Tag Archives: Cooking

Antsy…

WARNING!!!

There are pictures of those damn kitchen ants in this post… As most of you know, I am a peaceful person who has learned to reign in an Irish temper ‘issue.’ Well, I thought I had, but these Costa Rican ants are really, excuse me – bugging me!

ants3This is not an uncommon site in my house if I forget to put a spoon in the sink after I’ve served myself a meal with it.  You’ll notice that the entire area around the spoon is spotless. It takes less than a minute for a swarm to show up and attempt to get away with the goods. These ants are smart, too… they’ve learned that when they ‘hear’ me or the vibrations of my using the counter they freeze, hoping I won’t see them I guess. Or maybe they’re hearing me say bad words and that’s the freeze trigger?

ants2This is not an unusual site, unfortunately, if I haven’t cleaned off the counter for an hour after fixing a meal.

This is the deal… most of my life I’ve not had to pay that much attention to keeping surfaces relatively clean – certainly picked up – but relative is, well, a relative word, isn’t it? Yep. Since I’ve not had to deal with pests of this type before my cleaning skills were passable to spontaneous people dropping by my house and having a cup of something in the kitchen while we chatted. But after a year and a half here on a farm in Costa Rica, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that deep cleaning is on the agenda following every single meal I make… or I’ll just continue to get crazier and crazier about the issue.

This is one of the trade offs when living in an original tico house where not every surface falls flush to another surface… nothing’s actually plumb: all window sashes show the sky around at least two of the edges;  there are holes drilled large enough to move piping into the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom, without sealing or caulking to finish the job; there are holes in the walls to run wiring that have not been sealed… you understand where I’m coming from by now. So, it’s either accommodate the ants – which to a certain extent I do by telling them over and over again “I love ya, but if you’re in my house, you’re DEAD!” (maybe that’s why they freeze on the counters …)

ants1So, for a year and a half I’ve lost my temper innumerable times with the ants, none of which survived I’m happy to report, but which also doesn’t mean much cuz there are torrents of them just waiting for the opportunity to replace those who have fallen in battle…

This morning I reached under the counter to pull out a pan to make breakfast and found it covered with dozens…. dozens of ants. That was the last straw. I am now going into bitter battle mode. Time for the boric acid solution which they will voraciously eat and take back to their leader wherever she is, and then the colony will die. Yippee she said dancing with her hands in the air to a happy beat!

At least I won’t have to inhale the ever-present Raid vapors anymore once I have a supply on hand and that’s the good part… the bad part is that I do have guilt about killing an animal, even if it is an ant. I guess that’s why I’ve waited so long to do something about it.  I know, I know, I live in Costa Rica, get over myself.. everyone here deals with ants in their coffee or juice once in a while, but this is just ridiculous. Time to grow some and welcome the Boric Acid Sword of Righteousness!!

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Birthdays and Facebook Fatigue…

bbqbigpicLook at all those smiles… we had a marvelous birthday celebration for everyone in the family who had a birthday in July… I’m one! Here are two of the others… Laura, my daughter in law, and Alejandra who is married to Laura’s brother.

bbqcakeThe family came to my house for a barbeque. The weather held up, there was lots of good food, the kids running around having fun, and I felt a smile throughout my body as the day went on. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate with such a large group. As the kids get older maybe we’ll see some futbol out on the front lawn…. hope hope hope. It was so weird watching the US vs Costa Rica last night on tv… I’m just getting into futbol and really enjoying it.. the time just flies by… it reminds me of a game of chess, except in motion.

Before the party, my granddaughter Lorelei came over and we made cookies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASuch a cute cookie… both of them! HA!! And so photogenic… Here’s another shot of the decorated goodies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany were ‘left over’ at my house and I am sorry to report that they are now banashed into the gut of a newly 63 year old!! Loved every single bite.. but the party’s over, it’s time to go through sugar withdrawal and welcome the next 30 lb loss, while I learn the rules of futbol to replace my Facebook addiction.

Yes, sorry to say I now have too many friends on Facebook to leave it to an hour to peruse all the new posts… jeesh, too much of a good thing? Or time to cull the list of those who mysteriously have appeared as friends whom I’ve never heard of…

A little bit of everything…

panamacitytoursI recently had an opportunity to travel through Panama after nine months in Costa Rica. I had absolutely NO idea that I missed the City, but coming over the mountains into Panama City was one of the biggest rushes I’ve had in my life aside from drug induced euphoria.  Just look at this downtown skyline. If you haven’t been to Panama City, I heartily encourage you to do so – not only to see how they’re building a new city and how they’re managing to do so while incorporating abject poverty alongside tree-lined avenues of condos and international banking institutions – but it’s in the middle of a country that’s primarily rustic with lotsa beaches and simple living. Granted, it’s hotter than hot and humid… but take my advice while there and check out Old Town where they’re restoring colonial buildings from hundreds of years ago. Lots to see and experience here. This was the first time I’d seen incredible poverty smack dab next to redevelopment projects. Hurt my heart.

We’re in the tag end of the windy, hot season here in Costa Rica. It’s been very hot and humid these last couple of weeks – until I decided to leave off crooning to my month old granddaughter and make my way to do some shopping and head home. The heavens opened as we all gave a sigh of relief. The storm was a boon for the taxi drivers as the thunder and sheet lightening made all of us step to the side of a building under the eaves and attempt to wait it out. Rain in Costa Rica never lasts long, but it’s got a presence of it’s own when it decides to share time with us… and yesterday it decided to give us a huge reminder! Since I had four heavy bags of shopping to cart over a block from our front gate, there wasn’t a chance I could use an umbrella. Soaked to the skin I chuckled all the way into a hot shower in an attempt to ward off a teensy cold. Didn’t work. But it was amazing this morning to see the plants revitalized. They reminded me of how it feels to get into a roaringly good shower after a week of camping.

And… last but not least, I have another recipe for you!

Costa Rican Potato Salad

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Potatoes, of course, about 4 medium cooked, choppedGarlic cloves, about 5 minced
Snap peas, quartered
Large Tomato, chopped
Half a red onion, chopped
Small can of corn
To taste: a mixture of lemon pepper, chipotle sauce, garlic pepper tabasco sauce, linzano salsa and mayo.

Enjoy!