27 June 2015

No, Sir. We Have A Safeway Back Home

Rusty calls it coffee pal; I call it alcohol before 6:00 A.M. Way to go, darling!

Rusty takes his coffee with Baileys Irish Cream, or back in Texas with Carolans Cream if the Baileys is too expensive . . . or with Amarula, if he’s in an Africa frame of mind.

Amarula: my personal favorite, but trust me, you don’t want to know how it’s made. Okay, I’ll tell you. The elephant eats the fruit/seed of the Amarula tree; poos it out because 96% of what any elephant eats is poo’d out; and the fruit/seeds are gathered for this delicious, creamy coffee pal. Anyway, lest the Amarula be off-putting, Baileys is available in Samara; and it isn’t much more expensive than in Texas. Our version of Safeway, The Super Green Iguana (Iguana Verde) has Amarula and it’s less expensive than Baileys; so Rusty has a choice, and life is grand.

We spend a tremendous amount of money on alcohol – I know, you’re stunned. When we add up our expenses for our first month in country (the month of June), I suspect we’re going to fall over our cliff when the number budgeted for alcohol exceeds by ten times its allotment.

But there’s good news. Not much goes to waste here on the montaƱa. Why, I can take leftover pasta salad and turn it into a delicious condiment for a ham sandwich. No joke. But back to coffee. I take my coffee black . . . like my soul; and I make at least a cup too much almost every day, always varying the ratio of caffeinated to decaf. Rusty loves these little surprises. 

This five-minutes-of-housework-a-day is a load of elephant poo. We live in a hot, humid, thirsty, and tiring land. Because my yard work and housework begins around 6:00, some days I’m exhausted by 11:00. Yes, there are days that beg for a nap, but other days the tasks are all too much fun . . . puttering around the casa. Those are the days that call for more caffeine.

Where are those little Starbucks iced lattes? Actually, you can purchase a non-Starbucks iced latte here, and they’re great. Pricey, but great. See where this is going? Why not make my own iced latte . . . using just a smidge of Rusty’s prized coffee pal? Well day after day, I was making quite a dent in the ol’ coffee pal.

My sister-in-law, Patti (yes, 408,000-Saturday-tasks Patti), makes hand-crafted coffee pal . . . gives it out for the holidays. But it requires refrigeration, and I don’t have her secret recipe. Ah, but I do have Pinterest. A quick check of Pinterest revealed dozens of recipes, all requiring some refrigerated dairy product and some form of whiskey (which we never have), but never Scotch whisky (which we purchase practically by the case). What’s a resourceful RPCV to do?

Nido! Our old powdered milk friend from The B.F., Nido! And vodka. And some of that rum that we’ll never drink. And a few melted chocolate chips. Bam! Coffee pal . . . needing no refrigeration. Not necessarily Rusty’s first choice for his morning cup, but he’s drinking it. It is, however, perfect for my refrigerated pitcher of leftover coffee that I add to daily when coffee service concludes. 

What else can you purchase in Samara’s versions of Safeway? Ciggys! The cigarette packs here come with hideous photos on both sides, clearly intended as a warning against smoking. Now how do you suppose that U.S. packs don’t carry these images? Two guesses . . . the first one doesn’t count. Anyway, weeks ago I glanced down, saw a toothless smile, and flipped over the pack only to find a body with a toe tag. There is no escaping the imagery . . . so maybe I should escape the habit, right?! Then there’s the photo of the damage wrecked by cigarettes during pregnancy. I take this more as a warning against motherhood than against cigarettes. There’s a reason that no one calls me mommy . . . except for baby Jill. Is poos a verb? Lo que hay.