Thursday, November 1, 2007
So you think you can bake...hum?!
Mike enjoying the "lemon (lime) squares"
What is one to do with an oven that either over-cooks, or under-cooks, where no one in the country understands what azúcar confitero (confectioners sugar) is. So...I wander into the local grocery store and look randomly around the store. Failing to find a box or bag with the name of azúcar confitero on it, I finally asked someone. I managed to ask for what I was looking for, but was given the most quizzical look. Hmm..I thought...clearly either my Spanish stinks, or they don't have it - it wouldn't be surprising if they didn't - they only started getting peanut butter 3 years ago, and that's only for the gringos - the tico's (Costa Rican's) don't eat it. So, I explained (all in Spanish...thank you very much) that I needed sugar for a dessert, but not to put INTO the dessert, but to sprinkle on top (do you see the use of all those prepositions?!...sigh...). Anyway, it looks like the idea was successful, and I was shown to the area where it was, and I looked at the box, and didn't see azúcar confitero, but azúcar molido (no...that doesn't mean powdered or confectioner, but it means ground or crushed). Somehow that didn't fit the description in my mind, but I took it home, hoping for the best. The other item I needed at the store (not for my current recipe) was baking soda. I looked....and looked...going to several stores...and STILL didn't find any. Yes, I know you can use baking powder and add cream of tartar - but then I would have to find THAT! Anyway - finally managed to ask someone for it, but was (again) given that quizzical look (why am I getting accustomed to seeing that...it must be me...) anyway - I found myself led to a pharmacy. A pharmacy, you may ask, why a pharmacy?! Yes, those who know, baking soda is used as sodium bicarbonate - an antacid - so why not sell it in the pharmacy?! Anyway - I went home with my two prizes, and attempted to make...lemon squares! Of course the other thing you should know is Costa Rica doesn't eat lemons. When I asked for a yellow lemon at the store, I got nothing but stares. Come to find out (after...yes...many more searches) that they only use limes - look up lemon and lime in a Spanish dictionary and you will see the word is one and the same. Anyway - so I was up to the challenge - and...yes - they came out GREAT!!!! Lime squares for one and all. We are learning fruits and vegetables in one of our classes. We had to bring in "typical" dishes from the U.S. and I used this recipe - had to write it in Spanish. Did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. So, I'll be bringing them into class tomorrow for all to share.