Avocados – How to Freeze and The “Best-Ever” Smoothie

Avocado 2I recently read an article about freezing avocados that Joe found and sent to me. We love avocado smoothies but never seem to have enough fresh avocados. So freezing them was of particular interest to me.  It is so easy:  Pick ripe ready to use avocados, cut them in half, remove the pit and the skin. Place the flesh in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer..Voila!!! You have ready to use avocados anytime you want them.

Here are the latest ready to go into the freezer. These are large, local variety with almost yellow flesh that you can buy from several local vendors who come to my house. These are pretty big and were 3 for a dollar.

IMG_3009 Now for the best smoothie you will ever have.

IMG_3012Yes, I said avocado smoothie, I know it was hard for me to wrap my brain around making a smoothie from what I consider the vegetable you use for making guacamole or sliced on a chicken sandwich. You will never want a mora, or frutilla or banana smoothie again after tasting this rich and wonderful drink.

Avocado Smoothie

  • one large ripe avocado
  • 8 oz. milk
  • one large glass of ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 8 oz. glass of water

Place avocado, sugar, ice and milk into a blender.  Blend on high until avocado and ice are smooth and creamy.  Add the glass of water and blend again on high for a few minutes.

Pour into large glasses and taste the best thing you have ever had in your life.  Really, I mean it, this is the best smoothie I have ever had. Once you have had this avocado smoothie you will never want any other smoothie again.

IMG_3013 My preference is the haas avocado and you can find them, most of the time, in the big supermarkets here like SuperMaxi or Mi Comisariato. They have a very dark green bumpy skin, are smaller than the local ones and have a much smaller pit. It has a little different flavor and the color is much greener flesh than the local avocados…but when in Rome do as the Romans do, so we use what we can get.

AVOCADO-hass-300x250avocadoinfoHonestly, I don’t drink avocado smoothies for any of the above reasons, I drink them because they taste so darn good!

 

Happy Belated Birthday Eva

Our dear friend Eva had her birthday the middle of July.  But we were not able to celebrate until several weeks later and then I was under the weather so I am finally able to post.  We went up to Meier’s hoping to have something from his new menu…but his new menu starts at noon and ends at 6pm…So we had his pizza instead.

IMG_3017We had a good old-fashioned “Girl Chat” for a few hours, enjoyed a pink citrus drink and pizza.  Could not ask for more.

Happy Belated Birthday, Eva…

Dengue: Uninvited and Unwanted, Came to our House

Well I finally got dengue, I knew the chances were good, the numbers for Manabi were high but we hoped that we had taken all the precautions necessary to avoid these mosquito borne diseases.  We were wrong and I am now part of the growing statistic for the disease here in Ecuador.

My symptoms: first for about three days prior to the first big symptoms I had this awful feeling that I had bad breath, had not changed toothpastes, or eaten anything different but my mouth taste/odor was not right.  On Tuesday I had this headache pain right about my left eye…a sharp pain that lasted only a few seconds, it happened a few times and it was gone so I basically forgot about it. Early morning Wednesday after 1am I got up with the chills and a fever, had a terrible headache and pain in my eyes. I got up added another blanket and attempted to sleep.  Early the next morning I felt even worse, could hardly get out of bed, but assumed it was some sort of flu and was going to ride it out.  After sleeping on and off during the day on Wednesday, Joe was taking my temperature which stayed around 100-101 all day, he gave me Tylenol and as much water as I would drink.  I finally gave in and called my friend Eva around 6:30 pm to call Dra. Christina for me.  Dra. Christina arrived within 30 minutes, along with mi amiga Eva as my translator, and assessed my symptoms and diagnosed dengue…She gave me three shots, two in the backside and one in my arm, left a prescription for three items to get and to start taking 2 Tylenol every 6 hours starting the next morning…Drink plenty of water and get lots of rest.  Within 10 seconds after the first shot I could feel the difference and the headache started to dissipate.  No chills or measurable fever during the night.

