- Fry some ground fresh garlic in a couple tablespoons of oil.
- Rinse the rice (1/2 to 1 c per person), pour it in the pot, and mix it around a little with the oil and garlic.
- Add a little less than 1 cup of water for every cup of rice.
- Cover it and leave it to boil for a while.
- Toward the end, take the top off every once in a while and mix it around.
- Just keep checking it until it's how you want it.
You end up with much drier rice but not hard at all. At the bottom of the pot is a layer of crispy oily goodness, easy to pull right up because of all the oil. Yum! From what I've seen so far, I think Peruvians eat rice at lunch at least 5 days a week. They also eat a lot of it. Each person eats 2-3 cups of cooked rice a day.
Avocado. People eat avocado for breakfast mostly here. They take a mushy one and spread it over bread. The two kinds of bread (rolls) here are both particuarly un-tasty, but they're sold fresh every morning on most corners. You can also buy avocados and "queso fresco" (kind of like feta cheese but not dry) at those carts. An avocado costs between 15 cents and $1, depending on size. We use them for guacamole, which we eat for dinner at least once a week. Dinner is not "dinner" so much as snack. Lunch is the main meal.
Strawberries. This is not so much about them as about me. I love strawberries! I think partly because they're beautiful and remind me of summer. Also because they're delicious and not always available (doesn't that make anything more precious somehow?). Most vegetables are permanently in season in Peru, but any that aren't in season are just not available. Right now strawberries are about 25 cents per pound. I can easily eat that pound or more in one afternoon. Today I'm making strawberry shortcake to serve at Bible study tonight. Yum!
Tea. People here don't really drink coffee, but they sure love their tea! There are pretty much three options-- standard black tea, standard plus cinnamon and clove, and manzanilla. Manzanilla seems the safest bet for serving to groups. I come from a tea-drinking family, but tea here is a whole new ball game because of the sugar they add. They put in at least two heaping teaspoons and sometimes as many as four!
Jello. Since pretty much no one here owns an oven, their ideas about dessert are a little different than ours. Their specialties are rice pudding, flan, mazamorra (purple corn jelly?), and jello as far as I can tell. Jello is taken perfectly seriously. All of these desserts have a similar texture and one Tim is scared of. I can handle rice pudding the best (especially when it's just made) and jello when I'm thirsty or sick. They don't like to serve me jello when I have a cold, however, because everyone here "knows" that it's dangerous to eat or drink cold things when you have a cold.