21 November 2006

La Gran Ironía

I like to cook. I enjoy the creative process of sautéing and inventing, eating leftovers, serving meals for friends, and feeding myself well. After almost three months with only a microwave and fridge, I’ve been missing more and more my kitchen in Bloomington.

Luckily, Billie is here. This is lucky for two reasons:
1. She’s a cook, too, so we’ve been commiserating and expanding our repertoire of meals.
2. She’s an explorer and has been peeking into all areas of Colombian life over the past few weeks.

In her explorations, Billie found an electric hotplate for sale at the department store around the corner, hidden far away from the normal kitchenware section where I’ve searched before. After fantasizing for a full day about boiling water (!) and grilled cheese sandwiches (!!), we took action, and within 24 hours the U.S. coordinators of the accompaniment program had generously agreed to subsidize an upgrade of the accompanier kitchen.

Last week, with great enthusiasm, we embarked on a shopping spree (with the help of Shannan), all the while fantasizing about the inaugural meal. We brought home the hotplate, a few pots and pans, dish towels, a cutlery set, some plastic containers, and enough fresh vegetables to stuff ourselves for a day or two.

What we didn’t plan was for the electricity to blow out the minute we stepped back onto campus. Or for it to stay out all night. Instead of preparing the fantasy meal, we wound up eating potato chips, bananas, and ice cream on the balcony with some friends. While a far cry from the pasta with homemade sauce we had planned, the evening did fulfill one of the goals we had for the new kitchen – it gave us an opportunity to offer hospitality and sustenance to our Colombian friends, to return their generosity toward us.

We traveled all weekend (and ate more comida típica than I ever want to see again) but tonight, we feast!



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