Thursday, August 26, 2010

La Cocinera de Guatemala

Today we had a really fun cultural experience. Our Spanish teachers, Carola and Magaly came to our apartment for lunch. They prepared an authentic Guatemala meal for our family.

After Carola tortured me with zillions of new verbs to conjugate in past tense, she and I walked to the tienda/tortillera. This is a little shop around the corner from school that sell fresh, handmade corn tortillas. I was mesmerized watching a young woman make the tortillas. She would grab a small fist of dough, wet her fingers, then pat-pat-pat into a perfectly round tortilla. She would slap them on the flat grill and flip them with her bare hands. She made 30 or more in matter of minutes.
With tortillas in hand, we all embarked on the 15 minute journey to our apartment. We had the most incredible weather this morning, so it was a very pleasant walk - even if we did have to practice Spanish all the way home. Once we arrived, Magaly and Carola took over the small cocina (kitchen). They made us a traditional Guatemalan dish called hilachas. This is similar to a beef and vegetable stew. They brought arroz (rice) which was similar to rice pilaf - it had some small vegetables in the rice. They served the hilachas over the rice. Hilachas is shredded carne (beef), zanahorias and papas (carrots and potatoes). The broth is made from pureed tomate, tomatillos, onions, and garlic. You eat this stew with the corn tortillas and salsa picante (hot green salsa). It was so delicious. Our kids licked their plates clean.
We also tried two traditional Guatemalan drinks. Horchata - which is made from rice and tastes really sweet. I did not enjoy this very much, because it looks like milk. My mind couldn't get past the idea of milk. So it just didn't taste right for it to be super sweet. Lee was kind enough to drink plenty of it. The other drink is called Jaimaica (pronounced Hy-my-ca) This is made from flowers grown in Jamaica. The dried flower petals are boiled and steeped in water. Then you add more water and plenty of sugar. It was very tasty!!
Angel, Carola, Magaly, Anna Kate & Parker

We really enjoyed the time with our teachers. They are precious gifts from the Lord. They are truly gifted in their profession and genuinely love what they are doing. We are blessed.

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