Thursday, June 18, 2009

Platanos maduros

The last time I wrote about plantains, I made tostones. The other main way we prepare them is to make fried plantains, or platanos maduros. While the tostones are salty, these are sweet. You wait until the plantains are very ripe for these. I didn't think to start taking pictures until I had already started slicing them, so here's a picture of the peel that I dug out of the garbage.

These could have been even blacker, but they actually tuned out heavenly. Once peeled, slice the plantain diagonally into five or six pieces (I usually go with five). Here are the two I sliced up.

Then throw them into 375 degree oil...

and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Notice the Sam finger on the left and fork which is attached at the other end to Andy's hand. This is what happens whenever a plate of fried plantains or tostones is put on the table; dibs are placed on which one will be eaten first and by whom.

The plantains were sooooo good, and we were sooooo happy. Mainly because we have not had a decent fried plantain in months. I thought we were just getting a string of bad ones. For a while they were impossible to peel, and when I had finally hacked off all the peel with a knife, what was left of the flesh wasn't all that tasty when fried up and they were tough. So I stopped buying them for a long time. Then I decided to try again, and they were fabulous. So sweet, and such creamy texture on the inside with just enough carmalized-sugar crispness on the outside. Initially I looked at the label and thought, "Ooooo, Equador. I'll have to keep my eye out for these!" Thinking that the other ones I had been buying must have come from Guatemala, or elsewhere. But I think Otto hit the nail on the head. It's because it's warmer now, and they're ripening properly.

Winter, and Spring(!), have been interesting in the realm of bananas. We were waiting DAYS for green bananas to turn the slightest tinge of yellow so we could finally eat them. I think in the South, you can wait a matter of hours in some circumstances to get the same shade change. They ripened so slowly, that in order to make a recipe that called for ripe bananas, I would have to resort to tactics such as this:

Incredible. In Texas my freezer was overflowing with black bananas, and here I have to wait, stash, label, and hide bananas to get them to ripen. But even the bananas are ripening at a decent pace now. I'll have to get my supply of super-ripe bananas in the freezer up this summer to be in good supply once winter rolls around again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And.... Andy plays baseball!

Here are some shots of Andy from the his two baseball games. In the first few pictures, it was quite chilly; I had on my long underwear, a scarf, gloves, and winter coat!

I think this was a swing and a miss.

He got a piece of that one, but slapped it down.

Eventually he did get on base!

Yesterday was much nicer. Otto took these, as on Wednesday nights this season Sam has his soccer at the same time, so we have to split up.

Say cheese!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sam plays soccer!

Sam is into his sixth week of soccer now. The first few practices were so cold that he was wearing his jacket under his team shirt with pants. The last week it has been warm enough to wear shorts! Here he's running towards me for some water.

All the teams are sponsored by Tim Hortons (among others, but apparently they are the MAIN sponsor), and they all have Timbits on the back.

Hortons (affectionately referred to as Timmy's) is the be all end all of fast food up here. It is a Canadian icon, although I think it's owned by Wendy's now. And Timbits are essentially doughnut holes, so it's a cute and appropriate name to call the wee soccer stars. They also have a 'Roll Up The Rim to Win' contest where you, oddly enough, roll up the rim of your cup to see if you've won something. I missed playing last time they ran the contest, but a friend of mine won a doughnut! And you should see the "line-ups" at the drive-thru at any Tim Hortons!! So back to soccer; here are a few more action shots.

These are from a different day. Sam really likes to play, and he's pretty aggressive, in a good way. One of the mom's commented that he was really good, and I told her it helps having an older brother that you're constantly trying to keep up with and out do!

I like this one - big kick!

Monday, June 1, 2009

You say tomato...

We went out for dinner last night. I had a salad that had apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and some yummy spiced pecans. Otto and I finished our meals well in advance of the boys (as is usually the case), so as we were sitting there waiting, I flagged the waitress over and had a back-and-forth that went something like this:

Me: Could I please have a few more of those pecans that were on my salad, they were very tasty!

Waitress: (staring, as if to read my lips) More of what?

Me: The pecans that came on my salad; could I have a few more?

Waitress: Prawns?

Me: (emphatically) PECANS (p'kahns). (Canadian/Northern pronunciation of 'pecan' then hits me like a ton of bricks.) Oh, I mean PEEcans (pee-kahns), PEE CANs (pee-cans)!! PEE CANS!

Waitress: Oh sure. I didn't think you had prawns on your salad.

She then brought me about three times as many pecans as I was expecting, and we ate every one. You just have to know how to ask! :o)

And what they refer to as 'prawns' up here is another matter entirely.