This might not seem very exciting to those of you who have access to any kind of food you might desire. Well, that is certainly not the case here in Mongar. I quickly tired of the typical Bhutanese fare of rice and ema datse, so I keep expanding on what is actually possible. Banana cake, pizza, and pasta with homegrown basil have all been done. I needed to try something new.
I’ve been doing some mighty fine cookin' the last few days. First there were the pumpkin pies. I managed to get all of the ingredients that I needed. I bought a beautiful purplish-skinned pumpkin at the market and cooked it until it was soft. Cream was of the tinned variety. The cinnamon sticks and cloves had to be ground up, and the ginger was fresh gingerroot, but it worked out fine. In fact, it was delicious. The teachers and my neighbours all enjoyed their first ever pumpkin pie, and even Nancy had a piece when she was passing through Mongar.
Chimi,Chundu,friend enjoying pie
Sunday morning I made buckwheat pancakes, with flour which Karma provides from her village of Ura. I do that every Sunday, but these pancakes were even better, because I had them with maple syrup which Lynda’s mum brought from Canada.
I was on a roll. I’ve been gradually improving my bread, and I made the best ever whole wheat bread yesterday. Saturday was a rare occasion at the vegetable market when I had been able to get fresh lettuce and tomatoes. With some shrink-wrapped bacon from Canada (what a fantastic idea!), Hellman’s mayonnaise from Nancy, black pepper from Richard...guess what I made? Yup, a BLT, and it was scrumptious!
Today I made some delicious potato soup. In fact it was basically kewa datse (local dish made of potatoes, chillies and cheese), but I added more water and used a hand blender to make it relatively smooth. Now that the evenings are getting cooler, it is nice to have a bowl of homemade soup. Now I’ve got plenty for lots of cool evenings.
soup and sandwich
I think my next project will be an apple cake. I’ve got a bag of apples from Bumthang, and since I’ve already made a couple of apple pies, I think it is time for an apple cake. All of this baking happens in the flying saucer electric oven which I borrow from Chundu on a regular basis.