That’s how we call each other down to eat in my Chilean family. And this is a post about FOOD.
Why now? Because I leave tomorrow and yesterday I completed a year since I first moved in with my Chilean family and I’m probably going to write a post about all of that when I’m on my combined 11 hours worth of flights. (Everyone is aware that I find flying very uncomfortable, right?)
Last year I feel like I ate a lot differently. There was a lot of salad in my house. I brought lunch along a few times a week, and that usually involved a salad of some kind, maybe a sandwich or a wrap if we were low on salad goods. And then we’d eat a lot of salad for dinner. This time around, the weather has been COLD. Much colder than last year. Probably because last year I arrived as winter was slowly on its way out, and this time I got here right when it really kicked in.
This time around, my office has provided me lunch five days a week. There are two options at work- the normal plate, which is a big portion of the entrée (inevitably some kind of starch plus a protein) (and by big, I mean huge), soup, a small salad (often just cabbage, just tomatoes, or just lettuce with half of a tomato), bread, and a little dessert. After the first week, in which I consumed large portions of beans, pasta, and potatoes, I switched over to the “vegetarian” (spoiler alert: not really vegetarian) or “diet” plate. Which is a normal portion of a starch with a protein, soup, a big salad, bread, and dessert.
The cold that we experienced every day in the office usually meant inhaling the entree and downing the soup as soon as it wasn’t scalding, just to warm ourselves up. Typical entrées were: rice and chicken, chicken and potatoes, tortilla (like Spanish tortilla, a veggie-based, crustless quiche) with rice, quiche with rice or potatoes, and two times, palta a la reina, which is avocado filled up with stuff (in our case, quesillo)…with a side of potatoes.
I ate my salad at lunch and then rarely at salad at home at night. Guys, when it’s cold, I have no desire to put more cold things into my body. So I would compensate with solid portions of pasta, meat and rice, or carbonada, which is a typical Chilean stew filled with potatoes AND rice, some kind of meat, corn, squash, peas, and whatever else the cook likes.
In summary: I ate rice or potatoes at least once a day every day. I have not gone running since I left campus in May. And I miss it.
I spent a lot of time wandering around the supermarket this time as well. Our office was just down the street from one, and most days after lunch we would walk over there to get some air and usually pick up chocolate and other snacks for the afternoon. Here are some of the more interesting things I saw:
Oh, and speaking of Christmas…
That’s all I’ve got for now, friends! My next post will probably be published once I’m stateside again.
Chile, you know I love you. See you again…in October, maybe?
USA: it had better be dang warm and sunny when I get home. If it turns out to be one of those cool, damp summers, I will not be happy.
And Border Patrol: I have fifty minutes to get off my plane and get through customs before I start boarding my next flight. Help me out.