Holiday food, globally defined

 

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                Thanksgiving in a nutshell

Thanksgiving for a number of college students was a chance to have a bit of familial comfort and a respite from the Ratty/Vdub experiences to instead indulge in pumpkin pie, apple pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and everything autumnal and awesome. But of course, not everyone at Brown celebrated Thanksgiving or ate Thanksgiving food; BlogDailyHerald went straight to the source and asked a few international students to share their own favorite holiday foods. We posed a survey to the international community at Brown and here are some of the answers we got:

For those looking to mix up the obscene amount of chocolate eaten during the holiday season (hello, winter break ’15), José Soria ’19 of Madrid, Spain,  has your alternative. Jose loves turrón, which he describes simply as “super Spanish.” Turrón is essentially a blank canvas for your sweet tooth dreams. Any variation of a block of egg whites, sugar, and honey is considered turrón, and add-ins typically include nuts and chocolate. (Side note: when I lived in Spain my host family had a basket of turrón on the table for three months surrounding Christmas and it was beautiful.)

turrones

For Ian Cheung ’16, of Hong Kong, his favorite holiday food is tang yuan, which is “composed of these little balls of glutinous rice filled with black sesame, in a kind of soup broth.” In addition to being delicious, tang yuan has sentimental value for Ian because “‘it’s a very non-Western sweet food that symbolizes family union,” and reminds him of visiting relatives and family gatherings in Taiwan when he was a kid. It also has the added bonus of being hilarious to eat, because according to Ian, tang yuan is super chewy and often leaves lots of black sesame seeds between your teeth.

 

 

tangyuan

    Does that not look ridiculously fun to eat?

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Little Victories: Finals edition

Little Victories!

With the cold winds sweeping through campus and the specter of finals looming large, an end of semester pick-me-up felt appropriate. Presenting Little Victories: December Finals edition:

1) When the first question on the exam is from the textbook and you did it the previous night: Exams are tricky. You never know exactly what to prepare or what devious mind-warping questions the professor will come up with. Under such circumstances, seeing a previously solved question is like sighting a friend amidst a crowd strangers – a wonderful feeling and the sense that everything is going to be OK.

2) When you are the first person in line at the Ratty omelet bar: There are a few things that make as scrumptious a breakfast as a freshly made omelet. Consequently, there is always a line at the Ratty omelet bar. Sometimes, by the rarest of occurrences (i.e. by getting up early) you will find yourself at the head of this gathering. When that moment comes, savor it. Fill the order form with a bold flourish and remember to glance at the large overhead clock to rejoice in all the minutes you just saved.

3) The blast of warmth that greets you when you return from your outdoor adventures: Providence weather in December is miserable. It is frigid and the gusts of ice-cold winds can penetrate through the thickest armor of woollens. In such conditions, walking between classes seems like a miniature trek to the Antarctic. However, every long journey has its reward, and for the brave 9a.m. class goer there is the life-affirming warmth that comes when you finally stumble into a campus building.

4) When you get tickets for an event just before they get sold out: Getting tickets for certain extremely popular events (like the Nick Offerman talk) is slightly reminiscent of the Hunger Games: there are limited spots and no shortage of contestants. In situations like this, only the alacrity with which you click matters. Many times you’ll be too slow on the uptake, and the dreaded “sold out” notification will appear on the webpage. But sometimes you’ll time the click just right and get the ticket minutes before they run out.

5) When you wake up feeling well rested: The fact that college students are sleep-deprived is widely-known. However, many well intentioned adults believe this is by choice “Oh young blood,” they mutter indulgently, little knowing that burning the midnight oil is often a necessity, not a whim. However, there are some days, though a precious few, when you wake up feeling well rested having partaken heavily of “tired nature’s sweet restorer.”

Good luck on finals, everyone! And remember to stop and appreciate all of the little victories around you.


New to Netflix: December 2014

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Netflix has announced new movies and TV shows that will be making their streaming debut this December. As a way to look forward to lazy days indoors over winter break, or as a way to put off studying for finals a little bit longer, here is a list of all the titles coming to Netflix in the month of December 2014.

Movies

A Knight’s Tale (2001) (Dec. 1)
Inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, this medieval adventure film follows a peasant who is pretending to be a knight to compete in jousting tournaments. Rotten Tomatoes describes this as “Rocky on horseback.” *Dun… dun dun dun. Dun dun dun. Dun dun duuuuuuuun.* 

Almost Famous (2000) (Dec. 1)
Directed and written by Cameron Crowe, this comedy-drama film tells the coming-of-age story of a teenage Rolling Stone journalist following the fictitious 70s band Stillwater.

American Beauty (1999) (Dec. 1)
Suggested to be a satire of the American middle class ideals of beauty and satisfaction, this drama tells the story of office worker Lester Burnham, who falls into a midlife crisis, enamored by his daughter’s teenage friend.

Bewitched (2005) (Dec. 1)

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Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell in Bewitched (2005)

Based on the 1964-72 TV show of the same name, Bewitched stars Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Ferrell plays Jack Wyatt, a struggling actor desperate for a role. Jack agrees to star in a film version of the TV series Bewitched (so meta). Nicole Kidman as Isabel Bigelow is cast as the female lead alongside Jack, playing the witch-turned-housewife Samantha. Nobody knows that Isabel is really a witch (OH BOY).

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