60. Bringing in the New Year with a BANG

Monday 12/27- It’s been a little bit over a week since we spoke to Jose, our cabinet maker. He has had a chance to draw up plans and we’ve had a chance to think more in detail about what exactly it is that we want. We met with him at the house today to take some more measurements and finalize the plans. Once it was all discussed and agreed upon, Jose asked when we needed it ready by? We told him that Geiner said the house would be ready for the cabinets at the end of January. This would give him a month to get everything built. He looked kind of nervous, and said he would do everything he can to get it done by then, but with New Years in there and the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to get his supplies as quickly as he sometimes does, he said he might need until the first week in February. We told him that we could work with that. Since he was doing everything from cabinets and closets, to doors, beds, night stands, tables, and chairs, we asked him to focus first on the

32. Almost 2 Months in Costa Rica

Thursday 7/22- We have been in Costa Rica for nearly 2 months now. Things are finally settling into a routine (although there isn’t really a lot “to do” right now that would need a routine) and we’re getting used to the way things work, what is available, etc. Well, mostly. I’m still struggling with meal planning, and I’m not sure why. Yes, some things aren’t available or AS available here, but I’m usually a pretty creative cook. Well, I used to be, apparently being here has made me loose all of that creativity!! Beef here isn’t great, so we eat a lot of chicken. The pork chops are pretty good and we eat those periodically, but they are not nearly as versatile as the chicken is. I keep thinking that we need to get some FISH into our diet, since we are in a costal tropical area, but we just haven’t found any in our regular shopping trips. There is a fantastic fishing village over 2 hours North of here, but there is no way that I’m going to drive 2 hours for some fresh fish, even if it is so fresh that it just came out of the ocean this morning. There has to be something closer! How will I find a good fish market? Facebook!! Ramie and I are both part of many Costa Rica Facebook groups, they are a wealth of knowledge, information, tips, tricks, stories, and sometimes commiseration. Some of these groups are primarily for visitors and tourists, some are for foreigners that have moved to Costa Rica like us, some are for our local area (and primarily in Spanish, but Facebook does a pretty decent job of translating for us), I am part of a couple that are dedicated to cooking and gardening in Costa Rica, and there are even specific groups for snake and insect identification help. So, since I want to find some good seafood that’s not too far of a drive, I took to the local area groups and posted my question “Where is your favorite place to get good seafood nearby” (in English because Facebook will translate it to Spanish for the people on there who don’t speak English). That’s it, simple and to the point- and within an hour I had at least 3 places with multiple recommendations, all within a 20 minute drive either North or South. 20 minutes we could do, that’s not bad at all, and it’s about what I expected since the coastline in Uvita and a few miles both North and South of town are protected national park and the fishermen can’t launch from here. So today Ramie and I decided to drive the 20 minutes and find some fish. We decided to go South today since we had to drive that direction to go pay the internet bill anyway. We stopped at the internet place which is in this little strip mall Jurassic Park. I don’t know why they have dinosaurs here, but they do. (I know that’s not relevant to anything, but I thought I’d share anyway.)



Then, we continued on down to the fish shop that was recommended to us. We had our google maps out since directions here are sometimes kind of sketchy, but there was a BIG sign before we got to our turnoff telling us that the fish shop was coming up. When we got there it was just a little shack, I don’t even think it had windows, with 3 guys working. One guy was cleaning crates and crates of fresh shrimp that came in, one guy was inside filleting out the fresh catch of the day, and the 3rd guy came out to help us. He spoke very little English, but fortunately they had pictures of the fish they sell painted on the wall and the English word next to it. He could point to them to what they had and tell us how much it costs. The catch of the day today was Red Snapper. That was one that we knew we wanted to try. It’s a warm water white fish that we may have tried in the past, but knew that we wanted to try to cook ourselves. We told him we wanted a kilo of that for sure, quick conversion tip 1kg = ~2lbs. We asked if he had anything else, and were having a little bit of trouble communicating, so the guy that was filleting the snapper came over and spoke much better English. We found out that they had frozen tuna steaks and mahi mahi. Yup!! We want some of those too!! They were frozen, but still were probably just a few days old, still fresh enough! We bought a package of each of those as well. They tried to convince us to buy some shrimp too, but I passed on that for now. (I have never actually cooked shrimp from raw before, I always buy the pre-cooked shrimp, so want to do a little bit of research first). We assured them that now that we have found their shop that we would be back when we need some more fish dinners. 



As we were leaving, we saw that the road that the fish shop was on actually went toward the ocean, so we went that way instead of heading back to the highway and found the road literally went straight to the beach and into the water, I’m guessing this is where they launch their boat. There was a sign here that said it was an alligator area, so probably not a great place to go to the beach and go swimming for a day, but it is somewhere that we might come back to explore (there is a lot of open sand area that if there were an alligator, we would see him coming a mile away, don’t worry, we won’t get eaten by one!!).


via GIPHY

There were coconut trees along the high-tide line and when they drop the ripe ones, they sometimes get covered by sand and start to grow, so there were lots and lots of knee to head high new coconut trees growing. Maybe we’ll have to do a covert mission and dig a few of these up to plant at home once we have our property!?

There was also a little open-air restaurant back here that wasn’t open for the day yet. I think that this will be a place that we come back to!

So, what did I do when we got home from our little excursion?  I went to Google to learn the best way to cook some fresh Red Snapper.  Simply season with some salt and pepper, sear in a hot pan until it's flaky, and that's it!  I really do like simple! 😁 

Here is the Red Snapper that I cooked up for dinner.





Comments

  1. The fish looks great! You must learn how to do the shrimp also, that's also really great. Whoever is doing the writing is doing a very good, entertaining and informative job, I'm thinking that it may be Dana, it's easy to understand!
    You two must be very proud of yourselves and the accomplishments that have followed you as it took a lot of guts to make this major move and then share it with the folks back home. Edie and I are watching and wishing you the best that you can achieve. Good luck, stay healthy and keep up the excellent reporting.

    Ken and Edie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ken & Edie! I do the majority of the blog writing, but Ramie helps me add in some things that I may have forgotten and adds a little bit of entertainment. He also does all of the funny memes to give it a little bit more humor. We've had our share of ups and downs so far, but over all its all been worth it. Stay tuned for future posts, even though we are a few months behind right now we'll catch up soon enough (we have a couple of slow months in Sept & Oct).

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