Saturday, October 31, 2009

If only I could find a pumpkin...

So far I haven't been able to find any fall scented candles here in Tegucigalpa.

But in order to get the full Halloween celebration experience, I needed the house to smell like fall.

I found some "recipes" online that you can boil on the stove to make your house smell delicious.

So I put on a pot of water to boil. I added about a tablespoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of nutmeg, a squirt of vanilla, and some orange juice (I didn't have any orange peel).

I let it come to a rolling boil, and then turned it down to low.

And...

it worked! Now, it doesn't really smell like fall...it's no Jackson's Orchard on a Sunday afternoon. But it's close enough!

And it rained last night. So maybe the weather will cool down enough for boots and a sweater!?

:)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. I mean, you already know about my love affair with fall, so isn't it kind of obvious?

When I was little, I loved trick or treating. Who doesn't like dressing up as a magical character and getting bags full of candy?

When I was 1 year old, I had what I think was a great costume. Of course, I don't remember it since I was only 1, but I love the story. :) My parents, on a tight budget since my mom was in college and they had a new baby, couldn't afford a store bought costume. So my mom got super creative and turned me into a bag of groceries. Meaning, she put me in a brown paper bag of groceries. Haha. The story ends tragically when one of my aunts asked if I was a bag of trash and broke my mother's heart. ;)

Some of the other costumes I remember from my childhood are a troll, gypsy, witch, karate girl, cowgirl...

Then when I was in 7th grade I decided that I was too old for trick or treating, so I stayed at home to hand out candy to the trick or treaters. That story also ends disastrously with me in tears and depressed that I didn't get to go out to get candy and that I was missing out on the best years of my life. Yes, I used those words. And yes, I was (*ahem* still am) a very dramatic child. I vowed to never miss another Halloween.

And I didn't. My best costume ever was in college when I dressed up as Chiquita Banana. (And who would have known that 7 years later I would be living in her "native country" the original Banana Republic? Is that fate or what?)

Of course, in college, I didn't actually go trick or treating. Instead, my roommates and I dressed up in our costumes and drank cocktails on the front porch and handed out candy to the kids. Which actually turned out to be way more fun than trick or treating. ;)

Anyway. Now I am here in Honduras...where there is no trick or treating. Que tragic! :(

So what's a girl to do?

Why, make her husband have a junk food and movie date of course. The evening will include Halloween candy/food and all of the non-scary Halloween classics. :) I'm thinking Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and if I can find it on Isohunt, episodes of the old HBO series Tales from the Crypt.

What are YOU doing for Halloween, boils and ghouls? (ahaha, sorry, I couldn't resist)


UPDATE:
My mother read my post and posted this Halloween picture on Facebook for the world to see. It's of my brother and me in 1990. She says the Minnie costume is the only costume she ever made by hand. I think she did pretty good! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

...Fall...

I'm sorry I keep complaining, but...

My heart is aching for
the sight of changing leaves and pumpkins and
the feel of cool weather and and sweaters and
the smell of apple orchards and BBQ's and
the taste of apple slushies and apple pies and
the sound of tailgating and football season....

Sure, we had about a week of "cold" weather here in Tegucigalpa. I put on my boots and a sweater, and celebrated with a pot of chili.

But, it's hot again. And the hot weather and tropical plants just aren't doing it for me anymore.

And these pictures that my aunt posted on Facebook of my parents' farm in Kentucky....well, that just makes it worse. :(



And these pictures from the campus of my alma mater...Western Kentucky University...

I've got a really bad case of homesickness. *sigh* I hear they have REAL pumpkins at the supermarket Pais. Maybe that will lift my spirits...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To Write Love On Her Arms



November 13th is the global "To Write Love On Her Arms" (TWLOHA) Day.



TWLOHA is "a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."



On TWLOHA Day, you simply write the word LOVE on your arm to honor/remember friends or loved ones that suffer/suffered from depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide. It is also a way to spread awareness of the issue.



I'm doing it in memory of my husband's cousin Angel. I'm doing it in honor of my family members that have suffered from depression and addiction. I'm also doing it in honor of one of my close friends that struggled with self-injury.



I'm writing love on my arms on November 13th. Will you?



Facebook Event

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been craving chicken pot pie for a couple of weeks, but I haven't been able to find frozen pie crusts at the supermarket. So earlier this week, I made a pot pie from scratch....even the crust! I had never made crust before, and I was a little intimidated, but it really wasn't that difficult and it turned out fantastic! It was the BEST chicken pot pie I have ever had!

I got both of the recipes from allrecipes.com, the greatest recipe site ever. I just had to make a few changes to them in order to accomodate the differences in products that I can get here.

These are the original recipes: Chicken Pot Pie IX and Butter Flaky Pie Crust.

Ingredients that I used:
Chicken Pot Pie:
1 lb chicken breasts
1 can of mixed vegetables
3/4 stick margarine
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup milk
2 Maggi chicken flavor cubes dissolved in 1 3/4 cups water

Pie Crust:
(the original recipe is for ONE pie crust, so I doubled it for pot pie)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of margarine
a bowl of ice water

First, I put the flour in the freezer. Every ingredient for a pie crust needs to be very cold.

