December 2, 2008

Sharing a Meal

I always miss Thanksgiving more than anything. It is an American holiday and I am always surprised by other people’s surprise that it isn’t celebrated here. Personally I think it should be celebrated everywhere. Gratitude and lots of calories. A perfect combination.

For the first time I did make a little mock Thanksgiving for some friends. But we celebrated it on Friday night because Thursday found everyone too busy and I was uninspired. I couldn’t find a turkey that hadn’t been pre-seasoned with a bunch of gobbledygook that included MSG so I roasted two chickens. I even managed to whip out a green bean casserole with a homemade white sauce and caramelized onions – but it couldn’t hold a candle to the good old-fashioned Durkey fried onion recipe. I also managed a pumpkin pie from real pumpkin and a piecrust from scratch. It took me a while to convince the Brazilians to try it. “It's kind of a funny color” they noted. "It's sort of ... brown looking." You have to admit, it isn’t the most appealing dish to the eye. But I persisted and they were adventurous and liked it (I think.)

Fortunately Thanksgiving isn’t the only day in the year for kitchen adventures. Here, everyday is an adventure.

As I’ve mentioned before, living in the tropics isn’t for the faint of heart – or at least not for those that don’t like bugs. Which fortunately, for some weird reason, perhaps a genetic anomaly, I do.

(Friends like to recall the video tape we made on our honeymoon in Greece, a full half hour of which was dedicated to a David and Goliath type battle between an ant and a spider that took place in the bathroom at 3am.)

So I didn’t have a total freak out today when I opened up a bag of red beans we bought from a farmer near our land and out scrambled thousands of bugs. (Actually I freaked a little, but mostly because we ate a lot of those beans when we first bought them, before all those larvae had time to hatch…)

No I didn’t totally loose it. Once again, I persisted. Spread the whole thing out on a baking tray and put it in the sun and let the bugs sort themselves out. Meanwhile I got my camera.

Yes, he’s mooning you.

Eating “organically” can force you to make some tough calls. Such as, how much of my bean am I willing to share with the bugs?

One bite:

That’s doable. Maybe even two.

But three or more:

They can keep it.

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