Uzbekistan and the Hump

Uzbekistan

Original Word: Foreign Exchange Student
Nationality: Uzbekistani
Language: Uzbek
Population: 28,394,180
44th largest country in the world.
Capital: Tashkent

I believe one of my good friends from high school, Jo, had an exchange student from Uzbekistan. I am not 100% sure because it might have been another -stan country.

Shakarli Bodom (Sugar Almonds) adapted from Our Family Food Adventures

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup almonds
small dab of butter

1. In a saucepan mix 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil.
2. Add almonds. Stir continuously until there is no liquid left. Use a wooden spoon. I started off with a metal one and it got to hot. The syrup should be coated on the almonds.
3. Add rest of sugar and the dab of butter.
4. Stir. Your arm may hurt.
5. Observe the almond sugar mixture. You should have sugar sand and almonds. The heat should begin to melt the sugar and it should begin to stick more and more to the almonds.
6. When there is no more loose sugar sand and the almonds are coated in the sugar it is done. Spread the almonds on parchment paper to cool.
7. Let cool for about 15 minutes before devouring!

These were amazing. I am sure that Jordan Almonds come from this recipe. I will definitely make them again. Maybe even for a Christmas gift. You could easily add spices. Pumpkin Pie Spice, Chai Spice, or just plain cinnamon. I would say just add a 1 tsp of spice to step 3. I have made Bavarian Nuts from this recipe. I would highly recommend it for pecans. I am not sure pecans would hold up to the heat with this method.

This recipe is a must try. It makes a great half guilt treat. You know. Almonds are good for you. Omega 3s, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Who cares they are covered in sugar, right?

HALF WAY THERE!!!!!

I have completed 25 different recipes for 25 different countries. I have another 25 to go!

I must confess. In the last few weeks I was really struggling. I think everyone hits a little bump in a project. It usually happens about half way to completion. I had some difficult countries to get through and some not so successful recipes. But, it has been well worth the time and effort so far.

My Top Five Greatest Lessons

1. Southeast Asian Market.
Go to an Asian Market. I know it may be intimidating. You walk in and you can barely read anything. But, I could spend hours in the small fully packed market. They have noodles of every shape and size. They have a wall of college student heaven, the Instant Noodle Wall of Wonder. Spices for cheap/bulk prices. Dried shrimp, kelp (college roommate), pastes of any kind of curry on the planet, tapioca pearls, soy sauce in every brand known to man, crisps and treats with bizarre flavors such as prawn or seaweed. Just go in and explore. Buy something and try it.

2. Chai
I can not say how much I have been thinking about chai tea for the last few weeks. After making this wonderful treat for the first time and liking it is all I think about during tea time at the Mosley’s. I am sadly lactose intolerant so I haven’t made it since. However, I do have plans to make it again with almond milk in the near future as an accompaniment for Kuwait’s recipe.

3. Dumplings
They are worth the effort. In the Peterson house we always asked for a SUBSTITUTION on the poo poo platter. We would trade the dumplings for beef teriyaki. I am sure that the dumplings weren’t as good but now I feel like I was missing out. Dumplings are everywhere. China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Bhutan and the list goes on and on. They come in all different flavors and fillings. The possibilities are endless and the dough is super simple. Flour and water.

4. More than just stir fries.
My Asian menu options have grown double. I will no longer think Asian food as just stir fries and fried things. It is a huge continent and my small brains has just been thinking about what I find at a Chinese restaurant. No more of that.

5. Cuisine travels in a wave.
Being married to a man who appreciates history I have learned that history is not about dates and events, but about how cultures around the world have changed throughout history because of those dates and events. American cuisine can be found in Vietnam and Korea. Indian and Pakistani are similar. Portuguese, British, and Spanish are dotted throughout Southern Asia.

The idea of cuisines all around the world melding together is why I started this project. I look forward to the next 25 countries and finishing strong.

Thanks for reading so far.

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