Posted by Lisa on November 27th, 2005 — Posted in Activities

Okay, so I went to Chapilca forever ago, but I realized I forgot to share it with you guys. As you may remember, I have started weaving. I went to a class that was taught by a woman from Chapilca, who made her own yarn. She invited us to come and watch her dye yarn. Chapilca is a town that is centered around weaving. They raise the sheep, then shear them, and then hand spin the wool into yarn, wash it in a big tub, then dye it with natural ingredients. On this day, she used two different types of leaves to dye the yarn yellow and green. To make red yarn, the use the blood of some type of cactus beetle. We met her family, and learned about their different roles in the weaving process. Her grandmother doesn’t get around as well as she use to, so she mainly spins the yarn. The loom they use to make their goods is mammoth. We plan on going back sometime soon. The woven products are beautiful.

Image 1925FB20553211DA Image 1925DD70553211DA Image 19262B9A553211DA

Image 192642B6553211DA Image 19265A7E553211DA Image 19267160553211DA

Image 192687F6553211DA

Happy belated Thanksgiving!!

Posted by Lisa on November 26th, 2005 — Posted in Activities

Steve and I had some friends over for Thanksgiving. Steve made his awesome Alton Brown turkey for us and some great mashed potatoes, and I made carrot casserole, sweet potato casserole, stuffing and 2 pies ( 1 with homemade crust, my first time!) a zapillo (which is a type of pumpkin) and an apple. Del brought asparagus and broccoli ,and Stella and Jenny brought appetizers.I think I drove Steve crazy with my worrying about the food. It’s just that it’s hard trying to use recipes from the states here in Chile, since you can’t find a lot of the ingredients in the supermarkets or what is here is completely different. For instance, the sweet potatoes here have a purple skin, are irregularly shaped, and the inside is kind of off white in color. In the end though, everything turned out perfect and we all had a blast. The funny thing was the we were the only americans, Stella is from Greece, Del and her family are from Australia, as is Jenny and her family. Apparently in Australia turkey costs around $80, so they never get to eat it. We also had great Chilean wine of course. Missed all of you!!!!

IMG 1705 table IMG 1704

More Leyna Fun…

Posted by Lisa on November 26th, 2005 — Posted in Uncategorized

Things are going well with Leyna. We brought her to the vet this week, and she has gained 2 kg- my little gordita!!! Other than that, we’re just dealing with the normal puppy things- biting, housebreaking, and obedience. Having a puppy really lets me know, that I’m not ready for a baby yet because, 1. I have gotten really, really mad at her when she was biting and scratching and making me bleed, and yes, little horns popped out of my head, and a vein was pulsating (can’t do that with a baby), and 2. we brought her to the park today and were running around, and I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to put her on a swing. So I held her and we started swinging, and she got squirmy, and oops, I dropped her. Now she squeaks when you try to pick her up, like she’s afraid of falling. Thankfully, we’ve been picking her up all night, and she’s now getting better, no worries. But I really couldn’t drop a baby on the ground. So all in all, I am perfectly content with my little puppy and will leave the child raising to all my friends.

hotdogt hiding

crazy tongue

Los Pinguinos

Posted by Lisa on November 26th, 2005 — Posted in Travel

Despite Steve’s busy schedule, he finally relented to my months of nagging (“I want to go see the penguins”), and we went to the Humboldt Penguin Reserve today. We went with some friends and had a wonderful time. Our guide, Jorge, picked us up at the recinto at 8 am, and we drove for 2 hours to the reserve. On the way we drove through the desert and Jorge taught us how to survive for 2 months in the desert. We ate some cactus- bland but bitter, and learned to squuze water from plants. Once we got to the park, we boarded a small fishing boat, it held about 14 of us, and made our way to the islands. At the first island we saw sea lions, beautiful birds, and yes, PENGUINS!!!!! They were so cute and little. At the second island, we were able to disembark, and hike around the island for an hour. We then headed back to land to the town of Choros, for a lunch of fresh fish, and a shellfish salad. Choros is a producer of aciete de olivia, which I bought at a little roadside stand. At the stand, there was a cute kitten watching over the goods. I even was able to converse with the woman selling the olive oil, which is a good feeling.

sign IMG 1731 isla1

penguin1 IMG 1745 1

IMG 1788 lisancat

No, me llama Lorena

Posted by Lisa on November 14th, 2005 — Posted in Misc

I know many of you have been wondering about my “Consuela” situation. I’m happy to report that Lorena’s first day of work was today. For those of you that don’t know what I’m babbling about, Steve and I now have a cleaning lady who come twice a week, for 5 hours at a time. She does a wonderful job. Though I do have to admit, we had to go shopping to buy cleaning supplies this morning. I feel kinda odd having a cleaning lady and all since I’m not working, but hey, you know the saying when in Rome…

Weekend Update

Posted by Lisa on November 14th, 2005 — Posted in Uncategorized

Our weekend started off with a wine tasting party on Friday co-hosted by yours truly. We had it at my friend Del’s casa and we enjoyed many good chilean wines. Leyna even came at the end of the party to meet everyone, On Saturday we hung out around the house and cleaned and unpacked some boxes. On Sunday we took Leyna to the beach for the first time. It was fun, though I wish the weather had been better. Poor puppy got car sick as well, but I think she had fun running around the beach. Steve helped me make this little movie to share with you starring Leyna. It’s titled, Leyna’s First Day at the Beach (duh…)

Click Here to Download the Cutest Movie Ever!

