Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catching Up with Fiestas and Yungilla

It's amazing at the difference in the weather as the calendar flipped to October. We've had lots of warm temperatures and sunny skies. One day last week, there was a hale storm, followed by this beautiful rainbow.

One night, there was Mexican by Joannie, ole'.

Unless you live here, the only supermarket that you hear mentioned in the blogs is Supermaxi; however, there is actually another chain in Cuenca, Gran Aki. We paid a visit on Saturday; located on Gonzalez Suarez, for us, it is not worth the distance. Prices are about the same, but it is less organized and lacks the nice displays.

We then went just down the street to Monay Shopping for coffee at El Espanol.
At Monay, as with Mall del Rio, Christmas decorations are up.

Saturday night we were invited to a soiree at Mall del Rio, a show of events, primarily weddings. There were spas showing girdles.

Distribuidora Barrera assisted with the booth for Dulipops, for which they are the local distributor. Eduardo was assisting.

There were lots of balloons.

And gowns and costumes

Samples of whiskey and cake

Displays of flowers and table settings

It was a typical Saturday night at any mall.

Dale and Joan had never been to Yungilla, so we planned to drive down on Sunday morning. The vistas along the way are stunning. We had lunch at Hosteria Jardin del Valle, which was quite lovely.

Two of the residents, Paco and Lucy.

Access was not easy. The road in front was completely dug up.

There was a beautiful mimosa tree with orange blossoms in the parking lot.

Statues at the intersection

For us, Yungilla is one of those places that is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. It's always nice to return home.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You Can't Find That in Cuenca...Really?

Shopping at Supermaxi is a little different than shopping at Harris Teeter in Charlotte or Bourbon in Brasil. Somethings you'll probably never be able to get here. Mick misses okra, dried beef in a jar, Campbell's tomato soup, and John Boy and Billy's BBQ sauce.

However, there are many imported items. There's a variety of Kraft products such as, Kraft mac and cheese, BBQ sauce, and mayo. You can buy Del Monte products also. If you can't find what you're looking for, it may possibly be called something different.

If you're a Dream Whip fan, we have chantilly; just mix with cold milk and whip. I think Royal brand is the best.
Being from the South, I make cornbread about once a week. There is no Martha White and no self-rising. Use the harina de maiz crudo and add leavening.

I've read that you can't get applesauce. Supermaxi has Mott's.

Superstock and Coral have the Ecuadorian version, puree de manzana. It works just as well in baking.

German saurkraut is available at a pharmacy downtown.

Once again, we're Southerners, which means we've got to have our grits. Grits are called morocho fino and can be bought at Supermaxi.

We've heard repeatedly that you can't find chocolate chips in Cuenca....again, an untruth. Chocolate chips can definitely be found at the spice store, Cadalaes, and at other sites. Sometimes Supermaxi has them. They're excellent chocolate chips, remember, Ecuador is a huge producer of cacao and is known for its chocolate that is shipped throughout the world.

You also hear that you can't by baking soda. Bicarbonate of soda is not sold at Supermaxi, but can be found at Comisariato, some of the markets, pharmacies, and tiendas.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday at the Mall with an Eleven Year-Old

Last week was pretty much business as usual. Cooking and entertaining always takes place the first part of the week. Thursday night is always seafood night at the California Kitchen; but last Thursday, the special was crabcakes. Carol's crabcakes are especially good and a group of us met to enjoy them. Here are Dale and Joannie.
This is John and Dorothy; they were visiting Cuenca for a couple of days before going on to the Galapagos.

Pat and Sue

Mick and Nikolas

Lena told us last week that her oldest son, Jonathon, needs to learn English for collegio. Mick had the idea that he should spend the day with us in order to hear English. We picked him up on Saturday morning and went to the Kitchen for breakfast. While out and about we passed this interesting door; I believe it was on Gran Colombia. Notice how low the handle is.

After breakfast and a visit to the Coffee Tree, Jonathon and I went to Mall Del Rio. We rode the train around the mall. You can ride all day with your $1 ticket.

There is a European Bungy there also. The cost of the ticket is based on your weight. There is a scale connected to the register and it prints your ticket out with your weight. The little stickers on the boys' shirts are tickets.

There are trampolines that you stand on and get belted into the gear and cables.

Jonathon is ready.

He was then hoisted up.

Each trampoline has an assistant, who then pulls you down by your foot and releases.

I went to the second floor to take pictures.

After all that, it was time for ice cream.

Hopefully, Jonathon had a great day with the old folks. It's been a very long time since we have dealt with children; they're tiring. Jonathon is a sweet boy and we're happy that we were able to have him for the day. With his family situation, we don't think he has a lot of time to just be a kid and Saturday was his day.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy