Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Costa Rica Blog - Day 9


For having bummed about the beach the entire weekend, I sure was tired today. I blame it all on the sun--it absorbed all of my energy. Today was spent mostly recovering from the weekend and nosing about the kitchen. I didn't wake up early enough to capture my grandmother preparing these dishes so I'll just show the end products:

Sticky rice & red beans. This is what my grandmother was referring to in the Spanglese chatter from Day 2's video. She saved the extra shavings of plantain leaves to make this tasty little treat. First, you mix powdered sticky rice with water to create the dough. Then boil red beans until soft, drain, and mash. Add sugar & mix. Roll up the red bean paste into little balls. Oil down your plantain leaves. Then grab a wad of sticky rice dough, flatten in your hands, and add red bean ball. Wrap the sticky rice dough around the red bean and form a larger ball. Place ball onto oiled leaf and roll. Fold down bottom of one side, place on dish. Steam until rice dough is soft and sticky.

Tong Sui (sweet water). This is a dessert that is a sweet soup made of red bean, coconut, taro, tapioca, coconut milk and evaporated milk.

Here are a few snapshots of things around the house:

Homemade salted gai lan (choy). My grandmother claims that this pickled vegetable would be ready in 15 days and is delicious...

banana criollo--a local variety of banana that isn't exported but eaten by many locally. The flesh is a more saturated yellow color than what we eat in the States and has a richer, earthier and sweeter taste.

Mandarinas - tangerines. I LOVE THESE!! The skin peels off easily, revealing plump sections of sweet sweet goodness. They are like no other tangerine I've tasted.


I made the sofa cover for this armchair the last time I was here. My mom, aunt, grandmother and myself were all involved in this large-scale project of covering all the sofas in the house.

My grandmother is an avid orchid grower and fills the backyard with them. Once they bloom, she brings them in the house so we can enjoy their beauty.

I liked these purple ones.

Tonight I went shopping for things to bring back and to no one's surprise all I bought were a ton of snacks. Hey, I figure I'm shopping for a 1-2 year supply here!

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