This weekend I finally had the time to bake what is supposed to be Crane House Pumpkin Bread. Well I have never seen pumpkin at any of the mercados here in Ecuador so often I have made it with squash. But I was unprepared and had no squash on hand so I went to the tienda and bought six large carrots. Hey they were orange and when you put all the spices and stuff in with all the other ingredients who is going to know it’s carrot…just me! I made two separate batches one with sugar and one with a sugar substitute.
This was my small way to begin to pay back all my neighbors for their thoughtful and wonderful gifts that they have been dropping off at our house since we moved here 8 weeks ago. You have seen the pictures of the shrimp, several different types of fruit, one day last week I heard the little girl across the street yelling my name her mother had made llapingachos, this is a potato cake that she stuffed with a beautiful beef filling, they were hot from the stove and crispy and they did not last 3 minutes once I showed them to Joe. Then the next day the one young woman from the tienda wanted to know if I had any limons she could have, I invited her into the yard so we could pick some from the one tree and she spotted the cherry tree. I told her to go ahead take what she wanted and she started picking even the ones I did not think were ripe and popping them in her mouth, next thing I knew she was back with a paper bag with four corn balls filled with fresh queso.. Sorry no photos they went toooooo fast! This morning yet another neighbor yelled over the fence while I was watering the trees and handed me a plastic bag and came back with this big ripe papaya.
Yes, they are lobster, eat your hearts out, Joe and I had Petite Lobster Tails served with drawn fresh Cream Butter as our appetizer and our entrée was sautéed Filet of Fish served with a Garlic and White Wine Sauce. Don’t I sound posh!
A vendor on a bike came by a few days ago at the urging of one of my neighbors, I bought beautiful heads-on shrimp for $3.50 per pound. I told him I would love some filet of fish, Pargo, Corvina whatever he could get. He was at the gate this morning with several pound packets of fresh filet for $2.50 a pound.
This is the nicest neighborhood we have ever lived in, not the fanciest, not the richest in money but neighbors that have taken two strangers in as part of this close-knit community. We feel blessed every day that we found such a beautiful pueblo and hope to be able to pay these folks back by being good neighbors and friends. Right back at ya amigos.