Archives for posts with tag: Hillary Clinton
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Waiting for the Electricity by Christina Nichol (image from GoodReads)

Nichol, Christina. Waiting for the Electricity: A Novel. New York, NY: Overlook, 2015. Print.

I read this on my flight from Georgia to the US, and in some ways it was the right choice for the circumstances. Slims Achmed Makashvili is a Batumeli in 2002, who believes that life could be better, and asks Hillary Clinton for help and advice. He is chosen for a US Government exchange program and visits America, but gets deported back to Georgia. Then (as those who know Georgian history will know) comes the Rose Revolution, and things change.

I was struck both by Nichol’s deep understanding of Georgia, and some very VERY basic mistakes in Georgian language, geography, and culture. I just couldn’t square this disparity in my mind. That said, though I certainly know a lot about Georgia, I haven’t lived in Batumi (I’ve visited multiple times, and have friends who’ve lived there, though); I don’t know any of the Adjaran dialect of Georgian; and I didn’t visit Georgia before the Rose Revolution. These facts could explain many of the things that don’t feel right to me, though not all of them. I’ve never been particularly good at suspension of disbelief, but I’m not sure if that applies to things like spelling and the location of Borjomi. This is probably something that would not even register to the vast majority of people interested in the book, even those who also read my blog, so  I can’t say it’s a deal-breaker.  I also found Slims’ frequent letters to Hillary hard to read…it’s just too soon. I’m usually a character-driven reader, and I didn’t particularly connect to any of the characters in Waiting for the Electricity, which probably made me less of a fan.

This wasn’t the right book for me right now, but there isn’t anything off-putting about it. Despite my quibbles, it was OK. I’d like to hear what others think, and see if they connected more.

Readers, have you read this? Thoughts?

Welcome to Cookies and the Caucasus, a blog of ex-pat life in the Republic of Georgia.  Nice to meet you!

I’m your blogger, Em, and as of January I will be an American teacher in the Republic of Georgia.  Here I’ll post about Georgian politics, culture, food, and life as an ex-pat.  Until I get there and really get into things, my posts will mostly be about my preparations, background information on Georgia, and ways to appreciate Georgia from afar.  You’ll have to excuse the sad lack of pictures until I actually arrive in-country.

It seems I should begin with an explanation of my title.  The “and the Caucasus” part is simple enough–that’s where Georgia is, after all.  But what about the “Cookies”?  In short, I like cookies, and I like the alliteration of the title.  I have a half-baked (haha) theory of cultural diplomacy and chocolate chip cookies as the key to world peace, but for a start I’ll share with you my favorite (super awesome) chocolate chip cookie recipe, which is in fact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Original Recipe here:

Hillary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I add the oats at the end, and add as many oats as the dough will support, usually it’s a little more than 2 cups)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 2 regular size chocolate bars of your choice, roughly chopped)

For high altitude, I doubled the vanilla and measured all the dry ingredients scant, and they turned out well.  I haven’t yet experimented enough to see if that’s a hard and fast rule, but it worked once!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Rub a bit of butter on the baking sheet.  Usually the amount that sticks on the wrapper is enough. Cream together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in rolled oats and then chocolate chips. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

-Em