Monday, May 10, 2010

An Ecuador Moment (or Two)

Brian was so excited about making "country" pate, as he learned in his French cooking class, that on Thursday we had to go downtown and search around for a hand meat grinder. First things first: how to ask for one? "La máquina con la que para moler carne." Got us what we were looking for. Secondly: to find a shop downtown that has such a beast. We started out in the saddle and horse harness area in the 10th of August market. Guess what? No meat grinders there. We wonder what we were thinking? We then stopped in at 3 shops that sold pots & pans & tupperware & such (getting closer) and they kept directing us on to other shops and eventually we found what we were looking for. Cost $19. Now Shelley can hardly wait to see Brian's creations. Not only does he want to make country pate but he's been waxing poetic about sausage. We'll see.

On the bus the other day, a tiny indigenous woman (4 foot 2 inches tall at most, in a traditional costume, gold surrounding more than a few of her teeth, huge smile on her face) became enamoured with Fredi. We were in the back standing area of the bus, the tiny woman with a huge bundle and Shelley carrying Fredi. Shelley was crushed in a corner, surrounded by more bundles on the floor, with her back to the bus wall. The woman was standing in front of her, facing her. Brian was behind several more bundles and the woman.

"¿Cómo se llama?" asked the woman.
"Se llama Fredi" Shelley answered back and then chaos ensued.

The wonderfully whimsical woman chatted happily to Shelley, quite animated, quite free. Shelley tried to slow her down by explained in her halting Spanish that her language skills had a bit to be desired. This did nothing to deter the gnome talking & gesturing quite rapidly to her on the bus, all the while with a huge grin on her face.

Shelley looked up at Brian beseechingly, his skills are somewhat better than hers and he gave her phrases to shoot back at the wonderful old woman petting Fredi & chattering away with Shelley. This went on for several minutes until our stop.

Shelley picked up Fredi's paw & waved it at the woman and said "ciao" (Which is Italian for hello/goodbye but somehow works in Ecuador too). The tiny woman twinkled at her with her gold filled smile and Shelley followed Brian off the bus. We turned around to wave goodbye and the fairy like creature was waving too.

An Ecuador moment.

Much to his chagrin, Brian had his quarterly dentist/cleaning appointment (3 teeth; $20) on Friday. Shelley & Fredi walked with him up to the dentist's office and then left him on his own and continued on their walk. It's been raining off and on pretty steady the last few days so the path was muddy in a few places. Fredi romped & generally had a gleeful time. Shelley had brought puppy treats with her so when it came time to go back on the leash there were no problems. Without the treats she's been known to run manically around us & back & forth, taunting with her freedom. This time though, Fredi in fact inserted her own head in the chain collar in a fit of co-operation (all of course a dastardly plot to get another puppy treat). We then walked through the tall grass in order to clean Fredi's tummy & feet off and it actually did a pretty good job. Brian came back from his appointment and reported he was a "good boy" at the dentist & is free once again for another 3 months.

Due to Brian doing a rather thorough "cull" job, we headed off to the CB Carolina Bookstore on Saturday, a couple of weeks earlier than usual. It had been raining all morning, so of course Fredi's feet & underside got quite damp but Carol still wanted to say hello and we all had a lovely chat together. We had arranged to meet a friend at the Terrace Bar & Grill that evening but our friend begged off at the last minute and Brian ended up going to the neighbourhood (Calle de Batan 5-27 E Imbabura) pizza place. This time he requested tomato sauce and we were somewhat surprised when he got it home and there was none. The pizza was very good nevertheless. We spent the evening watching movies & eating pizza & generally having a good time anyway.

Mother's Day was on Sunday. Shelley heard from her children & all was well with the world. We'd planned on going down to the park & give away all the pennies we saved for the year to one of the boy children who polish shoes. We've turned this into a kind of tradition. Don't exactly know how much money the pennies add up to but they seem eager to get it. In any case, it was raining out and we'd just given Fredi a bath the day before, so we shrank from going outside. We'll give the pennies away next week and Brian will have to live without his roast pig for a couple of days until we can get there to pick some up.

Monday we went shopping & Brian made chorizo sausage without the casings for his chicken soup that he's planning on making on Tuesday. (Note: The chorizo recipe although flavourful, turned out to be not as spicy hot as he had hoped. Brian "kicked it up a notch" by adding more cayenne pepper & chili powder.) With these cooking classes he's taking, he's become much more enthusiastic about trying to recreate some of the things we miss (food-wise) from Canada.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we can try making blood sausage when I get back? And then dim sum, please? And then I'll have everything I need : )