Living on an island makes this expression come alive for me.
It’s sometimes a surreal experience to think of my life 4 months ago in Payson. Life is very different here, to say the least, but it’s incredible how little by little I have come to view things here as the new normal. For example, I had a brief visit back to the states in February, and I couldn’t get over the miracle of turning on the faucet and water coming on every. single. time. Even if someone is taking a shower, running the dishwasher, using the washing machine, and watering the lawn all at once, you’re still going to get water from your tap, and maybe even warm water!
Water is something I’ve come to appreciate so much more since living in Ecuador, and especially since moving to San Cristóbal. It’s funny to think how I used to get bent out of shape when my showers got a little cold because someone had turned on the washing machine before I was done, or how I use to gripe about the hard water residue left on my dishes after running the dishwasher. Ha, I don’t have any of those worries now, because there is never any hot water to begin with, and no dishwasher, either.
In Ancon (on the mainland of Ecuador) we experienced occasional water shortages during the day when only the garden hose had enough pressure to give us water. But this last weekend we had not a drop of running water for almost three days. That was rough, not being able to wash your hands, do dishes, or, ahem, flush the toilet. Yeah, pretty gross. But we bought some bottled water, collected some from a rain storm (but it was, of course, our driest weekend yet, so it wasn’t much) and just stunk, I mean stuck it out.
Do you know how grateful I was to have this coming out of my tap! (The one on the right is our dear Galapagos water, the left is bottled water.)
Anyways, this water-less weekend also happened to be Easter weekend (yes, I know I’m behind in posting). I did not feel like cooking since I hadn’t been able to shower or wash dishes. But it was Easter, so I had to make something. So an idea came to mind: Deep-fried. Cheese. Sugar.
I have done quite a bit of frying lately since it is a fairly convenient way to produce food fast here. (And fortunately, I average at least a mile and a half of walking here and there every day, so it’s not terribly terrible for me to eat fried food). So empanadas fit the bill for our Easter feast. Well, feast may be an overstatement, given that the Easter feasts here usually here usually involve a terribly complicated meal that revolves around a fish soup called fanesca. My husband has lovingly suggested that I hold off on trying to make it until I feel really confident. It’s my Mount Everest of cooking. So yes, these empanadas were more like an Easter snack.
But still good. I loosely followed this recipe, but found myself on a Sunday morning without butter or orange juice, so I just improvised. I Used oil instead of butter, but halved the quantity and added more water to make the dough the right consistency. And added a splash of lime juice. It still worked and really, when can you go wrong with dough-wrapped deep-fried cheese topped with a generous helping of crystalline sugar? Answer: Never. (Okay, I do acknowledge people with food allergies and dietary restrictions, but you get the point.)
Dad, if you’re reading this, these pictures are just for you. I’ll have to make you some when we visit for Christmas.
So, on the actual holiday front, we didn’t have baskets, or eggs in any form. No bunnies or fake grass, chicks or peeps (though, there will probably never be peeps at any Easter celebration I’m in charge of). We just talked about the Savior and the Resurrection, tried to make it meaningful for the girls, and yup, that was it. Simple and sweet. So overall a pretty good holiday, after all.