The Grand Opening of the Pollo Grill

The Pollo Grill

“Una fuego,” Marina shouted over the fence this evening. (A fire) “Yes,” I shouted back.  “Finally.” I’ve begged for a barbecue for over a year. Guillermo was supposed to build me a barbecue, but he never did. So, when Wilmer came out to the house two weeks ago looking for work, I hired him on the spot to build me a barbeque.

We tore apart my brick living room set. I know everyone was happy about that. Last year, I made a darling little brick couch, chair, and coffee table with the leftover bricks from the construction of our houses. I’ve never heard the end of the kidding, but I enjoyed my little outdoor living room. It held up well under the deluge of rain. We found lots of scorpions hiding in the cracks. I wondered what they would taste like barbecued.

Wilmer worked steadily for three days, then he went on a drinking binge last weekend. Always optimistic, I waited four more days for him to return to finish the job…and sure enough, he did. I think he needed money for his next binge. Regardless, the barbecue was finished.

This morning, a chicken laid an egg under my barbecue table, which led Ron to build three nesting boxes for the hens under the table. Congrejo, Marina’s dog, sneaked into the nest on the ground and gulped down the old egg decoy Ron placed in the nest so the hens would know where to lay their eggs. Next time we fire up the grill, hopefully we’ll have fresh eggs to fry. I love a dual purpose barbecue!

Ron built a metal grill out of old purlin, and we were ready to fire up the new pollo grill. To christen our new barbecue, we bought a big hunk of Filet Mignon at the new Maxi Pali in Rivas when we returned from the beach on Wednesday. Fortunately, my friend Billy caught the thief who stole my Filet Mignon on the launcha. He set the bag of meat on the floor of the launcha, turned around to find a seat, and the bag was gone! A little old lady had taken my bag of meat! She was hiding in the corner of the launcha and surrendered the meat peacefully, if not somewhat sheepishly.

The Filet of Mignon was grilled to perfection. We celebrated the christening of the new pollo grill with a fine feast. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll have a grilled omelet if the hens decide to pay forward Ron’s kindness for building them a secure nesting spot!

Sweet Potato Pie..It’s a Southern Thang

Sweet Potato Pie!

I’ve been in the wine and baking mode recently. In January, one of my friends smuggled a sweet potato into Nicaragua in her luggage. We cut the sweet potato into several pieces and laid them in a shallow pan of water. In a few weeks, we had sweet potato slips, ready for planting.

Ron planted the slips in April, at the end of the dry season. When we returned to Ometepe in August, Ron harvested the sweet potatoes. After Ron dug them up, he had a 5 gallon bucket full of delicious sweet potatoes. We heard that the best time to plant is at the end of the rainy season because the sweet potatoes will rot in the ground during the heavy rains.

Sweet potatoes are not native to Nicaragua. Not one of our neighbors had ever seen sweet potatoes before. We shared baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato chips, and now sweet potato pie with most of the neighborhood. My neighbors are thrilled with our new garden addition. In exchange, they share their wine recipes with me. Next, we need to help them start a garden with sweet potatoes. They are easy to grow and need very little care. I just hope I have another batch of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.