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Arroz a la cubana

In the 2007-2008 school year, my husband John spent a year abroad in Spain.  He came back with the tales of many adventures, along with new favorite foods and a desire to wander and explore the entire world.  One of his new favorite foods is a dish that he makes quite frequently; it has become a staple in our home!  It is delicious and simple, perfect for when we are tired or just craving something low-key and homemade.  Without further ado, below is the recipe for Arroz a la cubana.

Arroz a la cubana

Ingredients:

  • 1 C uncooked rice
  • 2 C water
  • Dash of salt (if desired)
  • 4 eggs
  • Small can of tomato sauce (I use a flavored tomato sauce, like basil, oregano, and garlic, for additional flavor.  Salsa can also be used as a substitute.)

Instructions:

In a saucepan, bring the rice, water, and salt to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until rice is thoroughly cooked.  In the meantime, cook the eggs according to your preference (we enjoy over easy eggs).  On a plate, serve the eggs over a bed of rice.  Top with tomato sauce.  Enjoy!

Please note that this recipe is for two to enjoy.  It can easily be made for one by cutting everything in half, or it can be made for many by adding more rice, eggs, and tomato sauce.  It’s a very flexible and delicious recipe!

So surreal

I haven’t talked much about adjusting back to American culture, so I thought I’d share my impressions from my first forty-eight hours back in the States.

Upon landing in Detroit, I was overwhelmed by the English surrounding me.  I could read all the signs.  I could understand what people were saying around me.  John even chided me in the customs line for talking about personal topics because people could understand.  In China, I had developed the bad habit of talking about whatever I wanted whenever I wanted because no one could understand me.  Anyway, being able to read all the signs was overwhelming.  I didn’t know what to do with all the information.  It was so strange after not being able to read or understand anything around me for the past five months.

This information overload continued for the next couple days as we drove up to Bowling Green.  We could have chosen any number of ways (though there is only one direct way) to get there because we could read signs.  It was awesome!

However, I think the moment that being surrounded by English really hit me was in Wendy’s the day after we arrived.  My 10 year old brother-in-law Daniel wanted to take me to lunch, so we headed to the Wendy’s down the street.  He wanted chicken nuggets, and I wanted a salad.  So I began to place the order and pointed at the menu.  But the man behind the register understood me.  I didn’t have to explain myself.  It was weird.  While we were waiting for our food I told Daniel that John also like sweet and sour sauce because Daniel had ordered it with his nuggets.  And the man behind the register asked who like sweet and sour sauce.  I was taken aback that people I didn’t know could understand me.  It was so strange.

After a few days, the strangeness of being understood and understanding everything subsided, and I relearned what was appropriate to discuss in public and what should be talked about in the privacy of our own room.  The information overload and just being surrounded by English was definitely the most strange adaption for me, at least initially.  More to follow soon. 🙂

God’s faithfulness – a car, a phone, and a home

Alrighty, so my last post on God’s faithfulness detailed how God got us back to the States, though the situation looked IMPOSSIBLE.  My faith was increased immensely, and it was awesome to be able to share my struggles and my faith with my family and friends as I went through the situation and now with all of you!  This brings me to the next installment… what has happened since we’ve been back!

When we landed, our possessions consisted of one suitcase of clothes, one backpack, one tote (aka my purse), one messenger bag, and one camera bag.  Oh, and my wedding dress and a few sentimental items stored at my Grandma’s house and my journals stored in a friend’s attic.  Literally, that was (and still is) all that we owned.  It is so freeing to not be tied down by material possessions!  Anyway, we had very little and even less money.  But regardless, God has been faithful to provide.

John’s parents graciously allowed us to borrow their car for as long as we are in Ohio.  They even offered to let us keep it and take it to Portland, but we feel led to give it back to them and fly to Portland.  They have a sweet public transportation system anyway.  And more walking is just better for our health.  But for now, we have a car!  We can visit people and help friends in BG who don’t have cars.

In addition to essentially giving us a car, his parents also gave us his mom’s cell phone for as long as we need it since we couldn’t afford a phone of our own when we arrived (and frankly, we still can’t).  She recently quit her job, so she is at home where her family can reach her.  It has been awesome to have a phone to call our friends and connect with people!

For a place to live, God laid it on one of my best friend’s hearts to let us stay with her for as long as we need to stay.  She set up a queen-size air mattress in her office/spare room and has let us do laundry for the past few weeks.  She also cooks dinner for us!  She has been amazing; I’ve been really touched by her love and generosity.  God is using her for His glory!  It is awesome to see.

Though we don’t have much now (and what we have isn’t even all ours), God has been providing for our needs as they come up.  I’ve been learning to trust Him to provide for each day as it comes, something that admittedly isn’t easy for me to do.  I am confident that He will continue to provide for all our needs – from shelter to food to clothing t0 phones to money to move to Portland.  We are His children, and He loves us!

Food

By now, you might have noticed that I love to blog about food.  While traveling overseas, trying different foods was always an adventure… or at least a shock when I was served dog at one point.  (For the record, I declined that one.  Dogs and puppies are pets; I just couldn’t eat it.)

Anyway, I love food and have recently discovered a new love of cooking.  I have now decided to post recipes on this blog under the food tab.  I may also occasionally post dishes that I try and find delightful, but I think I’ll try to stick with recipes that I discover as I trot around the globe.

Feel free to leave suggestions of recipes I should try along with any thoughts or changes to recipes I post!  Enjoy!