Sunday, March 12, 2017

Food in Tupiza

[1 March 2017]

I have really been spoiled over the years!  I don’t remember what it was like having to start from scratch with getting a stove, refrigerator, dishes etc. We are so grateful that our Mission President and his wife helped us find, deliver, and install these items.

Our dear missionary friends from the Temple in Cochabamba, to whom we are very grateful, saved a lot of our kitchen and office things that we had purchased and left for others to use. They boxed them up, put them on a bus and sent them on to Tupiza.

It was like Christmas opening three big boxes full of very useful items. Sister Farnsworth did such a good job packing everything. She wrapped a lot of things in the wonderful paper towels that I have only been able to find in Cochabamba. I untaped them very carefully and have used, washed, and re-used them many times. One thing that we inherited from another missionary couple, which has been the most valuable (I use it at least 3 times a day), is a tea kettle. I had no idea how much I would need and use a tea kettle. Thank you, Susan and whoever donated the tea kettle to us. There were also some spices.

We feel very healthy here, now that our colds are mostly over and we are used to the altitude. We eat pretty well, too. There isn’t the variety of produce that we had in Cochabamba, but what we do get is fresh and tasty.

We have really kind and helpful landlords (dueños).  We asked them one day where the best place to buy produce was. Nora got her purse and went with us. We went to the Mercado Campesino. It is about a half mile from where we go to church. It is quite large, similar to the feria in Cochabamba that we would go to every Saturday, but much bigger, with a food court in the center. After walking the whole place and showing us where the freshest produce was, she left us and we were on our own. We mostly just buy apples, oranges, mandarinas, bananas, limes, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (bell and locoto), green beans, carrots (haven’t seen celery), onions, nothing unusual. We also buy flour, salt, sugar, oats, rice, cereal (Quaker oats and honey – Cheerios). We also get eggs there. We have learned to check the date. We haven’t found any cilantro yet.

We have also gone to the Mercado La Paz to get things like bouillon, canned peaches, and yeast among other things. We heard that we can get fresh cilantro at this market on Wednesdays.
Mercado La Paz

Our friend at the Mercado – she seems to have just about
everything somewhere in her little booth.
The sister missionaries told us about a store where you could get real cheese and Peanut Butter. I thought we would have to do without these much-loved staples. They described the store like an Albertsons. We did finally find what they were talking about. You can tell they’ve been here a while - it is just like all the other little tiendas, but it does have these items. The lady at the store is even trying to order us some cheddar cheese. So nice. It is one of the PIL outlets, which is the brand of milk that we get. So we get milk, butter and yogurt there as well. (Note: The owner did get pre-sliced, PIL Cheddar cheese for us!)

In the Black Market (like La Cancha in Cochabamba, but smaller), where you can buy everything else – fans, bedding, fabric, refrigerator, stove, make up, etc.  –  we found powdered cocoa for cooking and some really good honey. We also found cane sugar while looking for something to approximate brown sugar to make cookies with. We were asking for “miel de caña” (honey of cane sugar), and the owner told us if you just boil the cane sugar in water, you get molasses. It worked!

Cane sugar and home-made molasses.

Chocolate Chip cookies!
So if you keep looking and asking, you can “pretty much” find what you’re looking for. Or just get creative and find another way to make it.

We buy our meat, chicken, at the rotisserie restaurant . We have several close by our house.  We eat part of it for dinner and I take the meat off the bones for later and make stock out of everything else. It lasts us all week and the stock is good too.

Our dueños have brought us over humintas, which are like tamales with corn and cheese inside of a type of corn bread and wrapped in corn husks and either fried or boiled. We like the fried the best. They also have a grinding stone on the balcony out our kitchen window. Whenever he is using it I watch and ask questions. He makes llajua, which is like salsa and quite tasty. He showed me how he puts the seeds from the locoto peppers in a little cup of water and tosses them over the balcony into his garden and that’s where his peppers come from.

We are having a wonderful adventure and learning a lot from these sweet, humble people.

1 comment:

  1. I can tell you are loving the mission and being adventurous as well. How fun that you are finding all that you need. Your cookies looked yummy and awesome. Keep posting...I love reading and seeing the pictures. Love, Sue Ellen