Day 146

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Today im having a chili party. I planned it weeks ago and refused to cancel on account of my sneaky parasite. It’s to be cultural exchange between my family and volunteers! First I learn how to cook beans the Nicaraguan way. Which means outside on a fuegon. First my mom removed the old ashes. Then she cut some of the fire wood info little pieces. My dad showed me how to take little pieces of wood, paper (and to my dismay plastic) and diesel fluid to start the fire. I helped! We had a great time and my dad starts gushing about how he loves cooking grilled chicken out here and I realized THIS IS A NICARAGUAN GRILL! Something about men and cooking outside, I guess it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. (PS my dad is also a mechanic sooooo men and cars seems about right too lol) (PSS we did end up having grilled beef for lunch).
Yesterday, my mom told me to clean the beans. I thought that meant just picking out the rocks. As I was washing them she told me I have to had to do more than pick out the bad rocks. That I left a few bad beans. So I had to clean them three times over. Then I washed the pot or Olla. It’s the pot dedicated to cooking beans, that’s why it’s colored that way. It’s not dirty. It also has soot build up from cooking so much outside so you only wash the inside. Then you cook the beans in water, covered for two hours. 

Two hours later, I drained as much juice as I could without a strainer, cooked the meat, added it, onions, green peppers, a cut tomato, tomato sauce and seasonings. It was just short of perfection without chili powder but the paprika made up for it. Nicaraguans don’t really eat spicy food so they said my chili was really spicy BUT everyone loved it! There wasn’t any left over. Which hurts my heart because I just know I’m going to crave some tomorrow. My site mates mom baked two pans of maísapan or cornbread and together the meal was delicious! The friends we invited brought cake to celebrate my other site mates birthday. We plsyed games! The pin the tail on the donkey was classic, the musical chairs (from what I heard, a little dangerous) and limbo was a hilarious game to share with the Nicaraguan. We also danced, what Nica party doesn’t include dancing?! I missed taking pictures of musical chairs because I was washing dishes. We ran out of silverware (see my previous post during training on the shortage of silverware in Nicaragua). The party members were quite understanding and patient for clean plates and forks. Afterwards, we cleaned and took a quick hike to see a cross. It was beautiful. My chili party was a success and I met new people. Not sure when I’ll be having another.. hosting parties is stressful! I’m not sure how my mom does it. 

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