Eggplant

Many people dislike or even hate eggplant, but I think eggplant is good when cooked right. And the dish that I think is cooked correctly is the eggplant casserole that my grama makes.

Gretchen Schuette, my grandma, wrote down her mom’s eggplant casserole and it is delicious. It is the perfect balance of eggplant and tomato. The grated cheese on top is the perfect way to finish the dish.

Ingredients:

1 medium-size eggplant

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

1 can tomatoes or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes

1 chopped small green pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. brown sugar

Grated cheese

photo credit: Medical News today

Recipe:

Dice eggplant and cook for 10 minutes in boiling water.

In another pan, melt butter and blend with flour.

(Cook on low heat for 3 minutes if you use whole wheat flour.)

Add the rest of the ingredients (except eggplant).

Cook sauce for 5 minutes.

Mix together the sauce and the eggplant and put in a casserole.

Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

May be frozen after it is baked for later use.

ENJOY!

Gobbler

I came home in the early evening to find my stomach hollow

So I put together a dirty dog and placed it in my gullet to swallow,

A hot dog topped with toppings such as cheese, chili, and corn

As I placed it in my mouth I discovered a miracle had been born,

I’m a master of creation

I have the hands of god,

I can change reality like claymation

My life up until now turned to be a facade,

I start to dig in

I’ve become a professional eater,

The food disappears fast

Like I’m accelerating in a two seater,

Seconds have passed

And I’m turning down the heat,

I ate it so fast

I was sure an eating record I had beat.

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Routine

I have conditioned my cat.

Her treats stay in the top drawer of my dresser, along with folded clothes. When I open the drawer, the handle bounces against the wood, making a clanging noise. Each time I hear it, she comes running in anticipation of treats.

Now comes the balance.

I worry to open the drawer for clothes, for fear of her conditioning wearing off. If she does not get treats when she hears the clanging, she may begin to unlearn her conditioned response. She will stop running to me, and I will have lost my leverage.

If I want her to come over, I open the drawer. Though, if I open it for clothes instead of treats, I feel obligated to give her what she wants. I wonder if it’s mean of me to tease her – even if I don’t mean it. She doesn’t know the difference.

I now find her trying to open the drawer herself. One day she will. And that day I will move the bag of treats. And the conditioning process will begin once more.

Trying to get her treats

Thanksgiving Break is Soon

Students are going on break soon to celebrate a holiday with their friends and family. This holiday is fun for people of all ages with football, the Macy’s Parade (which is going to be virtual this year), the National Dog Show, and lots of food.

Photo Credit: DOGO news

There is normally turkey, but if you do not eat meat or turkey you can always substitute it. Mash potatoes and gravy is a necessity at every thanksgiving table. My personal favorite is stuffing.

My family and I play lots of card games and spend time together. We used to eat Thanksgiving dinner with friends, but due to COVID it will just be our family which is perfectly fine.

I can not wait to go home and celebrate this joyous time with my family. We gather around the table and say what we’re thankful for and what we hope to do for the rest of our year.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I can not wait to celebrate it.

Food at OVS

It has been a month since I arrived on campus, and so far I have had some pretty good meals. I enjoy the fact that there is always a fruit or vegetables option during the meals.

Most mornings for breakfast the cafeteria has eggs, bread, and a meat option. I really enjoy all the different types of bread they have to offer, but they add butter before they toast the bagel. this makes the bagel feel greasy, but they are still delicious, nonetheless.

Photo Credit: OVS.org

I do not have any complaints about what they serve, they have options for everyone. One of my favorite foods they serve at the caf is the tofu, it is perfectly cooked and has an amazing sauce.

The juice selection is top tier as well. The lemonade is the best in my opinion, but many of my friends think it is the Orange Passion Fruit juice.

I am also very happy that they have sriracha, because I have it with all my meals.

OVS as a New Student

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Being a new student where you do not know anyone is hard, but going to boarding school away from your family is even harder. I have been to my fair share of sleep away camps, but this a whole different feeling.

I have had a weeks worth of food, and so far the food doesn’t disappoint. I think my favorite meal so far was the french toast breakfast with fruit. I have noticed that there is always a carb option.

I have walked up and down the hill so many times because I missed the golf cart to take us to get food. I have done a lot of exercise in my short one week period here at OVS. I have swam in the pool almost everyday, kicked around a soccer ball after dinner, and even try to play basketball on the weekends.

Overall, I am enjoying my time here.

Tis the Season

If anyone asks me of favorite holiday of the year, I would reply “Christmas” without hesitation.  There are several reasons why I like Christmas. First of all, I get to see my parents for solid amount of time. However, I just like the unique vibe of Christmas. I like the special smell of Christmas that triggers my nostalgia. Also Christmas carols that are played everywhere on the street.  Good foods are always available during Christmas, and then you get to enjoy the new year celebration. My favorite part of the new year celebration is Fireworks for sure.  It is mesmerizing to watch bursts of fireworks in the night sky, making me think about new year resolution that I will never do.

PC: Patch.com

The Breakfast Table

I got up early on Sunday, and went to the breakfast table.

We sing songs at the breakfast table: how your day has been, how my day has been, how everybody’s day has been… yes, even on a Sunday morning. 

It was one thing that I did, one tiny thing that I mentioned. But then it became all that defined me. I was no longer myself, but the ugly thing at the breakfast table. Imagine the horror of that—losing yourself at a breakfast table.

