Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food tasting & Animal adventures

Sunday, 8-28-11
Food tasting & animal adventures: two topics completely unrelated that happened to occur in the same day.

Animal adventures #1:
Chiquita, my pet bird, decided to take a bath today. She doesn’t really like water and typically doesn’t bathe herself. But today she was in the mood. I put a large lid in her cage and she went to town taking a bird bathe. By the time she was done she was completely soaked and actually shivering a little so I dried her off with a towel. Once she was dried she looked, and felt, like a new bird. I realize this isn’t terribly noteworthy but I thought it’d be fun to put in my blog.

Chiquita taking a bath

She was very happy

Wings out

Splish splash

All done

Food tasting #1:
This afternoon Aminta made atol de elote. Blanca had brought a bunch of elote (like sweet corn) from home for us to make something with. Someone suggested that we make atol. So this afternoon the kernels were cut off the cob and taken to the molino (corn grinder) to be ground into a thick liquid with some of the corn kernels floating in it. From there Aminta strained out all the solid parts so there was only the liquid leftover. She added it to water boiling with cinnamon she had on the stove. Then she put in vanilla, sugar, and some powdered milk. It cooked for a while and then it was done! I had myself a nice, hot cup of Aminta’s atol and it was delicious!

Straining the liquid from the solid

The liquid

Some of the solids

Stirring it around

Water and cinnamon

The atol cooking away

Food tasting #2:
Yesterday Sue and Nancy, two members of the Compañeros group from Iowa, arrived in El Salvador for the week. Other than a bunch of meetings we’re also going to be delivering beans this week and doing a couple fun things. Today we went to the market to buy a bunch of fruit they hadn’t tried before and decided tonight we’d have a little tasting. We bought granadillas, maracuyás, marañones japoneses, lychees, and nances. I’d eaten all but the marañon japones before.

We all sat around the table and tried a bunch of the fruit. I knew I didn’t like the nances so I didn’t eat any of them. Sue wasn’t a big fan of them either and commented that they tasted like old cheese. I personally think that’s an insult to old cheese. Nancy didn’t seem as repulsed by them as Kathy and I but they weren’t her favorite either. However, everyone enjoyed the lychees. Once you break open the outer peel to get to the fruit they’re sweet with the texture of a grape. Note: The lychees we were eating may actually be rambutans but here they call them lychees.

The granadillas were fun for Nancy and Sue to try because you have to break open the tough, outer peel with a rock. Inside are several little seeds that Kathy thinks look like frog eggs. I wrote a blog about them a couple days ago. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the marañon japones that I tried. The flavor wasn’t bad but it had a funky aftertaste and seemed to leave little mittens on my teeth. Then we ate one maracuyá but decided the rest would be better in a fresco since they’re so sour. We decided to do that another day. We ended the evening by drinking hot chocolate that Cecilia made for us. It was a fun food tasting event.

Cecilia making hot chocolate

Slightly furry- lychee
Big, yellow- maracuya
Green- granadilla
Tiny, yellow- nance
Red, like pears- maranon japones

Trying a tiny nance

Nancy smashing open a granadilla

Getting to the fruit inside

Sue eating the seeds of the granadilla

Holding up a lychee

Ready to eat the inside fruit of the lychee

Animal adventure #2:
Later that night two cockroaches had meandered into Kristi’s room intent on terrifying her. Kristi, who works with El Salvador Joining Hands, had come from San Salvador to do some translating for a couple meetings. Since it’d be rude to make her, a guest, put up with the cockroaches I went to her room to terminate the remaining cockroach; one had already met his tragic end. I don’t typically kill bugs but a personal request had been made to come armed with the Baygon (like Raid). So we went in and sure enough the cockroach was waiting for her. A couple sprays and he fell quickly. I got a picture to remember the event. It had been an interesting day.

One of the cockroaches that was sent to scare Kristi

Post mortem photo

A cool spider in Kathy's office


Anonymous said...

Please note: Kathy did NOT kill her pet spider ...

My motto: live and let live. (Unless you are a mosquito)

With respect for (most) living creatures,

Matt said...

Chiquita was pretty cute taking a bath. It would be fun to try all the different fruit.