I have been spending a lot of time looking through my cookbooks to figure out what I can make for dinner over here. My cookbooks were in the crate, so I haven't been able to do this until now. Unfortunately, many of the recipes I used to make, I cannot make here because we don't have the same ingredients available. My mom was so kind and brought us a ton of food when they came to visit, which means I am making Pretzel Jell-O Salad to take with us to the Lang's for Christmas. I made half a dozen calls yesterday to talk to some women who have lived here for years and are experienced cooks who have figured out substitutions for certain ingredients. The pretzel salad calls for Cool Whip, which we don't have. So guess what? I will be making that myself. I am not sure how it'll all taste when I'm through, but I'll never know if I don't try.
Also, making Christmas cookies is a favorite thing to do for most families. My mom always made a huge assortment, most of which contained chocolate in one form or another. I found a great website that has a million great Christmas cookie recipes, and again, much to my dismay, there are a ton I can't make. So I think I will either forget making Christmas cookies or try only one or two new ones and see how they turn out. If they don't taste good, it could be due to our oven (pictured below), which is so small that a tray can barely fit in there. It also has no temperature gauge, which means that you constantly have to be checking a thermometer to see if it's at the right temp. We have to open the door for a bit if it gets too hot, and we have to rearrange the tray several times as it cooks very unevenly. I made a batch of cookies a couple months ago that were just terrible. The back ones were completely burnt while the front ones were still doughy. The bottoms on all of them instantly burn while the tops never fully cook, which makes it rather difficult to make anything.
So wish me luck!