Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taste of Ecuador

Sunday afternoon we celebrated my birthday by inviting a few family members and friends over to our little house in the woods. To my delight Green Power Girl came by, what a treat, I just LOVE her! She didn't bring her Solar Scepter though. (Darn!)

We decided to do a "Taste of Ecuador" type meal and also showed our photos from the trip while sharing a few stories.

The menu consisted of Banana Chips, Pan de Yuca, Corn Empanadas and Ecuadorian Fruit Smoothies for the appetizers. A main course of Green Banana Empanadas with Tomato Tree Fruit Salsa, Locro Soup, Green Salad and Shrimp Salad. Mostly handmade.

For dessert Marilyn made a Chocolate Cake and a Plum Torte, Green Power Girl brought some delicious goodies from Wholefoods with Vanilla Ice Cream on the side. Lots of Chocolate because of Ecuador AND I am a chocoholic!

The Green Empanadas came out especially good, in fact they were probably the favorite food item of the day! We used this recipe although we modified it just a bit. I made a Tomato Tree Fruit Salsa to go with them. The Tree Tomato Fruit came from Venice, Green Power Girl and her friend brought them over. Since they were frozen I ran the plastic package under hot water to defrost them quickly. Then I followed this recipe, although again, I modified it. This time the modification came by adding some Mango and a little sugar.

For the Locro Soup I adjusted the original recipe I posted on this blog with tips from my Ecuadorian friend Maria. One of the special ingredients is Achitote, also called Annatto. We purchased the Achitote at our local Vallarte Supermarket. We were a bit disappointed that the market only featured mainly Mexican fruits and veggies.

These napkins started out as Mexican fabric that was given to us by Marilyn. Eve and I sewed about one inch from the edge and then carefully frayed them. They were perfect the the theme of the day.

We served Pan de Yuca as an appetizer. These are might good! We purchased the Yuca root flour at the Vallarta market. From what I read Yuca root also goes by the term Tapioca flour which is sold at regular markets. If you know if indeed Yuca root flour and Tapioca flour is the same thing please leave a comment here on the blog. I'd love to know if this is actual true. This was the only recipe I didn't modify.

The fruit smoothies were made from a variety of tropical fruit, some Ecuadorian but not all. We cut pineapple slices and put them on each class. Just like we were served in the restaurant of the Hotel Quito...well almost.

Between the main course and dessert we debuted a 25 minute slide show of all our photos from the recent Ecuador trip. During the slides we told a few stories and provided a bit of an educational aspect. To see some of the pictures from the show follow this link to the posts I've done so far here at this journal.

I forgot to mention, it was Reverend Ricki's birthday too. His name starts with "R" like me AND he was born the same year on the same day. Thus, we had a double R celebration.

After the birthday cake celebration I got out my newest botanical perfume creation. This is following a sequence from last year when I created Cimbalom, titled Birthday Balm initially.
The Birthday Balm perfume for this years christening is titled Page 47. It is a sweet, floral fragrance similar to Lyra, but a bit more fresh. The title Page 47 came when I asked "What shall we call this perfume?" Someone mentioned the name Chapter 47, which prompted Eve to chime in with "NO, it should be Page 47!!" We like that name for a variety of reasons. Those in the know will understand the layers of significance this title has. More on this perfume soon.

Thank you to My who contributed photos #2 through #5 . Thank you to Marilyn for the delicious cakes, Green Power Girl and her buddy for the Ecuadorian fruits from the Central American Market in Venice, Martha for the Corn Empanadas. Special thanks to the amazing helpers in the kitchen Peleg, My, Eve and Greg. Thanks to all the family and friends who came to the festivities and those who sent lovely birthday blessings. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ricki as well as my other Leonine sisters in New York, Leah and Lucy.

1 comment:

Luis said...

In argentina tapioca is a fecula(flour) extracted from the root of a plant called mandioca. In other southamerican countries and Mexico the plant is called yuca.
When I was a child my mother used tapioca with caldo(broth)to make soup.
Luis Villa