Bake Sale Queen Humbled

Last week, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies for the Bible study my roommate and I host. It was also my roommates birthday on Thursday,  so I wanted  make her an apple pie.

I found an apple pie  and cookie recipe online. After writing down all the ingredients, I Google translated everything so I could buy them at the grocery store.  I went to Albert and searched all over the store for the ingredients constantly checking my bilingual list.  However, I couldn’t find shortening or a pie dish.  I found most of the ingredients though. I even went to the Korean store (a mini department store) near King George Square. I found a light wood rolling pin and a cookie sheet. With all the ingredients in tow,  I came back to the flat and started to get the ingredients together. I looked for measuring cups in the drawer of our flat, but I realized  I should have brought some from Buffalo (a week later I still haven’t found a set in any store). I ended up using  a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients. I was getting so nervous thinking these cookies will taste terribly. To make the baking project even more crazy,  I realized I forgot to buy white sugar. I dashed to the store, but I  couldn’t figure out what sugar to get: Krystal or Pastel sugar, and with time racing I grabbed the Pastel sugar. I dashed back to my flat.  The chocolate I crushed up to put in the dough made Hershey taste like Godiva. I kept praying they would taste delicious. I finally got all the ingredients mixed, even though it may not have been exactly to the book. I put a batch on the cookie sheet I had bought. But, it didn’t fit into the small European oven. Praise the Lord Anetka had bought a small sheet pan, so I transferred the cookies to the smaller pan.

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First cookie batch

Twenty-five minutes later (instead of the usual 8-10 minutes), I took out the first batch of cookies. They looked more dense than other cookies I’ve made. It must have been  the powered sugar (pastel) that I used instead of the granulated (Krystal) sugar. After sampling one if the cookies, I thought it tasted nasty.

Anetka came back from work and I she gladly tried one of them She loved it! The best part of baking that day was wearing the apron my Mom and I  got at Delish Cooking school in downtown Buffalo. I wore my pearls while baking too, check that  off the bucket list (wearing pearls while cooking or baking).

When the girls came for the Bible study, by the end of the night they  ate all but one of the 4 dozen cookies!! They loved them, a lot.

When I made the apple pie on Friday to celebrate Anetka’s B-day I still hadn’t found shortening to make the pie crust. I used butter instead, hoping it would work. After pealing and cutting all the apples, it didn’t fit into the pan very well (I had found a small tin pie pan). I put a the same sheet pan I used for the cookies, and  put the pan underneath the pie dish in case the apple juice sizzled out. When it was finished, it looked and smelled delicious. After Tomas and Misha came to our flat to celebrate. I served the pie to my friends. Anetka and Misha had two slices. I thought, oh I need to try this again. It isn’t what it should taste like, but it is delicious.

This adventure taught me, be careful, Lisa, even if you think you’ve become a baking diva, you can always learn more. The two baking days were their own adventure in themselves. We will leave perfecting to another day.

Communcation: essential

Here are a few words in the Czech Language.

Last week, some of my Czech friends were sitting on the couch in my flat, and they were laughing and talking in Czech. I would catch a word or phrase, but not enough to understand what they were talking about. They were laughing and talking just as any American would do. Language is a necessity in life.

Starting Czech lessons is very exciting. My teacher speaks mainly in Czech, and if I don’t understand she says it in English. Czech is a fascinating language. There are do many ways to form words.  Unlike any other language I’ve studied (Spanish and English the only two really) or even learned a smidgen about, each adjective, noun, and even a person’s name changes depending on the case of the sentence. It amazes me that even its native speakers can learn it.

Czech shows the amazing complexity of the brain. God has truly created so much to reflect Himself and His nature. He is beyond our comprehension. He has created every language in the world, and He is more fluent in each language than a linguist devoted to a life of study.

Oh Father! You have created language to communicate to you and to each other. Help me learn by Your wisdom.

What was it like?

Across the castle, on the other side of the river is a bike path.

It always been a dream of mine to live in Europe, to learn another language, and to experience a different way of living. God has allowed me  to fulfill that dream in moving to Poděbrady, Czech Republic. In my small mind (compared to God’s infinite mind), I could never imagine actually moving to a different country.

The other day, I walked to the River Elbe and and sat across from Poděbrady Castle. As I tried to studied Czech numbers, my mind began to wonder, trying to imagine what life would have been like when the castle was first built in the second half of the 13th century. The cobble-stone and paved streets I walked today were probably  dirt roads with horses and wagons instead of cars and bicycles. The lifestyle of the people would have been so different too: their clothes, hobbies and occupations. It’s amazing to think that one city has remained throughout so much history.

What great opportunities are now before me? I have yet to discover each one.

Bye for Now

Ahoj!

Lisa