Sunday, October 14, 2012


This week’s bread is a Belizean banana bread, something I absolutely love but have never made. I bought my bananas a few days ago in hopes that it would be ripe enough for today. I started out by creaming butter and sugar, then adding the other ingredients and flour mixture. After baking it for an hour, it smelled incredible. The recipe said it was going to be a very moist bread, and it definitely was (most likely from the evaporated milk and four bananas that went into it). Actually the person who had wrote the blog I got this recipe from had mentioned that she had put cinnamon chips into it, but I couldn’t find any. However, I might try some macadamia nuts next time.

Mouth-watering. Resistance is futile. 
I also tried a recipe for sweet potato pone (or pudding). It started out with grating sweet potatoes (which gave me flashbacks of that dish I made from Antigua and Barbuda), adding some sugar, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. It’s all mixed together then baked for almost an hour. My husband remembers his grandmother from the Deep South [of the US] making sweet potato pie in a similar fashion. One problem that I had was that the recipe called for a 9x11 metal baking pan, and I don’t have one, so I used a silicone round pan. It really tasted like it needed a crust or something. Good, but I think it would’ve set up better if I used the right materials.

Ok, so it does taste like it needs to be baked in a crust.
Next came the heart of palm burritos. I love heart of palm; I had used it in a Brazilian dish I had made several years ago. To me, it’s similar in texture to artichokes (which was suggested as a substitute) but smoother on the outsides. It’s sautéed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and green peppers. It called for achiote seasoning (also called for annatto). I couldn’t find either one, so I had to resort to substitutions (I used a combination of turmeric and Spanish smoked paprika). It turned out really well; I had been looking forward to this dish all week. And it delivered. My daughter ate hers up, my son picked at his (of course), and even my finicky husband tried a spoonful (“Hey, it’s not slimy.”).

Hearts of palm burritos, minus the burrito part yet. 
I went with a soup this time for the main dish: escabeche hot and sour chicken soup. I made several amendments with the recipe.  I went less on the hot by leaving out a lot of the hot peppers. I used green chiles instead, but added a little Caribbean Jerk seasoning. I also used half chicken broth and half water. And I also used celery instead of green peppers (because I forgot I only bought one green pepper and let the kids snack on half of it). I also didn’t use a whole chicken; I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. And the recipe didn’t say when exactly to put in the vinegar or which kind to use, so I used white wine vinegar and added it in after I put the chicken in the boiling stock water. But regardless, it made a tasty soup.

If this is Belize, count me in. Best enjoyed with the music of Andy Palacio. 
I enjoyed this meal. A lot. It was simple in its ingredients and simple in the way it’s made. It seems like it’s the type of meal that is best enjoyed with friends and family, telling stories and enjoying good times. We spent our meal listening to the kids talking about the space jump today, asking for more food, then trying to convince me they were full, all with the sounds of the MotoGP race going on in the background. This is the soundtrack of my life.

Up next: Benin

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