Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Some Food Talk and Other Things Culebra

I've written a few times about the cashew trees on Culebra, but I can't help it. Every year when the cashew tree on the way to here or there gets passed, almost ridiculous in its abundance, I get caught up once more in the weird wonder of them. 

The other day I ran into Juanito and a friend of his who used to live here. They were standing by the cashew tree, gathering a few of the ripe fruit. 'What do you do with them?' I asked. He told me his mother used to roast the cashews and then cook the 'apples' into pies. Wow! Really?

Once home I went on a cashew recipe search. There were many and the ones I chose to dig into were very, very different in their approach to using both the fruit and the nut. One sounded almost scared of the whole thing and I wondered why they even bothered. But bother they did and while there were warnings galore, it was still full of fascinating information

Another (on Snapguide, a food porn site if I ever saw one) I read had a completely different approach, the fun approach. The couple were on holiday in El Salvador and had the opportunity to roast the nuts and blend the apple for a drink (often mixed with rum, but not in this story). Lots of photos and great instructions, if you are willing to have some adventure with your cooking. 

photo credit:  by Rafael UllorkMedia 
The BBC food page yielded scant information on the cashew, but what I liked most about it is discovering they have a whole lot of information and recipes on exotic fruits. Wondering what to do with the breadfruit, tamarind or dragon fruit that comes your way? There are some good jumping off recipes to be found here. 

The last food bit is something that has been coming on for awhile. First I saw bamboo cutlery and dishes. Now there is edible cutlery, created by a very low key guy in India, Narayana Peesapaty

He has a Kickstarter page here, where he asked for $20,000. With five days to go, he has raised $233,816. Obviously, there are plenty of people in the world who really want to get away from plastic! And that's an excellent thing. His website is here.

and they come in different flavors, sweet and savory both!! 
Yes. I'm excited about it. When I meet, via face to face or reading, people who see a problem in the world who believe they can make a difference in solving it, that's damned impressive. There are plenty of problems in the world and sometimes it can be overwhelming, just the problems in our own backyards. I guess the idea is to pick one of them and try your best to plow through it. Maybe I won't invent the edible spoon or an excellent solar oven or something that will get rid of the plastic islands in the ocean, but I can still pick one to support. Or more than one; cheerleaders can do that!

In the meantime, back on the streets of Culebra, here's some small sights I won't see nearly as much of once I leave this neighborhood.

This egg is about the size of a robin's egg. I'm not sure what was born here
but I wish it a long life.
Ever wonder what to do with those wine corks?

Decorate your electric post with them!

I was told the Spanish name for this fruit and it is on the tip of my brain.
Stranded there like a novice swimmer teetering on the edge of the ocean.
Information always welcome.
Dinner time 
We're all on the journey, on this ship of life. And while it seems I'm losing way too many friends along the way, after the initial shock and sorrow of loss, I come back to one true thing. These people knew how to live! A lot of laughter in the ups and downs, or at least a slightly skewed smile, they didn't stop the movement of the big dance and neither will I. Sometimes under my own propulsion and sometimes to honor those who aren't on this plane anymore. So keep your oar in the water and paddle like you mean it (or if you can't paddle, like me, find some other way; there is almost always another way!). There is something gorgeous just around the corner. Really. 

Have a tactical Tuesday. Do something tippytoe titillating. 


  1. -I guess the idea is to pick one of them and try your best to plow through it

    That has always been my approach so I am not too thinned out and overwhelmed. What a great idea this guy has. And your photography and narrative are as usual--engaging, delightful, educational. Living life out loud.

    1. Thanks for being my cheerleader, Miss Pollyanna, for lo these couple of decades. You matter in my little world!

  2. Wonderful seeing and meeting you at Susie's at last. It was a great ending ending to an awesome meal, not to mention a great anecdote to the trip.

    1. That was so much of a fun surprise! I send thse little missives out like bread on the water and when a meeting with someone lke you happens because of those tossings it's just a purely magical thing for me. Thank you for coming up and talking a little story!