01 February 2008

whacky weather and olive oil

I read on BBC today that many places have experienced weird weather these past couple of weeks. My brother said that he saw snow in Iraq two weeks ago.
Well, in preparation for Latvia, Court and I read some different websites and different guide books. While each one had different things to say, they all had a common denominator - Winter! It is COLD, and it last from the end of October through March. Apparently, that is usually the case. However, many Latvians have told us that this has been a strange winter. Many thought it had come with the New Year when the Daugava River froze , the snow started consistently falling, and the temperature started to steadily descend. However, the past two weeks have been a bit of a reprieve - for which we are thankful because we are still trying to figure out a heating scheme for out apartment that actually keeps us warm.
But Courtney and I know it is warmer outside for a reason other than the river melting and rain instead of snow. See, our kitchen is a temperature gauge of sorts - if its cold outside, then it is cold in the kitchen. If it is warm outside (okay - wait a minute did I just admit that 39F is warm? Well, our bodies are at least adjusting to the cooler weather), then the kitchen is still cold. Courtney laughed/cried a couple of weeks ago when she went into the kitchen and found the olive oil congealed. This past week the olive oil was more like thick honey than a stick of butter - that's how we know it is warmer outside!
Anyway, many Latvians tell us that February should get cold (i.e. the river freezing so solidly that cars can drive on it, etc...). We think we'll survive though as we figured out that 30 minutes before we cook we should put the olive oil on the electric radiator, which warms it up quite nicely.

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