Tiny Tiny Kitchen

We feel extremely grateful for this apartment! It may be small, but it is easier to keep clean and smells nice! (That last one was the clincher in my book!) The building is also much more secure and it is walking distance to work!  Do you see our fancy clothes dryer in the back ground?  We have two racks that are always full!  Mongolia is very dry and so clothes dry in a day.

Dining area.  Obviously, the table is too small for all of us, but when is the last time we all sat down to eat? Usually the girls are sitting and Da and I are up fixing, pouring, etc.  ;o)

This is our entire kitchen.  As you can see above, the fridge is in the dining area.

This is our entry way.  The laundry closet is off to the right and the guest bath is on the left.  In Mongolia it is custom to take off your shoes before entering a home, the tile is even at a different level.

This is the girls room. Xuxu and Star sleep in that full size bed together and the Mouse and Pie sleep on the couch in the living room. Their bedding is piled on the big girls bed during the day to keep it out of the way.  It isn’t as green in there as it looks in this photo.  They have a porch which we use for storage.  As you can see, the single dresser isn’t enough for the girls clothing, so Mouse and Pie use containers.

This is the bathroom.  The towels are hung on a drying rack, but we don’t use it.  Maybe in the winter I’ll use it to warm up my towels while I take a shower!

Our square toilet and the shower.

This is the dresser and closet that Da and I share.

One of the first things we wanted to do when we moved in was make bread.  We brought our own pans.  We found Russian yeast right away and a bag of whole wheat flour at the Mercury Market.  The flour is more course than we are used to and has a slightly different flavor, but it works well for toast.

The girls were feeling a little stressed this afternoon and so I wanted to make some comfort food.  We made chocolate chip cookies and even made a math lesson out of it!   The chocolate was a Dove Dark bar chopped up by Mouse and we have no butter and so we used Crisco.  They weren’t bad!

We have started making beans every single day because of the difficulty we are having finding fresh vegetables.  (They are present in small quantities, just not always fresh.)  We soak a bag every night and cook it all day.  Every day!   Tonight I used the black beans I cooked yesterday, saute’d with an onion, garlic, a green pepper, red pepper flakes, salt and fresh cilantro.  (I used to hate cilantro, but it has grown on me!)  I’m still on the hunt for cumin, which will definitely be an improvement!

I’m posting this next photo for my MIL.  ;o)  Only 4 oz., but still!

Meet our mixer!

UPDATE:  Today we found enough veggies (and the right kind) to make vegetable broth.   The girls are so excited to eat the vegetables after they’ve done their job on the stove top!

Here is the recipe I used:  The items in yellow are what I could not find…

Vegetable Broth

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound celery
1 1/2 pounds sweet onions
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound tomatoes, cored
1 pound green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound turnips, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 gallon water
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery and set aside.
3. Toss onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and turnips with olive oil. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and place them in the 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)  oven. Stir the vegetable every 15 minutes. Cook until all of the vegetables have browned and the onions start caramelize, this will take over one hour.
4. Put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, pepper corns, Italian parsley and water into a large stock pot. bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced by half.
5. Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. The liquid caught in the bowl or pot is your vegetable broth it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Although the vegetables are no longer necessary for your broth they are delicious to eat hot or cold, don’t waste them!

5 Responses

  1. Ginger says:

    Hmmmm….I don’t live in Mongolia but still make beans everyday. I like your fun place. Thanks for sharing.

    • 安妮 says:

      Ginger, We found vegetables today, enough to make a batch or two of broth. The girls are waiting patiently (not) for the veggies! Tomorrow we’re going to make that Tuscan White Bean Minestrone that you and I like so much. All we have for veggies for that is the tomatoes, 2 zucchini and a head of purple cabbage… I’m thinking it will still be fantastic!

  2. These photos are a fun look into your new adventure. Love the brief captions – tells just enough to let us know what is going on in Mongolia!! Loved reading it and seeing your pictures. Thanks for posting it!!

  3. Liz C says:

    With that wonderful light through the windows, I wonder if you could grow some herbs in the windows, or on the sun porch? That might be a way to get cilantro, and even cumin (since that’s the seed) year-round. (Growing tomatoes stink, though…)

    • 安妮 says:

      Liz, I would love to grow some herbs on the windows! In fact, I am planning on doing lots of sprouting (I brought all the seeds with me) to fill in the green we are missing. I have the perfect shelf for it in the dining room! I just emptied a jar of spaghetti sauce today and plan to use the jar for just that!