Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Food, glorious food!

Just so you know, Steve is not the only one who makes food around here. You'll have noticed some very yummy looking creations he's put on his blog or has tweeted. We get our produce, and sometimes eggs from the feria (the biweekly produce market). Because Steve's mom and dad are coming in tomorrow, we won't be able to go to the Wednesday market. I really love going to traditional food markets, but don't often get the chance here because of my work schedule. So Steve has done most of the gathering, and today, he went to the Mercado Central which is in a permanent building, and is open daily. Same vibe as the feria, only indoors, and fewer merchants. Still beats the Santa Isabela (we don't go to Lider, since it is really Walmart in disguise.)

Steve mopped, vacuumed and did laundry today, in addition to getting some veggies and chicken. He left mid-afternoon for Santiago (he's spending the night so he's at the airport early tomorrow) so I did the sanitizing of the food. An important step in food safety that I learned in the Peace Corps.

First you wash in soapy water, then you soak in a weak bleach solution for 5 to 10 minutes. Eggs get washed and scrubbed, but not soaked. Stuff that you peel gets washed, including avocados. Isn't it interesting how the eggs were wrapped in newspaper? They all got home crack-free.

Here's dinner: Poached, shredded chicken, mixed with a little onion, green summer squash and mayo, the condiment that keeps Chile running.

I don't think I've mentioned the fondness folks here have for plastic bags. Even when we go shopping with reusable bags, or take plastic with us, we get more. Each item is placed in a bag, and sometimes smaller bags are put in bigger bags. Today Steve bought the food you see pictured above. The 5 bags it came home in will get put with all the other bags under the counter. I may have to get aggressive about reusing these things, it really is pretty horrible how many there are. They may even be breeding under there...

Oh, and a bit of shopping etiquette I may have mentioned before. When you are in a grocery store (but not a feria or small mom and pop corner store), you need to tip the person bagging up your food. (Even if you do manage to get them to use your reusable bags). These kids work for tips only and the tip doesn't need to be big, 50-200 CLP (about 10-40 cents), depending on how much they bag. A great way to get rid of those pesky smaller coins, and the old 100 pieces. But we keep all our new 100 CPLs for laundry!

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