Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I tried to make birthday cupcakes a few weeks ago. It was a very important birthday, so I aimed a bit high: margarita cupcakes. I bought a bottle of tequila and some cupcake papers and went to work. The end result was a citrus cake with tequila frosting. The only way to explain what went wrong is to cite my ignorance. These are the things you take for granted if you eat cake in the New World:
1. Matching units of measurement between recipe and measuring cups
2. Not having to use scales
3. Your limes come from Mexico or, you know, someplace typical for limes. The limes here must come from northern Russia or something. Like there is no way this stuff was grown in fertile soil. Plus, I can taste the Tsardom. And the limes are inside of lemons, which are in oranges, inside grapefruits...
4. Cupcake tins
5. Frosting
Despite the conversion complications, this cake looks really nice. Actually, the biggest problem was that the limes were useless. I ended up replacing most of the lime juice with lemon juice and tequila, which is how we ended up with this situation in my refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Boterham = boter+ham. It's a buttered ham, right? Wrong! It's a sandwich. Not even a sandwich. It doesn't deserve the honor. It's a piece of bread with something smeared on it. Sometimes with another slice on top if you're lucky. So imagine my surprise when I found out everyone around me ate buttered ham for breakfast. "Oh, you know, I can usually eat two, three. Sometimes I put one on top of the other and I call that one." Three buttered hams for breakfast? I knew people ate a lot across the pond, but this is ridiculous. Without butter or ham, how will I survive? A breakdown, you guys. But it's cool. It's just a half-assed sandwich. They don't put peanut butter and jelly together though. That's the only boterham in the New World, but they think it's weird here. "Protein and fruit? I can't even imagine. They're so weird in your country." Oh it's on.

You, Too, Can Become Belgian

Every country has its thing that isn't trendy anywhere else. Belgium just has more of them, that's all. While they're striking in protest of whatever isn't stylish in Belgium that week, they occupy their time with the following things:
1. dancing like poultry. Every non-Belgian in Belgium knows what I'm talking about.
2. being proud of their non-government
3. hating Queen Elizabeth II. Maybe this isn't everyone, but I've heard from a lot of people that she just looks mean.
4. eating cabbage
5. telling me I have obviously heard of this band, because they're famous in Belgium
6. looking like Justin Bieber
7. having more hair than reasonable
8. smoking
9. complaining about public transportation
10. doing their best to look ballin' when mommy drops them off for school because they're not allowed to drive yet
11. telling me that I'm not allowed to drink back home, so it evens out not being allowed to drive
12. they eat peppers too. Everything is pepper flavored. Like bell peppers, not like spicy or salt-and-.
13. complaining about immigrants
14. being hipsters- big glasses, dreadlocks, ironic sweaters, generally being underground. It's getting difficult to tell all these alternative people apart.
15. complaining about school, forcing me to resist telling them about walking through snow uphill both ways, past Ford Street in the North Country winter to get to the library, so I could do some research for my 50 page English paper.
16. talking about feelings
17. talking about Belgium while Japan is melting see: Prince Laurent in Congo. i.e. not seeing the Big Picture
18. Idioms. There is not a single Belgian who speaks literally
19. Surrealism. Just accept what is happening and everything will be just fine. Watch out for the bicyle-pianos, accordeon-trumpets, and amputee guitarists.
20. going on strike about something else