15 December 2007

My (Half-)Week in Pictures

First I stayed up really late Wednesday night to make these:
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(Russia, being a nation that sources its sugar from sugar beets, lacks the molasses necessary to make gingerbread cookies, so I just used store-bought cookies.)

Then I stayed up really late Thursday night to make these:
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(Recipe courtesy of Nana's great-great grandmother, via Nana; cookie cutters courtesy of my great-grandmother, via my grandmother/mother/DHL)

Then I invited my students over to help me frost and decorate:
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(Katya)

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(Masha)

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(Olesya and Andrei)

(Polina was also there, but there are no pictures of her - or me - because our main duty was to stand around eating frosting – not a very photogenic occupation.)

In the end, we came up with this:

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(Finished houses)

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(Olesya's masterpiece, a tiny snowman named Del'finchik ("Little Dauphin") for his vaguely French-looking hat. His eyes and nose are meticulously chipped-off pieces of M&M candy shell.)

And then I spent about ten minutes fudging a "script" (see end of previous entry) and we had a party!

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(There were probably about 30 people!)

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(I was festive.)

5 comments:

Mike S said...

Explain to me this script thing. I swear, I have been to multitudes of bona-fide Russian parties, and never had there been a script involved. Is my family just strange?

Leslie said...

Haha, no. The script is only required for official functions like university-sanctioned parties - the normal Russian parties I've been to have all been highly enjoyable and non-script-based, two qualities that I believe are closely related. I always want my university parties (Halloween and Christmas, so far) to resemble some sort of melding of what you'd expect at a normal American party and what you'd expect at a normal Russian party; I always lose this battle to the scores of people (well, at least three or four, including my boss) who want my parties to be more like official university events - that is, a "шоу" led by me, a microphone-wielding MC presiding over a parade of English-related musical numbers and skits - and ask me forty or fifty times during the week before the party whether I've written the scenario (yay false cognates) yet.

The most amusing part of the battle this time was that the director of the Student Club assumed, following the above scheme, that we would need several musical numbers in English, and instructed two of her voice students (she's a music teacher in addition to running various student groups) to prepare the song "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. She didn't tell me about this until like 2 hours before the party, at which point I stared at her blankly, burst out laughing (I lose my sense of tact when I don't sleep enough, apparently), and vetoed it, to the students' relief.

Katie D said...

I was going to ask you about the whole script thing, but I see you've answered my question already. Sounds like an odd custom -- I can see why you'd have little tolerance for it as a host!

Lisa said...

"Summertime" might be the most ironic song choice for a Christmas party... -L

Rosa said...

Pretty and yummy-looking! And the gingerbread houses look great to. Har har.

On an unrelated note, I have 5 copies of the exact same Harlequin romance novel that I was going to distribute amongst the WOMB. Have you read "Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch"? And if not, do you want to? If you're going to send me candy, the least I can do is mail you a trashy book.

Love, Rosa