Jake, way to impress the breakfast table, I thought. Now I walk with a label. It’s going to expand with delicious rumors while my bones crumble and unravel.

In a way, it was a relief. The breakfast table only found out about this nasty side of me. Even when aristocrats at the table are disgusted by the sight of me, it’s ok. It’s alright because if my character is defined by a tiny mishap, they won’t discover the real fault of me. 

I left the breakfast table a long time ago, and aristocracy means nothing to me. But days like today I find my bright side wondering, did the breakfast kill me? My respect for the breakfast table has crumbled, but just like before, I’m still idle. Have you ever been to the breakfast table?

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Your Vegan Thanksgiving is still a Celebration of Violence!

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A vegan Thanksgiving is more sustainable and animal cruelty free. Supporting semen being sucked out with a straw from 46 million male turkeys’ anuses each year is cruel.  But having Thanksgiving at all is not necessarily cruelty free. The only ethical way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend it educating yourself on indigenous rights. 

“Happy Thanksgiving” I am so thankful for the Native Americans who continue to fight for their rights, their lands, refuse to abide by the societal expectations of pretending nothing terrible happened to their ancestors on this holiday. 

As we are having a beautiful Thanksgiving feast with our families and friends, remember that today is a national day of mourning for native Americans across the country. So while you’re thinking, “wow, this holiday is so incredible and based upon gratefulness and love between humans,” please don’t forget that thousands upon thousands of Native Americans have been brutally murdered in cold blood (partly) for their lands by white colonizers. 

And this question shocks me… but how many people across the country will celebrate Thanksgiving today having never even engaged with or met a native person, can’t name five tribes, can’t name the tribe whose lands they occupy or even can’t name a living native person? 

So… why not celebrate gratitude daily? It is one of the most important self-care practices a person can do. Daily practices rather than on just one day covered by blood which is just another white supremacist holiday. I’m not saying we should completely cut Thanksgiving from our yearly tradition but being less arrogant and realizing what this holiday truly represents. Being “woke” can be very emotionally taxing and difficult to talk about; but it’s worth doing the right thing rather than taking the easy way out and staying silent. 

Ignorance is not bliss. Even though it would be much easier not to post about these topics and just pretend today is a wonderful day of giving thanks…like everyone else does… so I don’t hurt any proud Americans’ feelings. If you’re not speaking the truth, you’re part of the problem. 

So bon appétit, but don’t forget!  As we celebrate thanks, for Native Americans Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the assault on their culture and history of colonial violence.

Noodles

Recently I had a dream no different from most, I was at a grocery store with an old friend of mine. It used lightbulbs that just made the store appear sickly (obviously not LED), the flickery hospital lighting that evokes the smell of latex gloves from nowhere. Anyways, apart from the lights that bothered me a lot, the shelves were only partially stocked, but they were all stocked wrong and without any tags. This made it especially difficult to find the ramen that my friend and I had gone in there looking for. After wandering through rows of of tall, black, and poorly built shelves with pretty much anything thrown on them, we finally came upon the milk section. Now this was a bit of a problem because we had gone in there looking for ramen, and I was now browsing cartons of milk that looked as though they smelled like goat urine. After my brain had somehow remembered that the dream had begun with the task of looking for ramen, we began to move away from the milk and towards the rest of the store.

Now, personally I do not know why I so vividly remember this dream. I can only attribute it to me having had a boring day, and the dream being the only interesting thing that had happened to me since the morning.

When we finally came across the ramen, it was behind some boxes of Chinese snacks that I can only describe as milky bread sticks. The ramen was also sub-par because it was the off-brand Korean kind that was made to burn your eyebrows off that once made me sneeze chili powder. I was upset but still willing to take it, because after an extended period of time in a poorly managed grocery store that I have dreamt about many times before, I was getting fairly irritable. However, this is when my hulking, pigmy of a friend decided to grab it and run off.

I was furious, I had just wasted so much time staring at milk, wandering through aisles of nothing, and putting up with stress-inducing incandescent lighting, all to have my crappy ramen stolen away from me. Normally, this is where I would wake up, barge downstairs, and make myself food, but my dream-self was feeling particularly determined tonight. I continued searching for ramen, I spent hours searching the shelves of the store, running into half-asleep janitors, and many soulless patrons, destined with the same fate as I was.

After my search of the store came up empty, I somehow stormed myself to the loading dock in the back of the store that for some reason was also the location of the dumpster. It was beside this dumpster that I had found almost exactly what I was looking for, garbage bags full of contaminated ramen noodles. I do not know why I thought to look in the trash bags, I do not know how I knew they were contaminated, and I also do not know why I eventually took two bags home, but I do know that the story did not end well for me.

I don’t remember exactly how the dream ended, I eventually woke up, and I remember being fairly put off by the end, but as is common with dreams, I quickly forgot it. I didn’t find much meaning behind this dream. This is by no means the first dream I have had about grocery shopping, those have always been quite common for me. I didn’t think about the dream again until I came home that day from school, and saw that among some of the things my mother had bought from the grocery store was a few packets of ramen. Needless to say, I did not eat the ramen. That was the night I discovered that perhaps store bought ramen wasn’t for me, that was also the night that I discovered I was clairvoyant. So if there’s anything you should take away from this experience, and I seriously doubt there is, I’d say it’s probably to use LED bulbs, because they won’t cause irrational and dangerous decision making like incandescent bulbs do.

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