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Sunday, July 11, 2010

FOOD!

This seems to be a topic that a lot of people are curious about so I wrote up a food journal of the past few days to give everyone a look at what we typically eat.

Friday

Breakfast:
Cereal with soymilk and raisins, and papaya from our tree. I drink tea, Jon has coffee.
Nothing about this is typical for Grenadians- except the papaya. Mysteriously, most of the grocery stores carry Costco brand soymilk. I don’t question this because it makes me happy. Grenadians don’t drink coffee. Jon wants to talk some farmers into growing it so he can start a coffee revolution. Until then, Nescafe will continue to rule.


Lunch:
Leftover callalou rice with pigeon peas (from Thursday’s dinner)
Calalou is a leafy green sort of similar to spinach, except it’s famous for growing in ditches here. The root of the plant, dasheen, is also edible- it’s like a purpley potato. Our land loard picked some calalou from the backyard garden and gave it to us so I used it to copy a dish we had in a local lunch shop. Calalou basically has to be cooked into a mushy consistency to be safe to eat. Eating it raw, or even undercooked can make your throat get really scratchy and swell up. We learned this the hard way. So, to make calalou rice, you basically cook the calalou into oblivion and mix it into the rice to turn it green. It’s actually pretty tasy with some onions and garlic thrown in. Pigeon peas are abundant and cheap here as well so I threw those in for some protein.
I try to make big dinners so that we can have leftovers for lunch the next day. This is a money and time-saving strategy that is working out pretty well for us.

Dinner:
Spicy eggplant and vegetable fried rice at a Chinese restaurant, Flag.
HUGE splurge! We don’t eat out often because we’re on a pretty tight budget with our Peace Corps budget so this was a big treat.


Saturday

Breakfast:
Tea, yogurt and papaya
The yogurt is another big splurge from the fancy IGA supermarket.


Lunch:
Cold avocado and citrus soup with bread and butter.
My co-worker gave me four great big avocados, or pears in the local parlance, the other day. He has a tree in his yard and they are just coming into season here. So, I had two overripe avocados and found this recipe in an awesome middle eastern cookbook I borrowed from the PC office library. All the bread here comes from local bakeries so it’s always fresh and delicious.


Dinner:
Bar-b-que tofu, macaronic and cheese and calalou.
The bar-b-que sauce was way cheap at the closest grocery store- probably because it’s past it’s ‘expiry date’ but still delicious on the braised tofu. The stores stock tofu for the vegetarian Rastafarians, but the vegetarian PC volunteers buy it up too :) I made the mac and cheese from scratch with THE cheese we can get here. There’s no time wasted debating which type of cheese- or type of anything- to buy in the grocery store.


Sunday

Breakfast:
Tea, mangoes and cereal with soymilk again.
We get mangoes from our neighbor who has one of the best trees around.


Lunch:
Leftover mac and cheese.

Dinner:
Eggplant and tomato paella.
I make this using a recipe from my favorite cookbook- Mark Bitman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This particular recipe is even on his website:
http://www.howtocookeverything.tv/recipe.php%3Fnid=26.html

Eggplant is always available here but I have to substitute canned tomatoes for fresh. The recipe also calls for safron which is so much better and cheaper here than at home. Food, on the whole, is WAY more expensive here than in the US. Spices are the only real exception to that rule. We spend the majority of our living allowance on food.


Snack:
Kettle corn
Popcorn is our go-to snack here. It’s cheap and after burning a few batches, we have both perfected our technique. Kettle corn is pretty simple but there is one tricky moment when you have to take the lid off the pot to add the sugar.
Try it at your own risk: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Kettle-Corn/

*btw- this is one of my favorite websites ever.