Panama – Days Nine and Ten

Friday we decided to take a drive up to the volcano area. It was beautiful most of the day, just a little rain. That’s pretty normal here for this time of year. The day before there was no rain, and that was the first day that has happened. On the way up to the volcano, we stopped at a dairy and had some local food, empanadas. Once again, nothing to talk about. However, I bought some jalapeño cheese they had made, and I promise you, you haven’t had anything like it. It’s like they rolled the cheese out thinly, then rolled chopped jalapeño into it, rolled it up, and sliced it into hunks to sell. The dairy was one of many stores we stopped on the way up, and I finally found some local Indian fabric pictures to buy.

The entire region near the volcano is like the “bread basket” of Panama. From there, they ship produce all over the country. In addition, there was a fruit and vegetable stand at least every couple hundred yards. We needed nothing because I’ve already bought more than we can eat, before we leave (big surprise). So we only ended up with a huge bunch of fresh lychee!

I had already made a stew to eat when we got back today, because I knew it would be late. I started with the same formula, sauteeing some onions and garlic, only this time with grass fed hamburger. After the meat was slightly brown, I added all local fresh corn, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and then some seasonings. The magic touch was a 12 oz Panama beer, then covered it and cooked until everything was tender. Before dinner, we went down to have a drink with the people from the hotel. There was a new couple, here on they’re eighth trip, and they’re planning on moving here. We’re going to spend some time with them the next couple days. Apparently they already know quite a few people in this area.

Saturday we went to lunch with the folks that are planning on retiring here, and the person who will arrange moving their goods. The person arranging their goods coming into to the country, moved here three years ago from Austin. I know, small world. We went to see the lot where they will be building, and it’s a gorgeous area up the side of the mountain.

It’s rained most of the day today, and now it’s just nice to be inside relaxing, but not without cooking! I used the rest of the lean hamburger meat to make burgers. I mixed the meat with extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic, the rice I cooked earlier, and some seasoning. Then I fried them slowly in extra virgin olive oil. We had a couple of buns from the local bakery and tomatoes to dress them. I just wish you were here to try them, they were pretty tasty.