Monthly Archives: July 2010

Cooking with 40/40

Here’s a special entry for my dear readers!

During the Extreme Mega-Event that we had a few weeks ago we didn’t have classes.  Some of us were worried that we were going to loose out on what we had learned in our Spanish classes, but as we found out the two weeks were kinda like a class in itself.  When we got back to classes Garren told our teachers that we had learned a lot about the language outside of the classroom by actually using what we had learned daily.  It’s true.  I even saw a difference in my Spanish.

These are our professors!  Johan and Julissa.  So, Johan, our professor, in his awkward way threw out ideas of things we could do.  He asked us if we wanted to go to a university to meet kids our age… none of us really wanted to touch that, it would just be weird.  He also asked if we’d like to go to the market place sometime… that would be nice, so we earmarked that idea.  Then, he suggested having a cooking class… HOLA!

Garren, Kristen and I were in the more advanced class and we came to the food section of our book first, so it was our class the headed it up.  We found some ballin’ recipes and took the lead.  Two from the other class decided they needed meat so they did their own thing… we are cheap so we went veg.

Locro de Zapallo
This is a very typical peruvian dish.  It is made out of zapallo (a type of pumpkin), potatoes, chaclo (a type of corn), and cheese.  This is not the picture of what we made… I could not find an appetizing picture online and I never thought to actually take a picture of the finished work… DUH!  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Anyway, that is all cooked down to make this.  Note: I’ve posted the links to the recipes in the list of the menu above if you want to give these a try.  For zapallo you should be able to get away with using a normal cooking pumpkin or butternut squash.

There’s the zapallo all cut up.  It’s such a pretty color of yellow.  You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to actually cut the silly things.  They were very duro (hard).  See?  Kristen is stabbing one… Ashley, the curly haired girl, is a rollin’!

There it is all cooking!  About halfway through everything we cooked we ran out of propane.  To the left of the stove there is a cupboard where the propane tank sits… just a little one like you have for your grill outside.  When you run out you call one of the following Llamagas, Masgas, Limagas, and there’s some other creative ones.  Well, we got lucky because the guy who came with our gas gave us a FREE PLATE!  It was amazing.

Locro de zapallo is typically served with rice.  You can also just eat it by itself like a soup.  Either way this is a excellent dish!  I love it.

Tortillas de Platano

Okay, so Garren and I stole this from our mama.  I mean, we asked her for it, but it’s so good that she really shouldn’t have, therefore we stole this sucker!  When we were first told about this assignment Garren came home and asked mama if we could have the recipe and she told us it was really easy.  Well, we sat down with her one night and were amazed when she told us what it was… It’s just bananas and flour!!!!!  

This delectable piece of heaven is just your normal looking tortilla.  You bite into it and you find it’s like a cake!  The outsides are crispy and crusty and the inside gooey and beautiful, glorious CUISINE!!!!  You really have to try it.  I posted the recipe on but just click on the link under Menu and you’ll get there!

Garren was in charge of this one because it’s his favorite thing in our house.  I mean, it’s my favorite too, but he had it first so…  Here he is aplastando (mashing) the bananas.  The truth of the matter is we, ehm he bought the wrong bananas.  Really, you go to Wal*Mart in the states and you want bananas, you go to one section where it says bananas you get your bananas.  Well, here in Peru not only do they have over 100 different types of potatoes (I do not lie), but there are several types of bananas.  You know that platanos are not like bananas, but who knew that bananas de isla would be different!  Needless to say, our tortillas were not the same as mamas…  Since then though I have helped mama make this splendor of splendors and all turns out well the way we did things, just with REAL bananas.

Second step so EASY!  Add the flour!  After this you just fry it in the pan.
Espuma Helada de Chocolate

Yes, I’m a cheat.  I did not take this picture either.  I need to get better at documnenting things with my camera.  Well, this dessert was so fun to make!  It translates directly as Frozen Chocolate Foam!  I didn’t get any pictures but I did get a video!  ENJOY!

