Monday, May 24, 2010

let's get physical

There is a Gallo Pinto 15 that no one mentioned to me before I moved down. That, plus my frequent excuses (too hot, too rainy, too tired from work), my exercise regiment is lacking, leaving my physical health in less than pique condition. It's also tricky to be motivated without the external push from others. Let's just say, my coworkers here aren't being mentored while swimming in wetsuits, nor waking up for a 6am spin class. They have clothes to hand-wash, groceries to buy (daily, as not too many people have refrigerators, and they walk to and from the market), and Mass to attend. We are currently in the middle of yet another Saint celebration this week (yay fireworks!), but I digress.

Elman, our head waiter, explained to me the Nicaraguan philosophy on working out. Before I explain it, let me throw out some facts on Elman: pillbury doughboy, loves anything sweet. I had to teach him NOT to put sugar in the juices that we serve to guests. Elman's words of wisdom: I eat a hot soup midday (during 90 degree weather), which makes me sweat. People who exercise sweat. Therefore, I can eat soup instead of exercising. Done and done.

Maybe I will be inspired by my recent viewing of Glee with ONJ and Jane Lynch working out in Let's Get Physical, part duex. To quote Chris Farley, my favorite Gap Girl, "lay off me I'm starts monday!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

cheeseburger in paradise (paradiiiiiise)

top 20. no, no bullet point list for this blog. check out the link!
Although we've been using a great local Granada bakery up until now, I am currently training kitchen staff to bake our own burger buns! fyi, the ketchup uses fresh bananas, too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

moving forward... baby steps

After about 6 months, I am settling in with the kitchen & staff.

I have only a few more recipes to write (it's been a long list, since dinner varies every night, plus the extra TLC it takes to write a foolproof method in spanish).

I am getting a full kitchen staff (so I can get a day off).

I am getting providers and inventory in line (i can speak with providers on the phone with somewhat ease, and now always have plenty of rice on hand for staff meal to avoid riots).

I am working with staff on sanitation (do not spit on the floor! ever!).

We are also working on routine (not only rotating food and planning ahead, but doing the same work everyday).

also, the food is coming along nicely, as in photo: dinner app. with roasted vegetables, honey from Chacocente and domestic camembert

Different than a restaurant, working at a hotel I get involved with the entire project, not just the kitchen. Example: the other night, I knew that we needed more gasoline for the generator. I spoke with the maintenance employee on duty, and explained;

"Marcos, can you please leave the empty gasoline containers by the stairs to the port so I don't forget them when I leave? That way, I can refill them on the mainland."

-"Okay, Calley."

a while later, Marcos returns. "Calley," he says. "I am a little confused. Do you want the gasoline containers for the generator, or the ones for the small boat?"


"Marcos," I reply, “which containers are empty? the ones for the boat, or the ones for the generator?”

-"The generator, Calley."

"Well, then, I think that it would be best to put those out to be refilled."

"Okay, Calley. Thanks. I was just a little confused."

sigh. "No problem, Marcos."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A new "fruit?" and a little ink

Presenting, the Guaba!

not to be confused with guava/guayaba, this fruit just came into season! it cost me 3 cordobas, which is about 14 US cents. Oh, man, I can't wait to try it.

um, what part do I eat? I asked the woman who sold it to me, and she said that the most delicious part is the styrofoam-ish case around the shell of the seed. In this photo, you can clearly see 3.

Not delicious. Not really any flavor at all. Kind of like slightly sweet but dried out... packing peanuts? nothing to write home about. and a lot of work to open. what's the draw? I asked around at work, and no one there eats guaba. No known use. I googled it, and found a website that claims "vegetarians eat guaba." But nothing as far as function. I thought about dehydrating, pulverizing, or perhaps frying, but nothing really enhances the flavor.

So, as far as I can tell, the woman in the park probably has a guaba tree in her yard and is scheming to make a quick buck. good luck, lady. it'll take 6 more people as naive as me just to make one.
oh well, it's mango season, too. And I can get those for free off the dozens of trees on my way to work (i now keep floss with me at all time for such occasions).

Also, as noted in our Trivia Night last week, I got some ink in the TACA in-flight magazine. ooooh!
(about halfway down, if you are far too busy to read the whole thing)