Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Ok so technically I just buy my pineapples at the market. They cost US $1.50. But I had no idea pineapples grew like this! And all you have to do is cut the top part with the leaves off and stick it in the ground. And then wait like 3 years.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
There is just something about the sunsets in Belize-- or maybe the tropics in general-- that just blow away all North American sunsets I've ever seen. This time of year for some reason are extra spectacular. Our house was designed with a wall of windows on the west side so we can look at the sunset every day. This time of year we step outside every evening and just stop for a few moments to appreciate the gorgeous variety of light. Here are some of my favorites.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I like goats. They are inquisitive and friendly, and pretty smart. We keep goats for milk, because I can’t drink cows milk but goats milk doesn’t bother me. Goats milk is great- it is creamy and goes really well with oreos and chocolate cake, which really should be the main function of milk.
Goats, however can be a real pain in the neck. They are seldom happy where you put them, they want to be on the other side of that fence. I’ve mentioned before that our goats have eaten probably more then they are worth in decorative plants. And a few weeks ago, our male goat got in the yard and wiped out two large passion fruit vines in a matter of 15 minutes.
This is Homer.
This is what Homer did to my vine. Notice the lack of leaves.
Homer is very, very lucky that male dairy goats are so hard to find in Belize. Otherwise, he would have been barbeque.
My mother in law even has a story about how their neighbor’s goats got into their watermelon patch and wiped out about a half acre of watermelons and vines in an afternoon. But I never believed the stories about goats eating random stuff like tin cans and laundry. Our goats have had ample opportunity to get into out laundry or eat random tin cans and never seemed interested.
This morning, however, I heard some weird crunching sounds coming from the front yard. This is what I found:
Notice the teeth marks
Apparently the goat decided a plastic pot was just the thing to satisfy her this morning. Forget the nice green grass growing around it. When I tried to chase her away, she just looked at me like WHAT is your PROBLEM? No shame whatsoever. Goats are very entitled creatures.
One more example of weird animals:
This is our cow. In our yard.
Eating the dog food.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Most groceries in Belize are fairly expensive given the average income, but some things are quite ridiculous, such as dairy products. For example, 4 sticks of butter sell for about $8 Bz, or $4 US. Luckily, Daniel milks a few cows. For cooking when margarine really isn't an option ( I wouldn't use it at all, but it is cheap) I make small amounts of butter. It's actually pretty easy as long as you have someone else to milk the cow.
The reason I don't make large amounts of butter is because we separate the cream by skimming the milk, rather then using a cream separator (which we don't have). You just let the milk sit for a few hours then take a spoon and skim the cream off the top. Then, put the cream in a tupperware and shake for about 15 minutes. If you want to be high tech, you can put the cream in the blender and blend for 3 or so minutes.
You end up with butter and whey. I save the whey and use it in biscuits--so good! Next you "wash" the butter- I just pour in some water and squish the butter with a fork. The idea is to get the extra whey out, so keep squishing and changing the water till it comes out clear.
That's it! I don't salt the butter, but if you wanted to you would add salt last.
-don't freeze the cream. It won't make butter.
-it works best if the cream is somewhere between fridge and room temperature- not warm, but not really cold.
-it is faster to make butter in the blender, but you get more if you shake it by hand
I think the thing I was most surprised by is the natural yellow color of butter! I guess I always thought it was added food coloring....
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sorry for the lack of pictures lately; due to some software issues I can't process pics on my computer. Sadly, Macs just don't seem to be the thing in Belize-- as I was told by one computer store owner who did not have a mac version of the software, "Macs are 'special'," kind of in the tone you use when someone is being a total dork. But I should be getting the software I need soon.
On another note-- a funny incident happened at the clinic that I thought I'd share. We have some lovely doctors visiting from England, and the other day they saw a lady whose ears were blocked with wax. With the help an interpreter (not me :) they told her to put some warm olive oil in the canals to soften and loosen the wax, and come back in a few days.
Monday, the patient returned saying the treatment had not helped. Unfortunately, she had put oregano in her ears instead of olive oil (oliva in spanish)! The doctors spent some time picking it out of her ears :)