La Lavanderia

La Lavanderia is one reason I like living in Costa Rica. La Lavanderia is a dry cleaning or laundry service. They will come by your house, get your clothes, wash fold and dry, and get it back to you the next day! All for a reasonable fee. I paid about $2/lbs and gave them about 25 lbs of clothes. The amount I gave them would last me about two weeks.

When you get your clothes back, it is almost like the clothes came right from the department store. I almost didn’t want to wear them.

Ciao, pura vida!

Maracuya

The one thing I really like about Costa Rica is that every restaurant you go to offers jugo naturales. In english, this means fresh juice. They make it from real fruit. You do have to sometimes say not from the bottle, because they do sometimes sell it in the bottle.

Everyone makes fresh juice at home and I wanted to learn how.

 

My favorite is Maracuya. It is a very unusual fruit. It is also called passion fruit or is one of the varieties of passion fruit. The one I purchased is the yellow maracuya.

As you can see from the picture above it looks like any other fruit. When you open it, it is quite different:

You take out the pulp and seeds from inside the fruit. You put them in a blender with about 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water. At least that is what I have been doing. I think some people put 1 cup of sugar. I guess I should ask some people here how they make it.

 

After you blend it, you strain it to remove the seeds. Put it in the refrigerator for a while and serve.

Ciao, pura vida!

Tropical Seafood Gumbo

While living in Costa Rica, I thought I would make a tropical style gumbo. I found this great recipe from Emeril.

It turned out pretty good, I think I added a little too much liquid. The only stock they have here is in powder form. I used a chicken consume from concentrate. The recipe calls from a camaron style stock. I found one, but I ended up picking up the chicken by accident.

I will try to make this again. I would like to try to make it faster the next time. It took me 2.5 hours to prep and 30 minutes to make it. It may go faster if you prep and cook at same time. I am also kind of slow still.

Ciao, pura vida!

The Three Hour Breakfast

I got up this morning at 6:30 am and started cooking breakfast and didn’t start eating until 9:30 am !! The three hour breakfast. The breakfast included: hash browns, scrambled eggs with Canadian bacon and jalapeno, blackberries, watermelon, and toast with strawberry jelly, and of course cafe con leche.

I wanted to make some hash browns country style. You know the kind in potato cubes. I found a recipe from Emeril that was easy; however, it took me a long time to boil and peel the potatoes. This is what took the most time. Although, they were really good.

My goal is a 30-minute breakfast. I really liked the hash browns. I think the key is to prepare them the night before and put them in the fridge. If you do it the night before, you probably will not feel rushed, as your not going to eat them right away. You are just going to store them. I did have some leftover. I may have them again Saturday morning.

I also had a little problem with the butter. The recipe said 3 tablespoons. I am used to the butter in the US where it tells you on the side what is a tablespoon.

As you can see in the photo above, the butter in Costa Rica has the markings, but no measurements labeled on the markings. Can someone tell me in the comments how much is a tablespoon of butter in relation to the stick? 1/4 a stick?

On another note, I let the Guanabana set too long and it went from being real hard to mush. I probably could of made juice out of it, but don’t have blender. Oh well, I really like the fruit, so I will try it again.

Ciao, pura vida!

La Guanabana

This post is about my fruta favorita. La Guanabana.

When I first came to Costa Rica, one of my favorite things was jugos naturales. The first jugo natural I tried was Guanabana en leche. Almost every restaurant here offers jugos naturales with almost any kind of fruit. You just have to ask.

When you order they will ask you if you want it with water or milk. I used to get it with milk, but I now usually get it with water.

My favorite jugo natural es un jugo con la guanabana.

La Guanabana

Today I was walking in the parque and there was a vendor selling guanabanas for about $1000 colones a kilo or $2 a kilo. After I went walking, I returned to the house and got some plata. I wanted to take a picture of where they were selling the guanabanas because they had them all stacked in a wall. It was raining by the time I returned, so I decided not to try to take pictures.

I walked along the wall of Guanabanas and picked one that looked good to me. The lady told me it was not ripe, but I wanted it anyway. The one she was offering had a big hole in it. The one I purchased was a 1 kilo and a half, so it was $3. While speaking to me like a child, the lady told me I needed to wrap the fruit in newspaper and store it for three days in a dark place for it to ripen, since it was not maduro.

I’m here to learn spanish and it is very irratating when people speak english or assume you don’t understand, so they talk real slow. One problem is I don’t talk much even in english. When someone says something to me, I understand them, but I don’t respond. I must have a blank stare on my face or something, because they think I don’t understand. I guess I am going to have to speak more or at least so si, yo le entiendi. Por favor no me habla como un nino. Ugggghhh.

Enjoy the pictures of la guanabana. I will make more pictures when I can open it around Tuesday or Martes.

Ciao, pura vida.