Our week in El Salvador. During our Hermana's monthly Brunch on Monday, Jan. 23, Melissa Ruble taught us about the local fruits and vegetables. She is a "master chef" who has put that profession on hold while she raises her family of three boys, with her fourth son due Feb. 23. Her husband, Aaron, is the first counselor in our Campestre Ward's bishopric.
Everyone was asked to bring a local fruit or vegetable and Melissa would tell us about it and how to prepare or cook it.
Time out.........Walt just got back from his 6-hour Regional Quarterly Coordinating Council...so I'm going to talk with him. (4:00 p.m. Be back soon to finish this post.)
I'm back... Some of the veggies are: Yucca, which is what Melissa is holding in the photo...
Oh first I want to mention the new look for being pregnant now.
When I arrived--Delena Markland picked up Arlene Kitley and me, and Lisa Wegkemp drove Marilyn Gibbons, Nancy Thompson, Diane Wall, and Joanne Hall.
Hermana Kitley told Melissa as she greeted us at her front door how she loved the new look for being pregnant. "We used to try to hide that we were pregnant," to which Melissa replied: "Now it's embraced and displayed."
Back to the description of the Yucca plant. It has a neutral flavor that is very versatile with other veggies as a side dish. It's also ground into a powder and used for glue.
Melissa showed the fresh Spinach here and that it's leaf is thicker, but it can be used the same as in a fresh salad, or blended into a smoothie, or also cooked.
She showed us a stem with purple flowers that she couldn't remember the name of, but that is used as a sleep remedy or just to help relax us.
The Taro looked a little like the yucca plant but is a thinner, longer, softer and more bendable. Melissa does not like the taste of taro.
The veggie Hna. Kitley brought was in the squash family, little and yellow and is called Patty Pan.
On to fruits...
Gyjava (guajava??? or something like that) looks almost like a small green apple and has a flowerly, perfumy flavor. When they are in season here you can buy 20 for $1.00. (Did you all know the currency in El Salvador is the U.S. dollar?)
I'm not sure I got the name correct...it could be like gueeseal. In Brazil where Melissa's mother is from, it's called cheshu (so Jerry might be familiar with it).
I didn't get the Spanish name for the Passion Fruit... it has a sour, strong flavor but when sugar is added it has a wonderful flavor.
The bananas in the photo at the top were different varieties that have distinctly different flavors.
The Mispero, which is small and brown tastes rosy and banany.
There was also zapote, which has an orange meat (I think that was the one.)
As you can tell my notes were not complete, so I'll end
with the fruit Teresa brought.
Teresa Walker brought a maymé (which when I had in México on our first mission together gave me hives for 24-hours....so I've stayed away from that for ever after). Melissa said that is not native to here, so must have been imported in.
After Melissa had explained each fruit and veggie....we had a chance to taste them. As you can see from the photos....other goodies were also brought for the 12 of us.
Left to right: Eileen, Marilyn, Sheralie, Delena, Melissa holding 2-y-o George, Carla, Teresa, Lisa, Nancy, Joanne, Diane, Arlene is taking the photo.
Well, that was Monday morning.
Hope go get some more of the week in later.
We're going to call our kids now....7:00pm Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012.
Back....we called all seven....and no one was home nor answered
their cell phones. But as the evening went on, we did get through to Julie, then Steve, then David, then Jen.