Hot Chocolate-y Goodness

                      I, Ariel, the Peace Corps volunteer whom you all know and well… some of you love, have discovered something truly magnificent.

Good Price, the Americans Goods store located in Ulaanbaatar has started to stock Swiss Miss hot chocolate… WITH MARSHMALLOWS. My life as a Peace Corps volunteer has just got significantly better.

Spring is here!

 “…And I just drank a cocktail of vodka and goats blood.”

This is a real text. And I sent it. I blame peer pressure; everyone was doing it! I mean, it’s just another Mongolian Spring tradition, really. Warm weather arrives, and flowers bloom. Goats eat the flowers, and people drink the goats’ blood. Normal life over here in the land of blue skies and vampires.

The Lollipop

I emerged at 6:45 am this morning from a pleasantly toasty ger into the dark, frigid outside air in a hurry to catch the train to UB. On my way to the station, I ran into a woman and her young son. We began chatting, and I learned that her daughter is in my tenth grade class and that my khasaa mom’s birthday is today. We boarded the train, and after a long process of de-robing (it’s still pretty chilly here), we sat down. The woman, in true Mongolian style, reached into her purse and gave her son and me a lollipop apiece. Following a five minute struggle of Ariel vs wrapper, I started the lollipop. Continue reading

Eggless (January ’15)

Pancakes are a wonderful thing. Light and fluffy, they can be combined with a multitude of fruits, chocolates and syrups and are easy to make from scratch. I’ve been itching to make them for a while now. First, I didn’t have the right cooking equipment- it took forever to figure out the word for spatula and I never seemed to remember to buy a frying pan while visiting UB. Next I had to discover what baking powder looked like- in Mongolia it come in little orange packets. Once these tasks had finally been completed, I changed gers. This meant no cooking for two solid weeks while I cleaned every surface in my new home (it was DISGUSTING when I moved in) and began the process of moving all of my earthly possessions in Mongolia (I’m still not finished). Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cup Contest Winner

Alright ya’ll- the results are in (and have been for a long time… I may have written this forever ago and completely forgotten about it). First I would like to thank my mother, sister and Sveta for bringing their A game in sending my way some delicious specimens of dessert. My teachers and I savored every last morsel. In fact, the teachers now associate the combination of peanut butter and chocolate with the great nation of America. This week, the winner of the peanut butter competition became obvious. The instant I bit into the first cup I knew. So here it is: Greta’s homemade peanut butter cups take the gold! Even though I’m pretty sure one of the teachers was holding my package hostage for at least a month before I received it, they tasted fresh out of the… oven? I’m not entirely sure how one goes about making peanut butter cups from scratch. All I know is that although half of them melted from being placed too close to my fire, they still tasted like home.


I have always thoroughly disliked red meat. I’ll eat it to be polite, or if it’s the only food available. Occasionally the rare hamburger will enter my mouth, but only with a ton of cheese, lettuce, relish and ketchup piled sky high. Excluding these circumstances, red meat has always been a no no in my diet; what can I say- my tastes buds just don’t approve.cow Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cup Competition

Alright, I’m holding a peanut butter cup competition. So far the my mother’s Trader Joe’s dark chocolate is head to head with Sveta’s gigantic cup of peanut buttery goodness. Feel free to enter the race by sending me a sample of your preferred brand. Winner will get a post on this oh-so-famous blog dedicated entirely to them. They will also have the pleasant knowledge that I will be fat and happy as a result of their product.

Peanut Butter Cups