Punta Carretas Shopping for Valentine’s Day

Joe planned a full day of fun for Valentine’s day. First we went to the Puntas Carretas Shopping mall. The building was once a prison but now it is a three story mall filled with high end shops and restaurants.

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The Mercado’s Herbman

This morning I went to the mercado for albacora for our dinner tonight. I am getting a bit tired of serving it blackened so I decided to visit the Herbman and see what wonderful concoction he has for albacora. He has a very small kiosk area filled with dried whole and ground herbs, seeds and spices. Small plastic bags containing ingredients for your seco de chivo or seco de pollo or whatever you are feeding your family today. As well as flour, bread crumbs and even peanut butter.

This man is so proud of what he does and the entire area where his stand is located went crazy when I asked to take his picture, hooting and whistling like a bunch of teenagers. It was so funny to see his neighbors supporting him in such a wonderful fashion.

I asked him what he would suggest to make my albacora, first he opened my bag to be sure it was albacora and then he proceeded to tell me to make ceviche with it. If I want ceviche I will go out to eat it, I would prefer to have someone else do all the work, ha ha and I told him that. He then suggested this bottle of garlic and onion sauce he told me it was all natural and that I should put it on the fish after I had coated the fish with a little flour.

This was packages in a used juice container. We have never had any problems with buying in a recycled container as these folks know that it is their livelihood if someone gets sick they would be out of business. I used it this evening and WOW it was so flavorful, a bit salty for me as we do not use a great deal of sal, but exceptional. I will use it again but probably only a small amount unless I can get my friend the Herbman to make it with less salt.  Tomorrow I will see what magic he has for shrimp!!!!!

Fruits, Fruits and more Fruits

We get most of our fruits and vegetables from the mercado. I do not like my tomatoes or avocados purchased from a cooler because the flavor and texture changes so buying at the mercado pretty much insures that these items are fresh off the farm and not refrigerated. While we were out looking for some home items we came across a man selling juice oranges, mandarin oranges and mangos several blocks past the mercado. It looked to me like he picks the fruit fresh from his own trees and drives to this spot each morning to sell what is seasonal.

This photo above shows just some of the fruits  I keep at hand. The bananas look a bit dark but they will be used to make Banana Bread and the avocado is not for guacamole although we do love it, I make a Bebidas (fruit smoothie) with them. I will give you the recipe below.

The juice oranges were 25 for $1, the mangoes were eight for $1 and the star fruit was free. Yes, seems that my friend Miguel needed some repairs done to his Lada and his mechanic has a star fruit tree that was overflowing with ripe fruit. He let us pick what we wanted. Bananas are .05 cents each or some days 4 for .25 cents depending on the size and the avocado’s run  3 for a $1 most places unless they are really big and then it can be 3 large for $2.  There is a man who sells naranjilla juice a 10 oz cup for .25 cents and another sells tiny hard-boiled quail eggs 5 for .50 cents they are one of Joe’s favorite snacks when he shops with me. He always finds a reason to wander to the front of the mercado for these tiny eggs.

Avocado Fruit Smoothie or Aguacate Bebida

  • 1 Large Ripe ready to eat Avocado
  • 8 oz. water
  • 8 oz. semidescremada milk or 2%
  • 6-8 ice cubes (use less water and more ice cubes if you want it thicker)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Peel and remove the pit of the avocado and put in blender with all other ingredients. Pulse until the ice is broken up and blend for one minute. It will be the consistency of a milk shake. Enjoy!  If you really want to have a treat add a handful of Mora (blackberries) and blend – I normally blend the Mora separately and strain as I do not like the seeds in my drink, then I put the thick juice in an ice-cube tray and freeze. I would add one or two cubes to my avocado bebita for that special flavor.  Makes 4 servings

Out of this world, you will never want any other fruit smoothie once you taste avocado….