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Champignon (Wednesday, 2011 April 27)

May 1st, 2011

Haven’t had much in the way of Internet access lately. Can’t tell if it’s just Camtel’s usual bag of suck or if there’s a proximate cause — weirdness at the Camtel office yesterday that is too trivial to really go into.

Suddenly the end of the school year is upon us. I knew it was close, but I thought I still had like a month, since the 6th sequence started only a couple weeks ago when we got back from spring break, but apparently finals start Tuesday. I’m falling behind on basically everything — still have to calculate grades for the fifth sequence, fill out bulletins, etc. — and it still hasn’t been regular about raining. I have to write the comprehensive exam for 4e; my AP (head of department) wrote them for all the other levels. Writing a comprehensive exam is way easier than any particular exam, because there’s enough actual material over an entire year to pick from that you don’t have to struggle to find questions.

Without Internet I’ve been watching more Chuck (and ♡ Jenn and Johnny for providing me with some missing episodes) and cooking a little more. This is supposed to be mushroom season, but I never see any in my podunk little village — but in town yesterday I bought 2000 CFA worth, a plastic bag full of mushrooms with caps like dinner plates. Mushrooms are the best rooms, FYI. Times like these I wish I was a real cook, but I was just so happy to have real mushrooms that didn’t come from a can!

Today I’m experimenting with soybeans, which are really easy to find dry — three liters is about 1000 CFA — and apparently it’s pretty feasible to make your own tofu! They sell tofu in the north, and it is awesome, so it’d be great to have some here too. Some other volunteers in the West have taught mommies to make it the way they make grilled meat brochettes or beignets, little balls of fried dough, but it’s not quite here yet in our village. My postmate has the technique down and she’s going to do a demonstration this weekend. Trivia: apparently the French name for tofu is "viande de soja", soy meat. Also: normally you’d strain out the soy solids from the soy milk using cheesecloth, but we don’t have any here so we’re using couches de bébé, diapers (that have been boiled to be on the safe side).

So here I am waiting for my soy milk to coagulate! I didn’t measure anything so I’m sure it’s gonna be a disaster but what the hell, you only live once. (Actually the first batch came out OK — my soy sauce has gone bad though, maybe during my trek through the Extreme North?)

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