Another small concern...we only have three dinner plates. Most certainly, we can borrow plates from the neighbors. The restaurant staff here at Laru Beya loaned us two place mats and two linen napkins for our personal use. I supposed we could ask for more.
The menu is challenging. We'd suggested a homemade pizza with our GF cheese crust (a staple we frequently prepare). They loved the idea, curious as to how a pizza would taste without a traditional crust. All of the ingredients are readily available in the local grocers.
As for the side dishes (of which I always make several) I was in a quandary.
When shopping in Placencia it makes sense to plan the menu based on what is available in the stores, rather than pre-plan a menu, trying to find the ingredients.
Yesterday, feeling rushed as we shopped with Estevan patiently waiting outside the grocery store, it wasn't easy to plan the side dishes. In my "old life" I'd plan a menu for dinner guests over a number of days, contemplating a well balanced menu with a wide array of delectable options. No longer do I have that luxury (among others).
Flustered as we scurried about the store, we hurriedly decided on the following menu:
- Carrot and zucchini sticks with homemade salmon cream cheese dip
- Our favorite Cauliflower, Bacon and Almond Salad with homemade sweet (Splenda) and sour dressing (recipe follows at end of this post)
- Traditional Cucumber and Onion Salad
- Homemade Pizza with locally made hot Italian sausage, onion, mushrooms and sliced green olives with sharp cheddar cheese crust, tons of mozzarella cheese and hand grated (no grater on hand) fresh Parmesan cheese we purchased this morning from Mathieu's Deli.
- Homemade grilled garlic bread made with raw garlic, more Parmesan cheese atop a fresh baked loaf of Italian bread made by Gunter early this morning at Mathieu's Deli. (I will be a "voyeur" this item. No tasting! Tom's on a bit of a splurge right now for another few days but back to GF, low carb soon).
- Dessert: my favorite Strawberry Oreo Dessert (recipe follows at end of this post. Another item suitable for the "voyeur").
It made no sense to call Estevan back to pick us up to buy a box of Jell-O or, for that matter, to rent a golf cart for $35 for a half day. Our budgets offers no room for such frivolity. Thinking about the Jell-O into the evening, I suggested to Tom that we walk to the grocery store in the next town in the morning, north of us in Seine Bight. He agreed.
Cloudy today, the temperature was ideal for walking. At 9:00 am we were on the road, re-usable grocery bag in hand with a bottle of frozen water in tow just in case. The walk along the busy highway to Seine Bight was pleasant with an occasional local warmly greeting us with a cheerful, "good morning!" The narrow shoulder required we walk in single file, stopping from time to time to take a few photos.
|Entering the small village of Seine Bight|
|Restaurant along the road as we walked into town.|
|The square water tower in Seine Bight!|
|Tom's big decision of the day: Should we get the cauliflower now and carry it|
or shall we get it on the way back. I said now. He said later. He won.
He was the "carrier" of the bag. Luckily, it was there when we returned.
Alas, the first store we encounter had fresh cauliflower, one medium head and one half of a smaller head but no Jell-O. Tom suggested we purchase the cauliflower on the way back rather than haul it for whatever distance may be required to find Jell-O. Walking out the door empty handed, I groaned, fearful it would be gone when we returned. It wasn't.
|An abandoned cement building that may have been damaged in a past hurricane.|
Two small but fresh heads of iceberg lettuce were awaiting us at the tiny vegetable stand. Would we get lucky and find a bigger head of cauliflower here? Not the case.
|The little vegetable stand where we found the two heads of lettuce.|
|This box of a Jell-O equivalent is Belize $2.45 which results in US $1.23.|
|Maya prophesy reminder from December 2012, on the walk to deli.|
On the walk back, we stopped at Mathieu's Deli purchasing the load fresh baked Italian bread, a chunk of Parmesan cheese for the pizza and a variety of cheeses made at Caves Branch in the Cayo District. The owner, Ian Anderson, whom we met about a month ago at the wine and cheese party, had invited us for a cheese and wine tour of his cheese factory. We just might take him up on his kind offer. Perhaps, soon.
It felt as if we'd walked for miles. Having worn my FitBit pedometer on my belt loop, I'd estimated we'd walked three or four miles when in fact it only revealed a paltry two and a quarter miles.
Tomorrow night, we'll be ready for our guests, recipes prepared with our seating and plate situation somehow resolved. We've found that a part of the joy of our lives as we travel the world lies in the pleasure that we discover in the minutiae. The big items, we'll plot and plan. The little items, we'll wing it!
Jessica Cauliflower Salad
1 head romaine lettuce sliced in shreds
1 head raw cauliflower cut into small pieces
1 pound lean bacon, cooked and diced4 green onions, chopped
1 cup almond slivers toasted in oven or skillet
Dressing1 cup mayo
3 T. red wine vinegar
12 packets Splenda
Prepare all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.Pour dressing over salad and toss until everything is well coated. Amazingly, this salad keeps nicely for 3 days if refrigerator as soon as you serve it.
Jessica’s Strawberry Oreo Dessert1 12 oz package Cool Whip
1 small package frozen strawberries, partially defrosted (1 hour) and drained
1 small sugar free raspberry Jell-o
1 large package Oreo cookies or box of Oreo crumbs
Dissolve Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water
Refrigerate until cool but not set
Crush Oreo and press into a 9 x 13” pan
Whip Jell-O until frothy in food processor, add frozen strawberries and then fold in the Cool Whip.
Cover with remaining Oreo and refrigerate.
Delicious! You can easily double this recipe.