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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-04-27 23:55:48
Subject: The Food Here

     Like the language in our home, the food is a mix of Honduran and American. When we cook, we tend to lean American, if not Tex-Mex. There is a fundamental difference in the way we eat here than we do in the USA. Because of poverty, refined foods, indeed even meats and cheese are more the exception than the norm. Corn tortillas, a staple here, are basically ground corn and water. The closer you get to basic grains, the less expensive the food. Rice and beans are also integral in our diets.      When we first moved here, the food was making me ill. A lot of that had to do with the different types of bacteria that I was not used to. Some of it though, was basically cleansing me of  years of overeating refined foods (ie cheese, fast food, excessive meat). Now I pretty well eat Honduran with the exception of a weekly trip to Wendy's or Domino's (our family getaway before Wednesday Night church). Unfortunately, my only visit back to the USA had me ill within a day of arrival. I was not used to the rich food. After a couple days of my old favorite foods, I felt like I had swallowed a brick.      So what do we eat at the home? When Hondurans cook, we almost always eat corn tortillas, red beans (sometimes refried), rice with green beans and carrots. They vary the meal by cooking ground beef or chicken cooked in a variety of ways. Fresh vegetables are almost always incorporated somehow. Lunch is our biggest production. We have the twelve children, Paula and I, two farm workers and the cook. We try to spend less than $5 total on this meal, and that's pretty swank for Honduras. A lot of cutting is involved, but one chicken is shared among the seventeen of us. If they use hamburger, we try to use under two pounds. In other words, meat is not the main course.      When we cook, we make spaghetti and our own sauce from tomato paste, onion, bell pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. On Saturday with only the fourteen of us, we can afford to make our own pizza. We make a homemade crust that does not take time to rise. We again make our own sauce similar to spaghetti sauce (if not the same) add mozzarella and some pepperoni. Other days we might make pancakes and scrambled eggs for dinner. This week Paula made onion soup one night. We also make bread whenever possible (using some whole wheat). We have to be careful not to disrupt the more fiber rich diet we/they are used to down here; even corn tortillas have more fiber than flour tortillas. Tonight we made big burritos with large flour tortillas, ground beef, refried beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, lettuce and rice.      Breakfast is mainly corn flakes with the milk we get from our cow. When we have chickens again, we will have more eggs in the morning. We also make pancakes on some Saturdays. When we have a lot of bananas, we might make banana muffins or banana bread. On occasion we make biscuits.      In short, we eat more whole grains, less meat and much less cheese here. We try to eat things that we grow or raise so that less money is spent at the grocery store.

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