Category Archives: Food

Adventures in the Market

Sólo he estado en El Salvador cincuenta y siete días

I just got back from the market after working a half-day at the clinic (yes, we work on Saturdays.  Boo.) and wanted to share with you all the joy of the market.

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Here are just some things I love about going to the market here in Jucuapa:

  • It’s one of the places I’m allowed to go by myself so I love it so much as a place of refuge when I’m trying to be by myself.  (It’s safe enough as long as I don’t go deep into the trenches of the market and stay on the outside, as I always do.)
  • Food shopping is really therapeutic for me.  I love it now just as much as when I moved into my house at UNC (the first time I was really on my own.)  It’s all about having a budget, taking responsibility of what I eat, making sure it’s healthy, and having a fun treat on the side 🙂
  • Markets are a huge thing in almost every country in the world.  It makes me feel somewhat nostalgic that for centuries people have gone to the market to buy their locally grown food and here I am doing that in 2013.
  • It’s also cool that for nearly everyone that goes abroad, we all have something in common: braving the local market.
  • It makes me feel really confident in my language and life skills here in El Salvador.  Sometimes I take a second to really soak in the fact that I am buying food in another language by myself and they understand me!  I don’t think I can ever get over that.

It’s a shame that I don’t go more often than I’m able to.

But I also wanted to share with you all how amazing shopping is here.  Some things cost quite a bit (I’m speaking to you, milk, peanut butter, and butter!) but other things, like fresh fruits and vegetables, cost very little compared to the grocery store in the US.  For example, here’s a list of everything I bought today for only $12.71:

  • 1/2 gallon of milk 
  • 6 individual yogurts
  • pineapple jelly
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 lb grapes
  • 1 mango
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 onion
  • 1 package of strawberries
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 handmade tortillas
  • 1 package of oreos (my weakness here in El Salvador)
  • 1 coconut donut (fresh!)

Can you believe it?!  It’s so opposite of life in the US.  Fresh foods (namely, fruits and vegetables) cost so much less that other foods.  For example, the mango I bought cost only $0.35 and a small bag of chips in a store costs $0.25 or $0.50!  That’s not to say that the poor kids in the town eat healthy at all, though.  You usually see them with an ice cream or chips in their hands, which is sad.

But I am so thankful for the hour spent at the market today, enjoying my time to explore, search, buy, and think.  The only annoying thing now is cleaning my fresh food before I can eat it.  That’s actually what the picture is of at the top of this post.  We Americans use a watered-down bleach water to clean the food for about half an hour then thoroughly rinse and let soak in water for another half an hour.  Not the most fun thing in the world but it’s better than spending your day in the bathroom 🙂

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Filed under Bullet Post, El Salvador, Experiences, Food, World Gospel Mission

Making Tortillas (The Real Deal)

Sólo he estado en El Salvador cuarenta y tres días

If you know me, you know that I like to cook.

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Whether it’s baking cookies for the staff I work with at the clinic, cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes for ladies’ night at the church, or chicken parmesan for dinner, I enjoy it to the fullest.

But this cooking adventure was a little more than I had taken on before; I was going to be cooking tortillas!!  You may remember from a previous post that Kaitlin was astonished that I had never made tortillas before.  (Imagine that, a gringa that had never actually made tortillas… haha)

Well I’m happy to say that I lived to tell the tale of making tortillas, and I’m here to share with you all how to make them.  (Note: I was told that making tortillas successfully on your first try can usually be described as a “happy accident” since there isn’t much room for error.  So I may not make tortillas again soon so that way I have a long time to boast about how well they turned out haha)

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Step 1: Gather ingredients: flour (5 c), salt (2t), baking powder (2.5t), shortening (.5c), hot water(1.5-2c). (M&M container sitting temptingly close is completely optional.)

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Step 2: Mix ingredients together except for water. Pour the hot water into the flour mixture and mix with your hands.  Be warned that hot water and bare hands do not mix well together so be prepared.  Also, make the process as messy as possible.

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Step 3: Knead dough and let sit for 20 min.

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Step 4: Make 18 balls of dough with the dough and let sit again for 20 min.

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Step 5: Roll the balls of dough out and place immediately on the hot griddle.  (Also, do not be ashamed of your PVC pipe rolling pins.)

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Step 6: Cook tortillas only a few seconds on each side.

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Step 7: Take the tortillas off the griddle and keep warm under a towel or in tortilla warmer until served.

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Step 8: Celebrate amazing, homemade tortillas with a celebratory picture!! (No matter how blurry it may be!)

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Step 9 (optional): Brag (humbly, of course!) to every Salvadorian woman you know that you made tortillas for dinner and be prepared for their response: “Oh good! Now you can get married!” 😉

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Filed under El Salvador, Experiences, Food, World Gospel Mission

Been Eatin’ Well

I’ve had a lot of good food lately.  And I’ve enjoyed it.

Here’s a little of what you’re missing and I’m enjoying (meant in the most humble way possible):

I was completely in awe when I came down for breakfast on Saturday and this was sitting on the table with my name on a little card sitting next to it.  My mom sure is the best.

After church, Meredith and I went to TCBY for lunch.  Yes, frozen yogurt for lunch.  And I didn’t even feel bad about it.

Wanna guess which one was mine and which one was Meredith’s? (hint: I’m not one for gummy bears in ice cream- they get too hard and frozen then don’t taste very good anymore)

And lastly, I made these wonderful chicken, bacon, and avocado quesadillas for dinner on Sunday for the family.  So delish.  I got the idea from a picture on pinterest but the original picture and recipe can be found here.

It’s the little things that have been so wonderful lately, especially since I haven’t spent much time at home due to babysitting and volunteering at doctor’s offices.

What about you guys?  Have you eaten/cooked anything delicious lately?  Or maybe you have a story behind why something was not delicious? I’m hoping I won’t have one of those stories soon; I’m enjoying the good food too much.

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Filed under Food