Fall back

I’ve had on my list of blog topics for over a year now, “Bulgarian fall.” I think I added this last year with the intention of writing about how Bulgaria doesn’t really have an autumn the way this snobby New England girl thinks of the season; it typically goes from being unseasonably hot in September to suddenly cold and constantly raining sometime in mid-October. At least it did both of my first two years here.

Happily, this has not been the case this year. This past weekend three co-workers and I enjoyed beautiful fall weather in Koprivshtitsa:

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Of course, I have now jinxed it. But at least I get to delete “Bulgarian fall” off the blog topics list.

Life maintenance

So far this year, with my new position, I haven’t had much work I’ve had to take home. When I leave my office for the day, I’m basically done. This is a pretty novel concept to a teacher, and is perhaps the most concrete signal that I really am in a different line of work now.

It means, though, that I’ve been able to do more Normal People Things in the evenings. Like exercise. Or go grocery shopping. Or watch TV. Or cook and try new recipes. Or write blog posts.

Tonight I cooked quinoa for the first time:


I’ve eaten quinoa before, but never made it. I have a feeling it might fall into the same category for me as lentils–that is, the “This is so easy to cook, why didn’t I discover it sooner?!” category. Despite some recent increased domesticity, I find my preferred method of cooking still entails a lot of leaving stuff to simmer and then coming back to find that a meal has magically expanded in the skillet while I was watching the latest Colbert episode online. Lentils and quinoa are both really good foods for this lazy culinary style.

This recipe is adapted from one I found on Allrecipes. The only differences are that I added some chopped red pepper, as a few users suggested, and I also stirred in some leftover white rice that I haven’t been able to finish off. I also didn’t actually measure the corn and beans, just spooned it in until the balance looked right.

While still being pretty delightfully easy to throw together, this dish is a litle bit more difficult to make in Bulgaria than it would be in the States, for the following reasons:

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