Lots of work and a little bit of fun.

We got the bacon and sausage all finished up and put away in the freezer. After all said and done, we ended up with 87 good size links of spicy Italian sausage plus a small bag of non-stuffed sausage for pizzas and such. This sausage recipe we have made quite a few times in the past, adjusting the spices each time just a little. We have finally got it where we think it needs to be, at least for our taste.

Rolls and rolls of sausage.

We also finished up 13 lbs. of hickory-smoked bacon with heavy black pepper. The other 12 lbs. of bacon we did a little lighter with applewood smoke and just a touch of black pepper. Of course, there was also a lot of brown sugar and a few other things that went into the bacon. It’s really not a whole lot cheaper to make your own sausage and bacon. Although, once you compare the quality and the flavor of the stuff you just made to the store brands, it makes it all worth it.

Bacon, bacon, bacon!

The new crop of the month is peanuts. I guess the soil, elevation, and climate are perfect here which is why everyone grows peanuts. That’s why our village of San Antonio is called the “Peanut Capital of Belize”. Ruben brought over a bag of peanuts that were ready to be planted, and since the squash was done it was a perfect place to plant them. We planted them around the full moon and then there were a few light rains and within a week the plants had already grown a few inches tall. All the farmers here say to plant around the full moon for the best crop, maybe there is something to this because those peanuts are growing fast.

Rows of peanuts.

It should take three months before they are ready to harvest and if all goes well we will be making some homemade peanut butter by springtime. We have made peanut butter from scratch before, some with honey, some with coconut oil and another with a little chocolate and they were all very good. Maybe some of our fruit trees will have something ready by then and we can make some jellies for some awesome PB & J’s (which are one of my favorites).

Tasty kale.

One vegetable that is hard to find down here is kale and when you do it is fairly expensive. Since we love it, we thought we should try growing it. It’s doing pretty well as long as we keep the caterpillars away from it and when we do, we are getting enough to have it once a week.

bananas hang
First bunch of apple bananas.

Our first bunch of bananas was finally ready to harvest. From what we were told you cut the bunch when they are green and then hang then until they ripen. This way you can eat them as they ripen, which is working out well because there are a couple ripe every day. These are small apple bananas and are very sweet, creamy and delicious. So far, our hanging bunch of bananas has attracted no monkeys to the porch. Ironically though, a few days after we hung them we could hear the Howler Monkeys in the distance.

Darren’s new gate.

Darren came down for a visit and to check on the progress of his property (which is right next to ours). Last year he got Ruben started on clearing an area in the middle of his property where a house will go. The clearing is done so it was time to get a road up into his property. There was already an old road there from years ago and it didn’t take a whole lot to get it back in shape. Now that there was a road cut in it was only obvious that there needed to be a gate across it. A couple of weeks ago we got them started on building a gate across the road entrance and they did a great job.

darren footers
Antonio looking at Darren’s house plans.

He also had a power meter pole set and is working on getting a connection, plus he got a water hookup to the mainline and is having it run to his house site. Besides all that, he also got them started on a foundation where his house will be going. Darren’s place is really starting to shape up, who knows how long before we might have another neighbor.

Dave enjoying the warm tropical weather in December.

While Darren was here we headed down to Hopkins for a couple of days of relaxing beach time. I know it’s December and cold almost everywhere, but it was 85 degrees on the beach in Hopkins. Hopefully, the above picture sends you warm thoughts and has you thinking about warmer days.

blue hole
The inland blue hole.

On our way down to Hopkins, we stopped at St Herman’s Blue Hole and Cave. This is considered the inland Blue Hole, not to be confused with the Great Blue Hole which is just offshore from Belize and is a major dive destination. St Herman’s Blue Hole is part of an underground river system that got exposed from a collapse not too long ago. The hole itself is about 25’ deep and is a great spot to swim and cool off.

The entrance to St. Herman’s cave.

St Herman’s Cave is supposed to be quite spectacular with water, stalagmite’s, stalactites, bats and everything else that a cave has to offer. Unfortunately, when we hiked to the entrance and started our way down into the cave our flashlight batteries gave out so we could not continue in very far. We will definitely check this out again in the future and bring a few flashlights with new batteries.

The best tamales in Belize… the sign says so.

Of course, a trip down the Hummingbird Highway towards the coast would not be complete without a stop at Bertha’s tamales. Like I’ve said before, these are some of the best tamales you will ever eat. They are wrapped in banana leaves and are a creamy masa with chicken inside, very different from the tamales we would get back in Mexico or the states.

The Sittee River.

A few months back we went fishing on the Sittee River in Hopkins and fished only about a mile upriver from where the Caribbean Sea and the river come together. This time we decided to just take a cruise upriver just to check it out. The Sittee River we were told is navigation able about seven miles upstream. It’s a beautiful river with lots of wildlife along its shore and some pretty cool houses right on the river. We went in the afternoon so we didn’t see a whole lot of animals except birds and a lot of really big orange iguanas. We were on the lookout for crocodiles and manatees but didn’t spot any this time. Our guide told us that not too long ago they saw two big jaguars right on the shoreline and as they got the boat in closer for some pictures the jaguars started hissing and growling. That would have been pretty exciting to see, especially knowing that jaguars are very good swimmers.

Great drumming and a song.

Here are just a couple more pictures from our trip down to Hopkins. There were some local kids that came by the pool and were offering to play the drum and sing us a song. So, of course, we said yes, let’s see what you got. They started beating on the drum and singing and it was pretty cool. It was great to see young kids out trying to earn money and not just asking for it.

Having fun at the Dock Bar.

Of course, there was fun to be had at some of the local happy hour spots. The Dock Bar which is over the water has swings which are not that uncommon for bars. But these swings were also on tracks which allowed you to spin and slide 8’ or more from the bar towards the edge of the railing. It was another great trip down to Hopkins and with it only being a 2 1/2 hour drive from our place it makes for a great quick getaway.

Dave with the cover model and miss January and miss February

Being December means that it is once again time to watch for the Belikin beer calendar release parties. This is where Belikin models come out to sign calendars and give you a chance to meet them and get some pictures with them. This year we lucked out because there just happened to be a release party on the last night Darren was here. It was a great evening meeting all the models, they were very personable and of course all very beautiful.

We hope everyone is having a great holiday season and looking forward to some time off around Christmas and spending time with friends and family.

3 thoughts on “Lots of work and a little bit of fun.”

  1. Dave and Kelley, hope you have a very Merry Christmas 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 and a Happy New Year 2020 🥂

  2. It looks like you guys are really enjoying your time in Belize. Have fun and merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for the great pictures again! You guys inspired us when we there to smoke some bacon when we got home. I’m smoking another batch tomorrow. This time maple/brown sugar. Pretty cool about the peanuts. I would love to taste the bananas too. Hopefully next time…

    Merry Christmas!

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