The End

I’ve been putting off this post since forever. Or at least since I got back. I want to synthesize all the experiences and feel ready for it to be over and feel totally settled in my life back in the US. But you know what? Life doesn’t work quite like that. Though the semester has started, and with it, good things and bad, a new place to live, revisiting an old city of mine, old friends, old places, it feels new and like a return at the same time.

I did so much in Europe, and now that I’m back, I’m not going to say that I feel like a whole new person, but I do feel like I’ve entered a new part of my life. In which I’m more of an adult, a little more confident, a little more sure of what I want. An emphasis on “a little” but still, it makes a difference. I understand more about how I want to be treated, what kinds of people I want to meet, and what kinds of people I can laugh about and not take too seriously. I learned a hell of a lot about people on this trip.

And also about places. I’ll never watch a movie set in Paris or Rome or wherever and not look for the places I’ve been. How it feels to walk on the street alone in London and how it’s different from Copenhagen or Barcelona. How I love cities but I love countries too. The crisp air in Bath, the dampness of the Czech mountains and caves, and riding my bike in the driving rain or wind or sun or dark in Fredensborg. And I’ll try my best to cherish it all.

And before I do a photomontage, I just wanted to thank my loyal readers and my drop-by-once-in-a-while readers. This blog made me feel really good about my writing, made me want to put off this last post. Which is why soon enough I’ll be starting another blog. Because Wanderlust was only ever going to be my abroad journal, for me and for you. Here’s a little map of where my readers come from– this map makes me happy. Thanks to my abroad friends for helping this map be a little more colorful. And thanks also to the abroad strangers who did the same thing. And thanks to my non-abroad friends and family for making the US such a standout.

stats

START THE PHOTO MONTAGE: The best of Wanderlust! (stay tuned, there’s a little something at the end)

IMG_1989Grafton, MA, USA

IMG_2211Humlebaek, Denmark

IMG_2532Odense, Denmark

IMG_2742Fredensborg, Denmark

IMG_2755Ugerloese, Denmark

IMG_3259Rome, Italy

IMG_3284Barcelona, Spain

IMG_3375Barcelona, Spain

IMG_3783Wiltshire, England

IMG_4252Cesky Raj, Czech Republic

IMG_4430Hilleroed, Denmark

IMG_4537Fredensborg, Denmark

IMG_4628Fredensborg, Denmark

IMG_4653Berlin, Germany

IMG_4796Berlin, Germany

IMG_4842Essen, Germany

IMG_4909Dortmund, Germany

IMG_4914Paris, France

IMG_5234Paris, France

Thank you to everyone I met, everyone I re-met, everyone who gave me a chance or taught me something or extended a hand or supported me. Thanks to people who smiled, who were concerned, who were patient, who played cards, who shared a beer or a laugh, who asked me for directions or who gave me directions or who showed me something wonderful. Thank you to people who ate the food I made, who made food for me, or who shared their company over a meal or who shared their company on a train or plane or platform or waiting room or airport terminal or theatre or their home. Thank you to the people who shared their children, their parents, their brothers and sisters and their grandchildren and grandparents or their friends. Thank you to the people who I visited, the people who I’ll revisit, the people who will come visit me, and to the people who I met who I’ll never meet again.

It was one hell of a ride. Thank you.

Advertisements

Buttermilk Pancakes

What I should be doing: reading, researching for my upcoming study tour, hell, even packing. What am I doing? Thinking about London playlists and this blog post which I’ve been meaning to write. It seems that my less travel-heavy posts are less popular, but I like them, so you’ll just have to put up with them!

IMG_3424

In true Eleanor form, I eyeballed the entirety of this recipe. It turned out really well and I snarfed like, seven. Oops. Not really. This recipe is great because it is totally doable in countries where people eat different foods but with the same ingredients (aka study abroad approved). And it doesn’t take much to make a lot!

BUTTERMILK PANCAKES (yields 12ish medium sized pancakes):

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons butter or substitute (room temp)

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

pinch of salt

Chocolate chips (optional, I recommend use for only half)

So, to start I mixed all the dry ingredients, including the sugar, because flour is much easier to measure in an empty bowl than in one full of eggs and buttermilk. And damned if I was going to dirty TWO bowls.Becel-Flydende-Original_tcm112-365658

I added the egg and the butter, which I actually used this butter product by Becel called Flydende (which translates to “liquid” says google) which, as I understand it, is liquid margarine.

My host family uses it for err’thang, and can’t understand why I can’t use it when I make buttercream frosting. Well, maybe that’s because they don’t have frosting here. ANYWHO back to the pancakes at hand. The liquid butter works really well for pancakes.

