New Year

The new year has started off cool and wet at our place, so there’s really not that much happening. Of course, there’s always food happening so here are a few food highlights of the year so far.

There’s no better way to start the new year than with some traditional local food. New Year’s morning Ruben brought us down some warm tamales. They were absolutely delicious, moist tamales wrapped in banana leaves. But the real kicker was that instead of chicken this year they were made with Gibnut. What a great way to start the new year.

Gibnut tamale, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Speaking of Gibnut, a while ago a friend brought us over a hind quarter of one. We waited for a good rainy day and Kelley made a pot roast with all the fixings in the crockpot. Chicken, beef, and pork are great, but it’s always special when we get a chance to have a local delicacy. And Gibnut is the best wild game out there, after all, that’s the meal they served to the Queen of England when she visited Belize.

A very special treat, Gibnut pot roast.

Another great meal that Kelley made was French onion soup and roasted bone marrow. Roasted bone marrow is one of those things I bet only a few of you have ever tried. Once you do try it, you’re like, how come nobody has ever told me about this before?

French onion soup and a side of bone marrow.

We have made corned beef from scratch many times in the past and it has always turned out great. Recently we picked up 30lbs. of beef brisket that will go in the brine for a couple of weeks. These will be for us just to see if the recipe needs any adjustments, which I doubt it will. After that, we will be taking orders for corned beef so all our friends can celebrate St. Patty’s Day come March. Corned beef is something you can not get here in Belize and most of the locals have no idea what it even is. But if you’re Irish or even pretend to be then come St. Patty’s Day corned beef is a must-have.

Soon to be corned beef.

While I’m still on the subject of food, a friend of ours called the other day and asked if we needed any tomatoes. We’d just got back from the market and stocked up on veggies for the week, and of course, we bought some tomatoes. He told us that he was just starting to harvest his tomato crop and was selling them for $8 BZ a bucket, that’s $4 US for a 5 gallon bucket. Of course, we bought some, we couldn’t turn down fresh vine ripe Roma tomatoes.

Beautiful Roma tomatoes, just picked that morning.

Kelley’s got a bunch of whole tomatoes and tomato sauce canned, so it looks like we’ll be firing up the pizza oven for a pizza party pretty soon. At that price, it’s not worth it for us to even grow them.

Should make some great pasta, pizzas, and whatever else we can come up with.

This past week a local kid has been coming by on his bike selling radishes. I’m not a fan of radishes but Kelley loves them. They are beautiful looking radishes, and are all the size of golf balls and bigger. Since there was more than Kelley could eat raw, we decided to dehydrate the rest and see what happens. We did a couple different seasonings, garlic salt & pepper, and habanero sea salt. I’ve got to say, they really turned out surprisingly good. They are a good crunchy snack that goes great with a cold Belikin beer.

Since we’ve been making veggie chips we haven’t bought potato chips in a long time.

Since this new year has started we have harvested a nice stalk of apple bananas, a couple of pineapples, and some raspberries. So far our breakfasts for the year have consisted of fresh fruit and homemade bacon. It’s not a fast-food McMuffin, but sure is a lot healthier. One of the great things down here is that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there are always fresh local fruits and veggies available.

Tiny apple bananas are my favorite.

Okay, a little more editable stuff from the yard. Kelley was making Chinese food the other night and needed some ginger, not a problem. We have ginger growing, so we went out and picked a small piece for some lettuce wraps. We also looked around and found some wood ear mushrooms growing on some logs, so sweet and sour soup it was. It’s great to have all these fresh items available to us.

Just a small piece of ginger from the garden.

Remember the 6 foot tall marigolds we posted a few months ago. They finally died back so we got them all pulled out. Well, I guess while they were dying back they decided to spread their seeds everywhere.  A 40′ parameter around those original plants was a forest of marigolds coming up. At first, we thought it would be great to let them all bloom and have a beautiful orange yard. Then we thought of how big the patch might be next year. So I got the lawnmower out and cut them all down, I got a lot of them but they are still everywhere. Between the raspberry plants and the marigolds, I don’t know which one would be the first to take over this whole place. I never thought I’d be mowing down a field of marigolds.

I hated to mow all these marigolds down, but next year you wouldn’t be able to find the house.

We’ve got a whole new year in front of us now and hopefully, it will be better than the last two. People are starting to travel again and we are seeing a lot more tourists down here in Belize. Most of the major airlines such as American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, and Frontier all have daily flights here. If you are flexible on your travel dates I have seen round trip flights from Phoenix for under $300. Most of the time though the flights are around $500-$700 round trip from many cities. A lot of the flights from the west coast stop in Dallas or Houston for a plane change. After that, it’s just a short 2 hour flight down to Belize.

One of many airlines that fly to Belize.

The current requirements for getting to Belize are that you need a negative covid test prior to arrival or a recovery note, whether you are vaccinated or not. If that doesn’t work for you, then you can have a test at the airport when you arrive in Belize for a fee of $50. You will also need another test a day prior to leaving Belize. Everything is open and operating, so you can check out the Mayan ruins, go cave tubing, relax on a sandy beach, head out to one of the islands, or anything else that Belize has to offer. We hope to see you down here in 2022!

Caracol, Belize’s largest ancient Mayan city. Not too far up the road past our place.



2 thoughts on “New Year”

  1. Marigolds are a great pest deterrent so don’t mow too many down.
    On a side note: Brad has retired from Intel. You can get more info from him later.
    Take care and God Bless!

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