Autumn,  Daily Life,  Eats

Hallo-Week

hello listopad (november) in czech republic. i’ve seen you somewhere before. oh yeah– it was last year when we moved into you!

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yes, we arrived on a train from berlin fraught with worry and anxiety over an incident with the ticket checker and also our failure to follow instructions and meet our contact person at the correct place and time at hlavni nadraži (central station), prague. finally we were whisked away by taxi and shown to our simple apartment on kolbenova street, vysočanska district (prague 9). boy, that day was a culture shock. and going to one of the many chinese restaurants to realize we couldn’t say anything… not a lick of czech… let alone figure out how to pay or tip.  now i’m quite used to converting everything to dollar from the easy $1 = approx 20czk conversion rate. and i know now, tipping is not a thing here. people usually round up to the nearest 10 just for convenience’s sake.

so! where was i? ah yes halloween, my second favorite holiday. i couldn’t help but to spread the “gospel” of halloween to my students. most definitely do not celebrate it in the least, some families with small children celebrate by carving a pumpkin, usually at a school event and i believe there were some kind of faux “trick or treating” events for kids. i planned a special halloween lesson with my thursday girls, complete with halloween coloring, dressing up in “costumes” and pretend trick-or-treating with candy. we even played uno…. only because it was halloween, i say!

i vowed to make plenty halloween food projects. i think i rather succeeded! the day before halloween, we carved our solitary pumpkin from u tri vrbne (farmers market) with excellent results… while listening to the misfits’ walk amoung us, of course.

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and you guys. homemade caramel apples are brilliant– not only for halloween but they’ll do any ‘ol autumn day! all you do is melt a couple bags of store-bought soft caramel candies, dunk the apples, cover with roasted, salted peanuts. THE BEST!

i also am pretty proud of myself for making DIY pumpkin puree, as store-bought canned puree is not a thing. special thanks to marin mama of one of my favorite cooking blogs for her great suggestions and helping out this poor american abroad. so far, have made homemade pumpkin spice syrup to add to coffees and the like. on the agenda for today: lentil soup and pumpkin spice cookies! can’t stop, won’t stop. was especially proud of this creation which–honest to god– i thought of on my own, although i’ve since discovered other people have too. i present to you, halloween dinner! alex lurved it.

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also, this is a thing! “halloween soup”! oh europe, i love the way you try.

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our halloween was a bit crazy, but we found time for spiced hot cider and the wolf man (1941).

on friday we went out to a halloween party at a pub with a few international english speaking friends. i’m sure i didn’t make any new friends, as alex and i both went as old angry czech ladies. sort of controversial (and totally ugly!), but it was better than dressing as a TV character of an american show no one’s heard of.

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typical signs of an old cranky czech lady: overstuffed shopping bag, scowl, mullet, giant over-sized jacket, socks with sandals, a walker, and a bag of rohlík (long bread rolls unique to CZ). it’s only a stereotype because it’s true! i know, i see it everywhere. although the other day i spotted a really happy smiley looking older lady, the first i’ve seen in a full year of living here. really.

so there you are, doing it right in the czech republic. now for cooking, cleaning, going out to the movies, furiously reading three books at the same time (not literally) and hiding from the rain. happy listopad, all!

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