August 30, 2008

Chowing down in Casa Boleo

Friday approaches. The Cowboy arrived today with his usual gusto and the dog was happy to see him. The Storyteller and the Cowboy are two of the dog’s favorite people since he lived in Bolivia and Idaho with each of them for extended periods. The dog had not seen the Storyteller for many years and he cried like a baby and wouldn’t stop for about 20 minutes, then he spent the next 3 days lying outside the Storyteller’s door or under his desk. He must think the Storyteller was his original owner.

I have decided that the cook will use her own recipes for a while. I gave her a stuffed bell pepper recipe, and if I do say so the Spanish translation was quite understandable. I asked her to wait while I showed her how to make it, but she took off on her own. I fortunately entered to kitchen just as she was starting to brown the ground beef. I quickly put a halt to that and told her she had to mix ALL the ingredients together: onion, shredded cheese, canned tomatoes, bread, garlic, and eggs with the beef and not cook it separately, but stuff the peppers with the mixture then cook them as a whole. When I came back to the kitchen, she was stuffing the peppers, but the cheese was cut into half-inch cubes, and so I told her she had to take the cheese out and grate it. Finally we got that part done and I left her to bake them in the oven. Esperando arrived and at dinner time I went back to discover she had boiled them all, not baked them. They survived her brutal treatment, but better she use familiar recipes until I have more time to supervise—we’ll just have to suffer through endless meals of delicious fattening Mexican cuisine. She is a fabulous cook left to her own devices. So far we have had corn soup, tortilla soup, scallops with garlic sauce, flautas and tonite we are having carne asada. I have discovered if we barely eat breakfast and lunch, we can have some of dinner without gaining weight.

I brought a Panasonic breadmaker here and we have just had our fourth loaf using the manufacturer’s French bread recipe. It is delicious, although we have been sampling the local French bread from the El Boleo bakery and it is really good too. The cook and the maid like the bread so well thay have asked if they can each take a loaf home with them this weekend. Mike had a stroke of genius buying a countertop ice making machine. It works really well. The only problem we have had so far is that I relocated it to a different countertop and both of us have gone to look for ice inside the breadmaker.

Today the house is literally crawling with workmen to repair the rain damage wrought by the storm in time for the Big Boss’ arrival on Sunday, except now the Big Boss and entourage are not coming after all. Our next houseful will be on the 7th when we will have a full house of Korean visitors. The Canadians are bringing some chopsticks down to make them feel at home, and off course we have the Kim Chee (cabbage marinated in garlic and hot peppers) that we trailered down here in our ice chest. The hammering, sawing, jackhammering and the paint fumes are a bit overwhelming.

It is beautiful outside today. The view from my office window is great. I can see the ocean is a deep violet blue with the brilliant magenta blossoms of the bougainvillea showy in front of it.

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