've found a cheap, easy way for all of us living on a budget with no idea where the jewelery store is.

Take a piece of aluminum foil and make a little boat large enough to fit your tarnished item. Place it in a pot and add water to the the pan and boat. Bring water to a boil and remove the boat carefully from the pan. Place it in your sink and add baking soda. It will boil up (I was surprised). Make sure that your silver object remains touching the aluminum foil and that it is covered with baking soda. Once the boiling over is settled replace your boat (backing soda and all) back into the pan of water. Turn the heat up and let it boil for a few minutes. I boiled my St. Christopher talisman (which was completely black) for bout 5 minutes and 90% of the tarnish came off. A few more minutes removed the heavier tarnish on the back. 

Simple. Cheap. Easy. Just watch out. After boiling the baking soda water you'll start to notice white gunk getting all over the place. It's easy enough to clean up (I recommend use a dry rag to wipe it down, otherwise it just smears) and be prepared to wash your pan a few times if the baking soda water gets out of it's "boat". 

So. That's all I have to say today. Hopefully it's useful. I know it's not my normal style of posting, but as I live in the country side, which is far less interesting than living in Tokyo was, I'm going to make the best of it and tell you all I can about living in Japan.



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