Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Information - Cooking

They do not have a book called "Cooking in Haiti, for dummies who hate cooking." But they should.

So, a few of you asked for more information. The store in Port au Prince seems to have a lot of canned goods. Noodles and rice are easy to come by. Potatoes and Tomatoes and avacadoes & onions are also all easy to find in the open market. (Plantains too, but I have no idea what to do with them or what food group they are in.)

The meat is all pretty sad looking. I did not see any chicken that I would be willing to touch. I did see a decent selection of ground beef. The fish all had their heads attached still. Sorry, I know my limits, I cannot do that. The chicken thing ... maybe we need to research where to get it. At home I bought boneless skinless breasts, white meat only. I hesitate to admit, I have never cooked a whole chicken...go ahead, shake your head in disgust...the truth is not very pretty but is the truth none the less. We take vitamins. That is our way to justify crappy eating habits.

Here, the chicken all looks so yucky and unclean and bony and lacking bulk. I know, I know...I need to get over it.In our pantry there are lots and lots of cans of the following: sweet peas, green beans, golden corn, sliced peas and carrots mixed, dark red kidney beans, mixed veggies, whole potatoes, baby butter beans ... I have never heard of the baby butter bean but apparently they are the offspring of the grown up butter bean????????

I know how to make really decent meat loaf. There is one night. I can make spaghetti. That is two nights. I can have a Haitian lady come coook Haitian one night, that is three nights. One night Troy says we can grill burgers and hotdogs and chicken if we ever find any. That leaves me with nights five, six and possibly (but not usually) a seventh night. How do I know how much to cook for 20 people? If I mess up then some people will be sitting there staring at me with empty plates. Oh, the pressure!

I am working with a budget but I think it is a fair budget. I won't know until I try. The first team comes at the end of this month. Of the $300 mission trip fee I *think* I get to have $150 of it for groceries and water. The rest of the fee is used to cover the diesel that is required to generate the extra electricity and the trips into PAP to get and drop off the team.

I am not that concerned about breakfast or lunch because those meals will not vary too much. Cereal and eggs and toast, and sometimes pancakes, for breakfast. Sandwiches (lunch meat that we can buy in Port) and Haiti fruits and chips and such.

Keep the emails coming. Dumb it down for me. Pretend like you are instructing Isaac and that should put it about where I need it to be in order to follow the directions. ~Tara