Surprise Visitors at our Gate

Yesterday afternoon about 15 riders surprised Joe and I at our gate. There was a parade in San Jacinto the next town down from us and our dear friend Patricia and another long time friend Pablo, decided to bring their crew to our home for a visit.  After a short welcome, we brought out the beer for our dusty travelers and shared a laugh or two.

The most amazing thing besides the beautiful horses and some pretty fancy silver harness sets were the wooden saddles.  In my life, I have never seen a wood saddle and it was amazing how many were form fitted for what looked to be a very comfortable ride.  Our friend Pablo was riding bareback, he is such a wonderful horseman I guess he can do that. I am sad that the photo of him was just too blurry for me to post, I am sure they will be by to visit the next time they are coming by our home. The great thighs are Patricia’s by the way.

Enjoy, just another glimpse of the beauty of Ecuador and our own Manabita people.

Thank You Ecuador, Hello Uruguay

It has been an amazing seven years. We have lived in several different cities and visited many more in our time in Ecuador.

We are sad in many ways in leaving Ecuador and excited in many ways for yet another adventure. It was a difficult decision to make the move, leaving behind many great friends, but we have all those wonderful memories.

Our new adventure started on January 17th, saying good-bye to our neighbors and neighborhood and making our journey to Guayaquil.  The next morning we traveled by Latam from Guayaquil to Santiago, Chile and then on to Montevideo, Uruguay.

It was a very easy trip with overnight hotel stays both in Guayaquil and Chile. We made it and arrived at our new apartment on January 20th.

montevideo-1-20-13The apartment located on 26 de Marzo has a beautiful view of the water.  Small and compact it will be a breeze to keep clean.montevideo-1-20-2montevideo-1-20-3montevideo-1-20-4montevideo-1-20-6montevideo-1-20-7montevideo-1-20-8montevideo-1-20-9montevideo-1-20-10montevideo-1-20-11Montevideo is a big city with much to see and do.  I will be posting as we travel around the area looking for our more permanent home. We are now in the Buceo, or Nuevo Pocitos, area of Montevideo and enjoying it – we are right by their World Trade Center, Buceo Yacht Club and Montevideo Shopping Mall.

 

 

 

Cranberry Walnut Scones: What a Wonderful Breakfast Treat

Last night before bed I was thinking what wonderfulness can I make tomorrow morning.

I have decided that we can eat “good for you” food every weekday but the weekends are special and we should have something even better.  So Sundays I make something wonderful like Lobster Rolls or a Pork Tenderloin Roast with Homemade Sauerkraut and Root Veggies or a Moroccan Roast Chicken with Guava Paste.  But Saturday morning should be special also.  So I remembered making scones once before.  The recipe was from a Rachael Ray cookbook and honestly it did not do it for me.  So I got on the computer and found a recipe from All Recipes.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/79470/simple-scones/

img_3434I of course made some changes and this is what I came up with:

Cranberry Walnut Scones

Heat the oven to 400 F.  In a medium-sized bowl mix the top 5 ingredients.  Grate the butter into the flour mixture and with a pastry blender or two knives cut the butter into the flour mixture. Do not use your hands as it will melt the butter. Add the walnuts and mix well, place in the fridge until ready to add the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl add the sour cream or the cream and vinegar mixture and set aside.  Add egg to cream and mix well.

Add your egg/cream mixture to your dry ingredients. With just a few strokes incorporate it – it will have dry ingredients that have not mixed well.  No problem just turn out onto a work area (I use a large plastic place mat).  With your hands knead gently until you have a soft dough.  Do not overwork, you do not want to melt the butter pieces. Just a few strokes with your hands should incorporate it into a nice dough.  Shape into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and approximately 7 inch diameter. Sprinkle top evenly with cranberries and pat into the dough. Sprinkle with the white sugar. Cut like a pie into 8 pieces.

Place on a baking sheet with parchment or another non-stick mat. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.  Watch that the bottom does not burn.

Serve hot with honey butter mixture or my favorite cream and honey.

Cream or Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoon butter or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light honey

Mix together and serve on the side with the hot scones.

Great with a good cup of coffee sitting on your porch watching the street come to life.

Joe just Loves this Chocolate

Do you like unsweetened dark chocolate? Joe does. When we were staying in Manta Joe found this unsweetened chocolate in Super Maxi. I think in the states it’s just called cacao – no sugar OR milk solids/fats added.

img_3206 He would buy several bags and each evening he would sit and have just one of the disks.  It is not for me, unsweetened chocolate – can you say WHAT? That is for making brownies or hot chocolate but eating it straight from the bag?  Not for me!!  But Joe may have something here. All the news you hear about superfoods, chocolate is supposed to lower blood pressure, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Another reason that dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy it has inflammation fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk.  We do not know if that is true or not but Joe loves it and it really helps him from having other snacks after dinner.

img_3208While in Manta last week at the SuperMaxi I found a shelf full, I think I picked up 10 packages.  Joe will just love it and of course he will think I am the greatest for picking it up for him.

12″ Banana Bread for $2

On our way home from Manta earlier this week, Leigh stopped to buy a banana bread from a man on the side of the road. Of course, I had to try one myself, how could I resist.  It was still warm from the oven and at $2. it was a bargain to me.

img_3195 img_3202 As soon as I got home I cut a few pieces added a nice pat of butter and we went to town.  I really think I need to cut it in half and put that in the freezer for another day.

Hurricanes and Living in South Florida

Joe and I moved from the snow and sleet of NE PA to South Miami, Florida back in 1976. We had never heard of a hurricane and boy were we surprised when one actually was headed towards our home.  This was many years after our moving out of our first apartment at Kings Creek Village to our first home in Cindy’s Place in South Miami.  It was Sept. 1979 and the hurricane was David.

We thought what good fun and planned a hurricane party. We got together with friends at their home on a golf course. Well things got a bit dicey when the palm trees in front of their house were bowed almost to the ground. We were not partying any longer, it became nail-biting time. As we sat watching the weather reports on TV we became even more nervous. We were lucky it passed us by with only 70 MPH winds.  We never took a hurricanes approach lightly again.

So as I watched folks walking on the beach in Florida yesterday I say, “How Stupid”.

57f678ac790e9-imageHow could you take the chance that this Category 4 storm with somewhere between 120 and 140 MPH winds would not turn inland and strike with the force of Andrew that hit Florida or Katrina that hit Louisiana with such destruction. It is insane to stay on the coast when history has shown that these powerful storms cause destruction beyond anything you can imagine. History does repeat itself.

Never again would Joe or I take a natural disaster for granted.  With a hurricane you have many days notice and you should secure your property and evacuate. Your property will be their when you return, but the loss of your life would be an unreasonable risk for safeguarding a few of your precious THINGS…

Life is Short

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Here is the YouTube link for our beach home: