Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's the food like???

We are greatly enjoying the food in Costa Rica, especially the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. On the weekends, we go to la feria (farmer's market) and visit the various farm vendor tables to choose fruits and vegetables for the week. There is a small feria about 2 miles from our house that is open on Saturday mornings, or a HUGE feria on Sunday mornings that requires us to take a taxi about 5 miles or so from home. At the large feria, you can rent a cart to push while you shop (it's a trick to try to push a cart over the rocky, muddy area). You must bring your own bags for taking your purchases home. This weekend's purchases included guava, potatoes, mangoes, watermelon, onions, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, pineapples, oranges, starfruit, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots... We were loaded down by the time we left!

Most fruits and vegetables are relatively cheap because they are grown here. Somethings are imported and are expensive (grapes are about $8 per kilo!). We are enjoying the fruits that we never buy at home in the USA because of cost... for example, pineapples are 50 cents or $1 at the most, and they are ten times sweeter than any I have ever had!

Lizbeth, our tutor and househelper, makes us fresh juices every day. We have a lemon tree in the backyard, so we frequently have fresh lemonade. My favorite is the fresh pineapple juice and the starfruit juice. Today, Billy was so happy to come home to a pitcher of fresh raspberry juice on the table.

Lizbeth makes our lunch each day. In Costa Rica, the traditional "big meal" each day is lunch. She has been with us for 15 days now and she hasn't made anything we don't love! She is a great cook. We specifically asked that she make only Tico food (no American dishes). She was very happy with this idea! Typical foods... arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), gallo pinto (a rice and black bean dish), pollo frito con papas (fried chicken and potatoes), sopas (soups), verduras y pollo con arroz (vegetables and chicken over rice), etc. One day, we had this awesome dish that looked like chile rellenos, but was actually fresh green beans that were battered with egg and cooked.

Typical breakfast here is fresh fruit and bread, maybe cheese. Typical dinner is the same as breakfast. Lunch is really the big meal. Since the boys are in school for lunch, we have been having lunch leftovers for dinner.

Weight Watchers wouldn't be in business here, I don't think. The portion sizes are pretty small, and there is a big emphasis on fruits and vegetables. At lunch, when Lizbeth makes the side dishes, it is a tiny amount. For example, today we had a meat and pasta dish with camote (white sweet potatoes) and broccoli on the side. For four people, she made one camote cut into four pieces and a section of broccoli about the size of my fist. No chance you might over eat!!!

Dessert is not big here. We just eat fruit.

With all of this good, healthy eating and all of the walking we have to do, you would think that we will lose some weight!!! Gloria a Dios!!!

Things we are missing from home... spicy foods of any sort - there just isn't hot, spicy food here; cheese dip and chips - they don't have Velveeta here and corn tortilla chips are hard to come by; Blue Bell - enough said!; cake mixes are $3-4 per box - we'll splurge for birthdays; things from the grill in the backyard - Billy is hoping to make a grill out of a car wheel rim (?); tacos from Mexico, or any Mexican food for that matter!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hey Laurie and Billy,

What a great blog. It was so refreshing and humbling to hear about your adventures. Your family remains in our prayers. I'm glad we can keep in touch this way.

Love to you all,
Kim Williams