Monday, June 15, 2020

6-15-2020 Surprise! More Cooking and an Update on Belize

My (Cara's) first attempt at gluten free English muffins. They turned out dark because I only had regular buckwheat flour,
not "light" buckwheat flour like the recipe indicated. I also didn't have the circular rings to give them the proper round shape,
but I don't much care about that.

As you can see, though, the texture was just right. They also taste delicious with a little butter, so I will make these again.

It's mango season here, so I bought a couple of golden mangoes from a friend's family farm. I put a measuring tape there so
you can see the size - at about 8 inches long, these mangoes are huge! I cut up the first one and got over a pound of fruit!
Yummy - perfect for eating fresh or in smoothies! Now that it's hot, we've been consuming a lot more fresh fruit smoothies.

At the store the other day I got a super deal on a big bag of fresh basil, so I decided to try my hand at making some basil
pesto (my favorite kind of pasta sauce). I don't have a food processor, so I used my blender, which worked fine. And, I didn't
have pine nuts (expensive here), so I used the hemp seed hearts I had got at a great discount a while ago. Simply divine! It
made a lot, enough to refill three jars that previously held store bought pesto (that I had rinsed and kept since I hate to throw
away anything that can be reused).

Homemade pizza using made-from-scratch gluten-free pizza dough, topped with my homemade basil pesto, some tomato
sauce, Italian herbs, red onion, yellow peppers, zucchini, and mozzarella. So satisfying! And made in the toaster oven so as
not to heat up the house with the big oven.

As of very recently, we now have three new cases of Covid-19. One is a Belizean man returning from the US
(repatriation of Belizean citizens is allowed) who came via cruise ship. One is a female who crossed the border from
Guatemala illegally (with an older woman and a child). The third is a Belizean man returning on a repatriation flight
from Houston, Texas in the US. All three people were asymptomatic and are in quarantine. The government is also
conducting contacting tracing.

Despite these three new cases, the government feels things are safe enough here to relax restrictions even more.  The curfew was extended until 10pm during the week, and midnight on Friday and Saturday - woohoo!  We can also have private parties, social gatherings, weddings, funerals, etc. of up to 100 people.  Contact sports (though not competitions) are allowed - yay, jujitsu class is back on!  Basically, almost everything can be open except bars/nightclubs/rum shops and childcare facilities.  The State of Emergency is set to expire at the end of the month, so in July things should return to the way they were before the coronavirus.  However, it will likely be a while before the borders and airport open, so things will still not be back to normal since there will be no tourists to support the badly hurting economy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

6-2-2020 Overnight Getaway, Even More Cooking, and Belize Update

Another couple that are friends of ours have beach cabanas not too far away from us. We wanted to hang out with them past
8pm (curfew) so we booked a stay at their small cabana so we could legally do just that. We had a super fun evening and
really enjoyed our mini vacation in our village.

Veggie coconut curry soup - I totally winged this one and it turned out well.

Vegan "sausages" on homemade gluten free naan bread with cheese and sauerkraut (canned, unfortunately, but still not bad).

Second attempt at quinoa burgers. These look more like they're supposed to, and they're really good. The recipe make a
dozen, so I freeze most of them (thankfully, they reheat well and taste just as good).

Asian peanut noodle stirfry with rice noodles, bamboo shoots, baby corns, water chestnuts, carrots, zucchini, red peppers,
peanuts and homemade peanut sauce. We both really love this dish.

Our friends' cat, Boots, just hanging out in the boat. The cat looks kind of mean, right? Well, he is. Trust us, don't pet the cat!

The most recent one of these updates available - Belize is still Covid-19 free!!!  Because of that Belize has opened up even
more. We still have an 8pm to 5am curfew, but that was extended to start at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, we can
now exercise whenever we want, not just in the mornings. We can have social gatherings up to 40 people (with social
distancing, of course) and play non-contact sports. Basically all businesses can open (except bars/nightclubs) if they want to.
Many have, but some decide to remain closed. Most resorts/cabanas/guest houses/tour operators are offering deep discounts
to get in some local tourism. We definitely plan to take advantage of this while it's still quiet in Belize (before the borders or
international airport open up - no idea when that will happen).