Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables have been hit and miss here. I've never tasted anything as sweet and perfect as pineapple can be in Panama. Soooo very good. But then I've never been as disappointed in the availability of fresh produce as I have been here. Actually, that's not true. Former Communist Prague winter of 1991 was…

If only they had the bruschetta mix …

It's not Trader Joe's, but Foodie specialty produce market makes me think of one of my favorite stores. One opened near Dean's work. It was nice to peruse fresh fruits and vegetables, seasonings without additives and to just explore some culinary options I haven't found elsewhere. Guess who's gonna get grocery lists to bring home from…

My sort of Chinese side

  My dad was born in China to missionary parents. My grandparents along with their children left China at the end of World War II after spending almost two years in a Japanese-run internment camp. My Grandma Baltau learned to make gyoza and scallion cakes there (though she used lard and white or brown onions).…

Tasty treat

My friend Sandee and I stopped at the Chinese Market today. I hadn't been before. Sandee said not to get my hopes up. It has more produce than other stores, but it still isn't the tropical paradise of fruits and vegetables we were expecting when we moved here. Fruits and vegetables have been a disappointment…

What I made today …

My dear friend Nancy makes a sherry bundt cake from a family recipe at Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite things. I eat it for breakfast for at least a week every December. One day craving that cake, I searched the internet for a recipe. Not paying attention to what I was doing, I…

Sloppy Joes

I just made Sloppy Joes for dinner. Nothing fancy. It's a go-to dinner that fills up hungry boys and is easy to make. I use turkey. I know some think that is sacrilegious, but I don't like all the grease of red meat. Like many things, making Sloppy Joes in Panama is a bit more…

Panamanian hospitality

We were playing progressive rum at the kitchen table when we heard the doorbell ring. Two of the cutest neighbors brought a Welcome-to-the-Neighborhood gift. The best kind of gift -- DESSERT! Miguel and Sebastian were the sweetest emissaries and treated us to a pretty in-depth discussion of where to buy the best candy. They are…

Water outage

The water stopped working about midday yesterday. Was it the water bill? Was it the issues with the water heater again? When you don't speak the language well it's not easy to call the water company up. And truthfully, I have no water company information. We haven't seen a bill, a company name, nothing. We…

Kitchens, vanilla and family

I'm a baker. I love to bake. Cookies, cakes, sweets... Dinner is a chore, but whipping up a batch of brownies, that's a gift. A gift to my heart, to family, friends, celebrations, comfort  and sometimes condolences. When Neil was 5, one of his friends came through the door, took a huge inhale through his…

At our soon-to-be-local mall

Dean found champagne and cake at the Multi Plaza mall in Panama City. I might go to the mall more in Panama than here ... This was a couple weeks ago, but I thought of it today. It's been more than 5 weeks since Dean left. He comes home tomorrow. He's been lonely. We've been lonely.…