Though I am quite exhausted tonight, today was an absolute blast and a half. It started with Marci and I meeting our Amigos for a trip to the grocery store. Five of us piled into their red minivan and drove over to purchase the supplies needed for them to teach us how to cook legit Mexican rice, beans, salsa and tacos. They were so sweet and wouldn’t let us do a thing…no placing items in the cart or getting them out, or loading them on to the counter at check out or into the car.
We loaded the cart with thinly sliced beef and pork, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, habaneros, garlic, limes, rice, beans and spices. Marci and I also picked out a smorgasbord of pastries to take home for breakfast, since it’s Jude’s birthday today. We stopped by a farmers market to grab cucumbers, avocados and fruit. Our plan was to meet in the kitchen at 3pm to start cooking.
The creatures wanted to head over to the beach we found on the other side of the island to collect more sea glass, so they set off on bicycles while Chad, Marci, Danny and I enjoyed a few moments to sit down in a quiet boat and enjoy each others company. Before long, we headed into town too, with Chad and Danny on bikes and Marci and I walking. The creatures texted while we were en route saying they were done and were moving in the direction of the ice cream shop, which sounded like a fantastic idea to us. Since it’s Jude’s birthday we figured she deserved 3 scoops today, and she was more than happy to oblige.
We all made our way through town to Playa Norte (North Beach), which somehow happens to be on the North end of the island, and when we arrived we were amazed at how crowded it was. The sand is a beautiful bright white, like some of those beaches I’ve been on in South Africa, and the water gorgeous shades of blue that are the color of peace.
Many boats were anchored in the sandy bottom close to shore, and music played across the crowds.On our walk over to the beach, we noticed a vehicle with an Idaho license plate! It seemed so out of place here across the ocean.
Before long it was time to head back to the marina to begin cooking our feast. I had been so excited all day to learn the secrets of good Mexican cooking. Our Amigos met us in the kitchen and put us to work.
We chopped, crushed, shredded, sauteed, squeezed, diced, stirred and grilled. The aromas coming from our creations were making our mouths water as we worked. Danny and Chad grilled the meat for us and did a mighty fine job.
A few minutes before eating, one of our Amigos ran over to the tortilla factory and bought a stack of fresh, hot tortillas, and they were heavenly.
Finally after 3 1/2 hours we spread our creations out on the table and gathered the family around, and they were so excited to dig in.
What an amazing time we had, and the food was delicious. I love cooking, and I especially love learning the correct way from locals. Marci loved it too. I hope to learn cooking traditions and skills in many many more countries as we sail around the world.
Emma baked Jude a chocolate cake from scratch, and then whipped up her famous cream cheese peanut butter frosting and sprinkled it with coconut to top it off. I think that tonight all bodies on Tanda Malaika will be laying down a few pounds heavier, but we will all have extremely satisfied grins on our faces.