Saturday, November 7, 2009

Free Talks: The good, the bad, the burnt

Every other week, I invite each of my classes to my apartment for a free talk to practice their English. Three classes come per week, and they usually come in two shifts (one hour each). Sometimes we play games, like UNO and SPOONS, and sometimes we just chat. I get a bit tired of 6 hours per week of questions and card games, so this week I decided to move the party to the kitchen.

Yesterday, one of my free talk groups made banana bread. Each girl got to do only one thing (like pour in the oil), because there were so many bakers. The first shift stayed the whole two hours so they could taste the fruits of their labor. When the bread came out of my tiny oven, we sliced it into 20 steaming, delicious pieces and everyone got to try one.

Today, a different class came over and we made pancakes from a mix. Some of them said they were nervous -- they'd never cooked before! 20 years old and never cooked... That is quite unimaginable to me, but I've heard that high school students are too busy with studies to do any housework, and they don't have access to a kitchen in college. There was enough batter for each girl to make one pancake. I set the stage by burning a couple, and the end results were mediocre at best. But it was fun!

Tonight, one of the freshmen classes came over. We just did the standard: UNO and conversation. They are very curious about America (everything from the Mississippi to the Statue of Liberty), and I don't think I'm quite ready to unleash the freshmen on my kitchen.


  1. That sounds like fun! American baking with Chinese people - makes me miss Hawkeye Court and some of our attempts. Remember the Kringla and bed jumping?! :)

  2. I love all the peace signs. :)

  3. There must be something amiss with pancakes these days----yesterday we had friends over for brunch and the pancakes I made were the worst I've ever made! At least my homemade maple syrup using Grandma's recipe turned out well!