Sunday, September 18, 2011

Manuela and La Cafeteria

After our meeting I presented Magda with my fruit and asked if she could help. She took me up the colegio (highschool) cafeteria where I met Manuela and Ilsa Marina. I can already tell I’m going to learn a lot about Honduran cooking from Manuela. Ilsa Marina seems to sort of keep to herself, but Manuela and I appear to already be friends. I should clarify that LYBS has a cafeteria, but it’s under construction right now so we’re sharing with the high school for now.  Anyway, Madga and Manuela peeled and sliced my fruit and I was such a happy little girl chomping it down. Mmmm fresh pineapple. Manuela is going to teach me to make “agua de piña” by boiling pineapple rinds in water for a while. Magda looked at her like she was crazy, but Manuela says you throw away nutrients when you throw away the peel. I’m not sure I trust myself to clean the peel well enough just yet, but in a few months I’ll totally give it a try! Manuela says she doesn’t throw any part of the fruit away, and that in time she’ll teach me how to be that good too. She said she could make a mango jam with the peels, and that sounds too tasty to pass up.

After the fruit was sliced Magda and I headed back down to school where I got to work laminating (covering with contact paper) some posters. I really do like how hands-on things are here, but I think a laminating machine and letter cutting machine (what is that something like a dye-cutting machine? That feels like the correct term) would save the whole team a lot of time. At lunch Magda, Emely and Mrs. Bueso invited me back to Manuela’s.  Ensalada de repollo (cabbage salad) and her remolacha hervida (boiled beets) hit the spot. I have got to learn how to make corn tortillas, because after a year of these meals my left-hand might feel naked without one. Just kidding—I don’t eat them THAT much, but I definitely enjoy them when I do. You know how some people use a knife to push food onto their fork? I’ve learned that a tortilla works wonders, and soaks up some flavor. Way more fun than a knife.

Cafeterias work a little differently here. I guess since it’s so many fewer children they can pull it off? But it’s basically a kitchen with an open dining room, but a big dining room with some white tables and chairs. She sells different bags of chips (from what I’ve heard so far they call them all “doritos”) various sodas, chocolate-covered frozen bananas (!!!) and makes a varied menu of breakfast and lunch. They cook it all right there, and you just come up to the counter and order. I like how fresh it is. Bags of produce chopped fresh this morning!

…of course I wrote about Manuela and the cafeteria before school started. Our school has a cafeteria too, and I haven’t gotten to visit Manuela and Ilsa Marina in too long! Our cafeteria staff is great too, but you’ll meet them later!

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