Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Noticeably absent in this blog is a warning about a ubiquitous health threat rampant in Colombia. Most illnesses acquired in the Country, especially colds, headaches and upper respiratory infections as well as many other ailments, and even the worsening of certain arthritis symptoms, can and should be traced back to EL SERENO.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Learn more about FOCO on their website:
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
If you were to ask me what my favorite thing about Colombia would be, I would have to say the food. This may surprise some of the people that know me because at the same time that I loved the food, I was unprepared for the monotony of the meals. Although I did struggle a little, there are so many different dishes that I loved, and crave regularly.
I especially recall going to the market with my suegra. The open market was my most favorite experience. As a light haired American, I was instantly barraged with people offering their produce. The little children were sent to me from three rows over to insist that they have the freshest arvejas (in fact I was stalked by a little boy offering peas my entire time in the market, oh how he insisted. I caved. I couldn’t help it - he was so cute.).
My Mother-in-Law with a watchful eye distanced herself from me and continued shopping like she normally would. I could not resist some of the most enticing fruit I have ever seen in my life. Granadillas, platano, and maracuya were all piled up and waiting. I bought a few things for myself, and rejoined Maria. She had managed to haggle and dicker until she had a large sack full of mangos, vegetables, and squash. The total: about $12.
When spring hits North America, I always think about this. When all the fresh berries come on in April I buy! I can’t help it! It’s like the confines of winter are shaken off the moment I bite into the first Strawberry of the year. And my Husband asks for un Brazo de Reina. I think it’s called the Queens Arm because she was so fat.
Here is a recipe for you:
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners' sugar for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan and line it with parchment paper, then grease the paper lining. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg yolks for about 1 minute until they lighten to a light lemony color. While beating yolks, add sugar slowly and beat until mixture is light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add almond extract.
**You can add orange extract with 1 teaspoon of orange zest in place of the almond if you prefer.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and add dry ingredients to the batter.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; gently fold them into the batter. Pour batter into prepared jellyroll pan and spread to the edges.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn the cake over onto a towel that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar. Remove the pan and parchment paper. Roll the cake up into the towel and let cake cool for 10 – 20 minutes on a wire rack. If preparing the cake for the next day put the rack and towel-rolled cake into the refrigerator.
2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese.
1 Cup Un-whipped whipping cream
Sugar to taste
Fresh Berries -- for this recipe I used raspberries, blackberries (moras), and strawberries (fresas)
Cream the cream cheese slowly adding the un-whipped whipping cream to smooth. Add sugar until desired sweetness achieved.
**100% maple syrup can be used in place of sugar for a healthier option, though this adds a more North American touch to the Brazo de Reina.
Unroll cake; remove towel and spread the cream cheese filling on entire cake leaving an inch of space on the top. Sprinkle on unsweetened berries and roll up again. Top with whipped cream and extra berries.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Public Service Anouncement you can see on Colombian TV all the month of May.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
It consists of several chapters:
#1 -- Del Congo al Magdalena -- This chapter discusses slavery and the arrival of the black slaves in Colombia at the port of Cartagena.
#2 -- Los caminos de la libertad -- Talks about Benkos (Domingo) Bioho, who founded the first freed slave city in the Americas and also mentions important dates in Afrocolombian history.
#3 -- Pueblos negros de Colombia -- Talks about the different regions where the majority of Afrocolombians live -- San Andrés, Costa Atlántica, Costa Pacífica, and the Valle Del Cauca.
The book is now out of print, but you can read it online here:
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In preparation for this week of official celebration of Afrocolombian culture, I have read a few books. One of them I will highlight today. It is rather interesting and offers insight in to Colombian culture in general. Anyone reading this book will walk away with a greater understanding of what living in Colombia would be like. It is far more than a book dealing with race relations. You will learn about Paisa culture, mestizaje, Antioquia, the Atlantic Coast and Choco.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
When a new governor arrived in 1621, he wrote to Spain that Bioho had established a Palenque (a walled city) where no Spanish were allowed to go, and that it was well fortified and protected by Bioho's soldiers. Apparently, the governor had sent troops to the area, but Bioho's men disarmed them and sent them back with a message that they were not to return.
As a result of this offense, the Governor sent more armed troops, Bioho was captured and hanged on 6 March 1621. This sparked an insurgent war that would last until 1691 when Domingo Criollo, a palenquero, asked the King of Spain to intervene. The decision of the King allowed all Palenqueros born in the Palenque their freedom and the right to live in freedom on the lands where the Palenques were located.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
A US petroleum company has established a base in a small village in Colombia from which they can conduct geologic investigations. This small base, nicknamed New Texas, becomes a target for the Colombian guerrilla. Unfortunately, the only television in the area is also located in the village with the Colombian soldiers, and the guerrilleros don't want to destroy it because it is the only place where they can see Colombia's team play against Argentina. What to do? I really don't want to destroy the ending.
Again, I have not seen it, but I suspect at the very least -- some shooting. And perhaps some dicey scenes and language. However, it is supposed to be a comedy.
You can see the entire movie on Youtube -- start here.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Here is the synopsis:
On the Atlantic Coast of Colombia lives an 11 year old boy, Poncho Daza dreams of becoming a great vallenatero and winning the heart of the beautiful Sara María. Unfortuately, his family's economic problems keep him from achieving his dream -- at least at first. Eventually, he is able to become known as the legendary Angel of the Acordeón.
The official website for the movie:
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
"Vallenatologia, origenes y fundamentos de la musica Vallenata", (1973)
"Escalona, El hombre y el mito", (1998)
Tuesday, May 04, 2010