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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Takin' it Day by Day

I've got to be honest here...I know some of you are living vicariously through us...or so you've said, but right now, I still feel like I'm on an extended holiday. Even though I'm cruising in to three months of retirement (or unemployment, as some of you prefer), I can't honestly say that I feel, well...retired. Sure I'm getting my nine hours of sleep in and I get to write whenever I want. I don't have anywhere to be except for my Spanish classes on Monday and Wednesday unless I really want to be there, but is this what retirement feels like?

Street vendors working the crowds

Mind the knife!  She's cutting open coconuts to get at the water.

We have seen some pretty amazing things.  The celebration for Cuenca's independence show cased the best artisans of not only the country, but they invited a lot of their friends from all over South America, as Ron's blog touched on.  We went to the symphony (free), toured historic buildings hung with diverse types of artwork (free) and enjoyed an unusual (at least to us) parade. (It reminded me of herding kittens a bit.)  Cuencanos may not be big on schedules, but they sure know how to have fun! (It was impossible to get any decent pictures as the viewers refused to sit in orderly rows along the curbs and the participants seemed to march along at their own pace regardless of how far behind (or ahead) the surrounding parade entries were.) I will appease with pictures of flowers instead.

Stuff is blooming around here...what can we say?

It's also very strange for us to be out in shirt sleeves at this time of year, but with so many strange and new things we hardly have time to think about it. (Except when we see snow warning for PEI - I confess we chuckle a little when that happens...bad us!)  I am now going to inundate you with photos...occasionally they will repeat some of Ron's, but it's for good reason. I have attempted to recreate one of the quintessential (yup, that's a word...look it up) dishes in Ecuador...salsa roja.  Here's what it consists of (best guess):
Those red egg shaped things are tomate de arbol (tree tomatoes), the green thing is NOT a lime, as one would expect, but a lemon...the rest you should be familiar with, but in case not; onion, garlic and hot pepper. I boiled the tree tomatoes for a bit to make them easier to's what they look like inside:
Rather tomato-esque...a bit tarter though
Here's the finished product: (I forgot to mention the cilantro)
Mine wasn't as runny as the usual, so I don't know if I need to add more water or what.  It didn't taste too bad, but I threw in some chimichuri just for fun.  I've also attempted to make juice from previously introduced tree tomatoes and guanabana...I should have taken a picture of it, but now I have to shamelessly steal one from the internet:

It looks quite strange and I'm unable to aptly describe the texture...somewhere between a ripe mango and overripe pineapple.  The flavour is also challenging, as it has a citrus base, with hints of sweetness and the flesh has a smooth custardy feel that defies description.  It's quite tasty. (Also a b- well, you know, to get the seeds out.)

On one of our outings we came across a little fellow that was both amazing and remarkably friendly...I had a very interesting conversation in Spanish with a young boy regarding said amazing thing:
I'm presuming he's a leaf bug.
To be honest our conversation consisted of the little boy asking me all sorts of questions and me answering "I don't know." I neither know the Spanish word for insect or bug...let alone leaf bug. I picked the bug up off the sidewalk to ensure that it didn't accidentally get stepped on and he seemed to like me.  We hung out for about 15 minutes. (The bug and I, not the boy.)  We've seen llamas (or alpacas - to be honest I don't know the difference) grazing on lawns outside art galleries and chickens (ready for cooking) with the half formed eggs still inside them.  (Sure it sounds gross, but it's quite fascinating.) In short, there is much here to be discovered...things that we can't even imagine. But until we get to do those things and see the mysteries that surround us, I'll still wonder if I'm truly retired, or just unemployed.  Be well all of you.  Until the next time.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I guess it must be hard to believe you are actually retired, sounds like your having a good time, enjoying the blog and pictures.