Sunday, November 6, 2016

Domingo, el seis de noviembre, 2016

Well, if I thought I was a queen before, I'm not sure what I am now: perhaps an empress?

I was awakened at 5:45 to banging and mopping and cleaning.  Odillia was preparing my room-

Yes those are real roses on the side table!

Mi bano-

I have a view of 2 volcanoes as I lie on my bed!  

This morning I took a cooking class at La Tortilla Cooking School.  I was the only student so had very special treatment-

The woman in the center is from Guatemala and she's the cook/boss.  The couple is from Argentinia and have been travelling for 2 years.  They just arrived in Guatemala and are working at La Tortilla as volunteers.

First, we discussed the ingredients and what we were going to do with them-

Rice, plantains, chocolate, cinnamon, chicken - (it's yellow because they are corn fed), beet, lemon, onion, cilantro, red tomatoes, chiles, tiny green tomatoes, squash, potato, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cloves, corn flour, salt and pepper were the ingredients.

Sesame seeds are toasted and green tomatoes, spices, red tomatoes and chiles - sweet and savoury are grilled-

Once cooked, this is puréed and added to the boiled squash, onion and chicken mixture to make pepian, the main course-

The rice dish was like risotto with carrots and onions-

 and the ensalada was cooked beets and raw onion with lemon juice dressing-

Tortillas are very simple to make:  corn flour and water are kneeded for 30 seconds, shaped into balls and flattened. They are cooked in a Teflon frying pan.  No oil required-

While we were cooking, I had a small bowl of ground pumpkin seeds in atol.  Atol is made with water, corn flour and a cinnamon stick.  It tastes like cream of wheat and is savoury - no sugar added-

Dessert was rellenitos- puréed plantains cooked with cinnamon-

 then mashed and formed into a ball with a spoonful of chocolate in the centre.  They are fried-

The peel from the plantains is full of nutrients to help with bone development, stomach and head issues.  Like banana, it's full of potassium.  Plantain water is coveted.

After a couple hours of cooking, we sat down to enjoy the meal.  Buen provecho!  

On my way home, I came across a church service-

Everyone was clapping and singing along.  There were drums, a keyboard and guitar to accompany the singing.

And as if this wasn't enough of a good eating day, I met Melanie and Olivia at an Indian restaurant-

Melanie is from Switzerland and leaving Antigua tomorrow.  Olivia is from Birmingham, UK and staying a few more weeks.

I shared falafel-

and had an Indonesian curry dish.  When it came time to order, they didn't have most of one page of the two page menu - no coconut milk!  So, needless to say, I was a bit disappointed-

Tomorrow it's back to school and the gym!  Already week #2!  How time flies!

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