Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oops, Forgot the Camera!!

Twice this week, I've forgotten to bring my camera when we stumbled into something interesting. The first time, we were originally heading out of the house to let the boys run around the driving range looking for golf balls, but there was someone there when we drove past. So, we headed to the one beach on base that we had yet to check out.

At first, I thought the shoreline was filthy, but realized when we got closer that it was actually a stretch of tide pools peppering the water's edge. We spent quite awhile looking for tiny fish and other strange sea creatures, and it reminded me of all those times in Washington when we'd go to the rocky shoreline and look for crabs under the rocks. I'll have to remember to bring my camera the next time we go out there.

Then, yesterday, there was a big craft fair on base, like the one we went to a couple months ago in North Andros. I don't know why I left my camera in the house, but I did and I very much regretted it. While we were there, I bought a conch salad. It took awhile to get because they were making them to order, and it was a rather involved chopping process.

Conch is pretty big here. It's also something you won't be able to get in the U.S. unless it's frozen. Up to now, the only way I've had it is fried or in fritters, so the salad was an interesting piece of Bahamian food culture to savor. You don't cook the conch before it goes in the salad. They were actually killing and pulling them from their shells as the salads were chopped on the table in front of the conch butchers. There were also a few live conch on the main table in front of us, and I watched with great amusement as one managed to flip itself over.

Since I don't have a picture of my own, I thought I'd add this link to a recipe for conch salad. When I got it, it pretty much looked exactly like that, piled in a Styrofoam bowl with a plastic spoon stuck into the mountain of salad. The salad is a mix of conch, green pepper, tomatoes, and onion, with a dressing of lime juice, orange juice (all fresh-squeezed), and a bit of hot pepper.

The conch itself has a very mild taste, and the salad was fantastic! I couldn't get either Wyatt or Oliver to try it, but Oscar was happy to share it with me. I think he ended up eating almost a quarter of it. I'm definitely going to be looking for this again.

I also picked up another Bahmaian basket while I was there. I love, love the baskets they make here. You can find pretty much anything, from a water jug that really holds water, to a hanging planter, to Moses baskets. I've sent a couple out as gifts, but plan on collecting a few more before we move. This is the one I bought yesterday (currently on loan as a Thomas the Tank holder, as Oscar thinks it makes a great "mountain" track to drive on):

bahamian basket

I was also lucky enough to find a booth with a woman selling fruit. It all looked imported, but there was stuff we never see here on base. It was all ridiculously expensive, but I bought a carton of strawberries anyway. It's the first time we've had any fresh ones in six months, and Oscar was begging for one as soon as I put it into the stroller storage basket. I made him wait, however, so we could do this today:

chocolate fondue

There's nothing like chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas (which happily were in stock this week), and some homemade pound cake!

2 sonar pings:

Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant said...

you can get fresh conch in key west!! :) my dad is a native (in fact, native key west people are CALLED conchs! lol), and we have family down there we visit regularly.

needless to say, we ALWAYS eat conchs when we visit. YUM YUM!

Ana said...

I didn't know that about Key West! I am going to miss eating conch when we leave here.