Not at the same time! Chef Lara did not cook the Koi fish! Gross!

Today was another Monday under the belt–I finished a bit of writing and got quite a few more assignments added to my plate, but people are so careful and timid whenever they offer me more work (as if I wasn’t there from 8 to 5 to do exactly that!). It was a bit warmer today, so after eating a lunch (fried octopus and a rice dish–looking back I should have taken a photo, but I’ve started to get used to the food in the cafeteria in the embassy), I went out to the koi pond and watched the fish. There’s something so mesmerizing with the way they swim and bump into one another and slurp the air and bottom of the pool.

Anyway, after a fruitful day of staring at fish and also other work things, I went home, took a nap, went grocery shopping, and began cooking dinner at around 7:30. Today this is definitely more of a food blog post, because I followed Good Housekeeping’s unreviewed recipe for Mozzarella stuffed Turkey Meatballs. I must say–my meatball making skills leave some things to be desired, but my improvisation skills are sharp as ever.

I have a fear of touching raw meat, so I thought what better way to get over it than to make meatballs that require hands (the mozz stuffing part). So, I did that, and it was a mess:

But I survived getting raw chicken all over my hands and made 12 little bad boys and tried to fry them. Yes, it was chicken, not turkey, because there was no ground beef or turkey or any ground meat at all in the supermarket near my apartment, so I bought a box of “chicken hamburger patties” and mashed them up instead. I also toasted some bread and crumbled it up for the breadcrumbs, but apart from these minor changes, everything went according to the recipe.

Luckily for me, there was a hungry housemate lurking about, and he offered to fry all the meatballs (it was a struggle–we made the pan far too hot and flash burned them instead) while I formed them, which was much more efficient. He also kindly boiled us some pasta. Prior to the meatball making bonanza, though, I had made marinara sauce (the tub that’s in the background of the photo). He didn’t want to add any cayenne to the sauce, though 😉

After that, all we had to do was let them simmer in the sauce for a while! It was tricky to get them to cook all the way through, but though they look massive, there’s a hunk of mozzarella in there, so it’s really not so much meat that has to cook. My housemate was very impressed that this was my first time cooking meat (“why do you choose something so difficult and complicated for the first time? is this an American tradition?”) and I was also pretty happy with the result. Plus, it easily made 4 servings of meatballs–so I can repeat this with the interns if I want to. 🙂

it’s tricky to see the mozzarella in the meatball, but it’s there! and it’s reallllllly gooood 🙂 okay, I’ll stop patting myself on the back. Paul-Emile did help, so it wasn’t quite by myself. but I did the hard parts (raw meat! eew!) and I was in charge 😉

Another funny note: even though I’m the youngest intern (and also the youngest person living in the house alone), I think I’ve really started to embrace taking charge–something that hasn’t really happened before. But in cooking, in day planning, in other things, I started to notice that I was giving a lot of firm suggestions (okay, also known as directions or orders) and people were listening. It’s been bizarre. I worry that it may weaken my ability to be affected by what other people want, if I’m the one that’s constantly doing the planning and arranging, and I usually am very sensitive to other people’s wishes and feelings. So what will happen if I start to take charge more in groups? is that specific to here, because I know what I want and need? or is that part of growing up? My housemates are constantly surprised that I’m 19–but they also said that young americans they’ve met are typically very responsible. I think there may be a selection bias there–young Americans that they’re meeting are living abroad, a sign of some responsibility perhaps–but I still thought it was interesting.

As for my title–yeah, I really should iron my clothes because I’m running low. But I’m just so tired when I get back from work that I don’t want to iron and cook… eh, I’ll try to do it tomorrow.

Much love!

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