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Posts tagged ‘Food’

Good stuff

Two bits of good news – we got our consumables shipment yesterday, and we got Mal enrolled in the school and he loves it.

Because of the uncertain nature of food supplies here, we’re authorized a shipment of 2000 lbs of things you’d buy and use up (foodstuffs and things like toilet paper and cleaners).  We bought about 1000 lbs of such things many months ago, and received them yesterday.  We didn’t do the whole 2000 because it’s hard to know what to get before you’ve been in a country, so we have another shot at getting it right.  For instance, I think we’ll be okay on dry pasta, but I wish we’d sent some microwave popcorn.  It was really nice to get flour and sugar and cat food, and Mal was happy to see fruit bars.

I knew we had a ton of storage space in the kitchen, but putting away 1000 lbs of groceries brought it home; we still have tons of space left over, and everything’s nicely organized.  Of course, the fridge is empty because we have no perishable items.  I’ll drag Mal to several grocery stores today, despite his hatred of them, and see if we can find anything.

Escuela Campo Allegre

Is not really a “happy field school” as it’s carved out of a steep mountainside in a crowded neighborhood, and at first glance from street level, looks like a prison with its huge white security gates, thick walls, and guards.  Once you’re inside, though, it’s a vibrant lovely place, full of good energy and wonderful people.  It’s apparently one of the best schools in the hemisphere, and I can believe it.  Mal’s bursting with excitement at getting to go there, and conveniently two other second graders are starting this week also (another American and a Brazilian).  We’re also looking at what after school activities to enroll him in – he wants to do swimming, karate, tennis, baseball, Legos, and soccer, so it will be more an issue of telling him he can’t do everything than finding something for him to do.

The school is pretty relaxed about the uniform – it’s the school polo shirt in the right color for your grade, plus navy bottoms which can even be jeans or leggings, and any shoes.  Mal normally squalls about “shirts with collars” and hisses and spits when we  make him wear one, but we bought him his uniform shirts today and he insisted on wearing one and said “This shirt is so comfortable!”

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Weekly food post

I’ll try to keep my posting about food down to once a week, because I’m sure no one cares about it but me.

The traditional Festive Undersea Mine (Christmas Jamon de Plancheta) was worse than expected.  I was assuming it would be chopped-and-formed ham, but it was actually more like bologna.  Our Christmas dinner was therefore baloney, smashed potatoes, watermelon, and avocado…you know, the classics.

Leftovers were good, however.  Fried baloney, fried smashed potatoes with grated edam, and guasacaca.

Guasacaca

1 Venezuelan avocado or 2 Haas avocados
2 white onions
2 green bell peppers
garlic
half a bunch of cilantro and half a bunch of parsley
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil or to taste
salt and pepper

Throw everything except the oil in a food processor until it’s a liquid, then add the oil while the processor is running.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Put it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Serve with everything.

We had pizza yesterday at Pizza Piccolo in Centro Commercial Tolon.  It’s a little bar and restaurant run by a guy from Merida who is super friendly.  The pizza is delicious.  I am not a huge fan of American pizza (I can’t stand Papa John’s or Domino’s, can tolerate Pizza Hut, and generally try to find independent pizzerias) with its spongy sugary crust and fake cheese, so keep that in mind.  But even Mal said it was delicious.

One thing that surprised me was how good the buffalo cheese tastes on pizza.  It melts very well and is like mozarella except creamier.  I’ve tried three types of buffalo cheese now (hard yellow, semi-soft white, and soft white) and I have to agree with the Venezuelans that queso de mano, the soft white mozarella-type stuff, is pretty good.  (The hard yellow is the NAST).  I’ve been making tortellini and putting it on top and it’s great.

Today I’m going to try to make arepas and serve them with it, and also with suero cremoso, which as far as I can tell is whey.  I was hoping to be able to use it like buttermilk for baking, but it’s pretty thick so it might be more like sour cream.  We shall see!

Errands

The car is here, and it works!  But it was almost empty, so today we headed down the hill to the gas station.  It cost .60 cents to fill up our SUV.  

We also went to McDonalds for lunch and the farmacia for a few things.  I tried a Cuarto, which is a Quarter Pounder.  They also have a Doble Cuarto, which I’d think would be a Medio. I think I will stick with pollo.

We dragged Mal back into the grocery store after that, where he tried some Venezuelan chocolate and pronounced it good.  We bought a ham for Christmas – the hams are vacuum-packed and thus not refrigerated, so well see what it’s like.  It’s also perfectly round with pineapple rings and cherries stuck to  looks like a festive undersea mine.