I will just say it straight away: I like the food here. In fact, I like it quite a lot. I have not eaten anything truly disgusting yet and cannot think of a single meal or food I did not enjoy at least a bit.
Breakfast: Gone are the days of peanut butter and jelly on the ubiquitous round rolls; now I eat jelly or nutella on the ubiquitous round rolls! Ha! We were running out of peanut butter and in my desperation to find an alternative to just margarine or jelly, I purchased some nutella. The next day I found two stores that sold peanut butter. Arg. Nevertheless, nutella makes the somewhat monotonous breakfasts very tolerable. I love nutella. But I love peanut butter more. In addition to my two bread rounds, I imbibe some hot beverage every morning; usually it is the oatmeal drink I described previously, but on occasion it is tea. Once this week I had hot chocolate!
Lunch, the main meal of the day (I suppose I should call it dinner, but as I never have called lunch “dinner,” no matter how large, I have no intention of doing so now), is predictably, wonderfully delicious. And I have not eaten a repeat meal yet. A sampling of some lunch menus:
– Boiled maize (corn with huge kernels) with a chunk of cheese, pumpkin soup, and pasta with alfredo sauce and pieces of hot dog.
– Three mini quesadilla rolls, spinach soup with a hint of mint, and rice with potatoes, lima beans, and carrots in an orange-colored sauce of milk, eggs, and other unknown ingredients.
– Anchovy, tomato, and onion salad, two boiled potatoes, and spaghetti with a sauce of spices and beef bits and peas.
– Noodle soup with carrots, chicken, and potatoes, followed by pan fried potato halves and similarly cooked chicken with onion, tomato, and parsley salad on the side.
– Quinoa soup with beef, carrots, and potatoes with avocado on the side, followed by a potato and half a boiled egg cradled in a lettuce leaf and covered in a slightly spicy peanut sauce.
– Boiled corn kernels and cheese, a creamy oat or corn meal soup with carrots and mini French fries for garnish, and ají de gallina, shredded chicken and potato chunks in a creamy, yellow sauce.
Supper really depends on the day. As of late, I have been doing various things in the late afternoons and evenings with a consistent group of people. Sometimes we play soccer versus some Peruvians. Regardless of what we do beforehand, we usually end up eating out somewhere in the city, frequently at a chifa place, and playing the card game Capitalist. Sometimes I will tell Adela I am going to eat “en un restaurante con mis amigos,” so she will not leave me some leftover lunch to eat for supper. Other times I will sit, talk, and play cards with everyone but wait to eat the food Adela left me when I return home. Occasionally, if I do not feel like eating chifa, I will buy myself a pastry of some sort on the way home and eat that. It really does depend upon the day.
Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of most of the food I have eaten, mainly because I almost always eat breakfast and lunch with Adela and do not take pictures of her food around her. That would be rather odd, I think. ‘Hey, Adela, don’t mind me, I’m just taking close-up pictures of absolutely everything you make. Just keep eating your food there. I’ll just be a moment.’ Ya. No. Therefore, the pictures that I do have are of foods I have purchased or of the few times I have eaten in the house without Adela.