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COLOMBIA | Monday, 16 January 2006 | Views [1146]

The last week has gone thundering by and it is only a matter of days now until I board that jet that will take me back to Europe's icy shores. I'm spending a day in Miami with Hannah and Halland and despite this delightful interlude there is no holding back the clock. Colder climes beckon and I must answer the call.
We've planned the Barbeque for Sunday afternoon and evening so today was as good a time as any to get some shopping done. The supermarkets are the convenient option but if you take the trouble to get down to the market then the rewards in price and quality are significant. The choice of fruit and vegetables is bewilderingly wide and the prices generally low. I'm going to whip up some rice with mixed veg and some of the local potatoes as staples. I'll par boil the spuds with some mint and let them cool off, brush them with olive oil and seasoning and grill them off on the Barbeque. I might do a few parcels of young carrots in orange juice and sugar. Let's push the boat out a bit.  I'm going to need to do a lot of prepping for this occaision so I'm hoping that the ladies can break off the fertility rites with the Borojo they are holding in the kitchen of late and get some chopping, peeling and scraping done.  I've settled on some pork for the meat lovers, I spotted them butchering a few pigs at the end of the street this morning and that seemed a good opportunity to get it while it's fresh. Apparently Grandma won't even turn up unless there's meat on the menu. I'll get some baby back ribs and a couple of little haunches and cook them slowly with the lid on for a few hours before the event, hack em up and crisp them off with a little honey and make a pan of apple sauce with Aguardiente to sweeten things up a little.
I managed to get my crooked claws on a beautiful Sierra Dorada; that's either a Dorado, Mahi-Mahi or Dolphin fish to you, depending on which part of the world you are from. The kids are seen modelled it for me below. (They've never seen a fish this big and were a little nervous in approaching it.) It amazes me that the locals here rarely if ever eat them, they must be one of the nicest eating fishes on the planet. Barranquilla is only fifteen miles from the ocean but the bountiful supply of river fish is so great that I suppose they never have to look farther afield.  They do love the prawns and oysters but apart from champing down on the odd snapper they seem to lean toward the coarse fish. The local favourite, The Bocachico is delicious but has more bones than a box of Manx browns. Too much work for yours truly.
I can hardly believe that I got a Bull Dorado of this size for twelve dollars. Staggering. Unfortunately it's too big to fit even on my oversized grill and I've had to cut it into three to get it into the fridge. No sweat. I'm going to cook the three component parts in different ways, I'll stuff the middle piece with rough cut limes, grated fresh coconut and handfuls of fresh coriander, the tail I'll make good sweet and salty with some sort of homemade Terriyaki sauce and a stick of lemon grass up its jaksi. As for the head and shoulders I'm going to blush them with some of that homemade chilli and ginger paste of mine. I'll reassemble the whole creature on the table as a central display. Maybe I could put some trotters on it and create a Doctor Moreau theme. Who knows? Fancy dress perhaps, imaginary creatures. Mind you if I whip up some more of that Medellin Sangria they should be seeing more imaginary creatures than Frodo and Harry Potter put together. I shall and will leave my mark.
The shopping is behind me thank god, that leaves a comfy day or so to think about fine tuning. 
I bought the whole list of ingredients for about 30 dollars which seems a snip to me. Plenty of good animal protein and not a 'flu dusted feather in sight. I'll ask them to bring their own drinks. A refreshingly English twist. Shame I have neither Pimms nor meths. No matter.
I'll let you know how it goes. Chin chin.
End of housekeeping and cookery lesson.

Tags: Food & eating

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