Woke Thursday morning feeling beat up but with only a slight headache, tired and a slight fever.  Several things can happen over the next week or so – I can get a rash over my body, get the chills and fever back, and watch it doesn’t progress to something worse.

I guess the reason for writing this is to let folks know that it is not easily going to go away by itself.  As soon as you feel any of these symptoms go to your local clinic, call your general practitioner and please DO NOT TAKE any ibuprofen type products……..

We are pretty proactive people and when it comes to dengue, hemorrhagic fever from dengue, zika and chikungunya we take what I consider good precautions. Our yard is kept neat and all low hanging branches, bushes and flowers are kept cut back. We use Detan repellent every day, Joe fumigates the yard and house for mosquitoes every week and we walk around with cans of spray when we are outside.  We rake up leaves each morning and have no standing water around.  I do attempt to water early mornings so that the topsoil is not wet during the night hours. But none of those precautions help with this one mosquito. I could have been bitten while taking my morning walk but again I put on Detan before I leave the house, I could have been bitten at a local restaurant on Saturday night while out for dinner but again I wore Detan or I could have been bitten in my own home or yard where I always use Detan.

Everyday seemed to have a different symptom, first the headaches and eye sensitivity, next the fever and chills, next just sweats, total exhaustion, sick to stomach with diarrhea, after 12 days I finally feel back to my normal self.

Joe did get fresh papaya leaves from a producing tree and put them through the juicer added lemon juice and sugar and I drank that three times a day towards the end.  this was advice from a friend in Panama. I do think it helped.  World, look out. I’m back!!

Recovering our Couch

About a year ago Joe and I purchased a couch in Portoviejo. It needed to be love seat size because our salon is not very wide. It was expensive at over $600 and we had to pay for delivery as well.  After just a few short months the leather type material started to flake off.  We would find it clinging to our arms, legs and clothing as well as all over the floors in the house. What a pain!

IMG_3000It really looked crappy and covering it with a throw made it even crappier.  I remembered that Patricia McKinsey had introduced me to a man in Charapoto that recovered the cushions from her patio. I had my neighbor and friend Helena Zambrano, David’s wife, take me over to help with the translation and to pick out the new covering.  He agreed to recover the couch for $250. and would be completed by August 15th.  Today it was delivered way early and we have our couch back and it is beautiful and it is RED.

IMG_3018What a professional job.

Vendor Part 10: Jimmy – Pan Man in the Morning, Sweet Treats Man in the Afternoons

IMG_3016Almost every morning early around 6:30 am Jimmy comes by on his bike carrying this mornings fresh-from-the-oven rolls. 10 cents apiece for a great start to your morning.

Then some afternoons he comes by, today it was around 3:30 pm, with that same basket filled this time with sweet treats.  These are 15 cents.

IMG_3015Some of today’s choices were chocolate sweet rolls, a lovely sandwich cookie with a dulce de leche filling, a corn type muffin, a filled sweet roll with what I think is guayaba (guava) filling.  We have our favorites but honestly any one of them will pacify the sweet tooth in all of us.

 

Vendor Part 9: Torta, Torta, Torta

IMG_2954 Yet another vendor that comes around occasionally, delivers these beautiful chocolate or vanilla cakes.  They are probably a 6″ or 7″ cake for, you will not believe this, $1.50.  It is a really nice cake for $1.50. The chocolate one I purchased had a very thin white icing, it was not too sweet yet it really hit the spot for an afternoon snack. You can see it did not take us long to cut into it.

Vendor Part 8: Donicio AKA the Whistler

Donicio comes by on his motorbike every day. He has this high-pitched whistle so you know exactly who is driving by, plus his motorbike is pretty loud. Obviously his whistle is why I call him the Whistler. Today he had fresh cilantro, choclo, lemons, long beans, green peppers, tomatoes and an assortment of fresh beans.  I assume he has a farm as the items change daily, are of limited quantity and all are fresh fresh fresh.

IMG_3010He was fascinated when he saw the picture I had taken of him. Sometime this week I will print a picture out for him and when I stop him again I will give him his photo.