Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We have safely returned from Colombia. We had a wonderful time but I was looking forward to our house and my own bed! Readjusting to normal life was a bit rough however. Work Monday morning was a very rude awakening, especially when I arrived to find almost 300 emails. ugh!

I read a few books over my vacation. I have heard a lot of good things about Bound South by Susan Rebecca White so I was very excited to read it on the plane. Unfortunately I really didn't care for this book. I thought it lacked a meaningfull point. It felt very disappointing and mediocre to me. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner was a really good book. I have wanted to read something by Wallace Stegner for a while and I am glad I did. He is an excellent writer. I particularly enjoyed this book because it was about two young couples who become close friends and then follows their friendship for the next 50 years. I thought it was a beautiful story about both friendship and marriage. On the plane ride home I started Running in Heels by Anna Maxted which was recommended to me by a friend. While it took awhile to get into this book I really enjoyed it. It was very funny and real. I really like the characters and found them to be very honest.

This weekend we are going camping. I am so excited! I absolutely LOVE camping. Ever year we go to Diamond Lake with my family. We have a big group and we do lots of fun things like swimming, boating and hiking. Last year Dad and I hiked Mt. Thielson. This year we are going to take it down a notch and hike Mt. Bailey.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Good Eats

Food in Colombia is delicious yet very different in many ways. Here people eat a lot of meat and starches. They eat breakfast, lunch and onces, and a snack in the evening. Breakfast is a big meal usually with bread, eggs, meat, arepas, soup and always chocolate. Lunch is the main meal of the day and in small towns in Colombia the town shuts down from 1-3 durring lunch. That doesn't happen in Bogota. Many people eat out for lunch and others all go home for the meal. Usually lunch consists of fruit or salad, soup, a main course and a small dessert. To drink there is a great variety of freshly made jugo (juice) or beer. Onces is a snack eaten at 4:30 it can be either sweet or savory, often it is street food (I'll do another post just on street food). Then in the evening between 6-9 there is a snack. This is usually a drink and some food. Often it is chocolate with cheese and rolls, or agua de panella (a sweet hot drink made of sugar cane, cinnamon, cloves and sometimes liquor) and bread. It can also be beer and wine with platacones (fried plantaines served with salsa or guacamole or sometimes meat.

Mexican food is very popular in Colombia but unlike in the US where mexican food is often cheap here it is rather expensive. It is very trendy. However, it is very authentic and delicious. This is chicken mole with fresh beans and avacado.

The traditional way to serve chocolate is with cheese. This cheese, called farmers cheese, is similar to mozzeralla. You tear it up and put it in your chocolate. I prefer my chocolate without cheese but I can appreciate the cheese. When you eat chocolate in the evening with bread and cheese you melt the cheese into your chocolate and then dip your bread into the mixture.

Platacones. Here we are eating them with a warm tomato salsa and soured milk, similar to sour cream. We also have eaten them with meat and guacamole. yummy!

This is a very traditional colombian lunch. Most restaurants at lunch have the plate of the day which is always very cheap. This was the plate of the day last week in Villa de Leyva a small town in the mountains north of Bogota. First was squash soup followed by beef goulash pictured here. The beef goulash had fresh peas, beans and carrots, and the plate is garnished with chimichuri sauce, a south american sauce made with parsley and cilantro. You notice both rice and potatoes, this is very common here.

This is a desert that tastes somewhat like milk pudding but actually it is made from a root starch and coconut. Here it is garnished with a sweet mint sauce.

Agua de panella con aguardiente. This drink is amazing! It is very cold here in the evenings and this is a hot drink made of sugar can, cinnamon and cloves. The aguardiente is the national liquor of Colombia and it is anise flavored.

Colombian tamales. These are very different from mexican tamales. They are huge and wrapped with banana leaves. Inside is cornmeal, beans, chicken and veggies. We ate them for breakfast yesterday. They are also eaten for lunch.

This is a very tradional colombian lunch it is a large bowl of rice, fresh beans, areppa, egg, beef, avacado, chorizo, and chichorones (fried pork fat). So good.

Vegetable Market

Thursday, August 5, 2010

City views in Bogota

Graffitti art in the neighborhood

I love all of the colorful doors on houses here, like this one.

The view from the apartment patio

William hiding in the laundry. There are no dryers in Colombia.

City view in the Candelaria


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

chocolate everyday!

My Cousin Will

Colombian Gallery Wall

Chocolate muy deliciouso!

Plaza de torros, bull ring

Monday, August 2, 2010


We are in South America! We arrived in Bogota, Colombia on Friday. We are having a wonderful time. After Steph, my Uncle, picked us up from the airport Friday afternoon we explored the historic district, Calenderia. Then Saturday we took a bus out of Colombia to Tunja, north of Bogota, and then onto Villa de Levay were we stayed the rest of the weekend. Now we are back in Bogota. Here are some Pictures of our first few days:

This is in the Calenderia, the Historic district. It is full of amazing old houses, shops, churches and plazas. The most amazing thing is the colors and the doors. I took 20 some pictures of doors they are all so beautiful.

A view of Bogota from a plaza in Calenderia. There are plazas everywhere.

"Casa de Maria" as my 2 year old cousin William says. He calls all the churches casa de Maria and loves to go and visit Maria. This is the church William was baptized in.

A street in Tunja, look at all the colors.

Mr. P and I in front of another "Casa de Maria" we visited in Tunja

Villa de Levay. Look at the stone streets. This is a small town in North Colombia. You can see the Mountains from everywhere in this town. It is very old and quaint. We went on a horseback ride to a lake and to fossil beds. The countryside is beautiful here. And there are so many stange plants I have never seen.

My breakfast. The eggs are all mixed up with hot sauce so it isn't as pretty as when it first arrived. The eggs are baked in that metal pan. I ate them with Arepas, my new favorite food. Arepas are made with freshly ground corn meal, milk, butter and cheese. They are like a thick corn pancake or flat cornbread. They bake in a wood oven and are amazing! Tomorrow I will write about the chocolate. It is breaktaking and deserves it's own post.