a cooking slump

I'm in the midst of a terrible cooking slump.  I haven't done any really good cooking or baking since I lived in Seattle.  I drove away from Seattle on September 21st, but I didn't really cook anything during my last two weeks there because I was packing up my kitchen and not buying new food.  So I haven't cooked for over a month!  A month!!  I really want to chop an onion and saute some garlic and buy food and decide what to make for dinner. So what have I been eating?  Good question...  I've been trying a lot of new foods recently since I've been living in a new country for the last month.  The Dominican Republic has some really great foods...and some that are, well...pretty bad. I'll start with the good...

Good: fresh fruit (bananas, plantains, passion fruit, grapefruit, oranges, guavas, etc), fresh fruit juice (my favorite is jugo de chinola or passion fruit juice.  I never knew juice could be so good.  Any day that involves jugo de chinola is a good day. Today was one of those days. Mmmm.  I love love love chinola), avocados with every meal, yucca (mashed, boiled, fried), coffee (even though Dominicans put too much sugar in)

Bad: first of all, everything is fried.  Fried food is good, but fried food for dinner every night?  Definitely overkill.  Last night I had fried salami and plantains for dinner.  Fried salami is not good.  And it's too salty...but I eat it anyway because I'm hungry. My least favorite meal is breakfast, which usually involves bread (not good bread) with bad cheese and mayo. (I went through 2 boxes of Cliff Bars in my first two weeks.)

I've been living with a host family for the month of October, so I've had little choice in meals for breakfast and dinner.  Lunch is the biggest meal here and usually involves rice, beans, avocado, and some type of meat. I like the lunches--they're a little repetitive, but tasty and filling.

The good news is that there is an end in sight to my cooking slump.  Next week is my last week with the host family (hooray!!) and then I'll move to Santo Domingo, where I'll get an apartment with a kitchen where I can cook again!!  I'm excited to cook with some of the new ingredients here.  I am really really excited to make some guacamole with the amazing avocados.  I'm going to need to be creative as I won't have access to any of my kitchen gadgets or to many of the ingredients I'm used to working with.  None of that matters, though.  I just want to cook again!  So stay tuned because I'll be cooking Dominican style for the next few months.  Just don't hold your breath to see a recipe for fried salami up here any time soon.