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Panaderia Canadiense

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    Ambato, Ecuador

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  1. Happily, my senses of taste and smell returned, more or less intact, around mid April. I would never have paid that much for a steak I didn’t think I’d be able to taste!
  2. A seat-of-the-pants, holy-crap-it’s-already-8?!? what’s-in-the-fridge meal. I give you... i can’t believe it’s not chicken carbonara! Made with chicken, maple smoked bacon, coffee cream, mushrooms, Vidalia onions sweated in cultured butter, and aaaalll the wrong spices. It definitely was not carbonara, but it was glorious.
  3. Derp. Yes, pink Himalayan salt, which I keep in the cupboard for finishing, is what I used. Not nitrates. I’d completely forgotten the common name for curing salts!
  4. It was all I had in the house that wasn’t fast-flowing iodized all-purpose? 😆 I realised way too late to get to an open grocery that I was out of the coarse sea salt I usually reach for. Although the pink did bring out the natural beauty of the meat a bit better than the usual sea salt, so I consider it a win.
  5. I had some truly obscene steaks gifted to me.... 2-week aged strip loins from the Boucherie Chantecler (yo, Toronto peeps... that place is your *whole paycheque* but it’s so worth it) I rubbed them with fresh cracked pepper and pink salt, then gave them about 2 minutes a side in a screaming hot cast iron. The final dish had mixed wild mushrooms and portobello fried in the beef fat with a bit of butter, Spanish onions, and a red wine finish. On the side were oven-fried potatoes done in a mix of bacon drippings and olive oil, and a spring green salad.
  6. I didn’t realize how much I missed this place!!! Please accept my completely obscene miso soup from yesterday’s dinner.
  7. It does look like we're going to be calm right up until DÍa de los Difuntos - the largest workers' union has a national strike called for 30 October. However, on the upside, it won't interfere with the 5th annual International Festival and Competition of Guaguas de Pan, which I'm part of again this year. Last year (my first entry) I placed Bronze in a field of 50 bakeries, and I'm hoping that I can hit Silver or Gold this year. Ummm... It's complicated. The truce is shaky to begin with, and there's no way that the government is going to be able to address hundreds of y
  8. That's a bit misleading, actually - what's happened is that the Government has agreed to strike Decree 883, which contained not only the gas subsidies that the North American media fixated on, but also the other austerity conditions including cuts to temporary contract workers' salaries (these people are overwhelmingly indigenous), the opening of native lands to mining and gas concession, and a host of other measures that disproportionally hit the most impoverished sectors of the country. The striking of Decree 883 is only the opening of peace talks: it was the basic condition dema
  9. This thread really makes me appreciate how blessed I am - my first thought, until I noted your locations, was "why don't you just go down to the farms and buy your green beans direct? Time it right and you can get whole cherries." Eugene, I have no idea how or if they're sold in North America, but I'd like to put in a good word for Ecuador's Highland arabicas from Cariamanga, Gonzanamá, Intag, and Vilcabamba. These sectors routinely win gold in both national and international competitions.
  10. Historically, this kind of thing ends in one of two ways: dialogue or deposement. Dogs are immensely popular, cats less so. I have two cats and a dog, and I stocked up on food for them before I ever thought about how the shortages might affect me.
  11. I kept intending to get a countertop element, but the shops all closed before I managed to. I do have a Crockpot and a rice cooker, and I have a half-barrel charcoal grill and about 50lbs of charcoal layed in; this grill also works with wood. Job loss is something that is starting to loom - small employers are going bankrupt trying to pay their employees, and small businesses are mostly shuttered. A 3pm curfew with full military presence has just been ordered in Quito.
  12. It's day 10 of the protests; formal covered markets and plazas in Ambato have been closed for about five days now. Informal markets are starting to spring up in local parks - this one, which is about four blocks from my house, is selling rice, pasta, grains, button chorizo sausage (an Ambato specialty), eggs, and, for the first time in a week in the city, fresh milk. The milk sellers told me that they paid the protestors at the roadblocks in milk to be allowed into the city, but will gladly do it daily to avoid wasting their product and losing money. The milk line had close to 15
  13. Dinner tonight was a simple stovetop spaghetti - cooking isn't a challenge only because of ingredient restrictions: there's no LPG left in the city, so the tank I have has to last as long as possible. This means that I'm cooking meals that use the smallest possible amount of gas - as a consequence I'm trying to avoid my oven as much as possible.
  14. Hipermarket wasn't much better. The interesting thing about this, is that my local corner stores are actually in a better position than the big corporate shops. They've got small, independent supply lines, and keep a greater variety of fresh produce on the shelves.
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