I actually planned on using milk, as per the recipe I was somewhat consulting, but lo and behold, we were out of milk. My host mom buys probably 6 liters per week (about 1.5 gallons) each of milk and buttermilk, the milk goes really fast, and the buttermilk usually lasts the week but is gone by Sunday (my host dad LOVES buttermilk). And hey! Buttermilk pancakes. I poured it in.

This summer at camp, I was half in charge of making chocolate chip pancakes for 8 hungry girls at a campsite in New Hampshire on two separate occasions. The first time, well, we had a propane camping stove and we were cooking on a double boiler made of a bowl and the lid of our camping pot, so those babies burned (and then didn’t), and we ended up having “pancake scramble” and the second time I was mostly responsible for making them on a whisperlight, and they came out ok! So there. It was a just add water recipe on both occasions. This was a pancake anecdote (panecdote?) for no particular reason.

My tips for frying pancakes

-keep them small, if you’re nervous. flipping should be considered.

-wait for them to bubble on top before you flip them, but if they seem like they might be burning, check that out. then turn your stove down.

-use oil based on your preferences. It seems like perfect iHop pancakes have a uniform brownness, but mine are always a BIT greasier and have a nice little crunchy fried part on the edges of the first side. (I use more oil than iHop, I admit it)

180px-Morksirap

Ok, back to the recipe.

I added chocolate chips to maybe the last five pancakes. I like them, but don’t love them in my pancakes. Do as you wish.

Serve with:

a) Maple syrup (I did not. We do not have that)

b) applesauce and sour cream a la latkes (I didn’t do that either)

c) jam (I used strawberry)

d) I finally looked up what this thing called Mørk Sirup is. It translates directly to “Dark Treacle” which means that it’s kind of molasses. That’s the idea that I get. So I could have used that. We also have the lighter version

e) Nothing. Chocolate chip pancakes do not need sugar on top, in my opinion

IMG_3425

Værsgo!

(That means “go for it” in Danish, and it’s what you say at the beginning of a meal, in the style of “Bon appetit” in French, or “Dig in!” in English)

P.S. Danes do NOT consider pancakes a breakfast food. They were highly confused. I think for us, it would be like eating… maybe cupcakes (?) for breakfast. Just not a breakfast food.

Moving On/Out

On Saturday night, my roommate, Rachael, moved out. Gonzo. No more roommate for four days, then won’t live with her again… ever, maybe. Nothing’s set in stone, of course, but it’s really weird for me. We’re really good friends and we’ve gotten really close. Maybe I’ll update this with a picture of us in a day or two.

So Friday, I had a big goodbye to my city. DC has really become my home, the only place I’ve really lived besides my hometown, Grafton. Rachael and I ventured downtown to do all the touristy things I haven’t done for a long time. We hit up the National Gallery of Art and saw some really old, amazing work. We saw one piece she wrote extensively on for an art history class, and a piece I remember looking at as a kid in the museum. Here they are.

Ginevra de'Benci

Rachael told me that this is the only da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere. I want to see more in the East in the fall.

Two Women at a Window

I’m a bit simple-minded when it comes to art. This is what I like.

So I’m moving on out too, soon enough. Back to my house, then to camp for the summer (more on that later) and then to Copenhagen. I’m half done with my undergraduate work, and who knows if I’ll ever do graduate work. I definitely get the distinct feeling that I’m closing a chapter in my life, and opening a new one.

Another thing that needs to happen is that I need to get this WordPress thing a little better. My coding/designing skills are lacking, and, faithful reader (shoutout to all one of you), I promise to work on that in the upcoming months.

This doesn’t quite work with the theme, but I this is the song playing in my mind as I’ve been writing this:

Starting my journey

I wanted to start this blog early. Late enough for me to know that I’m going to Denmark in the fall for sure (plane ticket and everything). Early enough for the freakouts to occur, for me to pack and get really excited and scared and be able to post when I learn who my host family is and when I eat my first Danish Danish.

Eleanor in Battery Kemble

This is a picture my wonderful roommate took of me at the beginning of a hike near our dorm. It’s kind of how I feel going abroad. In a good way. And a scary way.

This post will be short because I just spent an hour or so setting this thing up (who knew?) and because I strained my arm last night in my tae kwon do test (the ER doctor confirmed today it’s not broken) and typing hurts a lot. But I’m done with finals. All I have is one creative writing assignment due, then summer, then Copenhagen. Get pumped. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.