26 Nov 2016 | food, events

Every year, millions of Americans indulge in collective act of gluttony, also known as Thanksgiving. While most schools only have couple of days off for that particular occasion, (meaning most of them would not bother to go home) Dartmouth students, thanks to our beloved quarter system, get a six-week break from just before Thanksgiving to the first Monday of January. This is great for all, except for internationals who have nowhere to go. Campus is usually empty thus leaving us with no opportunity to join the feast.

Swimming team has usually been lucky enough to join our Coach’s family for dinner, however due to his absence, we were left on our own. As I wanted to pull off a multi-course dinner for quite some time, but never had time and audience, I thought this might be a chance to practice my cooking skills for a little bit. How hard could it be?

Well, it turns out, harder than it seems. Yes, you could get away by buying frozen, ready-to-roast turkey, pre-made stuffing and canned cranberry sauce, but that would be boring, hence I took the challenge of creating a cool menu, with some stuff that people wouldn’t have the chance to taste on their regular Thanksgiving table.

Planning the menu

Ok, so what do I want? I know there has to be turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. But what else? Plan was to take an element from my current projects, favourite (and untested) recepies and combine them in some sort of a weird menu. Ok, long story short:

The Feast

Moist sweet potato varieties sweeten during cooking thanks to the action of an enzyme that attacks starch and breaks it down. The enzyme starts to make maltose when the tightly packed starch granules absorb moisture and expand, beginning around 135°F, and it stops when the rising heat denatures it, at around 170°F.



Overall, it took a bit more than two days, one cut, and four minor burns. Not bad, and totally worth it. I hope people had a good time and ate some good food. We had an opportunity to hang out together, and make a mess in the kitchen. Thanks everyone for coming, and hope some will be here next year :)

Happy Thanksgiving from DCSD Orphans!

[1] An important note when making cornets: “Using gloves is not an option, because you need to be able to work directly with them to get them to wrap and roll tight against the mold. In my experience, the best tool for doing this step expeditiously, yet carefully, is to repeat a lot of swear words in a mantra as you’re doing it. Turn those swear words into a song. Or a chant. Or a haiku. Whatever works for you. But for me? I needed to let a few expletives fly to get the job done. Sorry, Mom, but it’s true.”

[2] No, he didn’t

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Colemak, or on the safe typing

Here is an thought - what if sitting and typing can cause one of the most common workplace injuries in the current age? Apparently, RSI is a real thing once you’re old enough. Funny enough, I’m actually becoming old enough to consider the risks my future job will have, on my body. So far, I realized that whatever I do, I’ll include spending at least 5 hours a day behind the keyboard. For the next 40 years (or until we come up with better input sources). That’s not a promising start, even if I’m used to common strain injuries (wee “varsity” sports).


The Best Ice Cream in America


Many of you who know me, know that I am fond of ice cream. Very very fond of ice cream. Ever since I realized that my body tends to retain most of it, I stopped with my “a Hageen Daas a day makes issues go away” mantra, but I still love to visit an ice cream shop every now and then. Ever since I started my studies at Dartmouth, I was enchanted by the idea of “the best gelato in America” being 7 minutes from my dorm. When I started to earn some money, I became a loyal customer. Although their ice cream really is among the best that I’ve tried, and could even hold a candle to most places I’ve visited in Italy, I have not been fully satisfied with the overall service of the place. The ice-cream was consistent, but coffee and other products weren’t. They switched from (quite bad) local roaster to predictably ok-ish Illy (that can be made into undrinkable slush by not-yet-trained waiter), and somehow managed to lose the original appeal. The ice-cream is still great, but that is about it.