This isn’t one of those food blogs with fabulous photos and detailed recipes, I don’t feel entitled or confident enough to do that, though during travels we learnt that we had to change our eating/drinking habits and adapt to the various cultures, climate and seasons. So here I will publish a few thoughts and stories that somehow connects the trip, pleasure, people, friendships to food and drinks.
I love food. I love good, quality food, homemade food, creative food. And I love wine. I enjoy it. I don’t understand wine as wine experts may tend to but my taste buds agree with the certain combination of food and wine and I enjoy that very much. John is more of a beer drinker -though he also likes the good quality brews, and he only can eat certain food (i.e. he cannot eat garlic or onion!!) But I would like to write about the circumstances of buying, preparing, cooking and eating food on the travel. + we both refuse to eat pasta with some crappy conserve tomato sauce most days.
My mother said that in one of our Skype conversations; “you might want to write about all the interesting local food you are having ova there” Ahem…Ok, in my opinion -One may disagree (or agree) with this; Central/ South American food is boring. It is mostly rice, beans and chicken. John and I joked (and fantasized) about what if back then the French or the Italians invaded the continent. Imagine the culinary difference; everyone would eat creatively made food, drinking quality wine, eat good cheese, smoke cigarette and drink espresso. Unbelievably wide range of vegetables, herbs, spices, mostly wild grown here…. Why they don’t use them???
As our intention, we made a point about that we want to cook our own meals so John built a good size kitchen in the vehicle. We have a 4-burner cooker, with grill and oven attached to an 80 liter, built-in propane tank. (we only had to top it up a couple of times -once in Mexico and once in Peru, and never had problem finding a place) We have a good size fridge that has a small freezer -when we are at the coast where have the chance to buy fresh fish the freezer is very handy, not to mention the ice-cream supply. We even have a microwave (+grill) as a backup if something happens with the propane cooker we would still have something to grill, bake, warm-up food with. Although we haven’t used it since we are on the trip (only using it for storage and if we built another Burt we would ditch the microwave idea all together)
We also enjoy buying fresh, local veg, fruit, meat, fish, seeds, nuts etc on markets and we make an effort to stop and spend time, try finding the local products and try to buy them from the farmer him- or herself. We almost always stop at roadside stands offering the goods of the area let that be cheese, honey, strawberry, garlic, mangoes or homemade yoghurt -this stuff is always good and comes with a smile.
Here, I’d like to mention a few useful things we have on the road. In no particular order my favourites are:
1. Pressure cooker. We love meat, especially red meat and this thing saves time and energy to cook it. Great for pre cooking potatoes too before frying it
2. Citrus presser. The cheapest handy stuff will do. When so much orange, grapefruit, mandarin is around it’s a crime not to have. +I love the little plastic lime squeezer too.
3. Hand blender. Making banana shake, smoothies, fruit juices. It’s priceless. Or great use when you make your own chilli paste. It is small, just make sure your power intake matches its voltage.
4. What we don’t have but an excellent thing to have; outdoor/camping gasoline cooker. It would’ve came handy many times when feeling cooking outside, save propane, don’t want to heat or stink up the room inside. Brilliant stuff.
So in the next short articles I’d like to share a few thoughts on making simple (or not) food for pleasure, for every day or for a treat. We met a few like minded people who shared their ideas and receipts. such as Rhoda’s Ceviche or our very own Russian Buddha’s exceedingly hot homemade chili paste, just to mention a couple…