Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 45

I know this picture is fuzzy, but it's just so darned cute I couldn't leave it out. Conan has a strong affinity for laps anyway, but since the nights have been chilly he's especially determined to snuggle when we come down for breakfast. He made himself at home on my calves while I chatted briefly with Jess!Sash, being sassy...
Today we put a thin layer of mud on the back of Kim and Marcelo's house. The hope is that it will stick well (it's about 1/2 inch thick, and smeared well on the wall) and dry to provide a good strong base for us to add to next week.
This praying mantis wasn't fond of my camera... she kept rearing up to look threatening when I got too close.
I spent some time before lunch catching things in the river (a favorite childhood pasttime). There are little river crayfish here! Their tails are permanenetly tucked though, so they look a bit more like crabs...
And these bottom feeder fish are absolutely gorgeous!
I also came across this little egg sack. Whose is it?
A few days ago I made pickled beets, eggs, and onions during siesta because no one else had ever tried a pickled egg. Today we broke into them at lunch. Delicious!
So, I haven't washed my hair at all since I arrived here. Well, not in the traditional sense. I have been washing it with mud... does that count?
This afternoon Kimberly surprised us with a day in the kitchen! These pineapples became the most delicious chutney, along with onions, mustard seeds, and other spices. The pineapples, incidentally, were the most delicious that I have ever had. (And on a side note, it seems that it's best never to buy pineapples unless they're organic. According to Marcelo, commercially grown pineapples in Central and South America are picked green, injected with a ton of chemicals to make them ripen and add to flavor, and then sprayed heavily. Tempting, eh? And SO toxic!)
Coop: he slices, he dices, he earned his apron fo' sho'.
We made queso fresco! This milk is heated to just above body temperature, and then microbial enzymes are added to encourage the solids to precipitate out together en masse...
It looks like a sponge when it's ready...
All we did was mash it with a fork, put it in a mold with a bag of sand on top, and leave it to drip for a few days... voila! Hard cheese!
We had a ton of extra bananas after making EM, so they were repurposed in banana bread and banana bread of four varieties: straight up, chocolate, vegan chocolate, and banana bread pudding. Oh heck yeah!
Did I mention coconut?
Don't be fooled... we live in the jungle, off the grid with no plug-in refrigeration. We cook on a wood-fired stove, and still we eat like kings and queens.
Oh my gosh, our chutney is so delicious! The worst thing about it is that we can't eat it all RIGHT NOW!
We sure made a happy feast!

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