24 June 2015

Operation Dinner Out is a GO. Confirm

Rusty and I enjoy eggs in all their forms. I recently joined a FB Costa Rica expat group. Its members seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing their allegedly ridiculously-healthy diets, fit bodies, and insane exercise routines. They dwell for days on whether or not eggs are healthy. Some say they are, some say they're not. My take? I'm inclined to agree with them. At first I thought that the posts were sarcasm at its best. When someone posts, I got up at 5:00, biked 15K, swam for an hour, ran 10K, and had a bowl of yoghurt and granola . . . all before I went to the gym, I assume that this must be sarcasm. But I've come to believe that these expats really enjoy a good fight about diet and exercise. I won’t be visiting this FB group too often.

I enjoy cooking, healthy or not, here in our new kitchen. True, sometimes breakfast is merely slices of Samara's strawberry cake. This means that their tiny pound cake has a thin ribbon of something strawberry-in-color drizzled on its top. But slicing it counts as cooking, right? . . . even if I don't bother to plate the slices.

We've had dinner out only twice since we arrived in country. That's really amazing when you recall that I had no pots or pans for two weeks. Our second dinner out included Lubos and Cynthia, who have become wonderful friends, not merely our builders. As time goes by we'll explore new restaurants, but for now I enjoy preparing dinner outdoors on the new grill (thanks, Michael), and preparing simple luncheon menus . . . mostly cold salads for this humid climate.

On Saturday we'll welcome Richard and Linda, who will join us for a luncheon out on the terrace. No, it won't be fancy; but after all, it's  our Linda, the genius who instigated the 5-minute rule here on the mountain . . . meaning that we gals are limited to a max of five minutes of housework, daily, and that includes cooking. So who am I to break any of the HOA rules for ladies? I certainly don't want to disappoint Linda at this early stage of residency.

If you want to see me totally lose it over something that involves neither Rusty nor our pets, come watch me try to peel a belligerent boiled egg. You think my moment-to-moment language is foul? Watch me with an egg that won’t release its shell . . . and then run far and fast.

Years ago my friend Beth said that the secret to peeling eggs is to boil eggs that are less than 100% fresh. No, Beth doesn’t advocate an aged egg . . . merely an egg that hasn’t been plucked from underneath a hen in the past 72 hours. At the chicken farm in Pô I found that Beth’s suggestion indeed had some validity. Fresh eggs are generally more difficult to peel. Eggs in Costa Rica aren’t refrigerated, nor are they in West Africa. What is it about U.S. citizens and their fear of an unrefrigerated egg? Mystery to me. However, my point is: I’m confident that the eggs arrive fairly fresh in the Samara markets; but their room-temperature storage and the length of time before I use the eggs has made for easy peelin’. So an egg salad sandwich doesn’t involve too many harsh words. But I’ve encountered another egg phenomenon. 

It’s not true that toilet water (like a hurricane/cyclone) swirls in the opposite direction south of the equator. Trust me on this. It’s not the Coriolis effect. Toilet water was the first thing I examined years ago after I stepped off a plane in Capetown. Sometimes it swirls one direction, sometimes the other. I believe that the directional flush issue is more dependent on the plumbing than the hemisphere. Yes, this came as somewhat of a disappointment. But back to eggs.

Everyone knows that the way to peel an egg is to crack/crumble its shell in all places, then begin with that little air pocket at the fat end of the egg. That’s gospel . . . or is it? At less than 10-degrees north latitude, Samara's boiled egg yolks fill the space where should exist that little pocket of air. So every time I press into the cracked egg at that spot, there’s a happy yellow yolk saying Fooled ya . . . I’m right here. Is this a latitudinal oddity (meaning the Coriolis effect), a Samara egg oddity, or something different altogether?

Back to our outdoor tale. Our new friends Mark and Megan dropped by on Sunday evening. No, sadly not for dinner out . . . merely for a meet-and-greet and to see Costa Rica's prettiest retaining wall, partially shown here with my sad attempt at a living fence made from bougainvillea twigs. Also note Rusty's more adept attempt to stave up the mountain with wooden stumps for the new butterfly bush. Megan says that the trick to the bougainvillea living fence is the removal of the leaves. I believe her.

Happily, the new poolside furniture was here for Mark and Megan. True, you're still not seeing the new terrace table where we do everything, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner out. It's a mess, and you'll not see it until it's uncluttered . . . staged . . . ready to receive . . . which will probably not occur until after that five minutes of daily housework just before Richard and Linda arrive on Saturday.

Will Richard and Linda indulge me with my uncut hair piled atop my head in clamps, wearing Rusty's tattered shorts . . . cigarettes and all? It matters not in the slightest, because, Naeta, I know that you will. You are loved! Lo que hay.