Espuma Helada de Chocolate
– 1/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1 tbsp flavorless gelatin
– 1 can evaporated milk (left to chill in the fridge a few hours IMPORTANTE)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– cherries or chopped chocolate for garnish

1.) Whip the evaporated milk until the volume doubles and it has the consistency of a thick cream.
2.)Add the sugar slowly as not to weigh down the fluff you just made.
3.)Then little by little add the chocolate.
4.) In a separate dish, dissolve the gelatin in a 1/4 cup hot water.  Add the gelatin little by little and mix well.
5.) Put the mix in whatever mold you wish.
6.) Put in the fridge for two hours or until firm.


Lastly, I would like to share with you what I am drinking right now.  You all may think that being in South American I have access to the greatest coffee in all the world.  The horrible truth is that our coffee in Peru is mostly exported out of the country.  Unfortunately, I get instant coffee every morning.

Look at those wonderful clumps of undissolving instant coffee…

Anyway, that’s all hem-haw.  Our cooking day was a success and we learned a lot of new words!

Thanks for tuning in!  And join us next time for COOKING WITH 40/40!

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Vacaciones en Mollendo

After two weeks of a lot of work, Brian Tibbs decided to give the Extreme Staff a Extreme Vacation.  It was meant for rest and relaxation, and for me I was able to do some self-exploration.  The photo above is the Castle de Forga in Mollendo.  I don’t really know anything special about it except the mayor of Mollendo, Jose Miguel Forga, built it in 1908.
Beth and I climbed up to the house and went inside.  This was a spectacular sight to see.  I didn’t take these pictures, but I found this online and it’s actually I bit more beautiful that what I saw.  If I had seen this…

The weather wasn’t the best that anyone could have asked for.  All this past week the Peruvians were telling us that it was going to be freezing in Mollendo, that it always is this time of year.  It actually started to make me mad after a while.  Who tells someone when they’re going on vacation that where they’re going will be horrible?

From the moment that we drove into the coast I could tell we were not going to have much sun and there would be little of tomaring of sol (sunbathing).  I’ve not been to the ocean very many times in the States to make an accurate comparison, but the fog made me think of what I thought Maine would look like.  It was so pretty.  The air was brisk and heavy with moisture, a welcome change from the arid climate of Arequipa.  My lips finally got a break from kissing the Carmex tube every ten minutes.

As for the self-exploration I’ve realized that I’ve begun to loose a bit of my own self, in that I’m fading from my own individuality.  I’ve been putting so much of my energy in building relationships with others that I’ve even been neglecting my relationship with God.  And I’m right where I began maybe three months ago.  Can I tell you how frustrating that is?  Leaving my best friend at home was a wound that I started to patched with a new friendship.

I took this weekend to force myself away from some people and learn what it is to be me again and to do what I want to do instead of always following people around.  Along with wanting to be myself again has come some instances of anger… I’m still figuring that one out.

On the 4th we had a bonfire to celebrate our Independence Day of the US!  I, however, was bothered and decided to lay down on the beach away from everyone else.  I prayed a lot about what I have been doing to myself, putting priorities on the wrong things and why I was getting so angry about stupid things… and it came back to me again.  It is out of my control.  So frustrating that I have to repeat this lesson.  Overall, I think it was a great weekend and I’ve had a good time redirecting my heart.

Finally, the second best part of Mollendo was our S./20 (20 soles… it’s money) allowance that Brian gave us… mine was spent on ICE CREAM!  The restaurant next to our hotel had a freezer filled with ice cream wonders.  I ate in total six ice cream cones, and five ice cream bars… and two small tubs of ice cream too.  The lady in the shop was amazed at my gorging abilities and my apparent stamina to the chill of Mollendo enough to eat tons of ice cream and not be affected.

I guess this ranks with the second best part of the trip, but I had the most amazing steak I think I’ll ever have in Peru.

The waves were rather ridiculous.

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