Well, today was a very, very fun day! (FYI: I am writing this VERY late at night, under the influence of delicious food, so if it doesn't make sense...I'll fix it later :)
It started off this morning when I had a very nice lie-in. Usually I don't get to do that, even on Saturdays, because Chris gets up very early and I always feel bad if he is up and I am not. Today, however, I didn't feel bad at all because I told him I was going to do it, and he was just working anyway, so it wasn't like we would have been hanging out, anyway.
Around noon-ish I gathered my courage and went to Mayoreo by myself. Armed with only 400 Lemps and a list, I spent a very pleasant hour wandering around the market. I got everything on the list, and only 2 things that weren't, and they would have been if I had thought of them before I left!
When I got back, Chris was done working, so we decided to take a short road trip to Valle de Angeles, which is a quaint little town 23 km away. It was a nice, picturesque little drive.
One of the things that has surprised us here are the types of trees...when I was imagining living in a rain forest, I kind of was thinking of mangroves or other broad-leaf-type trees. But, there are quite a few conifer (pine) trees here too. Here are a few pictures from the drive and the town:
We had a great time wandering around, and both made a purchase (me, a wooden bead necklace, Chris a really nice leather belt.)
Around the time I was devouring this...
our friend Carlos called. We had made plans earlier in the week to get together and make pupusas. He had seen my pictures of my earlier attempt on Facebook, and was, let's say, a little disappointed that I hadn't invited him over to taste them. So tonight he, his daughters, and his girlfriend came over so we could make pupusas. Boy, am I glad! :)
If you remember my last attempt, I used a very simple recipe that called for just 3 ingredients, Maseca corn flour, water, and quesillo. Well, my guests took one look at that recipe and laughed. A short phone call was made and the recipe was remedied. Not only did we need the Maseca, water, and quesillo, there was also a special ingredient: cubos de pollo, or as we call it in the states (and probably France), chicken bouillon. It's amazing how one small ingredient can make all the difference!
Oh yeah, and know-how. Carlos' girlfriend was a pupusa pro!
First of all, she put the flour out on the counter in a pile, then made a well, and slowly added the water and the bouillon cubes until it was a nice consistency. Not too dry or too wet. After that she took globs of dough, perhaps the size of a walnut when it's just fallen from the tree (when it still has that big stinky skin on it that stains your hands), and then made a well inside them, which was filled with quesillo, frijoles, or chicharrón, or a mixture of any/all. (Chris is demonstrating the technique below:
After that, then, you use a special circley-hand movement (it's impossible to explain here) to flatten the pupusa. It takes a lot of practice, but if you start out slow, it gets easier as you go along. (Here I am, practicing my skills).
The pupusas at various stages:
One big difference between this time and last time was the cebollas...as in, this time we had them. We also had cabbage and carrots, which I didn't eat and so don't have a picture. However, the pupusas + the cebollas = YUM!!
Well, very randomly during all this (I think it was when I mentioned that the recipe reminded me slightly of the recipe for pie dough,) it came to light that none of our guests had ever had pie before. As I am known as something of a baker-ess where I come from (I have won a few apple pie contests in my day) I decided to mix in a little American cuisine with our Honduran (ok, they're really from El Salvador) pupusas.All-in-all, it was a great night of food, fun, friendship, and spilled beer (all over the kitchen floor. It was 10:30 before we got to eat anything because we had to clean up 4 broken bottles after their plastic casing split...what a mess!)Well, I'd better get going because tomorrow (well, I guess it's today now, as it is 12:42 AM!) we have another full day. We are going to travel to a farm 40 minutes away and visit with some orphans our school has "adopted". Pip gets to go along on this trip, so I hope it's lots of fun! (I'll let you know!)
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