Two Posts for the Price of One!

The Expensive Woman Named Lima

We call ourselves lucky as we had the opportunity not only to get our residency in Peru, but also to fly to the capital city, Lima, to start our paperwork!  It’s been the itinerary for every group that’s gone for their residency to go by bus, which is a 18 hour drive.  The Duerre’s, thinking of their beautifully behaved children, knew that even angelic blondies like their Thoma and Ellas (Kristen’s new nicknames for Thomas and Ella) would quickly grow horns and pointed tails, breath fire and give an early start to the Apocalypse, decided it would be best for at least them to make the one hour flight to Lima.  Lucky for the rest of the Puno family we found the cost to fly would be just as cheap as to make the 18 hour drive… so why not fly? 

The one thing that we all had in mind when we found out that we were flying to Lima was the Starbuck’s stand in the Lima airport and everyone make it the first priority getting off the plane to book it over to the Starbuck’s counter as fast a possible.  Not having seen the beauty and splendor of the shiny Starbuck’s sign nearly caused a frenzy amongst us as we practically ran to the counter and me in my infinite intelligence blurted out, “Do you accept money?” when I really wanted to ask, “Do you accept dollars?”  My unintential slip up turned out to be pretty funny and I followed along with it and asked the barrista if I could exchange my bookbag for a coffee.  It was a great ice breaker and Kristen told the barrista what we are doing here in Peru and that it’s been six months since we’ve had Starbuck’s and we were just dying to have this elixir of life slide over our tastebuds.  We were almost peeing our pants with anticipation.  Kristen ordered her drink and moved to the otherside to pick up her coffee (even the mechanics of Starbuck’s was beautiful to us, I mean if you know anything about Starbuck’s and how you move to the other side to pick up your drink…) and then I tried ordering.  I ordered a caramel frap and pulled out my quarters to pay and the lady at the cash register said… “Oh no, we only accept bills!”  I was devastated, but quietly she said “It’s okay, I can pay for you…”  I was SHOCKED!!!!  I asked her what like three times.  Then I asked her if she was sure five more times.  She said she would take care of it and said not to tell anyone.  I said…. “I SWEAR!”  But, now look at me… I found out her name is Liz and that’s all I really know about her, but I’ll tell you she was such a blessing to me that day. 

To be completely honest, the flight and the fact that Liz paid for my Starbucks coffee… which turned out to be a caramel coffee and not a frap (which I enjoyed much more than I would have the frap!!!) the rest of our time in Lima was rather depressing.  I named this first post part of two The Expensive Woman Named Lima because this city was very much like an expensive girlfriend… We all ended up spending all of our money, not out of frivolous irresponsibility, but because it was such an expensive city!  We took taxi’s everywhere and they were 10 soles each.  I don’t know if you know what that means, but it’s a lot of money.  By the end we had to pull out money from a future trip to Lima. 

As much as we all were disappointed by the time we left we all know it’s worth actually being residents of Peru.  Also, I had to come back to Arequipa by myself, long story as to how that happened, but basically things got messed up in the booking of the flights.  On the way home I got to meet three great people.  Two when I was waiting at the gate for the plane to come and then a man on the flight back, who turned out to be from Puno and we had a great conversation about what I would find there.  Lately I’ve been trying to be more loving toward strangers.  When I first arrived I put on an unapproachable face and tried to drive people away from me rather than attract them, because I felt that everyone was out to get something from me.  Now, I’m realizing that is going to hinder this work I’m doing here.  I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and memorized it as an attempt to remember what love is.  I’m seeing that this is helping already!  So, pray that I can be a better lover!  I mean that in the purest way possible for all those thinking… “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!” 

POST TWO!  Brigadeiro

We made this dessert a month ago, but what reminded me of it was when my friend Billie Beth was hankering something chocolaty.  I had found this recipe two years ago and always wanted to try to make it, but never actually got around to doing it.  So, I decided to finally give it a try.  The first time we made it we rolled some of them in peanuts, and then put bananas in the center of others and left the rest just normal.  These things taste like those chocolate Reisen’s that you find in the States.  They aren’t like truffles, but kind of like chocolate taffy, caramels!  They are so good!!!

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Did I mention this is a really simple recipe?  These are the ingredients you need.  Only three things: cocoa powder, butter, and sweetened condensed milk.  Now I’ve heard that in the States the condensed milk is not sweet like it is here so you will probably need to figure in a little bit of sugar in there too.  But here’s the measurements.  I found this on www.allrecipes.com

– 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

I wish that I could have taken pictures while I did this next step, but if I had tried I would have ended up scorching it.  But, you just throw all this stuff in a medium size sauce pan and put it on medium heat.  Just stir stir stir STIR!!!!  So, you’ll want the butter to completely melt and the cocoa powder to mix in completely as well.  You’re basically just cooking this mixture down into a thick cream.  The recipe asks that you cook it consistantly stirring for ten minutes, but I found the best rule of thumb is to cook it until it’s so think that as you are stirring it that if you tip the pan a bit and the “dough” seems to pull away from the pan and tries to maintain it’s blob then it’s time!

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So, it basically comes out pretty thick like this.  Be careful now, this stuff is pretty hot coming out and you don’t want to stick your finger in there.  At this point if you do a taste test it kind of tastes like tootsie rolls.  It tastes a little different when it’s all said and done. 

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This is the chocolate dough placed in a pre-greased bowl.  This is left out on the counter for an hour or two until it is room temperature and then you grease up your hands with butter or oil and pull out little pieces and roll them into about 1 1/2” balls. 

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You can roll these things in anything your little minds can fathom.  We rolled ours in peanuts… but then this didn’t work out for me because I placed the dough in the fridge to maybe spur up the cooling process… the dough got too hard to allow anything to stick to it.  So, I acutlaly just took some of the larger peanut pieces and stuck them inside.  It was just as good!  You can also envelop pieces of banana inside the balls or any kind of fruit or goodie that you dream up!

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When you get them all rolled up you want to place them on a pre-greased pan, bowl, dish, whatever, and then place them in the fridge for at least 5 or 6 hours!

Featured Post: Epistles of Joel

I had told you all that there would be a new feature called “Epistles of Joel.”  Well, I would like to direct you to this link to read my partners first letter to you!  I’m so excited to get him involved in this special communication that we have.  Just take a jump over there and see what he has to say!  He writes this letter out in Spanish and then I translate it into English for all of you!  Enjoy! (I’m still in the process of formatting his blog… so it’s a little messy, but I just want to get this out there!)

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