And What Do You Do With This?

My neighbour down the road opened a little tienda this week.  In her shop, she is focusing on providing fresh, organic and locally grown produce and other items.  Her goal is to help the locals understand how they can eat healthier by expanding their repertoire of recipes and creating things that are delicious from the items that are cheap and plentiful in the area.

On Thursday, she did a ‘soft launch’ of a food basket service with a group of about eight people who both she and I found.  For $20.00 the customer got a bag of about 12 curated, seasonal items grown in the district.  When I went to get my bag

La puerta roja

All this for $20.00

When I went to get my bag, I recognized many of the items.  There were others whose names I knew, but I had never used, and still others that I had never seen before.  Before I left the shop, I asked my friend, who is an excellent and imaginative cook, how to use some of the unfamiliar items.  Armed with my new-found knowledge I was determined that all the food would be put to use.

One of the things that I didn’t know how to use was some little green plums.  My friend told me that they were good to put into beans, lentils or to use with meat as they were quite acidic.  Friday morning I got busy trying to figure out what to do with them.

Green ciruelos

I had left them out on the counter overnight, and some of them had begun to soften and sweeten.  I set to work making a sauce using the plums, the Miel de Cañas (molasses) and some of the other food.

A few of the plums cut open.

The plums are beginning to cook; I  added a little water.

Cooking down the plums, using the peel made a lot of pectin.

Some tart but juicy oranges, I used the juice from two.

I added an onion, some garlic and a few of these little peppers from the bag. My friend said they weren’t hot, but they do have some heat, SU loves them.

I used a few squishy tomatoes from this delicious bunch so they wouldn’t go to waste.

After I added the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic.

Fresh Miel de Cañas, we call it molasses. I added this for flavour after everything had cooked down.

The finished product. I used the immersion blender and then added few pieces of pineapple.

And this was our Friday dinner, served with a big salad made from many of the other products in the bag.

Yucca and pork with plum sauce.

Yucca and pork with plum sauce.

It was my first time cooking yucca at home.  One of my friends warned me that it should be boiled very well as it is tough. I found out it is, and it took quite a while to soften it. Once it was parboiled, we seasoned it with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little parmesan. Then, we baked it on the barbeque. It turned out delicious.

I’ve learned to do many things over the last four years that I never considered, like using what I have on hand and creating dishes from scratch and trying not to waste food.    It was always so convenient to hop over to the grocery store for a needed item.  Now, I open the fridge, see what we have and just go with the flow at dinnertime…in the campo.

To see other interpretations of this week’s WordPress photo challenge ‘Dinnertime’ go here.

About indacampo

You'll find me at blogging about Panama...and other things.
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6 Responses to And What Do You Do With This?

  1. bythebriny says:

    What a beautiful basket of fruits and vegetables. It looks like you put them to good use!

  2. mcmoller says:

    Reblogged this on Our Third Life-Pedasi, Panama and commented:
    Another new place opened recently in Pedasi- “La puerta roja”. I haven’t gone here yet, but look forward to checking it out.

  3. Pingback: Dinnertime (Paris 2000) | What's (in) the picture?

  4. I have yucca growing in the yard, and just pulled out the first one. It was SO good! You can parboil it until soft, and then fry it in some oil like making french fries. That’s also really good. I should try baking it. I’ll bet that’s good too and much less oil. Yucca is a pretty plant. If you check my blog today you can see it in the picture of my yard growing in front of the plantain that is next to the heliconias. All you have to do is get a stick of it and put it in the ground sideways with one end a bit above the ground, and it grows itself.

    • indacampo says:

      That’s similar to the way I do it but by baking it with just a little olive oil it cuts the extra fat out. People have them growing in their yards here but one of my friends said it’s hard work when you’re digging to harvest a lot.

  5. familystoke says:

    Hi, we just moved to Pedasi. I’m interested where in town to find your friend’s tienda. I would love to support the store and find local, organic goods. Thanks! – Stacey

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