Cooking and eating through a new culture

Truth be told

Backyard zen

I’m off tomorrow for a quick jaunt back stateside.

I have a pile of goodies to pick up and many glasses of wine to share with friends and family, hopefully over plates of good food. Let me rephrase that: plates of different food.

I have been able to experience food here that defies immagiantion…at least for me: Rafa’s Mom cooked beef with papaya that to this day still makes me drool when I think about it, eating cheese empanadas on a volcano, with wine, watching the full moon rise through a thin veil of clouds, my first taste of guanabana ice cream.

The kitchen here is still in the planning phase. We have gone as far as drawing the cabinets on the bare walls. I have a lot of experience bringing a house back from the brink. Granted, mine was four times as big and not as habitable. In fact, I had to bribe the housing inspector to let me live it while renovations were being done, but this place certainly presents its own challenges and I am going to miss the chaos. Seriously, whatever this country can throw at me is nothing in comparison to the viciousness I left behind. It’s a bitter-sweet return, but as a wise and dear friend told me, “Happiness is the best revenge.”

Last night, Rafa and I talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was a six month review of how far we have come, where we are going, how much we need to do. There is a clarity to my life now like I have never experienced. I had swallowed the “American Dream” hook, line and sinker and it nearly killed me. People move to Costa Rica because it’s “paradise”, or for the “pura vida” life style. Well, it’s not. No place is. It is just as much as an illusion as the American Dream. Personally, I was looking for something more significant and it was no place I could find on a map. To do that I had to let go of everything. People were shocked. Many still are, but I approach love and cooking with the same wild abandon. Paradise can be found. It’s in those tender moments between two people, curled around each other, whispering whole soul truths.

My new herb garden and path

Rafa is staying behind to work mad hours and live off of granola and yogurt. He is perfectly self-sufficient, not to mention an amazing cook too, but while I am away, regardless of what I will leave in the fridge, he will function on the bare minimum. I cannot believe I am actually worried about not being able to make him lunch. Me! Ms.-Independant-femminist-cut-your-own-path-liberated-riot-grrrl!

Ha! Who am I kidding? I love being a kept woman.


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