¿Como mi nombre?

Posted by Lisa on November 9th, 2005 — Posted in Uncategorized

Help me!!! I’m a cute puppy without a name. My mom likes Pepita- spanish for nugget, and my dad likes Leyna, old german for little angel, which sounds the same as the spanish Leña which means firewood. I think they need more ideas…

puppy needs a name

It’s a Girl!!!!!

Posted by Lisa on November 8th, 2005 — Posted in Uncategorized

Steve and I got a sweet little puppy today. She’s a german shepherd puppy, 9 weeks old. She doesn’t have a name yet, her name was Paloma, which is dove in spanish. Unfortunately, my friend Joanna is on vacation right now, so I don’t have a camera, but I took a few pictures with Steve’s video camera. Not a great pictures, but once Steve comes home, we’ll take some more. She is so cute, and has a great personality, and is sleeping next to me as a type. So, here she is, more pictures to come!!!




Pastel de Choclo

Posted by Lisa on November 6th, 2005 — Posted in Misc

I have decided that once a week, I’m going to try to make a chilean dish for dinner. Last night, was my first attempt. On Friday, on our way home from Chapilca, we stopped in the town of Vicuna for lunch. Vicuna is a neat little town in the valley Elqui, that has a beautiful square, and some nice artisan shops around the square. It also has an interesting bug museum, I am told. At the restaurant, one of the women ordered Pastel de Choclo, which is corn and meat pie, a traditional chilean dish served at most restaurants. It looked and smelled amazing, and I decided that I should make it for Steve. It was easy to make, and tasted very good. It’s a little sweet (because of the confectioner sugar sprinkled on top), but all the tastes blend together well. In Chile, when you order this dish, they give you a side of sugar to sprinkle over the pastel as it is eaten.
Pastel de Choclo

6 large ears corn, grate the kernels
4 fresh basil leaves chopped
1 t salt
1/2 – 1 cup milk
3 large onions chopped
3 T oil
1 lb ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1t ground cumin
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 c. black olives
1 c. raisins
12 pieces chicken, browned in hot oil with salt, pepper and cumin. I used a package of chicken breasts, I think around a pound and a half and cubed and browned them
2 T confectioner sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. In a med. pot, heat the grated corn, chopped basil, salt, and butter. Add the milk little by little stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Cook over low heat for 5 min. Leave to side, while preparing meat mixture
3. Fry onions in oil until transparent, add ground beef, brown meat, season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
4. Brown chicken in oil and season with salt, pepper and cumin
5. To prepare pie use over proof dish that you can take to table ( I used a 9×13 dish) spread bottom of dish with beef and onions, then place sliced egg, olives and raisins (I omitted olives). Put the chicken on top (I think traditionally, Chileans use chicken on the bone, brown it, and pull the meat off).
6. Cover with corn mixture. Sprinkle with confectioner sugar.
7. Bake at 400 for 30-35 min, until crust is golden brown.
8. Eat and enjoy!!!!

La Feria

Posted by Lisa on November 2nd, 2005 — Posted in Activities

Tuesday, was a lazy day here in La Serena. It was a holiday here in Chile, All Saints Day, so Steve didn’t have to go in to work. We made the best of our lazy day and slept in and then went to La Feria, which is the open air market downtown. It’s a short walk, and they sell the most amazing things there, from seaweed, clothes, nuts, fruits, veggies and plants. It’s all very cheap, so we just bring our change. I got a ton of fresh walnuts for 500 pesos, which is around a dollar. I’m on a walnut craze currently, and love putting them in my salads.

IMG 1472 IMG 1473

Let’s see, what else do I have to share? On Sunday, before Steve came down the mountain, I went to the beach with my friend Stella, who graduated with Steve form IU. It was nice to finally get to see her. I was in the States when she got here, and then she was in the States, and we were never able to get in touch. I’m happy to say we finally did, went to the beach, went for a walk, hung out with some of the other gringos, and went out to lunch. I didn’t bring the camera though. Upcoming events include a trip on Friday to Chipilca to buy some homemade yarn, and to watch a dying presentation. My weaving project is coming along, slowly though. Hopefully I will finish it soon and figure out what to do with it!