As every newcomer to this area that eats meat must learn, there is a learning curve. One that I am still navigating. The residents that have been here awhile do not mind laughing with me and telling me their own stories of how they where in my same situation at one time. For those that do not understand what I am talking about, I will attempt to relay some of these stories and give them the proper horror that they deserve.
Imagine you are hosting a bar-b-que and go down to Pricesmart (our version of Costco) and buy 200 hot-dogs. You have driven 1 hour there and 1 hour back, plus the time in the store to get the hot-dogs. You grill the hot-dogs and later realize that the casing on the hot-dogs were really plastic over each individual hot-dog, not an edible casing that is part of the actual hot-dog. You now have 200 burnt plastic covered meat looking things. No dinner to serve....
Or you buy what looks like a roast and put it in a crock-pot all day, 7 hours later you find out that your best knife will not even cut through it. The cows here are free roaming and have very little fat on them it turns out. The diet, type of cows, the cuts and everything else make the meat different than how I have learned to cook meat.
The packaging and labels are different at some of the local stores and we have bought packages that say "chicken" in Spanish of course and it looks like it could be chicken breasts or something similar. When we get home and un-package it, we turn the pieces over and it turns out we just purchased a package of chicken backs. I have no clue what to do with 6 chicken backs!
We are still learning and I begged my family to send me tons of seasonings for Christmas that are hard for me to find here to help me finish off all of the mistakes that we have already purchased. Crossing my fingers for Santa to come soon!!!!
In the meantime, I have not been shy about asking everyone where and what to buy next time. This week people were laughing at me while I was talking to the owner of the skating rink. I had heard she had good hot-dogs. I begged her to tell me where she buys them, what brand and if they were wrapped in plastic...haha. People were laughing and exchanging horror stories about what not-to-buy, so at least I have added a few items on my not-to-buy list as well as my to-buy list. Thankfully, my husband will attempt to eat a little of each of the meals that I make. I can tell though when he does not like it, but he is gracious enough not to say anything bad. However, he does really praise the meals that turn out descent to good. I think that is to remind me to do that again....like I don't try to do that each time. As if I don't have to eat the same meals as him or something.
Now, on to Thanksgiving! I am very thankful that my husband spent money on the imported ham at Pricesmart. We normally do not spend the money to buy meat from the States. It is just too expensive and with us just starting a business and having a ton of repairs around the farm, we just can't justify it. With all of that said, the minute that he opened that ham, it was like 2 starving kids. We were picking pieces off of it before it was on the plate. Not like the stolen pieces that I would steal during a normal Thanksgiving, this was more like like the desperate stealings from an addict that had not had a "fix" in months. Oh! It was so good! Thankfully, we could not eat it all and have saved some in the freezer for another time. Best Night Yet!!!!