Wednesday, January 26, 2011

J. finds an outlet!

Cardamom-apple pancakes with rosewater syrup
Last month, J. and our good neighbor Tuna (also a grad student) decided to have food and movie nights with friends, where they competed with their culinary skills on a specific theme or food.   They want to do a blog, too, where they post pictures of the food and review the movies.  Last week (the second event) was a bread contest, and we watched The Holy Mountain (1973).  The bread (a simple whole wheat boule from J. and a rococo pesto loaf from Tuna) was absolutely delicious.  And the movie didn't make anyone run screaming from the room.  Though it's really just a snacks sort of event, everyone who has come has brought a dish, so it turns into a stone soup/Jesus and the loaves kind of thing.  So nice!

Pesto bread in foreground, J's boule to the left, gulab at the top, and a green bean dish by a Turkish friend that tastes very much like you'd get it in the South!

Other than futzing with his bike, this is J's only organized activity.  And as much as I complain about having to forcibly eject him from the house to go work sometimes, he really needs something that has nothing to do with work.  Both he and Tuna are haggard grad students, so they have that bond as well as friendship.  Though they call it a competition, there's nothing like that going on.  No stress, no winners, no rules.  Just food and good times.

Gulab jamun- fried dough in syrup, from India
I made a batch of galub jamun from a packet, and made the syrup myself.  The dough was not the tastiest part about the dish, but I think the syrup turned out well.  So well, we used the leftovers the next day to pour on our pancakes (highly recommended recipe).

On a whim Monday, I checked the academic and public libraries for the towns J's applied in, and actually found some openings.  They weren't ideal, but I am confident that I can eventually turn a part time job into full-time once I prove myself. Economy be damned!*  To show I was being super positive (I'm still making up for my attitude from the past) I sent J an email with the links.  His response was that he wasn't feeling very positive about his current applications because no one was responding to his last email.  It's the beginning of the semester, so I think it's just people being busy.  I hated to hear him sounding sad, and I really didn't mean to exacerbate that with my email.  He's one of the most responsible, level-headed people I know, so sometimes it's hard to remember that he's feeling uncertain and scared, too.

*Please don't ruin my delusions.


  1. Ooh, we make gulab jaman all the time and use the extra syrup for cocktails, but pancakes sounds much more wholesome.

    Re: looking for jobs in new places. I'm in the middle of trying to get funding for foreign research next year, but I have no idea if I'll get it or where we'll be this time next year. Sometimes I look for jobs in the new place in my partner's field, and it makes me feel better about dragging him around everywhere. I hope J hears back from people--the beginning of the semester is so hectic, but that doesn't make it feel any better when you're the one waiting to hear back.

  2. Would you give me your recipe? I think I was put off by the ones I've found because I hate working with dairy. And powdered milk? What?

    I tried using the syrup for cocktails. 1) I don't know how to make cocktails 2) maybe it was because it doesn't go with gin? I wasted a lot of gin.

    I've had google alerts for jobs in his field for over a year now, which has helped me understand things a little better. It made me feel like I was helping out, even if none of them have panned out. If I was your partner, that effort would make me very happy. The realization of my impending job search seems sort of recent-- but what can you do when you don't know where you'll be?


  3. Our gulab jaman recipe is mostly all milk, powdered milk, and flour, so it might not be the best recipe for you. :/ I've heard good things about recipes that are just flour, baking soda, and a little sugar, but haven't tried them. Our syrup is cardamom-heavy, so we use it in sidecars. It's good in whiskey sours too. I personally don't think anything goes well with gin. :D

    The academic job market is so non-sensical. It still presumes the "trailing spouse" model of academic relationships despite everyone's pretensions to being so progressive. The hiring in your J's field sounds slightly different than the process in the humanities, but the entire system presumes that the academic and their whole family will be ready to move with only a few months' notice.

  4. I'm really glad we don't have kids. That makes it seem like it won't be so bad. I should probably start reading moving resources. We've already had a yard sale, and made a list of large items we'll store with family or sell.


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