Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you know the produce man?

Ross has a pretty sweet little deal going with local farmers and producers where each week on Wednesday they come by during our lunch break and sell their wares to a hungry student populace. It's actually really nice, like having our own, personal farmer's market that comes to us instead of the other way around. And the produce varies from kind of sickly-looking to gorgeous, just like any farmer's market in the States. Typically they have tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, green beans, apples, bananas and lettuce, as well as fresh eggs and frozen beef.

Well today I felt like treating myself and decided to pick up a steak. He had some beautiful, nicely-marbled T-bones for $36 EC/lb (works out to around $13/lb US) and I grabbed one and some okra for dinner tonight. For those who don't know, I love to cook. In fact one of my top priorities upon getting down here was filling up my new, empty spice cabinet. And I'm sure my roommates are sick to death of hearing me bemoan leaving my lemon zester back home. I've also already volunteered for two bake sales. So tonight was a treat, not only because it was delicious, but because cooking is my way of destressing. I know it has the opposite effect for a lot of people; all that chopping and stirring and clock-watching. But for me, cooking is a dance that once you know the steps, you can do it effortlessly and without thinking. It has structure and timing, a rhythm to it that I find relaxing. Chopping veggies or swirling hot oil in a pan lets my mind wander as my hands go through unconscious, familiar movements.

Anyway, cooking down here can be a challenge. You don't have your pots, pans and utensils, your herbs and spices, your stove/oven or often the ingredients that you're used to. So getting to prepare something tonight that was familiar was definitely enjoyable for me. And look, it turned out beautifully:

Now back to studying for my microanatomy exam on Monday.

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