Trip and Climb

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The finale to Mother’s Day dinner: lemon swirled chocolate mousse in sour-orange halves.

It has taken some time, but I’m back! The post-vacation vacation is officially over, and it’s back the the grindstone for me. The garden mostly survived my absence, leaving me with lots of arugula and nothing to go with it…the hens are still happily laying, and there still hasn’t been any rain to speak of. I have seeds piling up for planting, but am waiting for rain to minimize watering and wastage. The peppers, tomatillos, and zuchinni are bravely soldiering through the drought – with a good bit of assistance – and are flowering but not yet bearing.

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Loaves of preorderd Nidulari Artisan Bread packed for their trip East for pickup in C’sted and at Cruzan Gardens.

The “big” piece of progress on the Nid this week was a “real” ladder to the loft, a simple wood ladder crafted from 2×4’s with 2×6 steps. A pretty basic carpentry project, made ever-so-easy with a router to cut the joints. Having the rungs set into the uprights removes all stress from the fastenings, creating a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing piece. Beats the aluminium step-ladder of the past year, at any rate!

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Routing out grooves for the steps.
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Stable, comfortable, and relatively space efficient.

The culinary quest of the week was Mofongo, a ridiculously tasty dish commonly found in Puerto Rico; fried (or boiled) plantains mashed with olive oil and raw garlic, filled or topped with roast pork, steak, or baccalou (codfish). Heavy, filling, and delicious. In my first attempt, I definitely over-cooked the plantains, leaving them crisp, dry, and less-than-mashable, so while the flavours were good, there was much to be desired in the textural plain. Great excuse for further experimentation! I do not take photos of the less-than-perfect.

So, Puerto Rico. I was obviously inspired by the food (that’s most of the point of traveling), but also spent a great deal of time completely lost, driving winding mountain roads seemingly to nowhere, and coming upon startlingly gorgeous views with usually no pull-offs. My days spent wandering the streets of Old San Juan were pleasant, though I quickly discovered that once you’ve walked around the entire (tiny) “city” there’s little to do but eat and drink. Come to think of it, I’ve found the same thing in the cities that I’ve lived in…

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Ferns on El Yunque.
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Bromeliads growing on palms in the rainforest.
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The fortifications surrounding Old San Juan.
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Ancient Petroglyphs in the Taino caves on the North shore of Puerto Rico.
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One of the Seven Arches – standing above the Taino Caves.

988537_1097129496968887_1372036252543675809_n 10923222_1097129710302199_1586442937821741723_n 11209627_1097129416968895_8809827399623839659_n 11243472_1097129723635531_6824839906553990508_n Back to St Croix…life goes on, and so does the baking! This week the special will be our signature Artisan Foccaccia with rosemary and sea salt for $10. There should also be something banana on the menu if you drop by our roadside stand on Wednesday, 2:30-6:30pm.

Thanks for reading – don’t forget to “follow” Nidulari here or or Facebook, and leave a comment or question below!

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3 thoughts on “Trip and Climb

Add yours

  1. Love the ladder and once again you ingenious way of making a useful safe ladder.

    Sounds like you enjoyed the trip at least you got away and could relax.

    Yes, we need rain feeling so bad for the farmers it is a real challenge.

    We would love a focchia bread this week and a oatmeal sour dough as well. Also if you have any Baccoba bananas I would love to buy some. I need ripe and some Unripe if you have them.

    Thanks , Merryn and you can email or text me. I will get them Wed. At Cruzan Gardens this week and check out your other stuff there if that’s okay. Just let me know.

    Thanks glad you are back. Xoxo

    Sent from my iPhone Please excuse any errors

    >

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