Then I put the chicken breasts on to boil. While they were cooking, I melted the margarine with the onion until it was soft. Then I added the flour, salt, and pepper. Then the dissolved Maggi cubes/water and the milk. I let it simmer on low, stirring it every now and then, while I did everything else.

I took the flour out of the freezer, and mixed the flour and salt in a large bowl. Then, I grated my sticks of margarine (which were in the refrigerator so they were cold) over the bowl. Grating it saved me a TON of time when mixing. I mixed it all up with a fork until the margarine was mixed into the flour. When it looked like coarse crumbs, I added one tablespoon of ice water. I mixed it until it was absorbed, and then added another tablespoon. I kept doing this until the entire mixture stuck together in a big ball shape, but I don't remember how many tablespoons I used. It never got sticky...I didn't even have to use flour on my hands to take it out of the bowl. I wrapped the ball in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer.

Next, I cut up the chicken breasts, and combined them with the canned veggies in a pot. I added one Maggi chicken flavor cube, covered all of it with water, and put it on to boil.

After all of that, I took the ball of dough from the freezer, rolled out 2 crusts on my dough mat, and put one into the greased pie pan. It was super easy to do since it was cold...and it never stuck to my hands or rolling pin!

I took the chicken/veggie mix off the stove, drained it, and put it in the bottom of the pie crust. Then I poured the sauce mixture on top. It filled perfectly to the top of the crust. (FYI, I was a little worried that it was too runny, but it turned out to be the perfect consistency in the end.)

I put the second pie crust on top, pinched the sides, and baked it at 425 degrees F for 35 minutes.

It took about 2.5 hours to do the whole thing, but I'm thinking it will go faster the next time. And anyway, it was totally worth it. It was incredible. And it's good heated up the next day too! Yummmm.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honduras al mundial!!!

Last night Honduras clenched their spot to go to the World Cup for the first time since 1982.


Hondurans (like most Latin Americans) are crazy for soccer. And securing a trip to the World Cup 2010 for the first time in almost 3 decades...especially during this current political crisis....was cause for a MAJOR celebration. The President even declared today as a national holiday (meaning, no work!) in honor of the big win.



We went out last night to witness the celebrating in the streets. And I have never seen anything like it in my life. Everyone piled in their cars and in the backs of trucks driving around honking and waving Honduran flags.

I really really wanted to drive down the Blvd. Morazan (one of the main streets here in Tegus) so I could get some good videos for you of the craziness, but traffic made it impossible to get there. We only made it as far as my in-laws house, and they live 4 blocks from the boulevard. Once there, we saw on TV that the boulevard was one big traffic jam, with masses of drunk of people running around. (Click here to see it.) We decided it probably wasn't a safe place for any of us to be. So, you'll have to settle for this video of the traffic in front of my in-laws house heading towards the boulevard. It's still pretty crazy...


video

Then today, the airport was packed when the team came back to Honduras. Click here to see it. They drove around the city in yet another caravan honking and waving flags to celebrate again.

I'm so proud of Honduras...it really is the "little country that could!" :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Word of the Day Wednesday

DISCLAIMER: This Word of the Day Wednesday is just chock-full of profanity. Sorry :)

Puchika
(say poo-cheek-ah)

Puchika is a "replacement term" for the Spanish curse word puta. People here also say "pucha" (say poo-chah). It is like saying shoot/crap instead of shit, or heck instead of hell.

(Background: In case you didn't already know this, puta means bitch. But people use it differently here. If you stub your toe, you say "puta!/puchika!"

I'm starting to realize that people in Honduras use it for EVERYTHING. I hear this about 50 times a day in school. I would say the English equivalent would be "Geez!" or "wow!" or "oh man!"...the list goes on and on.

Examples:

me: Eduardo (one of my students), sit down.
Eduardo: But I have a question!
me: You can ask it from your seat, sit down!
Eduardo (with a mad face): Puchika!

(you stub your toe on the door) Puchika!!!!

my boss: Are you busy?
me: Oh my goodness yes. I am working on 4 weddings AND exams for school!
my boss: Puchika! You are busy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homesickness

I miss Target, Barnes and Noble, and Hobby Lobby.
Places that are open 24 hours a day.
Organic products.
The selection of products in the makeup aisles in the drugstores.
Cherry limeades from Sonic.

I miss WKU.
Seeing WKU sweatshirts everywhere I go.
Tailgating.
Craft beer.
Boot and sweater season.
Cornhole.

I miss AUTUMN.
The leaves changing colors.
The cool nights/mornings.
The smell.

I miss long walks around the city at night with friends.
Seeing Corvettes.
Having drinks at 440.
Buying pumpkins at Jackson's Orchard.
Caramel apples from Jackson's Orchard.
And their apple slushies.
And their apple pies with vanilla ice cream.

I miss my family.
My friends.
Kentucky.

:(

So STOP posting your lovely fall pictures on Facebook or I'm going to fall into a deep depression.

:) :) :)