Monday, March 31, 2008

Blender blunders and breakthroughs

One of the fun things about living in a foreign country, especially in the tropics, is experimenting with the new foods, especially tropical fruits. One of my friends strongly recommended that I bring a blender with me to Venezuela. I’ve never owned a blender before and had no idea what I would even do with it, but he was insistent that I bring one, so I did. Venezuelans make fresh juice from the local tropical fruits here almost daily. I have had fun trying to make juice in my new blender, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

One of my favorite tropical fruits is pineapple. Pineapples here are much sweeter than we get in Ohio (imported). I love pineapple juice, which I have had here before several times. I thought, how hard can this be to make pineapple juice? I was told that you just cut up the pineapple into small pieces, add water and a little sugar, and blend. When I tried this, all I got was lumpy, mashed up pineapple with a little juice. When I tried adding more water, it then looked a little more like juice (but very thick) and tasted very watery. This was proving more difficult than I thought. Ok, so no success with the pineapple. What about other fruits.

The next one was guava. Directions: peel the guava, cut it up, put it in the blender with water and sugar, and blend. Same directions as the pineapple. So, I tried it again. This time, I got something that more closely resembled juice, although still a bit thick. It actually tasted somewhat close to the guava juice I have had here, so I was semi-pleased. Mediocre success.

The next one was watermelon. Now, how hard can this be… it’s almost all water anyway! I don’t know if you have ever had watermelon juice. I had never had it until I came here, but I really liked it, so I thought, why not try it. Directions: Peel the watermelon (remove the rind), cut up, add a little water and sugar, and blend (yes, this is getting repetitive). Ok, I tried this one, and guess what… SUCCESS! It actually turned out like juice. I was excited. I really liked it. This is going to be a favorite.

Ok, the last one I have tried so far… Parchita juice (Passion fruit). Parchita or passion fruit, is a citrus fruit. It has a thick peel like an orange, but you do not peel it. Inside of the rind are many medium sized black seeds surrounded by yellow goo and a little bit of juice. Directions for making juice: Cut open the parchita, scoop out the goo and seeds into blender, add water, blend, strain with a strainer, add sugar and stir. Ok, so this one is a bit different, but guess what… SUCCESS!! It turned out just like I’ve tried in people’s houses or at restaurants. This is probably my new favorite juice.

It is really neat to see all the different fruits that God put on this planet. The people living here in the tropics have been blessed by all that God has put here for their enjoyment. I know that they take this luxury for granted because they have it here all the time, but I thank God for small pleasures of living in the tropics.

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