February 29, 2016

Vitamix Woes

Jocelyn was so excited to make a dessert smoothie for our family night treat tonight. I mean she's been talking about it for two days. All. Day. Long. Elliott helps her and they get all the good stuff in there...mango, avocado, passion fruit...ice. Lots of ice. And a spoon.

A spoon? Yes. She feels super bad. As she should. We cannot have smoothies for a few weeks. Possibly months.

Look at that hole! Did you have any idea the blender's blade would push a spoon right on out the side of the container?

I'm pleased with myself. I didn't yell. Or scream. Or even cry...though I might be doing all of that if the sorry tale I just wrote to Vitamix about doesn't fall under the machine's 7 year warranty (we're only halfway through). Because living in Brasil with tons of inexpensive and delicious fruits begging to be consumed is not worth living without a Vitamix. It just isn't.

February 20, 2016

HortiFruti - Produce Market

There were too many finds at the produce market this past week for me to fill my newsfeed...I think the cashiers think I'm funny. I just find random fruits and vegetables and I buy them. 

Then in the check out line I ask for some additional information. Not too much. My Portuguese language skills are lacking. But just enough. 

Like, is this a fruit? Vegetable? Oh you don't know what ve-ge-tuh-bul means? Let me try that with a different accent. Nope. Hmm. She says legume. Yes! That's what I want to know. Fruta ou legume? But she doesn't know so she asks the lady at the next register. 

Caxi - big and round and what is it??? I don't know but I put it in a chicken and bacon cream dish and it came out tasting a bit like potatoes. The waxy firm kind. Delicious.

Kino - they had green and orange ones. I didn't buy the orange one because there was a bad spot on it. And at R$10 or USD $2.50 each, I wasn't going to buy more than one. It's really pretty on the inside. Definitely fruity but reminded me a little bit of a cucumber. We all tried it and Jocelyn slurped up the rest of it. She really liked it.

Cidra or citron....like a sour lemon with the thickest rind you ever saw. The white part was flavorless. But the citrus part was great...and seedy. So we just licked it a little bit.

So there are some huge avocados here. I made an avocado orange smoothie with one (tasted like candy) and guacamole with the other. The abobora reminded me of zucchini. They call it a winter melon. I didn't peel it before putting it in a noodle dish, but I think it would've been better if I had.

And the bamboo shoot. That brown skin was silky smooth furry. I really liked it. I've actually never seen fresh bamboo shoot before. Only in small cans in the Asian section of the supermarket at home. I looked up how to cook it (for about an hour submerged in the milky white water that rice gives off as you rinse it). I put it in a fried rice which everyone ate at dinner but no one wanted for lunch the next day. I liked it fresh but sadly didn't want later, either. 

These bananas are growing in a random neighborhood park near our home. We pass by every Sunday as we walk home from church. They used to be as big as one of my fingers. Now they're thickening up a bit. I hope in a few weeks or whenever they're ready, I'll be able to eat one. Because that's just so cool to have bananas growing in a park. So random.

February 1, 2016

A Month of Letters

A few years ago, I accepted the month of letters challenge. In a nutshell, I write a letter a day in February.

I thought about this a week or two ago when in a little copy store...and I bought some envelopes. Yet today, I nearly forgot. I was reminded this evening after reading a college friend's Facebook request to send her grandmother a card or letter for her 90th birthday. So Grandma Lula, I start the month with you.

I like this challenge because I like letters. Real ones. Ones people put on paper. Makes me excited for the mailbox because it's not just ads and bills. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this. 

I want you to know that my letters have benefited you, too...even if I didn't mail you one. What benefit you ask? Well, I like to write to Costco. Mostly because they respond. And one year when I brought to their attention that their price for Huggies diapers has steadily increased over the past several years (having 5 kids in less than 5 years means we knew the ins and outs of diapers) they send me some samples of their Kirkland brand diapers. They were packaged in twos. So convenient for my emergency kit in my car. Not that I was ever caught without a diaper when we really needed one. Ha ha. Yes we were. All. The. Time.

Okay, so you didn't benefit from my diaper letter. But I did write to Costco about coconut oil. At the time I had it as a subscribe and save item on Amazon Prime. I'd get a new jar every month or two as it was the only oil we used for cooking. I requested that they carry the Nutiva brand. Organic. Non-GMO. Virgin. Cold Pressed. Unrefined. Delicious. So the Costco food buyer wrote me a letter thanking me for the suggestion and telling me that he'd both look into it and also that they only stock a handful of items.

Imagine my pleasure a few months later when I saw coconut oil at Costco. I was ecstatic and just to show that buyer that this would be a popular item and encourage them to stock more (as well as stock up in case they didn't), I bought an entire case of it. So yeah, then I had coconut oil coming out my ears. Year supply? Check.

The last time I was at Costco, I saw that Kirkland brand now has their own coconut oil. And it all started because of my letter. Ha ha. Not really. But I'm convinced that my letter in combination with other letters made the difference. Because even Costco likes to get letters. I think I'll write them again this year. And request that they bring Costco to Sao Paulo. After all, Sam's Club is here. But we all know Sam's Club is not Costco.
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