As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our ferias or produce markets provide us with a wide variety of tropical fruits and an amazing array of root vegetables. We don’t have the popular and sophisticated varieties of fancy baby greens and heirloom corns or tomatoes, but we manage just fine. Even a humble yuca can be prepared in fancy and surprising ways, as we learned recently at the ‘Caoba Lounge‘ in Escazú. At the Caoba [caoba is the Spanish word for Mahogany wood, native to the Americas, as well as a term for a white wine grape] our grouper dish was accompanied by the most delicious shaved yuca.
I try to walk, mixed with a little gentle jogging, most mornings before our near-equatorial sun becomes too powerful. Since sunrise is a pretty early event around here, I have to be on the road by six to avoid the most scorching rays. On Friday, I started walking at 06:04h, beginning my ‘workout’, as the NIKE+ app so generously calls this activity, at ‘Finca Santa Lucia’ right at Calle Güízaro, the road leading into Atenas Centro. Since I had done almost 7 Km the day before, I was aiming for a more leisurely stroll. Just a few days ago, we had commented that we hadn’t heard any Montezuma oropendolas lately. But this Friday morning I gradually became aware of their calls. Hearing the strange articulations of the oropendulas always makes me smile.
Since I like my salsa chunky, I serve it as is over pasta. But there are other options. I might separate a portion, blend it to a smooth consistency and enrich it with cream for a more elegant sauce. Try your own special variation, the sauce is your oyster! The oven-roasting pre-prep of those tomatoes goes back to a recipe by TV Chef Tim Mältzer. He likes this method because it intensifies the tomato aroma. We certainly agree with him!
For our Friday dinner, I added spicy Italian sausages from our sausage guy at the feria, Senior Marcial Artavia of Sperone Italian Sausage. His sausages are terrific! Lately, he even started making Nürnbergers, after his son liked them in Germany. A mixed salad of radicchio, sweet peppers, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, and capers balanced the colorful affair.
Saturday morning dawned grayish and overcast, so I wasn’t as paranoid as I usually am, about getting out there before getting up. It was already 06:45h when I finally fired up the NIKE+ app to start my walk. Instead of turning right at the Finca, toward the city center, this morning I turned left, going uphill for a bit. From a development called ‘Residencial de Güízaro’, I took an unimproved trail into an area of small coffee plantations and pastures. I like walking there because the road surface is very rough and challenging. This trail is my muddy little paradise, where I always find new things to discover. By the second turn, I had already encountered six grazing horses, five panicked chickens, two friendly dogs and this amazing shade tree for some coffee bushes.
After a while, I doubled back toward home and encountered one more sweet sight, vacas, cows on route to their pasture with their youthful shepherd. No doubt, we are a smidgen rural hereabouts!