Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good Eats at Ann's

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.

pumpkin pie

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.


  1. Ann!!!!!!! You are not allowed to post such torturous things! I mean, come on! BLTs?!?!? And how are you baking cakes and pies? On stove top? Or do you somehow have an oven now too? Anyway, good for you. I'm down to only potatoes and chilies these days, and even potatoes are becoming hard to find. Oh the joys. Hope all is well. Please do continue to post delicious entries like this, I will, for the time being, live vicariously through your gourmet adventures.

  2. I'm sorry Nick!! As I was writing, I did realize it would be torture for any of the other BCFers(that sounds like a crude acronym, doesn't it?)I had hoped to have the pumpkin pie ready to send some with Nancy when she was heading your way, but that was the weekend of the picnic and my very upset stomach. The oven is thanks to the always wonderful Chundu.