No photos of sutures or bedpans. No talk about hospitals or check ups.
Instead, let’s talk about food. Since I can’t stand up to prepare my own meals due to my broken ankle, I have two women who come in to cook, do light cleaning, take care of the laundry, etc.
I may be laid up with a mala pata, but that doesn’t mean that I’m missing any meals. On the contrary, these two ladies are both good cooks. It’s simple, hearty Chilean food.
Featured above are Porotos con Riendas, beans with reins (spaghetti). She also threw in a potato and a bit of red bell pepper. I’d never eaten this before, but it was quite tasty, particularly because we sprinkled it with merken, dried, smoked chili pepper from the south of Chile.
I’ve had Estofado, which I’d also never had before. It was potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms cooked in a broth with chicken.
They’ve made lasagna. They’ve fried merluza, hake from the cod family, and made fresh mayonnaise to go with it. They’ve brought homemade bread, cheese, and marmalade.
I think the two caregivers have a little rivalry going on about who’s the best cook. It’s almost like a competition. When one arrives, she’ll sniff at the leftovers of the meal made by the other, turn up her nose, and then, on the flimsiest excuse, she’ll toss it out. Both of them do this, so maybe it’s a Chilean thing.
We ventured to the grocery store again this week, a huge challenge in a wheelchair, and bought the ingredients for Cazuela de Pollo. I think fondly of Cazuela because I had it on my first visit to Chile back in 2008. It’s a soup that contains chicken, potato, pumpkin, rice, and corn on the cob. Chileans love their carbs.
Running out of bread constitutes an emergency, so we always have to be prepared with the ubiquitous marraqueta, a white bread bun, though sometime while I was away from Chile, the stores began making them integral, with whole wheat, as well. I have to wonder how well the whole wheat sells.
If I can’t make it to the store, one of the caregivers or my friends go shopping for me and then deliver it to the apartment. I’m going to get spoiled by all this personal attention.
One friend came to visit bearing homemade cheesecake with fresh blueberries. Another brought chocolate pastries from the French bakery. Other friends have gifted me lemons from their tree. Great for making Pisco Sours. Too bad I can’t drink and drive–the walker, that is. Using the walker, called el burrito here, to hop around on one foot is precarious enough without adding alcohol to the mix.
For now, I’m a teetotaler, though I might be persuaded to imbibe next week during the annual Chilean holiday, Fiestas Patrias. I’ll be in wheelchair and someone else can be my designated driver.