Sunday, November 15, 2009

Colada Morada, Guaguas de pan, y Vaca Verde

It's a beautiful sunny day in Quito. Unfortunately the lack of rain means that the biggest dam and energy supplier in Ecuador is not working, so we've been having planned blackouts this month. These will probably last through December--I'm glad I don't teach in the evenings because everyone has been using candles in their classrooms. Being at home with a blackout isn't so bad because we have a gas stove and a fireplace. It's actually kind of cozy and it makes me want to go to bed early...which is good for me.

Anywho, life is moving along and the culinary adventures are keeping me entertained. For instance, October/November is the era of Colada Morada and Guaguas de pan. That's the colada on the left--it's made with blackberries, blueberries (actually, something called mortiƱos, which are like a small hard blueberry) pineapple and strawberries all boiled together with herbs and spices, many of which can only be found here in the Andes. It's like a thick warm cider with bits of fruit floating around in it. It's fantastic, and you have to eat it with a frosted bread treat called a guagua (pronounced means little one or baby and is shaped like a little person) that sometimes has jelly or cheese just never know. Anyway, it's an Ecuadorian tradition to partake in colada and guaguas in the fall season, though I wish people made it all year.

We had a two-day vacation earlier this month and Elsa decided that Will and I needed to see the Presidential Palace in the historic center of Quito. For some reason we took a lot of "arms spread out" pictures.

In front of the mosaic by Guayasamin, probably the most famous and well-loved visual artist of Ecuador.

There's Will allllll the way at the end. See him?

Overlooking the Plaza Grande.

Yesterday I went to my Spanish conversation professor's house to make more colada and lima bean hamburgers (or Vaca Verde, as she tells her kids). The electricity went out and we couldn't finish the colada (step 5 is "blend everything together in a blender") but the hamburguesas de vaca verde were actually pretty good. All you have to do is crush the lima beans, mix them with an egg, salt, pepper, mustard, garlic and whatever else you want, then throw them in a pan.

mmmmm, green cow.

She's a great teacher--only four of us go to class regularly and we usually just sit around and chat. Her husband is from India and yesterday they were telling me how to make shahi paneer (one of my favorites). They even gave me some tumeric to get me started. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of food, in my intermediate class we learned sequence adverbs (first, then, next, after that, and finally). So guess how they can get 2 extra credit bringing food to class tomorrow with a recipe explaining the steps. Smart, right? There are only 7 students in that class so it should be a nice little gathering.

I'm already finished with the 4th week of an eight-week cycle and I can't believe it. I still haven't been paid, so I haven't been able to do much traveling. But I'm pretty sure that by the time my month-long vacation rolls around in December/January that I'll have enough funds to go to the beach and the jungle. Interested in joining me? All visitors are welcome.

That's all for today. Take care, guaguas.


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