Do you know what time it is? Do you?
It’s time, my friend, for a MONGOLIAN FOOD BLOG, WHAT WHAT woah like am I for real why yes I am, sister.
I should probably clarify that the above “MONGOLIAN” is not meant to modify “FOOD” but rather the noun phrase “FOOD BLOG.” Maybe one of these days I’ll come home from school and feel the urge to make buuz or huushuur. But probably not. People here like to ask me if I can make Mongolian food; I should learn how to say, “No, but I have observed it being made on multiple occasions!” Or maybe, “I can make Mongolian food with the same amount of expertise that I employ to speak Mongolian.” I definitely know how to express my opinion of mutton but I try to keep that information to myself, because I am a culturally sensitive person.
Check out the natural light in our kitchen, you guys. I can’t tell you how amazing the light in this beautiful g.d. apartment is, especially after three years of sunless basement-dwelling in D.C. Windows to the north of us! Windows to the south! Someday soon I’ll take pictures of the place and show them to you. Maybe after somebody finishes unpacking. That somebody is Ryan. Ryan is the person who has not put his things away yet. My things are not all over the floor. His things are. All over our floor.
And now on to the vegetables. The bell peppers and grape tomatoes were purchased from my buddy at the Warehouse for Vegetables and Meat (not what it’s actually called). I call him my buddy because I’ve bought stuff from him three times now and he seems to like me, or at the very least he gives me a real big Professional Smile when he sees me coming. This may have more to do with the fact that his stall is right next to a bunch of other pepper-peddlers, but whatever. We are Friends. I have Made a Friend. Just let me have my Mongolian Vegetable Friend, okay? Jesus.
The other things were purchased outside the warehouse, where lesser vegetables are sold. I was in the middle of a Fluent Carrot Transaction (“Five…um. Hello. How are you. Five hundred. Okay. Five hundred GRAMS, yes grams, okay five hundred grams, of…of…this…carrot…give me please? Aaaaaand how much thing?”) when I realized that one of the English teachers from my school was standing right next to me, listening in and grinning. Ha ha! Oh hello, coworker. Yes, I’m just, ah, carrots? Buy? Many carrots. Me.
So basically, I sauteed everything but the potatoes and the tomatoes, and put in some salt and some red pepper flakes (thanks for the care package, Mom!).
And then I mixed together a can of tomato sauce, about a cup of Jif peanut butter (this, along with the non-root vegetables, is a sign of how spoiled we are here in Erdenet) and some hot water. That and the tomatoes went in, plus because we’re not THAT vegetarian a cube of chicken bouillon got daintily added, like so:
I simmered. I added potatoes. I simmered some more.
I made some rice in our rice cooker and lo: Dinner.
This was slightly meh, though. It’s gotten better, obviously, as the flavors have melded in the fridge for the last few days. But it’s missing something. I dunno. Coconut milk? Soy sauce? Vinegar? Lemon juice? Hmm.
Anyway here’s a picture of me makin’ my speech on Wednesday. And did I tell you I have an office all to myself? God I’m so professional these days.