Late October Happenings

Good news… at this point, the regulations on quarantine and where you can stay when you arrive through the airport in Belize has lightened up. I believe that all that is required now is a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to arriving here or a rapid test once you arrive here at the airport. If you choose to do the test here (and it is Negative) it will take about 30 minutes and cost you $50 usd. Of course, masks and hand washing are still required anywhere out in public, but at least the country is open back up to tourists.

Not a decoration…the real thing!

Just in time for Halloween, there have been a couple bats hanging on the house and the garage. Halloween is all about vampire bats, big scary spiders, and things that creep around in the dark. Well, we do have a lot of things that creep around in the dark, big scary spiders and yes we even have real vampire bats here. So no need for fake store-bought Halloween decorations, we have the real things out here. Happy Halloween!

It must be fall, the coffee is changing colors.

Since our coffee is ripening at a steady rate now, we need to pick it every few days. Last year we got just enough for me to make a couple cups of coffee and try it. This year we should get at least a few pounds once we process it. In a few years when all 40 plants are producing well, we might just need a burro with some baskets to help carry it all.

Time to pick the coffee.

Some of the locals here roast their coffee in a pan on top of the stove. We tried that last year (since we only had a small amount) and it was a pain in the ass, so we recently ordered a small coffee roaster. This way we can control the heat and figure out how to get a constant roast the way we want it. Plus the roaster can also be used to roast our cocoa, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other stuff from the garden. Obviously, if all the coffee plants really start producing we’ll have to have it roasted by someone who actually knows what they are doing.

I’ll bet you never had coffee this fresh!

Okay, so we finally got around to making a tea out of the dried coffee skins called cherry tea or cascara. I guess Starbucks even makes a latte with cascara syrup.  We brewed it up and tried it cold, as we are not real big on hot tea. It was really good with a bit of fruitiness to it, and then we added a squirt of Calamansi lime from the garden and it was even better. I guess we can now say we are growing cascara along with our coffee. So if you are staying at the Toucan Hideaway in the near future there’s a good chance you can sample some of our homegrown coffee or some cascara tea.

Coffee skins actually make a pretty good tea.

A few weeks ago when we were over on the coast we decided to stop in a chocolate factory and buy 10 lbs. of bulk dark chocolate that is grown and made right here in Belize. Our plan is to start playing with it so that when we start getting a lot of cocoa on our plants we will have an idea of what we are doing.  Some of our cocoa plants are 7-8 feet tall now and starting to produce, so we just want to be ready when it’s time to start making our own chocolate, plus who doesn’t want 10lbs. of chocolate.

Ummmm… chocolate. It has to be good for you, it comes from a tree.

A couple years ago we were driving around our village and saw a big tree with baggies all over it, and yes we thought that was a little strange, but at that point, everything was new to us. Well now that we know what it was, we have our own baggie tree. I guess when guava gets the size of a small baseball you need to put a baggie over them to keep the bugs from burrowing in. Once the guava starts to smell sweet or fill up the baggie they are ready to pick, so we’ve been told. We assume that the animals know they are getting ripe judging by the broken tree branches and the missing baggies of fruit.

Pre-packaged guava on the tree.

Last week we got our small electric smoker out and smoked some snapper and barracuda that we picked up on the coast. We love smoked fish and haven’t smoked any since we use to live at the beach in Mexico, and it was delicious!

Delicious smoked snapper and barracuda.

While the smoker was out we also make 5lbs. of spicy, finger-size beef snack sticks and we smoked a big pork roast for some pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce. Of course, we wanted to share this deliciousness, so we had a few friends over for a sampling of the smoked fish and some pulled pork sandwiches. There was also corn on the cob, some fried okra from the garden, and ice cold beer. Who needs restaurants anyway?

Little beef snack sticks.

We recently sold our two Polaris 800 4×4 quads. We didn’t use them as much as we thought we would, plus now we have a Jeep and knew they would end up just sitting in the garage. So now there is a lot more room in the garage for more toys or another project. Who knows, maybe a boat over on the coast, then we could have a lot more fish to smoke.

Sams Club Belize?

It’s looking like there will be a new option for shopping down in the town of Santa Elena. We don’t know if they are associated with Sam’s in the states, but we will definitely check them out once they open.

Stay safe and we will see you soon.



6 thoughts on “Late October Happenings”

  1. Love all the info. I am waiting another couple of weeks to a month to book flights but have taken the last 2 weeks of the year off to travel, 🤞🤞🤞.

  2. Happy Halloween!
    Thank you again for a great blog. I hope you are keeping all of them so one you can publish them.
    Will make a great book.
    Last weekend Randy replaced the Skull and Crossbones on the hood of my Cherokee. The old one was on for 6 years. So a new one just in time for Halloween 🎃
    And I met your granddaughter Alli, she is so cute! The boys are really growing up!
    Enjoy your Fall and Winter, hopefully come and see us in México 🇲🇽

    1. Happy Halloween Jeff! The skull looks great on your Jeep. We were trying to make a trip to Cholla earlier this year, but that didn’t happen. We are hoping to get down there next year sometime. Take care.

  3. You guys amaze us! Love seeing all you do. Just how often do you see those big hairy spiders???

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