Sunday, June 18, 2017


My, what a busy couple of weeks this has been! My husband had his first car show of the season last weekend, the kids are finally out of school for the summer, and I got them both signed up for their summer reading programs. Even I signed up, too (I’m trying to read more Newberry Honor books). Not to mention, we’re finally getting things set up to start working on the other house so we can hopefully move in by fall. 

Normally, I'd like a gooey middle, but this isn't the way to do it. Maybe if I top it with jam, I won't notice the weird texture.
But today is a different story. Today is all about making food from Palau. I started this adventure with making tama, a type of fried dough balls. This seems like it would a perfect street food. In a bowl, I beat 4 eggs, ¾ c of milk, and ¾ tsp of vanilla (or more, because I love vanilla). In a separate bowl, I added in my 4 c of flour, 2 c of sugar, 1 ½ Tbsp of baking powder, and ¼ tsp of salt and stirred. I slowly poured my dry ingredients into my wet ingredients and stirred until it was consistent and smooth. I did have to add quite a bit of flour to it because it was just too stick to handle. When my oil was hot in my skillet (I poured quite a bit), I dropped a dollop of dough into the oil. Once the dough was browned, I flipped it to brown the other side. I scooped it and drained it on a paper towel. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, frying things is not my forte. And this is another example where I didn’t learn from my mistakes: I had my heat up too high. The outsides were so browned they were almost burnt, but the insides on many of them were still a little gooey. I really don’t trust them, even though the outsides are probably ok. But the flavor was good!

For my first experience with taro root, I liked it. Everyone else, not so much. But don't listen to them.
The second thing I made was taro rosti. Taro is a type of root vegetable that is popular throughout Asia, and I was amazed I found it at Kroger. However, they had a hell of a time trying to find the code for it in their system: it turns out, it got labeled under “fruits.” I used small taro roots, and when you peel it, it has the consistency of a potato, but it’s sticky and slimey. When you grate it, it’s looks almost creamy. Anyway, I peeled and grated 4 taro roots and mixed it with some diced onions. I added a little salt and pepper to this and then formed patties with my hands. Then I fried each of these in a little bit of coconut oil in a skillet. I thought these were super good! The kids were sort of meh about it, but I really enjoyed them. It took some time to brown them, but the flavor with the onions was almost like a potato cake but lightly on the sweet-salty side. I only wish it yielded more!

Clearly, today's winner!
For my main dish, I made tinola soup. I sautéed some minced garlic and diced onions in the bottom of a large pot until my onions were translucent. Then I stirred in some minced ginger and some soy sauce (in lieu of fish sauce, which I think it smells like musty butt). I stirred this around for a few minutes before adding in my chicken. I used six chicken thighs and let them brown up a little, turning them occasionally, before adding in the chicken broth. Letting this simmer for another 5 minutes, I added in my diced zucchini in lieu of chayote squash (my husband hates zucchini and all squashes, so I thought I’d wait to see if he notices, except my daughter announced suspiciously, “This absolutely does NOT contain zucchini!” at which he later ate and gagged with a lot of drama behind it.). I let it simmer another 10 minutes before checking to see if my chicken has cooked through yet. I took the chicken out and pulled it off the bones before throwing it back in. Then I added in my spinach and boy choy along and seasoning it with some salt and pepper and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so. This was the best! I loved this. It was the perfect amount of seasoning, and the little bit of ginger every now and then was perfect. I can definitely see making this again. In fact, the kids have already told me I have to repeat this.

Overall, I enjoyed this meal. It was quite tasty! I'll be the envy of the lunchroom. 
So, another country down and under my belt. This is the 131st country I’ve covered, which makes me now two-thirds of the way through this project. I can’t believe that I’ve stuck with this for this long. I’ve stuck with this project than any job I’ve ever had. And that’s the truth. I’m definitely in awe of some of the things I’ve learned. And some of the new things I’ve eaten. And some of the new music I’ve listened to. But the thing is, I only have 65 more times to do this.

Up next: Panama

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