exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Friday, May 04, 2007
When life hands you a limon, use a slice of it to chase a shot of guaro.

A series of events has led to an incredible meal this evening. Yesterday I worked a split shift (class at 9-11am and at 5-7pm) to cover a teacher that's on vacation. I decided to stay in Heredia for the day. I hung out with another teacher and we looked at an apartment (it was small, dingy, and a bit further from the school than we wanted). Then we went to Heredia's central market to have lunch at a little soda. I had a "casado con carne en salsa" which was a huge plate filled with rice, beans, stewed beef chunks, cabbage salad, green beans, and some other unidentifiable side dish that was very tasty. I had a "cas fresco" to drink. Cas is a sweet'n'sour fruit. The whole thing was incredibly good, filling, and under four bucks. Thus fueled, we wandered around the mercado, browsing all of the vendors' wares. I decided I needed to buy something. So I picked up 3 avocados and a bag of star fruit (about $3 total). Then we went back to our school since it was getting close to class time.

When I got home, I noticed the lights were kind of dim. Something was wrong. Some lights didn't work at all. And the stove wouldn't get hot, though it seemed to be getting power (the little light indicating the burner is on would light up, but the eye never got red). I fiddled with breakers and such for awhile, but nothing worked. I didn't have anything prepared for dinner, and I couldn't cook anything, so I ate some of my star fruit and one of the avocados.

Today, I tried fiddling around with the lights and switches again. I noticed that when I turned a particular eye on the stove on, I could get my bathroom lights to come on (dimly). Odd. Very, very odd. Maybe it has something to do with all of the power outages. But I'm not sure I can blame ICE for this one. I asked Marta's stepfather (who is essentially my maintanence man) for help. He's been working on some other parts of the house, and I figured maybe he fooled with something. But he said to talk to one of the neighbors, who is an electrician and wired the house. The neighbor (one of Marta's nephews) works during the day, so I'd be spending my day off without a stove.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Without a stove to make beans and rice, I decided to put my avocados to use. I sliced into one, and mashed it with some garlic and vinegar (some of the few groceries I had on hand - I haven't been shopping since I might be moving soon). The mixture was incredible. It was so good, in fact, that I decided to improve upon it. I went to the store to get a few other ingredients and picked up a fresh loaf of bread from Mus Manni. I used the remaining avocado and made the best guacamole I've ever had (if I do say so myself).

The recipe, as best I can tell since I didn't measure anything:

2 very ripe avocados, mashed
1/2 a head of garlic
1T vinegar
2-3T mayonnaise with limon
2-3T natilla (I doubt regular sour cream would be as good)
1 small bunch of cilantro, diced

Spread on fresh bread, it is a feast. Of course, I might just be happy to be eating something besides gallo pinto. Either way, I feel like King of the Gringos tonight. I might as well enjoy myself. I have to work tomorrow. And I have split shifts again on Monday and Tuesday. In fact, on those days, I'll be working until 9pm, which means I'll be facing the streets of San Jose late at night. Wish me luck.