Wednesday, November 26

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

Sometimes I feel like I live in a country that is 50 years behind the times. Especially when I get a newsletter from a friend back home and she is featuring her new V-Bot that is a little robot which vacuums. That is The Jetsons type stuff and a little gadget I could really use with four dogs. She bought it at Amazon for $70! I did bring my Rainbow vacuum cleaner with me and even though it needs me to push it around, I feel very grateful to have it here with me. If you've never owned a Rainbow, you don't know what I am talking about. I love my Rainbow (link-

I remember coming back from a visit to Costa Rica back in the year 2000 and looking in my over-packed garage (no room for a car with all the stuff) and thinking, how on earth could I be grateful for what I have since I haven't a clue what all I have stuffed in my house. I used to shop out of boredom. Just pull out the credit cards and go to town. Buying on a whim. Returning clothes that I would buy off the rack, try them on at home, didn't fit, take them back, buy more, try on, wouldn't fit, take them back, buy more. It was a vicious cycle. The shopping, the rotating credit card balances, the whole consumption thing. No More! I don't have one credit card balance and probably have lost all my "credit" by now. (good)

Eight years later, I can hardly recognize my shopping habits. I shop for clothes at the grocery store or anywhere I can get them (most clothes here are skin tight and made of Lycra). A couple of ladies (Angela and Sandy) made a few tops for me out of men's Hawaiian print shirts I picked up at the Ropas Americana in Parrita. For those of you that don't know, these are clothes that come in HUGE bags from the Goodwill in the States. $1.50 for a BEAUTIFUL shirt made in Hawaii (I bought them all). I have great plans to cut them up for beach bags, more tops, little skirts or whatever. I'm a crafter.

Back to the point of the post, I have never been so grateful for the things I have in my life. Here, it is all about survival. Those that don't know how to get by on "not much to nothing" don't last here. I have everything I have ever wanted. Well, all the important stuff (sin mate). I absolutely love my house and it's close proximity to the beach. I never thought I would ever live so near the beach. It's rough on appliances, electronics and computers with corrosion killing everything but It's Worth IT! The beach is my lifeline.

Costa Rica has a rich bounty of nature, fruits and vegetables. I have never eaten so wisely in my life. I actually cook great meals for myself, very healthy. I'm stockpiling recipes right now for local dishes and trying to identify the items I see at the market for sale. Like, I just learned how to prepare Chayote.

I could go on for pages about how much my life has improved living here where things are not as accessible and learning how to get by and improvise. I am so grateful I had the courage to move here when I did.
It has been the life for me.

Here's a recipe for those that want to make turkey dressing:
Southern Cornbread Stuffing:
Serves/Makes: 8 | Ready In: 30-60 minutes

1 baked pan (8 or 9 inch) of cornbread, cooled and broken into chunks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 green onions-white and green, chopped
2 red or green peppers, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped - chop some celery leaves
3 tablespoons butter
6 pieces toasted white bread, tear into pieces and/or seasoned croutons
1 teaspoon dried or fresh sage
4 boiled eggs, chopped
16 ounces of either canned chicken broth or homemade, to moisten OR
broth from boiling turkey parts and turkey drippings OR
chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in water, poultry seasoning to season
chopped turkey parts (or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the onions, peppers and celery in the broth until tender.
In a large bowl, crumble the cornbread and toast/croutons,
add the onion mixture and sage/poultry seasoning broth, a
little at a time, mixing until moist but not soupy.
Add the eggs and mix well. Turn into a baking dish and smooth top with a
spoon. Top with Paprika or pimentos for color.
Bake at 350 F until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

This can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator
until ready to bake.
Wanna make it Costarrican? Just add cilantro (culantro)
and cooked chayote squares. And maybe that "Achiote" red stuff that comes in a tub or ground (molida) in a bag. Instant Pura Vida.

The REAL TRICK here is the cornbread. I finally figured out how to make it here
using "their" cornmeal. Let me know if you want the recipe for that!
I was so tickled my sister called me for Mom's dressing recipe. It reminded me of when I lived in Hawaii (1980-82) and I called home for Momma to explain how to make Hush Puppies.
You can take the Southerner out of the South,
but you can never take the South out of a Southerner.
Actually, I'm more south here being 9 degrees from the Equator.

Photo: My frig - Thanksgiving in Costa Rica 2007


Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you again.
Happy Pura Vida Thanksgiving!

Tica Macha said...

So happy you are here to share it with! Viva la Vida.
(spoken - beba la beda)

Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy, Happy Thursday Teri! I was just telling a handsome single guy here in San Ramon yesterday about my single, virtual, beach friend yesterday! I'll send you a personal email w/ info.

Tica Macha said...

Wow, now that takes a good friend to do that. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving Teri!

nora said...

Dearest Teri,
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. I think about you all the time and meeting you was definitely a highlight of my time in Costa Rica.
Love to you from me and the boys,

Tica Macha said...

That's so sweet Nora,,, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. It was a pleasure meeting you, too. I hope you come back real soon. -t

Tica Macha said...

HEY, HEY, HEY Bloke! Good to see you paid me a visit! Happy turkey day to you too! -t

Costa Rica Baby! said...

I needed to read this today!!! There are just days I need to be reminded how great we have it here. :) This was one of those days.