Friday, February 26, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 -- Month #11 - Week #53 - Day #366 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

February 17, 2016

Wednesday! Today was good, got some stuff done in the morning, and had lunch with Olympia like we always do. I will make a comment about the cooking here. VERY rarely is there anything baked. No one has ovens here. So, everything is fried in shortening or oil, or "guisado" which basically turns out to be cooked in some water with abundant cilantro and some tomato paste thrown in. Lovely thing is, I don't like cilantro. Like at all. But you kinda have to eat it because it is literally in just about every dish here: rice, chicken, spaghetti... everything. There's really no any other spices. No cumin, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, chili powder, garlic, ginger, meat rubs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, almond extract, parsley, turmeric, marinades, salad dressings... nada de nada. Which makes me a little sad because I like flavorful food. Here we have a little bit of salt, your yellow rice with a bunch of chopped up beans and carrots, corn tortillas, chicken guisado, and a big glass of Coke. And a generic brand of Tabasco sauce if you want it, but no one likes spicy food here. So if you use it, you just end up with weird-flavored spicy cilantro taste in your mouth. Interesting. But, you can also go and get yourself half a chicken, really deep fried, with bones and spinal column and everything with tajadas (fried strips of green plantain) with a whole bunch of off-brand ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together and drenched over EVERYTHING with a coleslaw type thing on the side with raw cabbage and even more mayonnaise. And you can't forget your Coke. So that's why I really like the baleadas! Flour tortilla, refried beans, scrambled egg, sour cream and some hard cheese. I only like a little bit of the cheese because I don't really like it, but it adds salt to the experience, so that's good. And the Coke. But I think I like baleadas the best of everything. There's this one place in Florida (the area) that makes a really, really good baleada. It's super messy because the cream is really liquidy, but they put a little bit of sausage in with the egg, and it tastes so good. Meat-wise, there are places that sell grilled meat, but it is in NO way, shape or form like the meat back home. I miss Texas BBQ! Or any good barbecue, to be honest. Mostly because the stuff down here is really tough and has no flavorings... just tastes like smoke and charcoal if it gets a little burned. But it is meat, and it is protein, and it doesn't taste that bad. Just makes me miss my food at home sometimes. And soups (this should actually be singular because there is pretty much only 1 kind of soup. Bean soup also exists and so does snail soup or seafood soup. But you just sub in above mentioned protein for the chicken and add coconut if you really want to get crazy. You can never taste the coconut, though. Bean soup means kidney beans, water, salt and a blender. Good for anemia.) But soups down here mean water with some bouillon cube, and then fist-sized chunks of yuca, malanga, half a chicken, and cilantro floating around. With rice and tortillas on the side. And Coke. The only vegetables I have ever been served are cabbage with the mayonnaise dressing thing, carrots and beets soaked in vinegar, green beans that are not at all like the green beans at home covered in margarine, and the occasional tomato or corn in the soup or guisado thing. So I tend to eat a lot of fruits and veggies at home when we're planning and whatnot.

But we had a good day, food aside. I took a little nap in the afternoon because we were all weak and tired, and we went contacting, found some new people, and did the Noche de Hermanamiento. Good day, and we're doing divisions over in Santa Rosa tomorrow!

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